Aug 222011
 

View along the coast of Taejongdae Park, Busan, Korea

After several visits solely for the purpose of eating at the clam tents, I finally took a few hours to hike around the famous cliffs of Taejongdae Park. As far as hikes go, this one doesn’t compare with Igidae or Amnam Park, but it’s still a nice little walk. It’s particularly suited for those who want to see some nice cliffs, but aren’t especially interested in a strenuous hike to get to them. It’s an easy walk along a paved road to get to the short path to the cliffs. If you don’t feel like walking, you can take the cute mini-train around as well. It cost around 1500 won.

Taejongdae Park, Busan, South KoreaThe highlight of the park is the cliffs near the lighthouse. On the day I went it was pretty windy and I saw at least three people have their hats blown off, so you may want to leave your more cherished head coverings at home or secure them safely in your backpacks. The cliffs are beautiful, though there is a rather small area from which to enjoy the views. If you are looking for any sort of inspirational solitude, this is not the place. Like most easy to reach spots in Korea, there are usually a few hundred others right there with you.

Aside from the short (maybe 3km?) loop around Taejongdae park, there is also a 17.8 km trail to goes from Amnam Park to Taejongdae. I’ve passed the wooded walkways on the way to both parks, but have yet to attempt the long walk. I imagine it would make for quite the scenic walking or running spot once the weather cools down.

temple at taejongdae park, Busan

So if you feel like taking in a few scenic views, but don’t feel like doing a long hike in order to find them, Taejongdae is a pretty nice place to go. It’s easy to get to, easy to get around and the cliffs and ocean are beautiful.

Directions:

FROM JAGALCHI: get to Jagalchi metro station exit 10 and take bus 8

SEOMYEON: get the 88-B or 88-A across the street from Judie’s Taehwa. The ride is about an hour.

Nampo:  Take buses 30, 88 or 8 from Nampo metro, exit 6

FROM POINTS EAST (east of Seomyeon): Metro to Daeyeon station, exit 2 and take the 101 all the way to Taejongdae. OR you can take the 139, 1001 or 1003 to the Munhyeon stop and transfer to the 101 there. The ride from Daeyeon will take about an hour.
FROM BUSAN STATION: Bus 101, 88-A or 88-B will do the trick.

Take the bus to the END of the line (TaeJongDae) and you’ll get off in a parking lot. Turn left and you’ll see the entrance to the park. 


View BUSAN! AWESOME! in a larger map

Apr 192011
 

clams and mussels at taejongdae clam tentsThis is a strange memory, but I remember being 14 years old and watching a random show on the Discovery Channel or something similar on Okinawa. The people in the show were diving into piles of squid and clams and other strange sea aliens that I didn’t know the names of. It was cool when I was watching, but later that night, I’m pretty sure I had some Fear Factor-style nightmares, and I might have wet the bed. Not sure.

So anyway, flash forward to present-day in Busan. Who would have thought that one of the coolest things to do in this city was to eat the stuff that made me pee the bed all those years ago?

The Taejongdae clam tents are seriously a fun time. We show up after a long-ish bus ride to the end of Yeong-do, walk along this parking lot overlooking a pebble beach, and stroll down, scoping out the tents. I always feel like the prettiest girl at the ball as all the ladies who work the tents shout at my friends and me (Hey! Come on! You! Here!) and try to coax us into their tent. Don’t stress too much about the selection process: all are pretty much the same. They have no menus; our particular lady told us “memory” when we asked her for one, as she gestured towards the buckets of seafood out in front.

taejongdae clam tents eating on the pebble beachI’ve been here twice now, and both times, you just kind of mime what you want (or speak some Korean if you’ve got the skills), and the ladies will take care of the portions. I think clams (조개 – jo-gae) and mussels (홍합 – hong-hap) are the best things to go for here. There are also prawns (새우 – sae-oo) and some smaller shellfish, as well as Gaebul (the weird sea penis-looking things… I steer clear) if you’re feeling saucy. (NOTE: Just to be clear here: you’ll need to cook the clams. Sorry, just had to say it. You might want to use the scissors as well to cut the clams away from their shells).

There are no “prices” posted, but both times I’ve gone, it’s been about the same. For five people, mussels and clams, beer and some soju should run you 80-100k, depending on how much you drink. Another time, we had 10 people eating and the total was 160. Not bad, considering how much you get, and considering that the divers are about 50 meters away plucking the shellfish out of the ocean.

Tents at taejongdae that serve clamsTaejongdae is also a really nice scenic park that give you some nice views along the ocean, so you can go hiking before or after you eat. There is a small train (think something like those trains that go around the zoo) that goes around Taejongdae, and there is also a small ferry/tour boat that goes around a couple small rock islands off the coast. I’ve heard that you can get a ferry from Jagalchi market to Taejongdae, but I’m not sure about this.

Directions:

FROM JAGALCHI/NAMPO: get to Jagalchi metro station exit 10 and take bus 8.
FROM SEOMYEON: get the 88-B or 88-A across the street from Judie’s Taehwa. The ride is about an hour.
FROM POINTS EAST (east of Seomyeon): Metro to Daeyeon station, exit 2 and take the 101 all the way to Taejongdae. OR you can take the 139, 1001 or 1003 to the Munhyeon stop and transfer to the 101 there. The ride from Daeyeon will take about an hour.
FROM BUSAN STATION: Bus 101, 88-A or 88-B will do the trick.

Take the bus to the END of the line (TaeJongDae) and you’ll get off in a parking lot. Turn left and you’ll see the entrance to the park. Turn RIGHT after the Family Mart, BEFORE the main gate. Walk down the path (it looks kind of seedy) till you come to a parking lot. You’ll see the tents and the ocean. ATM and bathrooms are to your left of the parking lot, slightly uphill, and overlooking the clam tents.



View BUSAN! AWESOME! in a larger map