As your body temperature rises mid-summer, you feel desperate to escape. You may be surprised to find out there are quite a few cool places in close proximity to the city center. Just as Busan has many mountains, it has forest valleys and streams surrounding them – Jangsan Mountain Valley, Beomeosa Temple Valley and Daecheoncheon Valley – ideal for a day outside without excess exposure to the sun.
Take a valley vacation
Jangsan Mountain Valley
Haeundae is known for its valleys, as well as its location next to the ocean. Walk about 15 minutes up from Jangsan Station to meet Jangsan Mountain Valley next to Daecheon Park.
Cool breezes sweep though lush forests where park visitors make their way. The valley starts from the sports park at the entrance of the hiking courses, and continues onward to Seoktaeam temple.
It’s a little piece of paradise in the midst of the city. The water is so clean that the riverbed is clearly visible – a pristine place popular with visitors or all kinds.
Children splash about in the cool valley stream flanked by thick woods. Families bring tubes, mats and food. Chill a watermelon for a few hours in the stream and share the icy flesh. Shadier and quieter than the beach, the valley is ideal for seeking cool relaxation. Lay a mat on the forest floor and chat through the evening, past sunset in the tropical hideaway.
Jangsan Mountain is known for its crystalline waters and well-preserved forests. Cooking is prohibited to help maintain such natural beauty. Bring simple snacks instead.
How to get there: Get off at Jangsan Station (Metro line 2) and go out exit 10 or 12. Walk straight about 20 minutes toward Jangsan Daecheon Park, or take a taxi. Take bus Nos, 38, 40, 63, 100-1, 115-1 or 181 and get off at the first Daerim Apartment bus stop. Walk toward the mountainside.
Beomeosa Temple Valley
Beomeosa Temple Valley is one of the three most renowned temples in Korea’s southeastern Yeongnam region. Its long history and superb natural environment draw visitors to the shaded waters nearby the temple grounds each summer.
The temple has long been known for its historical and cultural significance within a stunning natural landscape, but for locals, it’s also just a great place to cool off in the summer. The valley is located about 50 meters past the ticket office.
Dip your feet in the clear valley water out of the sun. The stream, shielded by a thick mountain forest is only ankle- to knee- deep, perfect for kids. Pull up a seat and relax on one of the large boulders dotting the edge of the stream.
Explore the temple after a day of cooling off in the stream. Built during the Silla Dynsty era, the temple has long played a pivotal role within Korea’s Buddhist community. Take in the display of rich cultural assets amongst well-maintained walkways, bamboo groves and wisteria habitats. Cooking is prohibited for environmental protection.
How to get there: Get off at Beomeosa Station (Metro line 1) and go out exit 5 or 7. Walk about 5 minutes to find the Beomeosa Entrance bus stop. Take bus No. 90 and get off at the Beomeosa Ticket Office bus stop. Walk down toward the valley.
Valley streams wind through the rocky terrain toward Hwamyeong-dong. From Geumjeongsan Fortress Mountain, water flows through Hwamyeong-dong, and eventually to the Nakdonggang River. Small waterfalls and pools spill from mountainside cliffs along the way.
A walk along Sanseong (fortress) Road, from Sanseong to Hwamyeong Village reveals Aegiso Pool nestled among the pine forest-lined valleys. Aegiso Pool, formed by several convergent valley waters, is located upstream from Daecheoncheon. Though the volume of Aegiso’s water has diminished, it’s still quite deep and wide enough for adults to dive or swim in. The area’s beauty is juxtaposed by a dark legend of a baby who once drowned in the pool while playing within its waters, which grow clearer and shallower farther downstream.
Stop by Hwamyeong Arboretum afterward for a fully-immersing natural experience within botanical gardens. Explore tropical plants, a zoo, a lookout and a square within the arboretum.
How to get there: Get off at Hwamyeong Station (Metrol line 2) and go out exit 6. Transfer to mini bus No. 1 and get off at the Aegiso bus stop.