The course from Nampo station to Taejongdae has so many special spots compared to other travel course in Busan, because you have to go into ‘Yeongdo Island’. In Joseon Dynasty, there was a national racetrack in Yeongdo managed by the government, and the horses raised in Yeongdo were so fast that they were called ‘Jeolyeongdo’ meaning they could run leaving their shadows behind. During the Japanese colonial era, the Japanese took all of the horse barns as a owner, but Yeongdo became the city of refugees during the war after liberation. Thanks to Yeongdodaegyo bridge, it is a quite large downtown rather than an isolated island now. However, in those days, the refugees who didn’t even have a spoon for themselves could get some food from the sea surrounding the island. There are many foreign people as many ships coming in and out. As an island connects to another island, there are quite a lot of people from Jeju Island in Yeongdo.
The road to go into Yeongdo Island through Yeongdodaegyo bridge shines in the morning. The departing fishing boat putters under the bridge, a flight of seagulls fly up into the sky, and the water glitters like a jewel. Surrounded by the salty sea wind, you step into Yeongdo Island. It is also called ‘Yeong Island’ as a joke.
As soon as coming into Yeongdo, you can see a big traditional market. The market has existed since there was no car in Yeongdo. The peddlers from the land opened small markets at the entrance of the island, and they grew bigger and bigger and became a big market now. The market was once the center of commerce in Yeongdo. Nowadays, you can do grocery shopping very easily as it has changed into an arcade style. At Samjin Fish Cake Experience History Hall near the market, you can see the history of Busan fish cakes, otherwise called ‘Busan Odeng’. Samjin Fish Cake is the oldest fish cake manufacturer in Busan. Its first president learnt the manufacturing technique in Japan and opened a store at a shack at the entrance of Bongnae market. You can enjoy the fresh fish cake and see the clean manufacturing process through the window.
Now, you take the bus from here. It is the easiest transportation in Yeongdo. Take the bus number 66 and get off at International Cruise Terminal. There is the National Maritime Museum. All the materials related to the sea in Korea are here. As there are many special majors in Korea Maritime University near the museum, it is very natural to say that the main industry is ocean industry and it makes sense for the National Maritime Museum to be here in Busan. It is usually used as the experience learning course for children, but the place is too good to be used only as the educational place.
There is Taejongdae, about 30 minutes away from the museum. Although both Haeundae and Taejongdae are the famous tourist spots in Busan, the most beautiful cliff of Taejongdae has a dishonor as the suicide rock. During the Korean War when everyone had to survive even being apart from their family, the survivors had to use the easiest name so that people from other parts of the country could know where they were. Taejongdae was very famous for the place the King Muyeol took a trip here in Silla Dynasty. Let’s meet at Taejongdae, meet me at Yeongdo bridge. Even if they have survived, they had to keep waiting helplessly because no one knew when they could meet their family. A day, a month, and a year passed. It is difficult to believe that their family is alive somewhere after the long waiting. The refugees tired of the waiting jumped off the cliff into the sea in dispair. It is not a easy thing to do to jump into the sea. What a sad history. How many people would have died in the tragedy of the division?
When taking a tour bus at the entrance of Taejongdae, you can easily go up the 4km long hill. It is always crowded in holidays, but you would know it is worth going up as looking at the cliff covered with strange rocks and bizarre stones. Right across the sea is Daemado. You can see the island on a very clear day. As you could say this is the end of Busan, you may forget somebody you need to. Otherwise, you could meet a new one because there many people flirting like any other tourist spots.
Gamji coast is right beside Taejongdae. There are temporary buildings selling the baked shell fish, eel, and other sea food lining on the street which are good for a drink listening to the sea. You’d better go to Gamji coast along the trail after getting off the bus at Jung-ri, Yeongdo, rather go through Taejongdae to feel the real course. Yeongdo which has only few people (except for Taejongdae) has spots for healing. The path from Jung-ri to Gamji coast is so peaceful.
Take a bus at Gamji coast and come back to the land. You may visit Bupyeong night market to complete your trip. You can also focus on the night market itself as the theme of your trip and reflect on the island you visited today with a cup of Sikhye(sweet rice drink). Where have you been for today?