Take a romantic stroll on the moonlit path
Enjoy Busan
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    Enjoying summer romance 4. Moontan Road & Seashore Galmaet-gil


    Take a romantic stroll

    Beautiful Galmaet-gil along the magnificent ocean vista offers

     a perfect refuge from the city


    If there is the Olle trail on Jeju Island, Dulle pass of Mount Jiri and Masil road in Buan, North Jeolla, in Busan there is the Galmaet-gil. In the olden days Busan was called the Sampojihyang, which means a town with beautiful mountain, river and sea, but now it has become a busy city full of vacationers during the summer season.


    Tourists taking pictures on the Moontan Road.  


    A romantic walk under the moonlight

    Moontan Road

    A play on words sun tan, Moontan Road is a walkway where visitors can bask in the full glow of the moon as they walk in the woods at night. Between the tall pine trees the moonlight shines through and a slow walk in the woods denotes romance more than anything. A walk in the lunar illumination with pine scent infused in the air, a stroll in the Moontan Road will relax you and satiate your five senses.


    From the east end of Haeundae Beach passing the Mipo intersection and walking up along the Dalmaji Road, you can meet the Dalbit, or moonlight, Junction sign. From here the steep pine forest trail connects to Songjeong, which is the Moontan Road. It is a trail with dense pine trees on each side. On sleepless nights due to “tropical night” phenomenon, try a walk in the Moontan Road with families or your loved ones.


    The quiet and peace of night at this place is just a poem. As you pass the Dalbit Junction where the Gwangalli Beach and Gwangan Bridge is viewed at one sight and walk along the high standing pine tree trail, the moonlight sinks in and awakens your lost emotion. As the moon shines from the surface of the rippling sea, lights turn on one by one at the Dalbit Junction. The lights on each side of the road are at an ankle’s height. It’s soft glow gently lights the way.


    As you get used to the dark sea, cool waves breaking push up the salty, cool breeze. As you walk along the trail surrounded by soil and pine tree under the moonlight, you will soon wash away the hustle of the city life with the pine scent, pine breeze, sea breeze and sounds of wave. Also try take a deep breath while sitting down at the “Sea Observatory” bench. The heat will be miles away.


    The Moontan Road is a 2.2 kilometer course from Dalmaji Road, Dalmaji knoll, osolgil and Eoulmadang. It takes about 40 minutes to take a round trip. It is just good for families to take a walk together while chatting. The lights of the Moontan Road light up from sunset to 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. till sun rise. Walking back home with the light seeing me off, is a rare luxury.


    The Galmaet-gil trail No. 1 and 2 are the most famous for its attractive scenery where you can enjoy the seaside view of Busan, including the Moontan Road.


    Galmaet-gil is a tracking course where ecology, cul­ture and story of the active and dynamic image Busan all blend in together in harmony. Galmaet-gil is a portmanteau of galmaegi, or seagull, and gil, or road, meaning a road of seagull, which is a symbol of the city.


    The famous Igidae coastal shore trail, Galmaet-gil trail No. 2  


    Summer, good walking course along the shores

    Seashore Galmaet-gil

    Among the nine trails of Galmaet-gil footpath, the first and second trails, which pass through the packed crowd on Haeundae and Gwangalli beaches in the summer, are the most famous.


    The first course, the trail No. 1 is a 33.6-kilometer course from Imnang Beach to Haeundae. The course starts from Imnang Beach to Chilam, Ilgwang Beach, Gijang Station, Daebyeon Port, Haedong Yonggungsa Temple and connects to the Moontan Road. This course includes the Haedong Yonggungsa Temple and Orangdae with the legend of Yeonohrang and Saeohnyeo. The course takes about 10 hours. Since this trail is a coastal trail, you can wash off your sweat in the sea breeze. The course has a fantastic sea view and stories of various towns and ports.


    The trail No. 2 starts from Moontan Road, Gwangalli Beach to the Oryuk Islets cruise ship dock and connects to Haeundae Beach. The trail was also chosen as a “slow” city attraction of Busan.


    It was also voted as the most beautiful coastal walk. Especially among the seasonal recommended trails of Galmaet-gil, trail No. 2 was chosen as the best for summer.


    There are two sections in the trail No. 2. The first section is 5.7 kilometers from Moontan Road, Haeundae Dalmaji Hill to Busan’s representative beach Haeundae to Dongbaek Island and Millak Bridge.


    In the first section, you can enjoy the emerald-hued sea and soft sand and well-maintained shore at the Haeundae Beach and take a walk in the trail with camellia and pine trees at Dongbaek Park.


    Nurimaru APEC House is where you can see the Haeundae Beach and Gwangan Bridge where a cinematicworthy sights.


    The second section starts from Millak Bridge connecting to Gwangalli Beach, Gwangan Bridge, Igidae and Oryuk Islets cruise ship dock and is quite a long course being 12.6 kilometers and takes about four hours to complete the walk. The second section might feel like a long course but since the coastal scenery is so outstanding, there is no moment of mundanity.


    Another worthy sight is of unique rocks and green Igidae, like the Nong Rock and and Oryuk Islets, where six islands huddle around in the sea. The night view of beautiful Gwangalli Beach and Gwangan Bridge is also a sight to catch at the second section.


    Meet story-telling grannies and grandpas at Galmaet-gil

    A group of story-telling grannies and grandpas will tell interesting stories to the tourists at Busan Galmaet-gil trail starting this month. Twenty-nine story tellers are prepared. Busan City and the Busan Convention and Visitors Bureau developed a tour item with stories in line with the southern coast of Korea and have trained the story tellers to tell the “hidden tales” of Busan to the tourists.


    The story-telling grannies and grandpas are mostly retired employees in 50s and over. Former civil workers, professors, housewives and people fluent in English, Chinese and Japanese make up the cohort. They have become professional story-tellers to use their professional knowledge of and experience in the local society.

    Starting from this month the story tellers will meet tourists at Haeundae District and Galmaet-gil trail near the Gijang County at 10 a.m.


    Three courses will have story tellers, Haeundae Gichasorigil, or train sound trail, (Dongbaek Island-Mipo-Cheongsapo-Songjeongpo), Gijang Deungdaegil, or lighthouse trail, (Gongsu Town-Haedong Yonggungsa Temple-Fisheries Science Museum-Daebyeon Port), and Gijang Pogu Trail, or Port trail, (Samsung Town-Dongbaek Town-Chilam Town-Weolnae). Each course is about seven kilometers. Four grannies and grandpas will walk with the tourists and tell the hidden stories or interesting facts of the road along the course.


    Affordable Galmaet-gil stay Guesthouse Haeundae

    Many guest houses are opening for the tourists visiting the Busan’s Galmaet-gil. Guest houses are places where they provide a cheap place to sleep and enjoy breakfast. It is popular among backpackers. Guesthouse Korea is opening guest houses along the Busan Galmaet-gil trails.


    It opened the Jagalchi branch on the 7th floor of Busan’s Nampo-dong Jagalchi Fish Market in Jung District and recently opened the Haeundae Branch on the 4th and 5th floor of Haeundae District’s Jung-dong Hyeyoung building.


    Guesthouse Korea Jagalchi Branch is in the center of the Galmaet-gil trail No. 3 second section (Busanjin Market to Namhang Bridge). There are four dormitory rooms where up to 12 people share the room and four rooms to accomodate two to eight people. The rates are from 25,000 won  ($28) to 35,000 won per person according to the room. Breakfast is included. Reservation is available through phone and Web sites.


    Haeundae Branch is near the Galmaet-gil trail No. 2 first section (Moontan Road to Millak Bridge). There are five dormitory rooms for eight people and five rooms for two to four people. It is just five minutes walk from the metro Haeundae Station exit No. 1. The accommodation rate is same as the Jagalchi branch.

    * Information: Guesthouse Korea (070-4136-5014), Web site (www.guesthousekorea.org)

  • Aug 30, 2012