I have previously written blogs about fun outdoor activities to do in Korea, and today I wanted write about another adventure that I highly recommend for those outdoor enthusiasts to do during their time teaching in Korea. Recently I visited Igidae Park for the fourth time, which is conveniently located less than an hour outside my current city of Busan. Having been reared in the countryside of South Carolina, city life can become overwhelming for me so I am always lookng for new ways to enjoy nature. Igidae Park is an assuring breath of fresh air and provides a two hour walk along the coast of the East Sea. The scenery is impeccable and on clear days you can faintly see the outline of Japan’s coast.
You can begin your hike at Igidae Park from two different directions, but I’ve only ever started from the Oryukdo Skywalk, which provides a spectacular view of the Oryukdo Islands, and ended at the Gwangali Bridge. There are a few ways to get to the Oryukdo Skywalk to begin the hike, though I’ve found taking the metro to Busan Station and then hopping on Bus 27 as a popular choice. The bus ride itself is about 40 minutes, so bring music or a book to pass the time!
The coastal walk is about five kilometers, and one can walk as leisurely or competitively as he or she wants. The terrain is your standard hiking rail – dirt paths with rocks and forest. The trail itself doesn’t have too many steep inclines or declines, but there are a few flights of stairs to look forward to at the beginning and end of the hike. However, there are plenty more areas to pause and enjoy the views.
The greenery is so inviting and such a stark contrast to the hues of blue and foamy white waves crashing against the cliffs. Sometimes there are people who have clambered down the rocks to spend a few hours fishing. Though the Oryukdo Skywalk is often crowded with families on weekends, and particularly during midday, the hike itself has never been too heavily populated. Often people just visit the skywalk without hiking Igidae. Regardless, hikers always seem to find their unique pace and there’s little congestion if any. Since this coastline is mostly rock rather than sandy beaches, people tend to stay moving rather than lounge.
Among all of the hikes I’ve enjoyed in Korea, Igidae receives my highest marks. I highly encourage everyone visiting or living in Busan to experience the East Sea in such a close and beautiful way. Also, I recommend you bring snacks if you’re prone to hunger pangs while hiking.
Linda Gaida was raised in Spartanburg, South Carolina and graduated from Washington and Lee University in 2016 with a degree in Romance Languages. While passionate about environmental studies and conservation, her interests now lean towards education! Her curiosities and studies have taken her to Romania, Portugal, Peru, India, and now South Korea, where she works as an English teacher for ChungDahm Learning in Busan. Deciding to teach abroad was an easy decision to make for Linda: while she gets to experience a culture foreign to her own, she is able to benefit the global society by teaching children English and helping them pursue their own ambitions. Linda is also interested in yoga, climbing, hiking, backpacking (anything involving movement), cooking and writing poetry.