Mar 252011
Busan, Jangsan mountain land mine sign

This is no joke, twelve of us started this hike, only three came back.

What makes Jangsan mountain my favorite mountain to hike in Busan? Why it’s the fear of being blown up by land mines, of course. Yes, the land mine warning signs certainly do add character to this fairly strenuous hike. As does the tower area on top with signs warning people not to photograph, make notes, drawings, or geographic representations of the area. All you cartography hobbyists are gonna have to find another mountaintop to map out cause it ain’t allowed here. Add to these oddities the ubiquitous green tarps strewn across the mountain side and you’ve got a heck of a hike.

Adventure aside, it is a beautiful hike. Despite the warnings, the view from the top of Jangsan mountain is spectacular. A ten minute walk from the subway and you can pretty much forget that the city exists until you get toward the top, where, if it’s at all clear, you can see pretty much all of Busan stretched out in front of you. It’s not the easiest hike to follow, but as long as you keep your bearings, and can read a little hanguel you shouldn’t have too many problems.

View of the Diamond Bridge from Jangsan Mountain

What an awesome city!

Take Jangsan subway exit 10. Walk straight toward Daecheon Park (and the mountain obviously). From there just follow the road up past a few scenic little temples and a waterfall. Eventually the paved road will end and you’ll be in a large circle area with many trails branching out. Go up the steps and just follow the signs toward Jangsan peak. Eventually the signs will become pretty sporadic, so just kind of follow the trail up. Go toward the top. Remember Daecheon Park and Pokposa Temple, because there are a few possible trails down the mountain and you wanna go toward these. You don’t wanna get lost, the enemy could be lurking anywhere. Maybe under any one of those green tarps…

Hiking shoes are recommended. I don’t have any, but I live dangerously… and find a perverse pleasure in being laughed at by groups of elderly Korean hikers as I stumble and slide down each hillside. That’s just my thing. We’re all special in our own ways.

Directions: Green line metro to Jangsan, go out exit 10, walk straight until you get to a mountain, the go up it. The 1001 bus also goes pretty close to the mountain, not sure of the stop, but it’s one past Jangsan station.

Busan's Pokposa Temple after a snowstormView of Haeundae from Jangsan mountain.

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Mar 162011

The weather is getting warmer and the glorious summer beach season is quickly approaching.  Songjeong beach is among the most beautiful in Busan.  It’s really close to the city, but feels very far from the crowds that pack Haeundae and Gwangalli beaches.  It’s a great spot for flying kites, plus you can rent surf boards and kayaks right on the beach.

Songjeong is pretty easy to get to on buses, or the subway/bus combo, but if you’re looking to earn your day of laying around on the beach slowly getting hammered on Hite and soju/pineapple sunny-10 combos, you should check out this hike.

Take the green subway to Jangsan station.  Go out exit 1, then turn right and go up the hill.  Veer left and follow the bigger road.  Go straight through the intersection by the school.  Keep following that road through the apartment complexes until you reach the crest of the hill.  There will be an intersection with a nice beach view.  Keep going straight.  A few meters after the intersection there’ll be a set of wooden steps.  Turn left onto those.  You’ll see two tall, smiling wooden figures.  From there it’s maybe a four kilometer walk.  It’s not very strenuous and can easily be done in flip-flops (although some hungover friends that I’ve done this hike with may disagree about it not being strenuous.)  There are many nice beach views and a few exercise parks thrown in for you avid hula hoopers out there.

friends on the hill overlooking songjeong beach

Directions:  Follow the beach hike from Jangsan station exit 1.  If you’re feeling too lazy to hike, it’s about a 10 minute taxi ride.  You can also take 1003 bus or the 100-1 bus to Songjeong.

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