After getting off the cable car, a number of signs point in several different directions – with the South Gate about 1.3 km away.
A small Korean restaurant offers a few drinks and snacks, but you’re better off getting your supplies before heading up.
An adequate system of signs exist to direct hikers to a number of sights. There need to be more, though, and you may find yourself
wondering which way to go at times. If you try to head straight, or with the main-looking path, you should eventually find a sign
confirming you’re going the right way.
The walking trail up to the South Gate is pretty easy-going, but tricky walking in some places. Wear some proper hiking boots or a
good pair of shoes. 휴정암 (Hyujeongam) temple is easy enough to walk to, and the sights are glorious.
On the way to Geumjeong Fortress (Geumjeongsangseong 금정산성), there is a side trail that leads down to a village where few for
eigners visit. You may see some games of jokgu (족구, like soccer volleyball) being played, as well as a few outdoor restaurants
serving Korean food.
금정산성 (Geumjeongsanseong, or Geumjeong mountain fortress) is well worth a visit. Rewind the clock a few centuries; China has
invaded Korea, as has Japan. National defence is a high priority, especially from attacks coming from the sea. Construction of the
fortress therefore began for this reason in the early 18th century during King Sukjong’s reign, but unfortunately fell into disuse
because it was so large. It was restored in 1807, however.
Destroyed during the Japanese occupation, the south gate was restored with two other gates in 1974, and the north gate was restored
in 1989. There are 17 kilometers worth of fortress walls to explore, but the hike to the gate may be enough of a walk for you
(depending on your fitness level and interests)!
As well as Geumjong Fortress, definitely make an effort to visit Seokbulsa Temple, a unique temple area with much of it carved
into the stone on the mountain. It is beautiful and certainly a must-see here.
Overall, Geumgang Park is lovely, and has plenty to see for a full day, being Busan’s most popular hiking area. If you’re ready
for a jimjilbang (day spa) after all the hiking, there are several to choose from in the area around the entrance.
Directions to Geumgang park: On the Busan subway system, take line 1 to the Oncheonjang station and take exit 1.
Turn left and walk along the sidewalk until you see a pedestrian overpass. Cross the street and keep going in the same direction. At
the traffic light take a right. Walk straight until you come to a five-way intersection. Take the way that’s most straight and keep
walking. When the road forks a couple hundred meters later, bear left. Walk to the flashing yellow light, and stay straight. At the
top of the hill the road comes to a T. Turn right, then walk about 50 meters and cross on the street. The park should be on your left.
Directions to Hyujeongam temple: Enter the park, ride the cable car to the top, and hike as though you’re going to
남문 (nam-mun, or the South Gate). Follow the signs for about 400 meters until a sign leads you left to the fortress – another sign to
the right will indicate 휴정암(Hyujeongam) is 150 meters away. Walk 150 meters to the entrance; for the best view of the mountains and
the temple, climb up the STEEP stone stairs to the right as you enter.
Opens 8 or 9am, closes 5 to 8pm, depending on the season.
To see Chris’ original reviews and all pictures, visit his blog (
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