Exploring Busan’s Taejongdae

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Sinseon Rocks

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Directions

From Exit 6 of Nampodong Station, go towards the second bus stop (the one further away from you). Taejongdae is at the last bus stop of the route. Take Bus 8, 30, 66, 88 → last bus stop at Taejongdae Terminus.

We reached at 9am after a 30-minute bus ride, walked up the slope and bought the tickets for the Danubi train at 2,000 won each. The Danubi train has 4 stops- with the first being the Observatory and the second, the Lighthouse. You can alight alight at the Observatory (which was closed and undergoing renovation) and take a slow walk to the lighthouse where visitors spend the bulk of their time there.

I have seen some visitors take a mere 30 minutes to finish exploring the place. There will be reviews saying they spent 2 hours in the park. It’s pretty subjective, I would say.

Taejongdae Recreation Park

I really, really love how Busan has the perfect outdoor spots for a good hike or walk. People who know me will know that I enjoy a good hike; that even if my current hibernating state, I am undaunted when faced with a good flight of stairs – or slope. Taejongdae in Busan, Korea is such a venue. With its steady stream of slopes around the park and flight of stairs down to the lighthouse – I was secretly thrilled and enjoying every moment.

Named after King Taejong, who was the 29th king of the Silly Dynasty, he apparently frequented the cliffs and liked to practice his archery. The iconic red and blue installation by the lighthouse is inspired by this history and emulates that of an arrow. You can also see Japan’s Tsushima Islands on a good day – we didn’t. It was pretty foggy even though the sun was bright.

Sinseon rocks, which is right beside the lighthouse is supposedly where the Gods and Goddesses come to rest. In the past, where there is a lack of information-sharing, the place must have been awe-inspiring and even gives off an air of mystery and divinity. Today, with the endless streams of photos and travel pictures, it might not seem so anymore. Still, I quite like how the cliffs have been the constant after so many centuries and despite the number of suicides that had happened.

Reconnecting with nature and just basking in her beauty brings a sense of balance back into the mind and the body – something all of us city dwellers lack.  Regardless of whether the presence of the omnipresent has left, Taejongdae remains a rarity that is both subtle and subdued in the highly urbanized 21st century.

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