Saturday, 25 April 2015

Korea Trip 2015 Day 5: Taejongdae

14 April 2015

Today's plan was to visit Taejongdae and then catch a KTX from Gupo back to Seoul at 6:30pm. Taejongdae is quite far from Sooyoung's place but fortunately there was a bus to downtown Busan.

I took the bus and asked the bus driver the station that I needed to alight / transfer to Taejongdae. He told me that I should alight at Busan Deport bus station and transfer. I was quite proud that this conversation was all in Korean and I managed to get off and transfer to a bus bound for Taejongdae from Busan Deport station. The thing I like about Korea is that they have announcements on the bus unlike in Singapore. So it was pretty easy to ensure that I alighted at the right stop. Along the way, the bus driver was playing Korean old songs from the 70s and 80s. It felt really local to be on the bus while enjoying the local scenery of downtown Busan.

There were a few buses which gets you to Taejongdae. I took the first bus that arrived which was bus 66. On the bus there was a Malaysian family (I could tell by their accent). And they were wondering which stop should they alight for Taejongdae. I told them it is the last stop. I passed by Yeongdo bridge on my way to Taejongdae as expected (after studying Busan's landscape from Busan Tower yesterday) and I could see many fishermen nearby the port. This is the original Busan!

The weather was very sunny and windy today, perfect weather to go to Taejongdae. I opted to walk the trail to reach the Taejongdae landmark which was at the midpoint of the trail. Along the way I went down to the seashore to catch a close up view of the sea. But I sort of regretted when I needed to climb my way back to the trail.

Taejongdae Entrance

View from 1st Observatory Site 

Nevertheless, after 40 minutes or so, I reached the highest point at the observatory deck. The scene was majestic from here. I also took a rest and had some Busan Odeng at the observatory deck along with an ice cream waffle.

View From Highest Observatory Site 

Busan Odeng

I continued my journey to Taejongdae lighthouse and the landmark structure. The lighthouse was nothing fun to be honest. From here you could see Sinseon Rock at about 80-100m below. There were some stairs and rocks which could lead you to that rock and cliffs down there.

Hmm..Wonder what does this symbolize

Yeongdo Lighthouse

Taejongdae Landmark with Sinseon Rock at the bottom left

Sinseon Rock / Cliff

Of course, I took the route down to the cliffs. I think if you only stayed up there and did not spend the effort or courage to go down, you have never experienced Taejongdae. It wasn't very difficult to go to Sinseon Rock. Just need to be careful of the rocky path. When I reached there, it was a totally different feeling. I saw on the cliff while looking out at the vast ocean. It was just amazing. I was glad that the Malaysian family that I saw on the bus made their way to Sinseon rock too.

View from Sinseon Rock Below

Taejongdae Rock Cliffs

After spending quite some time enjoying the cliffs, I climbed back up for about 280m back to the trail. This was the hardest and most challenging part! I was panting away heavily after I reached the top. However, I was running out of time. There was a Danubi train here and I asked the train lady whether I could buy a ticket on the spot. She allowed and I took the Danubi train to finish the second half of the journey back to the starting point.

Riding the Danubi Train

The train only took about 10 minutes to reach the starting point where I got off and rode a bus back to Busan Deport and then to Mora.

Quickly I packed my things and headed for Gupo KTX station which was only three stations from Mora. Gupo station was about 10 minutes walk from Gupo metro station. I passed by a bakery selling Gyeongju Bbang (Bread) and I bought some of them for dinner on the train. I bid farewell to Busan and started my journey back to Seoul. I will be staying at a guesthouse called HBC house. It is also near Noksapyeong area.

While I was on the train, the guesthouse host, Eun Kyung texted me saying that it was raining in Seoul and she and her boyfriend would be picking me up from Seoul Station by car to their guesthouse. It was really kind for her to offer me a ride and I really thanked them for their generosity.

I reached Seoul station on time and met Eun Kyung and her boyfriend Adonis. They were very friendly and spoke good English. What's more was that they were listening to mandarin channel on the radio! They told me that that radio station plays nice chinese love songs at night and they liked it. I told them about my plans to go for Gangchon ride bike tomorrow and they were surprised that I was able to find such place because Gangchon is a suburb area of Korea.

HBC House was small, but they had everything that you need! From towels, washing machine, clothe hanger, TV, snacks, fruits, umbrellas, phone charger, travelling guides, electric stove, utensils, fridge etc. I would really recommend this guesthouse. You only need to bring yourself and clothes and the guesthouse will take care of the rest. Eun Kyung also visits the guesthouse once a day to clean up. So the entire place was very neat and clean. I stayed in a room with two bunkers (4 beds) but during that period that room wasn't occupied. The other room however was occupied by a Korean man who works in a Japanese company. Eun Kyung told me that last week, my room was occupied by three girls from Singapore.

I took a shower, did my laundry and contacted Haeun for our meeting time and place for tomorrow's rail bike ride. We would be meeting at Gimyujeong station at 10:20am and our rail bike schedule was at 11:00am. We should have ample of time to find the rail bike station.

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