Taejongdae Park

Understatement of the blog: winter in Korea is cold.  Really cold.  Hailing from the northern US, I thought I knew what cold was, but I had never really walked for long durations outside before.  We regularly get cold fronts from Siberia (it sounds like a joke, doesn’t it??) paired with icy winds.  Can you say brrrr?

Overlooking the pebble beach

Regardless, a little cold won’t stop me from enjoying all Korea has to offer.  A few weekends ago, Andy and I took the KTX (bullet train) to Busan for the day.  40 minutes later, we arrived.  Our plan was to visit Taejongdae Park on Yeong Island.  In the past, Taejongdae served as the location for a Shilla king to practice archery.  Today, it’s a beautiful rocky island with gorgeous cliffs.

Pebble Beach

To get to Taejongdae from Busan station, there are several buses you can catch.  We asked information when we arrived.  We took the 101 – and it was a long, long ride.  Taejongdae Park is the last stop.  When you get off the bus, just walk slightly uphill and you’re there.

from the observatory

The park is free, but if you pay 1,500 won you can ride the kiddie train around.  Otherwise the entire route takes 1 hour and 30 minutes.  Considering the frigid air, we opted for the train.

Tea-Kettle Island (front) and Tsushima Island (back)

My favorite spot was the pebble beach.  Very few people, beautiful views, and a nice calming atmosphere.  There’s even a seafood pojangmacha (restaurant stall) right on the rocks.  We also checked out the observatory (from which you can see Tsushima Island, aka Japan!!) and the lighthouse.  You can take a 2-hour ferry to Tsushima Island if you’re interested.

Andy with Yeongdo Lighthouse

After the park, we wandered around the island looking for dinner.  There was one Chinese restaurant with a long line in the cold.  Obviously it was something good, or no one would be waiting.  We ordered the jjajangmyeon (black bean noodles) and jjambbong (red spicy noodle soup) Taejongdae style – with lots of mussels and fresh seafood.  It was great a finish to our day.

Mermaid overlooking the sea

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