Riding the long metro line from city to city by myself without knowing what the destination would look like, is an interesting experience.
Walking between the lush and tall bamboo grove, it was hard to believe that this place used to be polluted and unsightly.
From Busan I had a short day trip to Ulsan (울산), the industrial city lying north of Busan, where situates a number of largest factories from Hyundai. It’s quite conveniently accessible as there’s the intercity metro line Donghae which directly connects Bujeon (부전) in Busan to Taehwagang (태화강) in Ulsan.
Of course if compared to the bus journey to Gyeongju, this metro ride took longer to travel due to numerous stops along the way (for example, I stopped by Gijang on my returning trip to visit Jukseong Filming Site). Especially during evening rush hours when reaching Busan, every coach was stuffed with commuters, all surrounding me were people hiding their faces behind the masks.
The train terminated at Taehwagang station, which appeared much less crowded than the ones in Busan, and it somehow reflected the rather tranquil atmosphere of this lovely little city.
From the station I hopped on a short bus ride to my planned destination, which was Taehwagang National Garden. All these mentioned places are named after the river flowing through the city. The commuting was also very effortless thanks to Naver Maps, and there’s no trouble with using my Busan metro card.
After alighting, it took me a while to locate the entrance to the garden. Admission is totally free, and certainly this is an ideal public space for the city residents: they were picnicking under the golden canopies, cycling along the river bank or leisurely walking their pets.
To reach the main area of the park you need to traverse a remarkable pedestrian bridge spanning the river. This bridge, along with the bamboo forest, is named Simnidae (십리대).
The ambience of the park in the autumn was so good. There’s nothing quite like indulging in a visual banquet adorned with the mingling of pure colors: the azure from the sky backdrop, the white from reed grass flowers, the yellow and red from the autumn foliage, and the green from the bamboo forest. In Busan during the same period I couldn’t have seen such defined patches of colors like that.
Last but not least, there shouldn’t miss the human activity scenes captured in the photos. Since the atmosphere was really pleasant, everyone seemed to just calmly saunter or rest beneath the few left leafy trees, so as to truly immerse themselves in the essence of autumn.
Of course, the highlight of the stroll should be walking under the refreshing bamboo canopies, isolating me from the outside world. If feeling tired, you can take a seat at the resting points located along the pathway, which is very convenient.
It’s almost lunchtime, I took a break at a small canteen, relaxedly sat down and enjoyed some snacks before departing back to Busan in the afternoon. The place was crowded mostly by locals as I didn’t spot any foreign travelers at that time, everything was looking so original and unhurried.
The sky suddenly turned overcast, but after a short while, the noon sunshine again gently illuminated the streets red-filled with maple and ginkgo leaves. This wasn’t a scene from a film, but the reality.
And I was back onto Donghae metro line, enduring the tiring and lengthy train ride as I made my solo journey returning to Busan.
This post is a part of the South Korea series.Written in September 2023 © Zuyet Awarmatik.
Zuyet Awarmatrip is a subsidiary identity within the personal ecosystem of Zuyet Awarmatik, focusing on travel and photography.
A Vietnamese usually regarding himself as a carefree solo Eastern backpacker, alongside with his main profession as a UX engineer. Neither being a freelancer nor a digital nomad, this website is built for the purpose of recording his life experience and happenings instead of letting them go into oblivion. He hopes these photos here shall always deliver the colorfulness of this worldly reality.
“If You Love Someone (ถ้าเธอรักใครคนหนึ่ง)” by Ink Waruntorn
A song reminds us of the sweet old loves, on the windy autumn days as the year draws to a close.