By Laura Teague
By Laura Teague
This walk is easy and fairly flat the whole way, it’s along a paved road the whole way, so it’s not too difficult. It is however, slightly disappointing as a Galmaetgil trail, it’s next to the road the entire way, and doesn’t go through too many unique or natural places. The walk’s highlights on the other hand, are interesting if you want something different from your day out. It starts at Oryukdo, and takes you past a better view of the rocks than you might have got on the walk in (on Galmaetgil Course Two Part 2), it then takes you past Sinseondae observatory which gives some great views over the Naval base on one side, and the container shipyard, which is so much more fascinating than it sounds, if you’re into it. It then takes you through the city, past a small temple and then to the UN Memorial and Busan Museum. The walk extends further, but I highly recommend that you don’t go further and instead spend some time around the UN Cemetary and the Peace Park, the walk past here just winds through parts of the city that are like many others, it’s by highways and it’s just generally not a pleasant walk.
To start the walk, head to Oryukdo (directions below). The bus stop takes you almost to the cruise dock, where the walk officially starts and you’ll see the big map board that helpfully outlines the walk ahead of you. Head up and away from the dock, on the paved path next to the road that you came in on. The Galmaetgil will be outlined with the familiar blue and pink flyers on lamp-posts and yellow circles spray painted on the pavement. Occasionally there will be a small signpost or board to help you with the road crossings or tricky junctions.
Head up the hill, and follow it as it bends round to the left, you’ll overlook the Naval port here. Continue on here, past the cemetery that then appears on both the left and right side of the road. Eventually the road will bring you to Sinseondae Observatory. The Galmaetgil doesn’t officially go around the Observatory forest, but I highly recommend that you take a while to explore it here. You won’t be following the Galmaetgil signs here, so when you are done walking around, you’ll need to head back out to the car park to continue the walk. If you go right to the furthermost point of the ‘Observatory’ you’ll find a memorial to the first British landings in Busan about 200years ago, here you can overlook the Naval Port on your left and the container shipyard on the right. These sorts of things fascinate me, so I think it’s fantastic!
Once you are back out in the car park, you need to go back to the main road, and continue along in the direction that you were heading, on the same side of the road that you were walking on. Eventually this will then come to a big crossroads, and you’ll need to cross over to the right and continue here, but it’s well signed on the road, and if you search for the blue and pink flyers they should be clear. This path then leads you to a big sign all in Korean, that has a Galmaetgil marker on it, the path continues forward past this board, but up to the right about 200m is a cute little quiet temple if that sort of thing tickles your fancy. If not, or after you’re done here, the walk becomes a bit tedious for a while as you walk by a highway (when we went they were also doing construction work which made following the route almost impossible). Just stick on the same side of the road that you were on, past the construction work, and when you reach the second gas station (I think it was an SK gas station) you should cross the road, over to the left, and you should be able to see the Peace Park, or at least the strange botanical garden that is housed in the spaceship building.
(I recommend that you finish your walk here, and instead of continuing with the Galmaetgil trail, just explore the park and museum, it’s far more interesting than the rest of the walk is.)
Link to a map: http://www.mapmywalk.com/routes/view/184274722
Directions: To start the walk go to Oryukdo cruise wharf. Take the subway to KSU, from KSU take exit 5, turn around 180 immediately, and take the right turn down the road, walk away from the subway station about 200m until you get to the bus stop for buses 27 or 131. Take the bus all the way to the end, I think the final stop for both should be Oryukdo. (Just keep an eye out the window for the islands, it’s the 3rd stop labelled ‘Oryukdo’ the first two are for the apartments just before the wharf)
To get back from the walk at UN Peace Park. Walk back to Daeyeon subway station. Near the park there is a big roundabout which has a lot of white cement spoke-like things with all the UN Nations flags, and a big metal globe atop the whole structure. From here, you walk to head north, along the road that is going past ‘Autoworld’. It’s about a ten minute walk to Daeyeon subway station from here.