Apr 27, 2016

Busan: Dalmaji-gil Road & Namcheongdong Cherry Blossom Road

Day 2 of my #YoloKorea tour for the seasonal Cherry Blossoms! I returned from Jinhae very late the night before and had a 14 hours (layover included) flight to Korea. You can imagine the amount of effort it took to roll out of bed the next morning.

After Jinhae's famous Cherry Blossom Festival, the next event I wanted to attend was the Hadong Cherry Blossom Festival. Hadong was even further than Jinhae and given my risen hour, it was clearly not a good idea to proceed. So I seek my lovely hostel manager's travel advice and went to Dalmaji-gil road instead! 
However before I did anything else, the first thing I did was shop for a pair of shoe. My boots broke on me after the first day and I wasn't gonna mess around with Murphy's law anymore. I was gonna get a new pair of shoes! 
I went to the area around Haeundae subway station and after what seemed like eternity, settled on a 49,000 Won pair of silver canvas shoes. God tell me why does shoes have to be so expensive in Busan?!  I always advise people to pack 2 pairs of shoes, I guess this is what I reap for not heeding my own advice.  
After ensuring the safety of my feet, I trodded off to Haeundae beach. I picked up a bowl of Toppoki (Korean spicy rice cakes) with fish cakes and sat around the beach to devour them with relish. The simple brunch cost me 3000won.


The area just across Haeundae beach is full of little shops and eateries.


Haeundae beach was pretty nice and clean and I've probably said this multiple times but I'm not the biggest fan of beaches. So after filling my growling tummy (I missed the hostel breakfast T. T) , I went to Dalmaji-gil road. If any of you is interested, I walked from Hauendae Beach to Dalmaji-gil road with Google maps. 


Along the way, I came across a place with train tracks and beautiful flowers along the sides. I walked a little bit down and found an Ahjuma (middle age auntie) harvesting some lettuces from the side. Seems like someone has green fingers here!


The green fingers doesn’t end there as a few street further, I found this huge patch of farm! The amazing thing is the fact that it is surrounded by high rise apartments, condominiums and hotels. It’s nice to see the farming culture continue in our time and age. I like to think it helps us appreciate mother nature and the joy of farming and harvesting with our own hands.
Even before reaching the actual Dalmaji-gil  road, the roads were already lined with Cherry Blossom trees! I found myself in the middle of an estate filled with Cherry Blossoms trees and I was on cloud 9!
And then I found this playground. I wish my photographs could have done the place justice but the playground was basically under a canopy of pink flowers! The beauty way surpasses my amateur photography.
“Look mom, I’m flying”.
Ladies and gentlemen , I present to you the Dalmaji-gil road.

“ Dalmaji-gil Road is a small walkway on the corner to Songjeong Beach, located just beyond Haeundae Beach. The road is lined with beautiful cherry blossoms and pine trees, on the slope of Wausan Mountain. The landscape, with the blue sea, sandy seashore, and pine trees, is beautiful enough to be the representative place of this area for a long time to come.

This walk became famous as a relaxing place in the summer ever since Haeundae Beach opened in 1965. On days with clear skies you can see Japan's Tsushima Island from the observatory. There is a spa and other facilities nearby, making it a great place to visit for people who want to relax and enjoy their free time, not only in the summer, but throughout the year.”
Strolling down Dalmaji-gil road is nothing short of romantic when the cherry blossoms are blooming. It is a long stretch of seemingly endless pink clouds and sweet couples.

Descendants of the sun, real life edition. LOL


And the sea is just on the right!
On the other side of the road are lines of apartments, hotels and cafes. Having been on my legs for the past few hours, I decided to get some leg rest and popped into one of the cafe. 

Got myself a cup of hot Chocolate for 4500 won.

This is the view, tell me you're not envious hehe ;)
I hadn't planned what to do after Dalmaji-gil (way to go Kaika!) so I took the chance to start flipping through my guide books and seeking Google's advice. After some intensive last minute inquest, I decided to head down to Namcheongdong (Samick apartments) that is famed for its cherry blossom lined streets and has a good view of Gwangan bridge. It was also beside Gwangalli beach so I figured why not ?

The nearest subway station to Namcheongdong is Geumnyeonsan Sub way Station on the Green Line (Line 2). Take exit 5 and walk towards the left. It is roughly 5 – 10 minutes walk away. The Samick Apartments is just beside the Gwangalli Beach.

It started to drizzle when I exited the station and to make things worse, I didn't know how to get there because none of the sources online gave concise instruction on getting to Namcheongdong. Google maps yielded no results either.

Since it was a make it or lose it situation, I just went into the nearest building and asked the security officer for help. I said “Namecheongdong? ” in my best possible Korean pronunciation and then played the google translation of cherry blossoms in Korean to him. While I couldn’t understand what he said, I was able to make out the fact that I’m supposed to walk straight down and then turn left along the way ... somewhere. After thanking him profusely, I went on my way again.

To make your trip a little less mind boggling, I have created a google map embed.


Google Map to Namcheongdong


The streets leading up to the road was quaint and cozy.


My heart cringed when I saw this shop selling fruits. If I read the signs correctly, isn’t that like 3 big trays of strawberries for just 8000 Won?! If not for the fact that I already have a small crate of strawberries waiting for me at the hostel fridge, I’d definitely snatch those up. The fact that I bought my little crate for 7500won doesn’t make the heart pinch any better.


Cross the road and we’re there! See those orange and blue apartments?


Isn’t it amazing? Who would have thought such a ordinary line of apartments would have such a beautiful sight? I love how close the trees are, effectively turning the road into an amazing cherry blossom tunnel. You feel like you’re walking through pink clouds!


There are a couple of bus stops along the street so if you know how take the buses, you’ll be able to arrive at Namcheongdong directly. As far as I can tell, Bus 2 and 8 stops here.

It was raining when I was there and instead of seeing raindrops, I saw pink falling petals =)


The entire Namcheongdong road is sandwiched between 2 rows of apartments and the cherry blossom trees stretched as far as the eyes can see. Half way through the road is an outlet that brings you to a spot to view the famous Gwangan Bridge. It’s actually leading to the residential exercise zone but as you can tell, it has a fantastic view.


I wish I had a tripod. That would have made this night photography task so much easier.

Dinner was Pork and Rice soup (Dwaeji-Gukbap) back at Haeundae. I can’t remember how much is was but it was probably less than 10,000 Won and tasted pretty good. I only found out afterwards that Dwaeji-Gukbap is a Gyeongsangnam-do specialty with a long history. Apparently this dish was first prepared in 1950 during the Korean War when people started using the pork bones from the American Army base as an ingredient.


Hope you guys enjoyed reading about my day. Remember to leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

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