By LAURA TEAGUE
(this is part 1 of a 2 part series, to see the second half of the walk go here)
All 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.
Course 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.
Here 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