While Busan's seascape from Imrang to Dadaepo is its face, the Nakdonggang River, which rises in Taebaek in Gangwon-do and flows through the Taebaek Mountains to the west of Busan, is its heart. Take a trip to Gangseo, Busan, the best place for autumn vacations, to hear reeds whisper in the wind while you enjoy the cool river breeze.
Enjoy a cool river breeze while walking in autumn
There are six distinctive ecological parks on the riverside of the Nakdonggang River in the west of Busan. Today's Gangseo trip begins at Maekdo Ecological Park, which is not well-known among these ecological parks, but it’s a well-loved park for its natural beauty. The Maekdo Ecological Park was originally a mound area created by the accumulation of sand from the Nakdonggang River, and it has provided food and shelter to migratory birds during the winter as rice farming has been practiced since ancient times.
Walking is the best way to look around Maekdo Ecological Park. Since the park is not that big, walking through it slowly will take no more than 1 hour and 30 minutes. Bicycle rentals are available at the park's entrance, so you can ride a bike with your family, lover, or children.
Three routes are recommended to the first-time visitors to the Maekdo Ecological Park. The first route to take is the Cherry Blossom Road built on the causeway and the Metasequoia Road below. Along the causeway, large cherry and metasequoia trees grow beautifully, and while cherry blossoms are in full bloom in spring, autumn is a wonderful time for leisurely strolls.
The second route to take is Waterside Trail along the Nakdonggang River. The riverside has walking trails and rest areas about 10 minutes away from the park. Several paths lead right next to the Nakdonggang River, so you can walk while listening to the reeds sway in the wind.
The last route to take is a deck road built between the lotus garden and the aquatic botanical garden in the middle of the ecological park. A walk on the deck is a great way to check out the lotus flowers and various aquatic plants. Lotus flowers have fallen by September, but it is still a pleasure to watch their leaves dance in the wind.
Lunch with “Hen Clams” from Nakdonggang River!
Traveling is incomplete without food. It adds fun to the trip to eat local food. Hen clams are what I chose for this trip to Gangseo. As river water and seawater intersect at the mouth of the Nakdonggang River, many shellfish have been produced since ancient times, and among them, Hem Clams are famous. In a dialect, it is also called Galmi Clam (”galmi” means seagull), and it got its name because the flesh resembles a seagull's beak. It is not only delicious, but also rich in vitamins and protein, making it a healthy food.
The best menu that preserves the unique taste and texture of hen clams is Shabu-shabu. In the broth, various vegetables are added, and the clams are lightly blanched and eaten with them. It is deliciously chewy yet light in taste. Another way to enjoy hen clams is grilled hen clams and pork belly. Different from Shabu-shabu, you may enjoy a savory flavor with grilled hen clams, pork belly, and bean sprouts mixed with various seasonings.
Relax in a café with a beautiful outdoor garden and a river view
Where is the best place to end your Ganseo trip? The Busan Museum of Modern Art, where the Busan Biennale 2022 is being held, and the mouth of the Nakdonggang River, where the golden sunset can be seen, are both worthwhile. Alternatively, how about a beautiful garden where you can enjoy a cup of coffee with a gentle river breeze? There is a nice café where you can relax while enjoying the river view. That’s VIAGGIO.
The beautiful red brick exterior, various sculptures, and an outdoor garden with palm trees make you feel like you are in a café in a small European city. Especially in the evening, the café's lighting makes it a great photo spot for travelers who like to take pictures.
Riverside is a good place to experience autumn's atmosphere. There are many seats along the Nakdonggang River where you can drink coffee while enjoy the view. The autumn wind blows through the reeds after the sun sets and the lights come on. With the Nakdonggang River running through Busan, the scenery is warm and relaxing. Take a trip to Gangseo, Busan on a clear and blue day to truly feel the autumn in Busan. Oh, it’s autumn!