It would be difficult to find someone in Korea who has not heard of Gwangalli. It is one of the two most famous tourist attractions of Busan along with Haeundae. Gwangandaegyo Bridge that crosses the sea is a landmark of the city attracting a great deal of attention both in Korea and abroad.
We have prepared ways to travel and enjoy Gwangalli properly. There are many people these days who travel alone because of COVID-19, right? A trip to Gwangalli by myself! Let’s take the trip together to discover the hidden stories!
Space Just For Myself - Hotel 1
If this is a trip by myself, I can’t help but be that much more picky in selecting my accommodations. It has to be a safe and pleasant environment and it would be great if the place is well-equipped with convenience facilities and be reasonably priced. It would be the icing on the cake to have the view of the sea from my window. Hotel 1 is a capsule hotel located on Gwangalli Beach that sufficiently satisfies all of the above difficult-to-meet conditions.
As you open the snow white curtains and enter your room, the blue sea unfolding outside the huge windows immediately grabs your attention. Though being a capsule hotel, its ocean view rooms enable you to enjoy an atmosphere that is comparable to that of five-star hotels from the bed. You can choose a room among various sizes from single-person rooms to 4-person family rooms, all of which provide natural latex mattresses and pillows. The public shower rooms, restrooms and laundry rooms are also very clean.
If you take the elevator and go up to the highest floor of the building, you will find a rooftop space called “Byul Kai.” The space is decorated in a cute and charming fashion with the view of the expansive Gwangalli sea in the backdrop. From rocking chairs like those we find in vacation spots to a large jacuzzi and a wooden cabin, it is filled with photo spots that will amaze and excite Instagrammers.
The highlight of this rooftop space is the “stairway to heaven.” With every step on these dizzy but thrilling stairs, a whole new scene unfolds before your eyes. A photo taken with the orange sunset in the background will be the selfie of your life.
Food By Myself - Donggyeong Bapsang
Epicurism is an element that cannot be left out for any trip. If you are looking for a nice meal even by yourself, try Donggyeong Bapsang hidden along Gwangalli Beach. The front gate and front yard, which make you feel as if you are in a refined restaurant in Japan, raise the level of your anticipation from the beginning.
Once you enter the restaurant, you will see the chef gently fanning and diligently grilling eels. The original flavor of eels you taste at “Jubako,” an eel cuisine restaurant in Tokyo, Japan that has been grilling freshwater eels for 230 years now, has been imported to Korea. The word, Jubako, actually refers to the stackable side-dish box used to maintain the temperature of grilled eels. At Donggyeong Bapsang, you will also find grilled freshwater eels served in such square-shaped boxes.
One of its most popular grilled freshwater eel dishes, “Unaju,” places a whole eel on top of white rice. The strange smell inherent in eels is eliminated and, instead, a subtle but soft taste is presented. Typically, the sauce spread on eels is too salty or sweet that it makes you feel like you’ve had enough just after a few pieces but Unaju does not lose its clean, delicious taste even with the last piece. The side dishes and hot soybean soup served together are also amazing.
Walk By Myself
After finishing your meal, it’s time to enjoy a walk by yourself. Samick Beach Apartments located at the end of Gwangalli Beach is the starting point. As you walk along the well-organized coastal path and look out at the sea, the enormous Gwangandaegyo Bridge feels like it is right in front of you. And the skyscrapers of Haeundae Marine City in the background remind you of a city in a foreign country.
When you go down to the beach, there are a number of photo spots including a red sculpture, which consists of Hangul consonants and vowels of the word “Gwangalli”; a swing that looks like a white ring; and reed parasols that exude an exotic vibe. The area is full of attractive places that will make your day go by quite quickly if you just spend time taking pictures.
As you go past Gwangalli Beach and continue to walk along the coastal path, you will see a small port where fishing boats are gathered together. This is Millakhang Port where fishermen still come to fish. Unlike typical fishing villages that are quiet and peaceful, Millakhang Port is surrounded by high-rise buildings. At the end of the seawall that encompasses the port, red and white lighthouses stand next to each other to welcome the fishing boats returning to the port.
If you follow the path established along the seawall, you will be able to reach the lighthouses. Gwangandaegyo and the reddish sunset seen behind the lighthouses form a beautiful painting. It is a unique scene of Gwangalli that cannot be seen from the beach.
Once you leave Millakhang Port and walk a bit more along the beach, you will find Millak Fresh Fish Center where many raw fish restaurants greet customers. The beach right in front of the fish center is Millak Waterside Park established for citizens to relax while watching the sea.
The floors and stairs painted in the primary colors of red, blue and yellow grab your attention. When you climb up to the observation deck built in the shape of a boat, Gwangandaegyo appears literally right in front of your eyes. At night, it becomes a popular spot to see the nightscape from which the splendid view of Marine City can be seen along with Gwangandaegyo. In the summertime, many young people purchase raw fish from the fish center, spread the food out on the beach and enjoy great food and the romance of a summer night.
The riverside path established along the Suyeonggang River is pleasant from Millak Waterside Park to Suyeonggyo Bridge. As you walk and enjoy the fancy scenery of downtown Busan including Marine City, Suyeong Bay Yachting Center and Centum City, you will reach Suyeonggyo before you even realize. When you stand on the bridge that connects Millak-dong and Centum City, you will get a panoramic view of the area from Busan Cinema, the home of the Busan International Film Festival, and the world’s largest Shinsegae Department Store to Marine City, Millak-dong and Gwangandaegyo. The blissful sunset and the fancy nightscape are both the highlights of a Busan trip that cannot be missed.