Yeongju-dong is a mountainous time machine
Daytripping in Busan 3: Yeongju-dong
Democracy Park, located on the top of Bosu Mountain, was created in 1999 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of a resistance movement in the area that fought against unfair elections.
Where can one go to not only take in a beautiful waterside view but also experience living, breathing history up close and personally?
Located near Busan Station, Yeongju-dong (neighborhood), in Jung-gu (district) was founded on a mountainous slope that served as home to thousands of refugees during the Korean War.
Apartment complexes with decades of history and clusters of humble single-family homes show an aspect of daily life that seems locked in another time. Ocean views from Busan Port during the day are excellent, and night views are also stunning, as Busan Harbor Bridge and city lights dominate the eye.
Here are a few suggestions to make a trip to Yeongju-dong worthwhile, whether by day or night.
■ Democracy Park
Climb to the top of Bosu Mountain to find democracy.
Democracy Park was founded in October 1999 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of a resistance movement in the area that fought against unfair elections and to honor democracy movements throughout Korean history.
Visitors can check out historical relics and photographs at the park's memorial building, which is surrounded by an arboretum, promenade and other places to rest and reflect. A 20-meter-tall sculpture of a torch soars high in the center of the memorial building, which lights up dramatically at night.
Donarium cherry trees are gorgeous at Democracy Park.
The middle of April is an especially excellent time to visit Democracy Park, as it is full of the donarium variety of cherry trees, which reach their most beautiful, colorful peak this time of year.
-How to get there: Busan Station (Metro line 1), exit 7. Take bus 43 and get off at Jungang Park Minju Park stop, the last stop.
■ Diorama Observatory
When the sun is setting and darkness is descending into the city, lights from every corner of Busan rise and shine like an explosion of stars.
At Diorama Observatory, on Sanbokdoro (Mountainside Road), visitors have the opportunity to soak up much of these wonderful vistas from several vantage points.
Some dramatic views available from Diorama Observatory include Busan Harbor Bridge, Busan Port, Sinseondae Cliff, Yongdusan Mountain Park, as well as much of the city.
Several buses will take visitors to the top of the mountain and run along the winding Sanbokdoro, enabling people to appreciate the beautiful night view by bus on the way up.
-How to get there: Bus 190 from in front of Busan Station square, bus 86 from exit 7 of Beomnaegol Station (Metro line 1), or bus 186 from exit 1 of Jurye Station (Metro line 2). Get off at Yeongju three-way intersection (영주삼거리) stop. Walk straight until you see Diorama Observatory.
If getting up to some of Yeongju-dong's highest peaks might prove to be a little too difficult, or you're simply just seeking a different way to get there, consider refreshing your life with a train.
A shiny, orange colored monorail, launched in 2016, provides passengers a more relaxed and stress-free way of climbing the steep hills around Diorama Observatory and Sanbokdoro. It takes about one minute to reach the last station from Busan Digital High School, where its route begins.
The monorail service was originally launched to minimize inconvenience for elderly locals. It runs daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
-How to get there: Busan Station (Metro line 1), exit 7. Take bus 43 and get off at Busan Digital High School stop.