I just got back from a fun filled sightseeing weekend in Busan. I had six sights that I wanted to see and I can not tell you how excited I was when I realized that five out of the six were all located on subway Line 1. Coincidentally my hotel was on Line 1 as well and the first five subway stops that I needed were one after the next. Perfect! I couldn’t have planned that better if I tried, thanks Busan. Busan is a good four to five hour drive from where I live depending on traffic so I decided this would be a great weekend to try out the KTX train.
The KTX Station in Cheonan/Asan.
The KTX train was very nice. The seats are comfy and there is a tray table that you can pull out, almost like being on an airplane. According to KTX Magazine which I perused the KTX train has a top speed of 190 mph and while you can tell that the train is traveling very fast it’s not at all uncomfortable feeling. Also like an airplane a stewardess comes through the aisle with a cart with food and drinks that you can purchase. A great experience and the best part about it is instead of driving for 4-5 hours we made it to Busan in 2 hours.
We arrived at the Busan Train Station at night and started looking for the Subway. Unlike in Seoul Station where everything is in the same building the Busan Subway Station is outside and there isn’t a building you simply find the entrance and head down.
When you come out of Busan Train Station you will see this fountain and the subway entrance is just on the other side of it.
We hopped on the subway, I pulled out my copy of the subway map that I had printed at home (because I’m old school) lol, and we were off. Our hotel was at the next stop Jungang Station.
We stayed at the Busan Crown Harbor Hotel. The Hotel was nice and clean. I asked for a room with a view of the Harbor and the staff made sure I had a great view. The breakfast buffet had a pretty big selection of Korean food but if you aren’t really into that there were a couple of other options like fried eggs and french toast (though we couldn’t find syrup). Breakfast was 15,000 Won per person so if you don’t do Korean food in the morning then you might want to look for other options. There was also a Twosome coffee shop in the lobby which I thought was nice.
The view from the 19th floor. The bridge changes colors which we thought was cool.
After we were all checked into the hotel we headed back out to explore. We rode just one stop over to Nampo Station, to check out Busan Tower. Nampo has a nice shopping street that we strolled along for bit but it was late and we were getting tired so we found the escalators that take you straight up to the tower. The tower itself is quite pretty and of course there are hundreds of locks of love. ❤
Locks of love
The next morning we woke up bright and early to go see the Jagalchi Fish Market. The Jagalchi Fish Market is the largest fish market in Korea. It’s a popular place for tourists to visit but make no mistake this is a no nonsense getting down to business type of place. I was in Busan with my teen daughter and just upon approaching the market the fishy smell was too much for her. I love a good fish market myself and enjoy experiencing bits of culture that I otherwise wouldn’t but because I had my girl with me we opted to stay outside and take a look at the vendors near the water. My friend later told me that when she was at the market she saw eels being skinned alive so for my girls sake I’m glad we didn’t go in. As it was we saw one fish monger taking live fish after fish out of a bucket, snapping their necks, and chucking them on the ground. If you’re in Busan I would say definitely check it out but if you or someone you are with is very squeamish, maybe think twice.
From Jagalchi Station we moved on down the line to Toseong Station to see the Gamcheon Culture Village. After exiting the station we made our way to the bus stop as I’d read that was the easiest way to get to the village. We waited and waited but the bus that we needed never came by. So I’m going to have to disagree with the other blogger and say that taking the bus might be the cheapest way but taking a taxi is probably the easiest way. 😉 This was probably my favorite stop on the trip. Here’s a pic to give you an idea, but there will be another post dedicated to this stop. 🙂 If you’d like you can read more about the Gamcheon Culture Village here.
From Toseong Station we went all the way across town to Oncheongjang Station. I’d read about a cable car ride up Mt Geumgang where there were great views of the city. I have mixed feelings about this stop. From Oncheongjang Station we took a taxi to the entrance of Geumgang Park. The park is lovely, there are numerous walking paths and lush trees that offer plenty of shade. There are also a couple of old kiddie carnival rides, but we weren’t there for that we were there for city views. We walked about five minutes inside the park and found the cable cars. We rode the cable car up more than 1,000 feet to the stopping point, I won’t say top because you can definitely hike further up from there. We got off the cable car but we couldn’t find the incredible views that we had come for. We walked around for a bit but everywhere we saw in that general area the view was obstructed by trees. Further up the mountain there are a couple of famous temples but I’ve read that they are two and four hour hikes and I’d promised my girl I wasn’t going to hike her to death. lol So we ate some ramen at one of the little restaurants and then headed back down the mountain. Turns out the best views are from the cable car itself. Round trip on the cable car cost 8,000 Won per person. The mountain is very beautiful but I would say only make your way out there if you are interested in spending a whole day and doing some serious hiking.
Whew, tired yet? We sure were! Our last stop was Seomyeon Station to see the beautiful Samwangsa Temple. It’s almost Buddha’s birthday so the temple is decorated with thousands of lanterns, more than 11,000 lanterns! And that’s all I’m going to say about that, leave you all with a little teaser. lol Samwangsa Temple deserves an entire post! You can see more about Samwangsa Temple here.
We had an amazing time in Busan. Line 1 we love you!