The southeastern port city of Busan has preserved the pristine nature of its original landscape in some areas by restricting vehicular access.
One such place, Galmaetgil Trail in Igidae Park, provides great ocean views, while also offering sweeping views of Gwangan Bridge and Haeundae Beach. Conveniently, it is located close to the shopping paradise of Shinsegae Centum City, the largest department store in the world.
Despite its breathtaking beauty, the park remained largely unknown to the general public as it used to be a military site. But after it opened its doors, people were immediately drawn to its pristine beauty. With the creation of a seaside trail at the park, the number of visitors is now increasing at a rapid pace. However, taking photos is still limited in some areas for security reasons.
The trail offers a diverse range of scenery, with its lush forest and the sight of the waves crashing on unusually shaped rocks. But the outstanding feature is the fossilized footprints of dinosaurs that date back 65 million years on large, flat rocks along the beaches. Such prehistoric traces sit in harmony with the city's skyscrapers and large bridge, creating an unforgettable memory for those who visit.
At the end of the trail, people can enjoy the thrill of crossing a rock gorge via an overpass to reach Seopjari Observatory, which affords beautiful views both day and night.
To reach the trail, travelers can take the No. 27 bus at Busan Station and get off at Igidae Park. Alternatively, they can take a subway to Kyungsung University Station on Line No. 2 and transfer to a bus heading to Igidae Park outside exit No. 5.
Those with more time on their hands may choose to stop at other trekking routes in neighboring cities.
In Ulsan, the Solmaru trekking course is recommended as it connects several mountain peaks. As visitors walk through the forest of pine trees, an antimicrobial compound called phytoncide from the surrounding plants not only creates a fragrant aroma, but is also believed to kill or inhibit the growth and development of bacteria in the human body, adding a healthier dimension to any stroll here. The 24 km-course offers a range of natural views and cityscapes as it winds around Ulsan.
Not far from the city, another course connecting six islands near Tongyeong and Geoje in South Gyeongsang Province is also worth to visit. Visitors can enjoy many different experiences as they island-hop by boat, and take in the beautiful scenery by roaming around the islands on foot.