[Wide Angle on Busan] Where to catch the moonrise this Chuseok
Life in any city can be grueling pollution from noise, light and air, along with a grinding daily commute, are enough to drive anyone crazy. With that in mind, and with Chuseok's imminent arrival to the peninsula, here are some ways to get some peace this lunar holiday.
Wishing on the moon on Hwangnyeongsan Mountain
Names of mountains like Geumjeongsan, Jangsan and Geumnyeonsan should be familiar to citizens and long-term residents by now. But Hwangnyeongsan Mountain is a strong contender for being the most beautiful of the bunch. Located in Nam-gu (district), large swathes of Busan are available to see from up high. From sunrises to city lights, it's time to walk the trails of Hwangnyeongsan Mountain and see Busan from 427 meters up.
The mountain is home to numerous temples and paths, which attract a lot of hikers, many of whom are on their second or third visit, since it's hard to do Hwangnyeongsan in its entirety in a single trip. The panoramic view also makes for a welcome reward after a moderate and scenic walk. On the right-hand side of the summit's observatory is Yeongdo Island, decorated with its structures and the hard-working cranes of Busan Port. To the left, Marine City, a stark contrast to Yeongdo Island with its skyscrapers of glittering glass. Also visible is Busan's signature image Gwangandaegyo Bridge. Looking from the other side puts the center of town in full view. City Hall and the Sports Complex area, complete with Sajik and Asiad stadiums, are all part of the experience.
Hwangnyeongsan Mountain is also one of the best places to watch the annual fireworks festival, which is being held on Nov. 2 this year on Gwangalli Beach. Of course, this is well-known to many, which means that you can expect a crowd on the night of the event. Since the fall is the best time to hike anyway, it should serve as a good opportunity to walk to the mountain summit during the morning or early afternoon and settle in before the crowds really arrive later in the day.
It's not all outdoors, however. Hwangnyeongsan Mountain's view lounge makes for a refreshing goal, complete with an indoor windowed area with snacks and drinks. Whether going solo, on a date, with friends or family, the view lounge is a chance to see Busan from up top in comfort. The lounge is free and operates from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day except Chuseok day.
◆ How to get there City Hall Station (Metro line 1), exit 4. Take the Yeonje-gu 1 village bus and get off at Mulmangol stop. Go straight for 20 minutes. For access by taxi, cabs are available at Geumnyeonsan Station (Metro line 2).
On the waterfront
▶ Haewoljeong, Dalmaji Pass
Dalmaji Pass is one of the prettiest areas Busan has to offer. It's wonderful to explore at any time, but especially at night. In fact, the hill is named Dalmaji because of the moon. "Dalmaji" roughly translates to "welcoming the moon."
Facing Haeundae Beach and climbing up the hill on the left, you will reach Haewoljeong, a traditional Korean pavilion. Another popular spot, this pavilion offers a view of the moon, sky and sea for you to take in this Chuseok. Similar to the top of Hwangnyeongsan, you may realize you're not the only one there. Many visitors come to see the moon in all its splendor, especially during Chuseok.
▶ Gwangalli Beach
For more sights of the Busan full moon, you can't go wrong with Gwangalli Beach. The night view created with the combination of the moon, bridge and water really make for a sight unique to the city. Add in the approaching autumn breeze and beachside busking, and your Chuseok is off to a lovely start. Carry on the fun times at nearby cafes and pubs or at Millak Waterside Park, which offers another view of the bridge as you picnic on the site's distinctive steps.
▶ Songdo Beach
Songdo is always a popular destination for both residents and tourists. Holding the honor of being the oldest public beach in the nation, the area is not as developed as Haeundae or Gwangalli, which means that it is the best place to see the moonrise. The Cloud Walkway, which is open until 11 p.m., lets viewers see the moon until quite late in the evening.