Apr 122013
 

By LAURA TEAGUE

 

Layout 1

Part 2 of the Galmaetgil hikes!

The Galmaetgil trails span across Busan, about half of them wind along the extensive coastline, giving them the name “Seagull Path” in Hangeul. They explore all the best that this wonderful city of ours has to offer, the whole shebang covers around 270km, so where to start? Here’s your super awesome and helpful guide to help you out in this tricky conundrum.

 

Course Two: The most popular course among the locals, and the most ‘famous’ according to Busanites.

The shortest course end to end.

Course Two Part One: Very easy and familiar walk from Dalmaji Hill to Gwangalli beach, with some great views of the bridge and a lovely walk around Dongbaek Island. Not strenuous.

Course Two Part Two: A more strenuous walk from Gwangalli to Oryukdo, but some amazing views out over the whole coast from Haeundae to Gwangalli, definitely worth a try if you’re feeling energetic. 5km of this
walk is all up and down the stairway built into the cliff-face though, not for the first-timer. Take your own snacks, shops are hard to come by.

 

Course Three: The second favorite among the locals. This one is a mixed bag of city and mountain walking.

Course Three Part One: Oryukdo to Dayeon UN Memorial Park and Cemetery. A wonderful start, walking from Oryukdo to Sinseondae gives great views of the islands (five or six of them) and the part around Sinseondae Observatory shows amazing views of the Naval Base and the harbour where you can watch the transporter ships load and unload in the dock. After that it’s all road walking to Dayeon. Easy flat walk, but no natural beauty really.

Course Three Part Two: A super awesome walk that takes you through parts of the city you might otherwise miss. From Busanjin Market to Busan station, the first part is a proper rural city walk taking you past local markets, and then winding up through local houses onto Eomgwangsan, where you can look out over the whole city, and at the same time enjoy the fresh mountain air. Perfect mix of Busan’s best assets.

Mar 252013
 

By Laura Teague

(this is the second half of a 2 part hike, to see part 1 go here)

imageThis is definitely a walk to test your hamstrings and calves. It’s a nice flat 3km away from Gwangalli beach around the coast, and then a grueling 5km of stairs up and down all the way to Oryukdo Cruise Wharf.

Continuing on from where Part 1 finished, this walk starts on Gwangalli Beach.

Follow the beach road away from the Haeundae end, so towards the watersports building at the far right side of beach. When you reach the water sports building, take the road just behind it, that’s following the coast and turning off to the left. There is a cycle hire shack here, and the cycle road beyond that. Follow the cycle road, and once again follow the signs that are spray-painted on the floor, wooden signs attached to the walls, or the blue and pink flags on the trees and lampposts.

image (1)Following the trail around to the base of Gwangan Bridge is easy, there is a handy little sign to tell you which way to go when you are crossing the river to get under the bridge, to the other side of the harbor. If you happen to miss this, you need to get under Gwangan Bridge, and you are aiming for a small white bridge allowing cars across. There are usually some fishermen on this bridge, or if not further on the path along the sea wall. From here, the Galmaetgil path takes you just to the right of the sea wall, by the road, through a wooded path. This eventually links up to the sea wall road and you can get some great views of Gwangan Bridge from the other side.

From the end of the sea wall, you are aiming uphill for the snazzy-looking ‘The View’ building, there are a few signs around, just keep an eye out for them. Once you have made it up the hill to ‘The View’ the path is incredibly easy, because there isn’t much opportunity to stray from it. Be warned however, from here the path is all up and down stairs all the way to Oryukdo, and there aren’t many places to get drinks and snacks from here, so make sure you have enough refreshments to keep you going.

image (5)The walk takes you right down to the Oryukdo Cruise Wharf, and there is a local fish market near the dock. This is where Course Two officially finishes and Course Three begins. But after all those stairs, maybe leave Course Three for another day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Directions

To the start point: Take the subway to either Gwangan or Geumyeonsan Subway station on line 2, and make your way to the beach from there. 

To get back from the end point: The people in the tourist office on the Wharf are super helpful if you need them. With the tourist office at your back, look straight up the road that’s coming in to the roundabout. On the right hand side of the road there is a bus stop. Take either bus 27 or 131 and this will get you back to the KSU subway station which is on the green line.

 

 

 

Mar 252013
 

By LAURA TEAGUE

(this is part 1 of a 2 part series, to see the second half of the walk go here)

P1080160All across Busan are ‘hiking’ or walking trails that cover the city. They wind though the most beautiful sightseeing spots, and the best tourist places. The word ‘갈맷길’ is a hybrid of the word for ‘seagull’ and ‘road’ maybe because a lot of them follow the coast. There are nine in total, and five of them follow the coast, all the way from Imrang beach, down to Gadeokdo. The two considered most famous, or most popular, are courses two and three, and these are the only two for which there are maps in English, or any maps at all as far as I have found so far (please let me know if anyone can direct me to any kind of map for the rest of the trails). Even the maps that are available are not in any kind of detail, but for the most part, the trails are well marked with a combination of pink and blue flyers in the trees, wooden signs on lamp posts and spray painted markers on the pavements.

P1080143Course two begins on Dalmaji Hill, on the moon-tan road (so called for the night views). At this part of the course, there are a couple of maps that you can use to get an idea of the course ahead (and take note – this is the last map until Millak). From here, the course winds down the hill, and slightly left at the first major crossroads that you reach turn left down towards Haeundae beach. The course goes the length of the beach, and then around past the Westin Chosun to Dongbaek island, all the way round to Dongbaek harbour, and then follow the coast all the way around to Gwangalli. Just around the headland past Dongbaek harbour, when we went, the street was being repaved, so the signs on the road ended, but just keep following the coast, and you’ll see Gwangan Bridge ahead of you.

The signs pick back up again around when you can see the I-Park building on your right. Follow the new coastal road round until the view of the bridge disappears and the Marina appears on your left, from here the course is well signed and you cut through the Marina, to walk through the yacht docks. When you reach Busan Cinema Center, the signs disappear, turn right, so the Cinema Center is on your left, walk away from the marina and join the main road again, from here turn left back towards the Gwangan Bridge and the signs pick up again from here.

Layout 1Here you walk across a bridge than runs under the Gwangan Bridge, and Centum City is on your right. Follow the bridge across, and the route should be well sign posted. When you reach the other side of this bridge you need to head for the wooden walkway that is running underneath you. It’s pretty easy to get to when you know where you’re supposed to be headed. From here, the path is easy, this wooden walkway runs all the way to Gwangalli Beach.

This is halfway through course two, where we stopped. This route is about 10km, and took us 3 and a half hours.

 

Directions to Dalmaji Hill for the start point:Take the green line subway to Haeundae: from here take exit 1. Walk 10m to the bus stop find the stand for bus 100. Get on bus 100 and get off at Yeongnam apt (about 2 stops) and walk about 10 mins to the wooden walkway where this walk begins.

Alternatively you can take a taxi from Haeundae Station. Ask for ‘Alexander shikdang’ and this takes you pretty much to the start of this walk.

 

To view this entire walk on a map visit: HERE

Below is a map of the start point

 

 

 


View Galmaetgil Course 2 part 1 in a larger map