Sunday, March 11, 2012

Backpacking Korea: Yongdusan Park and Busan Tower

Our last destination before dusk falls in Busan is at the Yongdusan Park and Busan Tower. It was our last stop on our day tour around Busan since we're already tired and it was freezing cold outside the streets.

Located at Jung-gu, Busan, South Korea, Busan Tower is found within Yongdusan Park. The tower is on top of a hill (or mountain) overlooking the town. It was a bit difficult to go there since you need to go up on a lot of stairs but they have escalators going up so it was quite convenient for people to visit the place.

From the subway at Nampo-dong station, we got off exit 1 and walked our way to the tower. We passed by shopping streets which are very tempting but we reserved it for later since we aimed for the tower first. To reach it, you will go up a series of stairs (and escalators) until you reach the entrance of the Yongdusan Park.

Yongdusan Park view from the back

Here are some info about the place:
Yongdusan Park, one of the most popular mountains in Busan

Yongdusan in downtown Busan, is one of the 3 well-known mountains in Busan. Its old name is Songhyunsan, which means a mountain has a view of the sea through the dense fine tree forest. Later the name has changed into Yongdusan. It came from its shape, which is similar to dragon head and people thought it has a spirit to defeat enemies coming over the sea.

On the mountain were shrine built by Japanese people during Japanese colonial role, but now are Cheokhwabi monument (the stone monument to the exclusion of foreigners from the country), Chunghontap (memorial tower for Korean war victims), 4.19 Revolution monument (the student's anti-government revolt), the statue of General Lee Sunsin(the great commander in Joseon Dynasty period(1392-1910)) and Busan tower.

During Korea war, displaced people built houses on it even on the top, but 2 times of big fires took all them away making it bald mountain. Since then, fierce efforts to plant trees have created such beautiful park. The name of the park was once Unam park in the time of the Liberal Party’s ruling but it went back to Yungdosan park after April revolution (1960). It is a place with beautiful scenery. Especially the night landscape from Busan tower is magnificent.

The park is very nice. It has a nice view of the city below and also a glimpse of the bay form afar. There are a lot of people around there and also there is this group of young musicians performing there. I wasn't interested in them until they played an English song which brought my attention to them. They perform well and if I had some spare cash, I'd give them, but my applause was enough that day and we continued to walk around the park.

Performers playing I'm Yours :)

They have statues of famous people there and some pavillions I am not really sure for what. I haven't done my research on this place so I just appreciated the beauty of all of it. There are also some nice flower clock at the park but I couldn't get a nice angle on it to take some photo.

view of the bay

some pagoda with a really big bell inside

statue of Gen. Lee Sunsin

We took photos of the place and walk around. It was still freezing cold so we kept on moving around. At the very end of the park is the Busan Tower, you can go up it and have a very nice view of the whole place. It costs around KRW4,000 but we didn't get up there. They also have museums around.

Busan Tower up close

tribute to the late Whitney Houston

We stayed at the foot of the tower and admired the panoramic view in front of us. It was very nice and peaceful. We stayed there for a while and explored the place. We noticed at the far area of the tower, people leave locks around. It was like at Seoul Tower. My friend says that she thinks they are trying to make the tower just like in Seoul.

The locks at the tower
messages locked in the tower

We stayed there for a while before we decided to come down (this time with no escalators) and went on shopping at Nampo-dong before we called it a day and went back to our inns.

Here are some attractions in the park:
*Busan Tower(73.11.21) – 129m high (2 lifts), 1,510㎡ (Exhibition hall and Souvenir shop)
* Palgakjeong (Octagonal Pavillion) (73.11.21) – 3 stories, 915㎡ (1F:Aquarium, 2,3F:resting place)
*Exhibition pavilion(73.11.21) – 2 stories, 1,900㎡ 
*Statue of the Great general Lee Sunsin(56.3.20) – 12m high
* Cheongdongyongtap (Bronze Dragon tower) (89.9.7) – 4m high, Donganhuijehyungsang(a bust of an activist for    national independence, An Huije (pen name, Dongan) – stone bust
*Flower clock (73.10.8))- 5m in diameter
*Welfare Center for the Elderly - 413㎡
*Literary monuments – 9 monuments made of native rock
*Busan citizens’ bell pavilion - 60.84㎡ of floor area, 11.62 m high
* Buddhist temple
Open all year round
Operating Hours
Yongdusan park : Busan Tower : 9:00 am - 10:00 pm (Oct-Mar) / 8:30 am-10:00 pm(Apr-Sep)
Parking Facilities
※ Only vehicles carrying people with disabilities and 12-passenger vehicles carrying tourists are allowed into the park

Admission Fees
Yongdusan Park : free
Busan Tower
Age 16 or over: 4,000 won / 3-15: 3,500 won 
Facilities for the Handicapped
Parking lot, Elevator, Wheelchair lift, Restrooms
1. Subway
Busan station(On Busan Subway Line no. 1), get off at Nampo-dong Station. (5 min ride) Go out Exit 1 of Nampo-dong Station, walk 10 minutes.
2. Bus
Express Bus Terminal : Take a bus at Nopo-dong Station and get off at Nampo-dong Station. (50 min ride) Go out No. 1 of Nampo-dong Station, walk 10 minutes.
Gimhae international Airport : Take bus #310 and get off at Gumi Cultural Center in Daecheong-dong, walk 10 minutes. (1-hour ride).

※ From Jung-gu Gwangbok-dong Fashion Street, take the escalator to the park.

Yongdusan Park and Busan Tower

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