I had a chance to go on a 3-day trip with my Wowkorea family, and it consist of an itinerary of city hopping on the south region of Korea: Busan, Tongyeong, and Geojae, where we could enjoy each city per day. If you want to copy this itinerary, you can follow my 3-series blog for this trip where I cover each city/day per post.
On this first post, it will about our first day in, which was in Busan. I will only cover the sightseeing spots, as I will not write about the eating places and hotels (well maybe a little as I go along writing this blog). However, if you would like to follow my detailed activities throughout the trip, you can check out my story highlight on Instagram (@tizzyy) titled “Busan #wowkorea”, coz my story game on Instagram is on point!
Okay, let’s go on with the itinerary! First stop, Ahopsan Forest.
1. Ahopsan Forest
“Ahop” means “nine” in Korean language and “san” means “mountain”, so “Ahopsan” in this forest name means that the forest is embracing the nine valleys. The ancient forest has been preserved for 400 years. It has many clusters of trees where every each of them looks so dreamy, which explains why this forest has become a film/drama shooting place for many motion pictures.
It was the filming location of the movie “Kundo: Age of the Rampant (군도)” and “The Tiger: An Old Hunter’s Tale (대호)”, and is also famous for filming locations such as Korean drama “Memories of the Sword (협녀,칼의기억)” and “The Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo (달의연인-보보경심려)” and “Flowers of the Prison (옥중화)“.
However, the most recent popular drama that uses this location as a shooting place is “The King: Eternal Monarch”, especially because it is where the stone gates are.
The entrance ticket for the forest is 5,000 won. Use this link to find it’s exact location on Google Map:
Ahopsan Forest: Busan, Gijang-gun, Cheolma-myeon, 미동길 37-1
Here are some pictures I took there that hopefully can inspire you to come to the forest too!
2. Haedong Yonggungsa
This Buddhist temple, Haedong Yonggungsa, is the one and only temple that is located exactly on the seaside in Korea, therefore, you guessed it, one of my favorites temple! Hehe.. it’s just so different with other temples in Korea. Not only that I enjoy sea views in general, this temple makes it feels surreal when you visit in any kind of days. This time was actually my third time visiting this temple, and on each visit, I always get that calm and happy feeling.
I’ve tried visiting this place using public transportations and private cars. To be honest, I prefer coming with a car or taxi, because if you use a bus, the bus stop is quite a walk to the entrance of the temple. If you don’t mind the exercise, it’s not actually that bad, but keep in mind, the temple itself is quite big to explore and you will got through many stairs, so just think about it before you decide to do the extra walk.
On the way in to the temple entrance you will find a small market, or you can take the bamboo grove entrance from a parking lot. You will also find cafes and restaurants around the parking lot, so you don’t need to worry if you need to get some food first or after exploring the temple.
There’s no entrance fee to get into the temple, as this is a real religious temple. Use this link to find it’s exact location on Google Map:
Haedong Yonggungsa: 86 Yonggung-gil, Gijang-eup, Gijang-gun, Busan
And here are some pictures I took there that hopefully can inspire you to come to the temple too!
I was already so tired that day and I’ve explored further so I decided not to climb up to the biggest standing Buddha statue.
3. Nightlife of your choice
We were going to do some night yacht sailing after this, but rain came pouring so hard that we had to cancel and head back to our hotel. Hopefuly you will be luckier than us when you tried this itinerary.
Check out: Surfing and Chilling on yacht in Busan
We stayed at Benikea Premier Hotel at Haeundae Beach district. The area is full of options to experience a nightlife of Busan. This is the area of the hotel:
Benikea Premier Hotel: 317 Haeundaehaebyeon-ro, Jung-dong, Haeundae-gu, Busan
By the way, if you want to stay closer to the two destinations I discussed in this blog post (Ahopsan Forest and Haedong Yonggungsa temple), you can try check out Hilton Busan, as it is one of the most prestigious Hotel and strategically located for this itinerary.
Hilton Busan: 268-32 Gijanghaean-ro, Gijang-eup, Gijang-gun, Busan
Hope you enjoy this first-day blog, next post will be about the second day of the trip at Tongyeong city.