South Korea – Haeundae, Dongbaek

Haeundae, Busan, South Korea, May 2017: Today’s Google inspired excursion – Dongbaek, sometimes referred to as Dongbaek Island. A large rocky outcrop situated at the western end of Haeundae Beach and clad with forest. Just a short stomp today, still recovering from yesterdays marathon hike on that old railway line to Songjeong. (Read it here)

Plenty of activity on the beach this morning. Thousands of school kids taking lessons, building sand sculptures and generally having a nice time in the warm spring sunshine. Oh, and there’s a sea life centre where no doubt one can find all the good and bad that might emerge from the ocean here! Not for me though, not today anyway. So, in the shadows those million dollar apartments, expensive hotel rooms and Starbucks coffee, the kids are making some pretty nice sculptures. Its a competition apparently.

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What a delightful 1/2 hour as my taking photos is generating plenty of interest. The students are bright and engaging, asking some basic questions with their limited English. Mostly personal questions, quite boring so I won’t go into it right now! Some are shy, especially the giggly girls but after a few moments even they plucked up courage to attempt a question.

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Unfortunately, damage from a recent storm has closed the board walks over Dongbaek rocks, but not before I’ve managed to gain a little altitude for a few photos looking back at Haeundae and not before snapping a mermaid – just a statue of course.

A quick glance at Google maps reveals a road running through the place, accessed from near the skyscrapers. So, with a little further to stomp I’d better look for the official entrance to Dongbaek. Just behind the giant Westin hotel is where visitors here should start any kind of hiking around here. Nicely laid out trails up into the woodlands or follow the nice wide road around the base of Dongbaek park.

And so here’s what I’ve discovered about the place over the course of an hour or 2….

From here one gets a good look at the the other side of Haeundae town. The Marinas, the million dollar apartments and the Ocean – the East China Sea, according to Google. Its a first peak at Busan city which we’ll discover more about tomorrow.(Google Map) 

To be honest, the place isn’t that thrilling. Quite small, and how its an island is not apparent in modern times. But its an escape from the buzz of Busan or the headiness of Haeundae Beach. On a really hot day one will enjoy the shade of the forest trees with a cooling ocean breeze. The place is even dotted with reclining seats, free to use too!

 

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