Come and get to know brilliant Yeongdo
▲ With the setting of the sun, Busanhangdaegyo Bridge's sparkling LED lights reflect on the waters of the East Sea.
Continuing our series, we have another two observatories, this time located on the charming island of Yeongdo, home to the famous Taejongdae Park. This island has a lot to offer and the park, including Bongnaesan Mountain situated on the west side and an observatory on the north and south ends. The atmosphere, scenery and composition of the observatories differ, as much as the local flora and fauna, but we have the lowdown on each spot.
▲ Join the farmer in a scenic gaze over the Cheonghak Reservoir.
■ Cheonghak Reservoir Observatory
Currently, Busan Port boasts the sixth largest cargo volume in the world. Last year alone, 22 million 20-foot shipping containers passed through the port. The Cheonghak Reservoir Observatory is the perfect place to witness the dynamism of the industry. The observatory faces Gamman Pier, and with a quick glance to the left, Busan Port and Busanhangdaegyo Bridge can be seen. Visitors can easily observe the procession of all kinds of vessels, from container ships to fishing boats. As the sun sets, the LED lights of the Busanhangdaegyo Bridge set the dockside aglow. Beyond the cityscape, only the silhouette of the mountain peak remains to create an enchantingly panoramic view.
The 200-square-meter observatory plays host to a small lawn plaza, perfect for a short walk. There, visitors can easily find statues of a horse and a farmer related to the island's history. From the Silla Dynasty to the Joseon Dynasty, local government-operated stables were said to be the best place to raise horses, due to the broad pasture and lack of predators. The statue of a farmer carrying sweet potatoes on his back commemorates the introduction of sweet potatoes from Daemado Island to Yeongdo, in 1763. It was at this time that Korea first encountered sweet potatoes and attempted to cultivate them.
◎ Address: 36, Wachi-ro, Yeongdo-gu
◎ Hours: 24/7
◎ How to get there: Nampo Station (metro line 1), exit 6. Take bus 9 at the bus stop next to Jung-gu tourist information center and get off at the old Busan National Maritime School stop.
▲ Take a whiff of ocean air on the Yeongdo Haneul Observatory.
■ Yeongdo Haneul (Sky) Observatory
Located next to a two-lane road, the Yeongdo Haneul (sky) Observatory attracts drivers and pedestrians alike. Despite its mediocre size, the observatory and surrounding area have a collection of attractions, including a transparent skywalk, binoculars and a magnificent beach view.
Staring out across the ocean, visitors can turn and scan from Dadaepo to Gadeokdo and Geojedo Islands. They may even catch Daemado, an island about 50 kilometers out, on a clear day or by utilizing the binoculars. Ships often drop anchor nearby and add to the picturesque view of the unfettered seascape.
This hotspot connects to popular Yeongdo tourist locales. The staircase next to the observatory intersects with the Jeoryeong Coastal Trail. This trail, is about three kilometers long, has a winding course, a swinging wooden bridge and colorful vegetation, making a walk or trek along the path that much more exciting.
After walking just five minutes down the cliff-filled trail, visitors can find "75 Square," a paved plaza with a pavilion and countless quiet places to relax. The area was named after its completion year, 1975 and gives people a whole new view of the area. Also, the square offers visitors access to the Yeongdo Tourism Shooting Range, where they can see various types of guns and catch a glimpse of Huinnyeoul Culture Village, a must-go Yeongdo spot nearby.
◎ Address: 628-66, Dongsam-dong, Yeongdo-gu
◎ Hours: 24/7
◎ How to get there: Nampo Station (metro line 1), exit 6. Take bus 7, 71 or 508 at the bus stop next to Jung-gu tourist information center and get off at Hamjigol Youth Training Center stop.
▲ Off the coast of Yeongdo, many vessels ride at anchor.