Published on March 20th, 2013 | by Angie Hartley0
Travel Diary: Igidae Park
Photo: Gwangan Bridge as viewed from Idigae Park. By Alek Haskard.
During the 16th century, the Japanese invaded the coast of Busan and proceeded to have a rowdy victory party on the granite shore. In the night, two Korean entertainers (“gisaeng” in Korean) grabbed one of the drunken soldiers and threw themselves off the rocky cliff, taking their own lives with his.
Today the site of Igidae, named in honor of the two gisaeng’s brave sacrifice, is a much more tranquil place to visit, although peering over the quivering suspension bridges really brings the story to life. The pillaging has been replaced by more subdued picnics and the fantastic view of the East Sea is no longer ominous.
Igidae Park is a system of trails up and around a 225-meter hill on the southeast coast of Busan. One can choose any number of loops along the coastal boardwalk and up the mountain to return to the trail head or exit down the west face. From either direction, a taxi from the park to Gwanganli is under 5,000 won.
If the mountaintop views, graceful coastal boardwalk and whistling divers aren’t enough, Igidae Park also offers some dino-prints. In 2000, the footprints of the Ultrasaurus were discovered not far from the trail head. Their existence on the shore is left to your imagination as you glance at the puddles surrounding the happy picnic goers.
If you want a view of the city skyline without breaking your neck, Igidae Park is a literal breath of fresh air. It’s also a great way to work up an appetite for lunch on nearby Gwanganli beach. Next time you’re in Busan and your head is spinning from the bright lights and clashing Indy ballads, head down to the boardwalk, where you can drink it all in from a distance.
Directions to Igidae: The trailhead is across from Xii and LG Metro City apartments. Tell the cab driver “온전 메트로 랜드 골프 연섭장” (“Ohn-jeonMetro Land Golf yeon-seup-jang, ka-ju-se-yo.”). From the driving range, walk up the small hill toward Diamond Bridge to the trail head. When you exit, you can take Nam-gu bus #2-1 heading towards LG Metro City or towards the Kyungsung University area. City buses #22 or #131 also go to Kyungsung. For more specific directions, visitto-do-in-busan/!