Busan Map
Site Index
Contact
Random
Our Travel Books
Advertising / Press

A Day in Buk-Gu, Northern Busan

Follow us on Twitter: Busan For 91 Days

Buk-Gu, whose name translates to “Northern District”, is one of the fifteen administrative zones which make up Busan. We spent a morning wandering around the area and checking out some of its touristic sights: the Fishing Village Folk Museum, a riverside park, and the Gupowaeseong Japanese Fortress.

Busan-Fishing-Village-Folk-Museum

The Busan Fishing Village Folk Museum, our first stop in Buk-Gu, was exactly as boring as its name suggests. We went on a whim, and I would bet that we were the first and only foreign tourists to ever step foot inside. The guide was clearly stunned to see us, and stammered out a memorized welcome speech, in English. It was clearly an agonizing couple minutes for the poor guy, and I felt like congratulating him when he finished.

The exhibits weren’t really all that bad, but nothing was in English. We spent a few seconds at the dioramas of fishing scenes, put together a puzzle, and looked at fish in the first-floor aquarium. In and out in ten minutes. But the price was right (free) and if you’re already in the neighborhood or have an interest in the folk traditions of Korean river people, by all means, enjoy.

Nakdong-Bridge

Leaving the museum, we went to the nearby Hwamyeong Riverside Park: a long stretch of sports facilities and nature walks with good view of the Nakdong Bridge. We passed through fields of high grass, perfect for hiding a corpse, and a couple of fitness stations. Busan has an absolute abundance of these community workout areas and the equipment is always top-notch. Clean, fully-functional. Some even have benchpresses with actual weights. It’s a testament to the respect with which Koreans treat their community. Equipment like this wouldn’t last twelve hours in an American city.

Gupowaeseong-Fortress

Eventually we made it to Deokcheon Park, a hill near the Gupo Bridge. Searching for a way up the hill to see the Gupowaeseong Fortress, we entered a small and colorful Buddhist Temple where a monk showed us to a clandestine staircase leading into the woods behind the main altar. On the way up, we passed a few people tending to small vegetable gardens, all of whom grunted “hello” at us. The remains of the fortress weren’t wonderfully upheld, but given its origin, that’s understandable. Gupowaeseong dates from the Imjin War against Japan, but was built by the Japanese and not the Koreans.

On the other side of the hill, we found a field with a towering Buddha statue and an altar where offerings had recently been made. Our next stop, the nearby Guryongsa Temple, was buzzing with activity. Little women were darting furiously about, apparently in last-minute preparations for some sort of festival. But although we were clearly in their way, they were gracious and encouraged us to kick our shoes off so that we could enter the temple buildings. There, we admired wonderfully carved wooden walls, strange paintings from Buddha’s life, and ancient statues.

Location of the Busan Fishing Village Folk Museum
Location of Gupowaeseong Fortress
-Hotels in Busan

More Pics from the Busan Fishing Village Folk Museum
Old-Fishing-Village
Mass-Fishing-Korea
Fishing-Boats-Korea
Fishing-Village-Museum-busan
Fish Killer Number 1
Scenes From Korea
Korean Tree Burning
How To Fish in Korea
Korean Fish Trap
Korean Fish
More Pics from the Gupowaeseong Fortress and Temples
Busan Contrast
Gupowaeseong-Temple
Stone Lantern Busan
Temple-Roof-Painting
Temple Dragon Korea
Temple Paintings Busan
Hiking in Busan
Secret Garden Korea
Buddha Statue Busan
Little Stonkers
Stone Tears
Korean Stone Tower
Guryongsa%20Temple
Temple Front
Buddha Is Watching You
Buddhist Prayer Chain
Korean Instrument
Carvings Korea
Korean-Buddha-Bell
Bell Dragon
Stone Dudes
Random Pictures of Our Day in Buk-Gu
Busan Ufo
Modern Bridge Busan
Modern-Photography-Art-Korea
Buk Gu Busan
Nature Highway
Busan Highway
Photo Zone
Korean Work Out
Exploring Busan
Shopping Busan
Streed Food Busan
Yummy Stuff Busan

, , , , , , , , , ,
May 31, 2012 at 5:38 am Comment (1)

A Cable Car to Geumjeongsanseong Fortress

Hiking Gear

Turns out that Busan is the kind of city which can have a giant mountain right in its center, topped by an ancient fortress, accessible by cable car… and it’s not a big deal. We were shocked when we learned of the cable car up Mt. Geumjeongsanseong, and Busan was all “Oh yeah, that. I forgot about that.” It doesn’t even appear in the various “must-do” lists we’ve read for Busan, while in most other cities it would be the top highlight!

Busan Travel Guide

The origins of Geumjeongsanseong Fortress lie obscured in the past, but it’s thought to date from the Three Kingdoms period of Korea (57 AD – 668), when Busan was part of Silla. Rebuilt in 1707, it’s the largest mountain fortress in the country, spanning 3.2 square miles. A wall in various states of repair marks the perimeter, with gates and watchtowers spaced along its length. Nowadays, the interior of the fort is used for hiking (an über-popular Korean pastime) and nature retreats.

The cable car up the mountain was fun, although the day was so hazy that our view was severely limited. It takes about five minutes and runs for over a kilometer. On arriving, we had to hike twenty minutes uphill to arrive at the fortress’ South Gate, which has been recently renovated, as have long stretches of the wall.

After passing through the gate, our day really started. We had underestimated the size of the park, and immediately realized that our planned hike to the North Gate wouldn’t be happening. We walked along the eastern wall for a couple hours on a well-marked but very hilly path, dodging the caterpillars hanging from trees, and enjoying some incredible views over the city.

Busan Nature

For a mountain fortress on a Tuesday morning, this was a surprisingly busy place. We encountered a ton of other hikers, and every single one of them was completely outfitted in Ultimate Hiking Gear. The pants, the jackets, the backpacks, gloves, sticks, caps, etc. It was like we had landed in a commercial for hiking clothing and equipment.

On the way back to the South Gate, we got lost — getting lost seems to be a pattern for us in Busan. We were within 500 meters of the exit, but turned right instead of left, ignoring the sign for something called “Nam Mun” and continuing for an hour before finally pausing and thinking, “… wait a second”. Turns out, Nam Mun means South Gate. Oh silly guys, how did we not recognize the sign that so clearly pointed the way to “남문”?!

Although we were completely exhausted by the time we arrived back home, it was a great day out and I think we’ll be back. The Western Gate of the fortress is supposed to be impressive, as is Godangbong, the city’s highest peak. There’s enough to see on Geumjeongsan Mountain to occupy days.

Location of the Cable Car Entrance
-Busan Hotels

Ropeway-Station-Busan
Korean Dude
Busan Ropecar
Riding-The-Ropeway
Gondel Busan
Skyscrapers Busan
Busan
Busan Subway Train
Weird-Architecture-Busan
Geumjeongsanseong-South-Gate
Geumjeongsanseong-Busan
Geumjeongsanseong-Watch-Tower
Geumjeongsanseong-Fortress
Cobra Stone Busan
Geumjeongsanseong-Hike
Hiking Busan
View Point Busan
Old Wall Hike
Stone Bed
Wandern Korea
Playing-Cards-in-The-Woods
Kids Playing
Busan-Dinosaur
Happy Wood
Korean Toilet
Family Hike

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,
May 10, 2012 at 9:41 am Comments (5)