The Developing Coast of Busan

This past weekend I hiked out over 오륙도, the Five Sisters, five large rocks that reach out into Korea’s South Sea. If you’ve been to Haeundae (해운대) Beach, Taejongdae (태종대) Park, or the Nurimaru APEC House, you’ve likely seen the islands, as well as the passenger boat that ferries tourists to get an up-close look at the islands. Since arriving in Busan in 2007, I’ve wanted to get to the Five Sisters, but it’s never been possible.

Hence this post. As my girlfriend and I drove for a walk on Igidae (이기대), a rocky stretch of coast with crashing waves and a good view of the Gwangan Bridge, we noticed a new set of apartment buildings on the coast, a new road leading to them, and a new sign as well: 오륙도. Unexpectedly, I found myself driving to the closest piece of mainland to the Five Sisters. They rose from the sea, washed in the light of evening, blown by a suddenly cold November wind, and, looking back from a headland of rock that brought back memories of the West Coast of Ireland, I saw Busan’s old port opening before me and Democracy Park sitting on the mountain behind. For me, knowing any city is piece by piece seeing it from every angle possible, and this had been one angle that had eluded me thus far.

The sudden discovery of the Five Sisters came as no surprise however. It seems that in Busan, change is the rule and constancy the exception. Every piece of the city that I formerly considered irrelevant or inaccessible is being opened up, as no area wishes to be left behind. But what sets Busan apart from the rest of Korean cities is its harsh, rugged coast, and for the expectant traveler, its beauties are becoming more attainable by the year.

The Five (Six) Sisters are below (not above), but I’ll post my own shots soon.

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