Igidae (이기대) Park is not really famous with tourist, maybe because going here would be quite tricky for first-timers as you would need to transfer trains/buses and walk before you reach the start of the trail. Igidae is one of Busan’s beautiful coastlines and is known for its spectacular views of Gwangan Bridge, Haeundae Beach, Baeksan and Jangsan Mountain, it’s not just a good place for a morning stroll, but you can also set up picnic here or fishing posts! It’s a good spot where you can take your family for a nice day out. The 5-kilometer coastal trail would be perfect for the sunny weather.
|The panoramic view of Busan|
Directions courtesy of cityawesome.com:
(Copying the directions from the site, as we took a bus – and I forgot the bus numbers as we were with our host), there are two routes that you can utilize:
1) A LONGER WALK TO IGIDAE: From Namcheon metro, get off at exit 3 and take your first left. Walk down till the road dead-ends, turn right, and then turn left onto the busy road. Continue past the big intersection at Mega Mart, and continue for a while till you get to Igidae.
2) BY BUS; SHORTER WALK: From the Kyungsung subway, get out exit 5, do an about-face, and go around the corner. Walk straight one and a half blocks (you’ll pass a Paris Baguette) till you get to the bus stop. Take any bus EXCEPT the 10 and 155 (so YES for the ones in the 20s (24, 27, etc) and also the 131). You’ll go about 5 stops to the IGIDAE stop. The bus will turn right just before you need to get off. You’ll be able to see a big mountain.
Get off the bus, backtrack a lil, and cross the street (you’ll be walking towards an eyeglasses shop with a blue sign). Follow that road till it keeps winding around to the park. It’s a 5-10 minute walk just to get to the park, so keep at it. (-cityawesome.com)
|map from the Dongsaengmal Observatory|
The name “Igidae” stands for the two gisaeng (female professional entertainers) who seized a Japanese commander on a celbratory feast during the Japanese invasion. They jumped into the sea as a reprisal against the Japanese occupation in Busan in the late 16th century.
Even more than the beautiful sea and nature presented to us, the path’s impeccable infrastructure has impressed me. There were information boards on the different sites of Igidae, the handrails were in perfect condition to ensure the safety of people hiking there, and the modern suspension bridges were especially good. The vibe of walking around Igidae has left a very good impression of Busan to me.
|Our host and the very cool bridge|
The trek is just a straight line and is approachable on either end. There was a quite a crowd when we went there, there were numerous of people setting spots for picnic and for later viewing of the fireworks. Some were fishermen who were catching a number of fishes in the prohibited places! Oops!
I have also seen haenyos - Korean female divers. This was the first time I have seen these divers on the duration of our stay in South Korea. They were selling fresh seafood and of course some soju to go with it :)
Some notable parts of the hike were the “foot massaging rocks” (not sure really what to call it, thus the name). It is absolutely a good challenge to race a friend to see who can finish this part faster – and did I say you can remove your shoes here for the ultimate “massage” experience.
We have also approached the Fossil Dinosaur Footprints, which we were told were left by an Ultra Saurus that lived 65 million years ago. This spot was found last March 2000 during the survey conducted by the Natural History and Future Environment Society in Busan. I would have loved to step on those prints however it was full of rain puddle as it rained the other day. This is also a good spot to have your picture taken with the awesome views of Busan in the background – which you can only probably get in Igidae.
The hike in Igidae was easy, stress-free, and enjoyable. It was a good view of the life in Busan and to top the beautiful sceneries, we were the only non-Koreans in sight that time (or at least from what I have observed). It is absolutely a must-visit most especially if you’re into hiking, seas, and unique experiences.
|of course, I did not miss to have my picture taken!|
We were supposed to go to the UN memorial cemetery, however we later on knew that the place was under construction. We just decided to go to Busan Cinema Center and then Shinsegae afterwards as we wanted to be early for the festival later.
From Igidae bus stop, we took a number 39 bus. Busan Cinema Center is a five-minute away walk from the bus stop and is located in the Haeundae district. The architecture of the place was striking. Also, the structure has a different “look” during special events.
|credits to the owner of the pic - sorry I forgot to take note|
Busan Cinema Center is the main venue for the Busan International Film Festival and was opened last September 29. Famous Korean artists were said to have attended the previous event. The theater has one story underground and nine stories above ground.
We roamed around for some time but we decided not to watch any movie as our time did not permit it. We went to Shinsegae afterwards which was very close to the cinema center. We were told that the Shinsegae branch in Busan is the largest department store in the world. We shopped for our dinner later and wandered around the mall for a bit and left around 4:30 PM. We headed to Haeundae Beach afterwards as we might encounter traffic in the roads if we left later and we wanted to get good viewing spot for the festival later.
Overall, the experience today was without doubt a very good one! Not only were we able to know more about Busan and the people living there, I was also able to see the developed part of the city and also the nature that surrounded it which was well preserved by the government. Even though the people of Busan reminded me of Manileños – people living in Manila, there were still lots that we needed to learn from them! How I wished I will live long to see Manila to transform into a gorgeous city such as Busan.