Themed travel tours can be wonderful.
If you’re interested in various themed trips, then a gourmet tour for trying must-visit restaurants, an activity tour for exploring various experiences, and a story tour around the original downtown of Busan would be perfect for you. There are not only many things to eat and see but also various old stories about Busan to hear. The tour takes place across Jung-gu, Seo-gu, Dong-gu, and Yeongdo-gu, and it is especially guided by local seniors who have been residents in these areas for a long time.
Let’s take a journey filled with interesting stories that will remind adults of the good old days as they reminisce about the old town of Busan, and give children a meaningful opportunity to gain new experiences.
Along the Ibagu-gil Trail in Dong-gu, Busan, you will find traces of Busan in modern times. Taking pride in the glorious past of this area that played a key role in opening ports to foreign trade, the former Baekje Hospital, which has turned to a café with a great atmosphere, and Choryang Church have great historical significance because they show modern Korean architectural styles. On the other hand, the mesmerizing, panoramic view of the Busanhang Port, from Kim Minbu Viewing Point to Yoo Chihwan Postbox, will leave you breathless. Furthermore, the 168 Stairs that connects the upper and lower mountain roads are well- known for preserving the heartwarming atmosphere of this old village. Moreover, the monorail installed for local residents who had to climb up and down the steep stairs provides visitors with a unique experience available only in Ibagu-gil.
Gamcheon Culture Village / Korean War Heritage Trail
Saha-gu and Seo-gu, Busan, are where you can feel what it was like to live as a refugee from the Korean War. In Gamcheon Culture Village, which was formed as Korean refugees settled down on a mountain slope, you can appreciate beautifully crafted murals while walking along the meandering alleys. This village only with the heartbreaking traces of the war eventually turned into a great piece of art that evokes strong emotions, thanks to the endless efforts of local residents and artists. Tombstone Culture Village where the Korean refugees built their homes on top of the tombstones for survival, Choi Min-Shik Gallery that exhibits photos capturing the lives of manual laborers at Jagalchi Market, and the Provisional Capital Memorial Hall, the former presidential residence, have become important cultural heritages of Busan, the wartime capital.
Yongdusan Trail / Gukje Market Trail
No place can show Busan’s modern history than Jung-gu, as it connects Busan’s past and present, with famous cultural heritages, including Choryang Waegwan (a trading platform for Japanese people) built when Korea opened its ports to foreign trade, Busan Department Store with an architectural style influenced by Japan, the Busan Modern History Museum that vividly captures the moments of Busan in modern times, and Daegaksa Temple. Whenever you feel hungry during the tour around this area, you can simply visit Gukje Market, which is previously known as a place for Korean War refugees. The market is also filled with delicious local snacks that look as if there were heartrending and sorrowful stories behind them.
Yeongdo Bridge Trail / Huinnyeoul Village Trail
Once you have your fill of delicious local snacks, it’s time to visit Yeongdo Bridge, an iconic symbol of Busan. Connecting Jung-gu and Yeongdo-gu, it is Korea’s first bascule bridge used as a meeting point for the refugees of the Korean War. As this area was filled with ship repair facilities in the past and often made the “ping (Kangkang)” sound, it was called “Kangkangee-gil Trail”
Huinnyeoul Village Trail formed along the coastal cliffs in Yeongdo Island has become the most visited tourist destination throughout the year because it is widely known as a filming location. Walking along the coastal trail below the village, you will feel as if the sea in front of Yeongdo Island embraced you in its arms.
1Choryang Ibagu-gil, yesterday’s memories blossoming into stories
Houses are packed on the midslope of the mountains surrounding Busanhang Port.
Refugees who left their hometowns to come to Busan climbed up the mountains to build the villages. As long as there was work, people would go up and down 168 Stairs multiple times a day to the dock, station, and Gukje Market.
Let’s go see Choryang Ibagu-gil, a storytelling path narrated by people who did not even speak the Gyeongsang-do Province dialect.
Former Baekje Hospital - Namseon Warehouse Site – Choryang Church - 168 Stairs - Kim Min-bu Observatory - Ebagu Archive Center - Chang Kee-ryo Memorial Hall - Yoo Chi-hwan Postbox Observatory
2Gamcheon Culture Village, the Machu Picchu of Korea
Colorful roofs that seem to touch the sky,
A warmth that covers the whole village.
Gamcheon Culture Village is the Machu Picchu of Korea.
3Encountering Busan, the wartime capital filled with joys and sorrows of refugees
On June 25, 1950, the Korean War began with a surprise attack on neighboring South Korea at dawn. Unprepared to fight, South Korea lost its capital, Seoul, in three days after the war broke out. The South Korean government had no option but to retreat and declared Busan as the wartime capital on August 18, 1950. Although it has been almost 70 years since then, Busan still has traces of the war. Let us follow these historical traces filled with joys and sorrows.
Wartime Capital Trail
Tombstone Cultural Village - Cloud Observatory – Choi Min-Shik Gallery – Train House Artistic Cultural Experience Ground - Provisional Capital Memorial Hall – Seokdang Museum
4Yongdusan Park, a reason to travel to Busan
I visit Busan because of Yongdusan Park!
That’s right. Yongdusan Park is enough reason to visit Busan these days.
If Haeundae is the hot spot of east Busan, Nampo-dong is the most popular place in central Busan. Yongdusan Park is a leading landmark of Busan frequented by those who visit the region.
5Gukje Market bustling with energy
There is an expression in Busan that says, “It’s like a Dottaegi Market,” which means “a loud and bustling atmosphere,” Dottaegi, the old name of Gukje Market, is crowded and full of energy, items, and people.
6Yeongdodaegyo Bridge, a space of promises and tears
While moments spent at Yeongdo Bridge no longer remain, there are still people who tear up just by thinking about the old days.
This space was where people separated from their families during the war swore to survive and meet at Yeongdo Bridge.
Written as Yeongdodaegyo Bridge and read as Yeongdo Bridge.
7Huinnyeoul Culture Village at the end of the steep cliff
Above the steep wall of the Jeoryeong Coastal Trail is a unique view of the village, where you can see small houses clustered along the narrow alley formed by the coast at the end of the cliff. This is where the sorrowful lives of refugees began and where the current cultural village community of Huinnyeoul Culture Village has been established.