Haeundae Day Trip

This past Saturday we took a day trip from Gyeongsan down to Busan to take our beach-loving child to Haeundae Beach. It was a fantastic day-trip. This is why you should take your kid.

The train. It’s a cheap form of entertainment. The fast KTX and the slower Mugunghwa take almost the same amount of time to get to Busan (between an hour and an hour and a half) for between 6,000 and 10,000 won. Our boy loved going through tunnels, passing trains and watching the world go by. For the adults, it was a beautiful route and there is beer in the cafe car. 

Haeundae Market. It is far from the grandest market in Korea, but it’ll do. You can find a bucket and shovel for the kids and anything else you might need for the beach. We loaded up on food (gimbap, cashews, clementines) and made the short walk to the beach. There is also plenty of street food for sale and enough fish in tanks to pacify an expensive trip to the aquarium. 

The Beach. I don’t recommend Haeundae Beach during swimming season (July-August) but any other time and it is a charming urban beach. On an unseasonably warm day in March there were just enough people out there to make it interesting, but still enough space to spread out and feel like you had a tiny piece of beach to yourself. It’s clean and easily accessible.

Hiking. For nap time, I put my boy in a carrier and went for a hike up the base of Jangsun. We accessed it just two subway stops away at Dongbaek station and hit a trail head just behind the apartments there. I could still feel the sand in my toes as my son snored on my back. Two hours on the beach and two hours on the mountain. Not a bad afternoon. 

Haeundae Train Station. There aren’t a ton of trains coming or going to this train station, but it’s there and it’s very accessible. There are two trains daily out of Daegu and Gyeongsan that go to Haeundae and two that leave Haeundae for Daegu and Gyeongsan. We caught the last one, the 4:40, out of Haeundae and made it back to Gyeongsan by 6:15. 
We spent about 5 hours at the beach in Busan, 2.5 hours on the train and less than 40,000 won total on the whole day (not including the wife’s foray in Busan’s H&M). There are better, and probably closer, beaches out there, but for a carless family this one worked wonderfully. And besides, our son would have picked taking a train 10 out of 10 times.