KTOKL Fam Trip 2015 – to Daegu, Gyeongju and Busan!
Right after the “New Destinations Fam Trip”, the journey continued and this time, we spent 5 days and 4 nights at Daegu, Gyeongju and Busan.
We first arrived at Busan’s Gimhae International Airport. Almost immediately after touched down, with our coach, we headed straight to Cheongdo-gun for our first destination – the Cheongdo Wine Tunnel. Once arrived, we were greeted with the cool breeze emitted from the cave and the morning crowd of visitors. The tunnel, which is located in the middle of a mountain, stays at a temperature of 15 degrees celcius with 60-70% humidity all year round, making it a naturally refreshing place to visit especially during the summer.
Over here, we toured the tunnel for a while before we had our hands on in experiencing wine making as well as tasting it! It was very interesting as each of our wine bottle, we had our photos printed and then pasted on the bottle! The wine that we tasted had a very sweet fragrance to it as they were self-produced using fermented seedless persimmons. In face, the Cheongdo Wine Tunnel is the world’s first persimmon wine cellar!
Next on, we visited the Daegu Herb Hills for some sightseeing. The place is like a large-scale botanical garden filled with herbs and flowers, as well as a mini theme park. There is also the “eco-adventure” area of several difficulty levels for the outdoor enthusiasts! We also got to know that the drama, “It’s Okay, That’s Love” was filmed there!
Not far from the Herb Hills is the Elybaden Valley Spa – Daegu’s very own water theme park! Located away from the hustles of the busy cities, there are also resorts and camps in the theme park – a perfect summer or weekend getaway among families and friends. There is also a mini zoo in the place! As it was the peak of summer at the time of our visit, the place was very crowded with visitors.
After the whole afternoon at the theme parks, we headed to Dongsungro, or also known as Daegu Myeongdong for dinner and some shopping! Filled with local and Korean brands, the place was vibrant and filled with youngsters enjoying their hangouts there. We too quickly after our dinner joined the crowd and shopped the night away!
The second morning, we transferred from Daegu to Gyeongju where we first visited the Seokguram Grotto and Bulguk Temple. The Seokguram is an artificial stone temple made of granite and has been designated as the World Cultural Heritage Site by the UNESCO in 1995. A serene place, we could see a lot of climbers and visitors we went there for prayers at the temple, or even just for a stroll around.
After spending the morning there, we headed of to Gijang where we did some shopping (yes, we couldn’t have enough of it!) at Shinsegae Premium Outlet. Shortly after, we headed for lunch at the Gijang Crab Town. We were served with huge fresh crabs and they were really superb! Definitely a must have if you decided to visit Gijang.
From there, we made our way to Busan, which is about 1 hour and 30 minutes from Gijang. On the way to Oryukdo Sky Walk, we took a detour and passed by the Moontan Road. The place has been known as a famous dating spot for couples, as it is an uphill road, with cafes lined up a side of the road and a view of the coast.
The Oryukdo Sky Walk, is a relatively new tourist spots for foreign tourists. In fact, we could only spot the locals and were probably the only foreign tourists at the time of our visit there. It was trilling to walk on the glass bridge off the coastal cliff, and was vowed with the amazing view overlooking the coast of Busan.
Time did pass by real fast and soon it was almost evening after our visit there. We then headed to Korea’s largest fish market, the Jagalchi Fish Market for dinner. The restaurants at the market area are famous as they serve fresh seafood from the everyday catch. We also took a walk at the market after our dinner.
The following day, we were pretty excited as we were about to set off to another island! We headed off to Geoje and from the Jangseungpo Terminal, we took the cruise and landed ourselves at the Oedo Botania Island.
The place, built by a man called Lee Chang-ho in 1969, is of western-style and has been very well kept with beautiful landscaping. We took the climb up to the very peak of the island and from the top, the view did took our breath away! It was beyond beautiful.
Our next destination was Tongyeong, which is about an hour journey from Geoje. At Tongyeong, we visited the Hallyeosudo Viewing Ropeway, located on Mireuksan Mountain, whereby we took the cable car up to the peak for some sightseeing. This place has gotten well known recently as it was one of the filming sites for popular teen drama, “School 2015 – Who Are You”.
After our visit at Tongyeong, we headed down back to the town for dinner. On our way, we did a quick stop by at Jinhae. Although it appeared to seem as nothing as of the time we visited, it is actually the Jinhae Gunhangje Festival site during spring. When the cherry blossoms bloomed and at its peak during spring, we would be able to see one of prettiest spring site in Korea.
Shortly after, we had our dinner at the Bupyeong Night Market. The market place were actually very packed when near dinner time; and the food carts came out and stationed themselves in a row at the middle of the street at the marketplace. By the time it was 8pm, all the stalls were ready and people began lining up already. There were all kinds of food and including international ones, like mee goreng from Indonesia, takoyaki from Japan, Vietnamese rolls and many others. But of course, we couldn’t miss the chance to have some Korean street food as well such as “kimchi jeon” (kimchi pancake) and tteokbokki (Korean rice cake) to name a few.
As our trip is coming to the end, we made use of our precious time and decided to head off to a lesser known place in Busan – the Songdo Beach and Sky Walk. In fact, the place has only been opened to public just this summer. It was also featured recently in one of the popular variety show “We Got Married” where CN Blue’s Jong Hyun took his on-screen wife Seung Yeon for a date at the beach area.
After the refreshing walk by the beach, we headed to get our hands on in experiencing how to make fish cake! It sort of brought us back to our childhood days as it was like playing “masak-masak”.. and we had those fish cake we made for lunch. In Korea, the fish cake, or more known as “odaeng” is best eaten with spicy rice cake, the “tteokbokki”. This meal tasted especially better since we made it on our own!
As the place above is nearby the famous Haeundae Beach, we headed right to the Busan Sealife Aquarium also located at the beach. Haeundae Beach in Busan is a well-known summer vacation spot for Koreans and also foreigners. There are just lots of activities and festivals going on during this period. Right at the middle of beach, the Busan Sealife Aquarium is also one of the hot spots; especially families would bring their kids there.
We also visited other spots within the vicinity which is the Gwangali Beach and the Busan Cinema Center. The Busan Cinema Center is in fact the official venue for the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF).
As it was the last night at Busan, we spent it with a tour on a yatch, courtesy of Busan Tourism Organization. It was a sight to remember as we got to see the night view of Busan through another perspective. Again, we have to part with a heavy heart but it was indeed a memorable trip for all of us.