Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Busan, South Korea

On the 7th day of our cruise we stopped in Busan. Once again we'd booked a private all day tour. This one was one of our favorites! We probably covered more sights in Busan than any other stop thanks to our tour guide. The photos below are only a sampling of where we stopped. If you look at the photo album for Busan you'll see 52 photos - more than any other day on our Japan trip. The next closest photo album, a day in Hiroshima and the Floating Torii Gate, has 37 photos.

The Busan tour started bright and early at 7:30 am when we were taken to Hwangryeong Mountain, a high mountain observation area overlooking Busan. The light was gorgeous and the expansive view breathtaking. I think this was our favorite stop of the day, certainly the most scenic!

Up next, after brief stops at Gwangalli Beach and Dongbaek Park, we took a ride on the Haeundae Blueline. This took us on a short scenic ride in a small four passenger trolly rail car on a track overlooking the sea.

Next stop was the Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, a large Buddhist Temple complex that was very crowded. The area was huge with a lot of walking, much of it uphill. The one picture below doesn't do it justice as there were numerous statues, temples and views of the sea. Click on the picture below to see the entire Busan photo album including many more pictures of the Haedong Yonggungsa Temple area.

Following the long walk through the Haedong Yonggungsa Temple complex, which definitely helped us work up an appetite, we headed out to a lunch of beef wrapped in lettuce leaves. This was followed by stops at various scenic view points overlooking Busan on the way to Gamcheon Culture Village.

The Gamcheon Culture Village, to quote Wikipedia: is known for its layered streets, twisted labyrinth-like alleys, and brightly painted houses, which have been restored and enhanced in recent years to attract tourism. Built on a steep mountain-side slope, the village has been nicknamed "Korea's Santorini" and the "Machu Picchu of Busan".

According to Wikipedia "Gamcheon Village was built during the 1920s and 1930s when the Busan city administration decided to relocate the working-class population into an area secluded from the port, yet close enough to provide labor." At that time the poor lived high up on the hillside where it was less expensive to build but more difficult to get to.

I'm not sure we truly captured Gamcheon Culture Village, in part because after a big lunch and a long day of touring, we were starting to get a bit tired. In addition, the day was starting to warm up and the Gamcheon Culture Village was becoming very crowded. But there was more to come!

Our next stop took us to the Songdo Cloud Trails. This walkway provided amazing panoramic views of the ocean as well as a walkway that at times consisted of a clear glass floor allowing you to view the sea below - a bit unnerving at times. Along the trail there is also a statue of the Mermaid and the Farmer, shown in the photo below.

Near the Songdo Cloud Trails is the Songdoo Bay Station, an aerial tram with cars that have glass bottoms. You're actually given a choice of having a car with a glass floor or a solid floor. Either way the view is gorgeous!

At the other end of the tram line is the Songdo Yonggung Suspension Bridge which takes you to another gorgeous observation area. Unfortunately our time was running short and we didn't have time to visit the observation area. Instead we returned to our starting point, the Songdoo Bay Station.

Our last stop of the day was at the Jagalchi Market, a market world famous for fresh fish and seafood for takeaway or you can eat there from small informal stalls. By this time it was after 4:30 pm and we had to be back aboard the ship by 5:30, so we didn't have a lot of time to spend here.

And that was our day in Busan. There are many more pictures in the Busan photo album, so if you enjoyed the pictures above, check it out. Click this link or one of the pictures above to see more pictures in the Busan photo album

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