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Busan’s Diamond Bridge

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The Gwangan Bridge opened in 2003, connecting the neighborhoods of Haeundae and Suyeong, and instantly became one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks. Also referred to as the Diamond Bridge, it’s a beautiful structure, especially after dusk when brought to life by colorful lights.


After a night on the town, it’s something of a tradition of ours to grab an ice cream and sit on Gwangalli Beach, to look at Korea’s second-longest suspension bridge. Sounds kind of lame, bridge-watching, but somehow it never gets old. The lights of the bridge change color and reflect beautifully in the water. When the night is pleasantly cool and you’ve just put another busy day behind you, there’s no better way to wind down.

Apart from the beach, the best spot to appreciate the bridge is from the astronomical observatory on Geumnyeonsan Mountain. A cheap taxi ride from the Geumnyeonsan Metro station will take you there, and the views from the observatory over Gwangalli Beach and Suyeong are unparalleled. It’s also a good area for hiking during the day.

I suspect that, years from now, when I think back on our time in Busan, the Diamond Bridge will be the first image that pops into my mind.

Location of the Mt. Geumnyeonsan Observatory
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July 27, 2012 at 6:56 am
  • July 27, 2012 at 4:20 pmPreemie Maboroshi

    Some really beautiful views. I do like the night views a whole lot. What also struck me are those colorful apartment complexes in some of the shots. The buildings are white, but fringed with various colors. I like those.

  • July 27, 2012 at 5:57 pmcastro

    The first photo shows emblematic features of Busan very well ; open sea to the world, the Diamond bridge representing the cutting-edge technology and unparalleled beauty of Busan harbour, Marine city with ultra-modern buildings, surrounding lush green forest, green hill within the city, the foreign openness and progressive mentality of Busan residents by means of widely-opened long span of suspension bridge, which looks like a White Gate to the world. The 5th photo is superbly revealing the intense determination of Busan residents to stubbornly protect and hold on to the green nature and environments even within the densely-populated city limits, or a jungle of ruthless high-rise buildings.

  • July 27, 2012 at 9:49 pmcastro

    For your reference, 11 bridges are scheduled to be built (some of them were already completed) in Yeosu Expo area, where Korea is planning to develop the world-class bridge tourism and tourism of islands  connected by the bridges. They just completed the building of Yi Sun-sin bridge close to Yeosu. Yi Sun-sin bridge has the 4th longest main span among the suspension bridges in the world(1545 meter) and the tallest main tower(270 meter). 1545 meter represents the birth year of Admiral Yi Sun-sin, who won the legendary 26  consecutive sea battles against the Japanese navy during Korea-Japan 7 year war. He is worshipped both in Korea and Japan, as a national hero for Koreans and as a navy-god for Japanese. Hansando sea battle won by Yi Sun-sin is considered one of 4 great sea battles in the world. In Hansando sea battle, Korean navy under Yi Sun-sin lost only 3 soldiers, but 8,980 Japanese navy soldiers were dead, 47 Japanese battle ships were sunk, 12 Japanese battle ships were prisoners (according to Wiki). In Myungryang sea battle, Yi Sunsin’s only 12 battleships defeated 133 Japanese warships with 200 Japanese supply ships. In Myungryang sea battle, Yi Sun-sin’s Korean navy lost only 2 soldiers, but 18,466 Japanese navy soldiers were dead, 31 battleship were sunk, 92 battleships were heavily damaged (according to Korean Wiki). Yi Sunshin was an intelligent admiral so he always won the sea battles by brilliant strategics. What makes him more great is that he wrote 9 volumes of personal diary during 7 year war. His diary(Nanjung ilgi) was presented to UNESCO this year for UNESCO Cultural Heritage for written records. His diary is the Korean national treasure.

  • July 31, 2012 at 1:26 amNick

    We spent 2 weeks in Korea this spring. One of the things I noticed were so many different bridge construction styles. With such a mountainous country, they had many opportunities to build a myriad of beautiful bridges.

    • July 31, 2012 at 2:19 amcastro

      Korea is carrying out the ambitious plan to build 90 bridges connecting the islands in the southern coast of Korea from Busan (the southeast tip of Korea) to Mokpo(the southwest tip of Korea) by the year 2020, so that Korea is scheduled to build the expressway from Busan to Mokpo via many islands.They already have the inland expressway between Busan and Mokpo, but they try to build another expressway connecting the islands across the southern coast. Korea’s plan is to build the second metropolis across the southern coast after Seoul metropolis.

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Busan's Diamond Bridge The Gwangan Bridge opened in 2003, connecting the neighborhoods of Haeundae and Suyeong, and instantly became one of the city's most recognizable landmarks. Also referred to as the Diamond Bridge, it's a beautiful structure, especially after dusk when brought to life by colorful lights.
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