Want to see Busan from a different point of view? A new 1.62km, over-the-water cable car line named the Busan Air Cruise now offers passengers an aerial perspective of the city and sea.
Restored from an older line that was closed due to safety concerns, and reopened to the public this year, the cable car service has helped revitalize the expansive Amnam-dong neighborhood. Two stations anchor the line, and no matter which end you board at, there’s plenty to see, do and eat before you set off across the water.
Start: Songdo Bay Station
Before boarding the Busan Air Cruise from Songdo Bay Station, spend some time at the surrounding Songdo Beach district. Plunge into the waters from two turtle-head-embellished diving boards situated 70m from the shore, or take a leisurely stroll to nearby Turtle Island, a rocky little outcrop, on the 365m-long Songdo Skywalk. The partially glass-bottomed bridge was installed just last year.
Further inland, there’s a newly designated food street that runs parallel to the beach. New restaurants line the path, and visitors can chow on burgers, Korean-style raw fish, godeungeo bbang (sweet pastries in the shape of mackerel) and more. There’s also plenty to munch on at Songdo Bay Station itself — choose from fish cake snacks, hot dogs or food court meals. After that, hop on for the eight-and-a-half-minute ride to Songdo Sky Park Station located in Amnam Park.
Whether you opt for the regular cabins or the fancier, glass-bottomed Crystal Air Cruise, there will be much to see on the journey to Amnam Park. There’s Namhangdaegyo bridge, Songdo Beach and lush green parkland.
End: Songdo Sky Park Station
On the basement level of Songdo Sky Park Station, there’s the new Songdo Doppelmayr World museum that’s dedicated to showcasing the history of cable cars, and the intricate mechanics of the Busan Air Cruise.
After catching your breath at the exhibits, follow the signs to Amnam Park and you’ll find yourself at the foot of the station’s hill. While there, look out for the Jeju Haenyeo Restaurant located right next to the pier, where you can get a taste of far-off Jeju island right on the shores of Busan. During off-peak hours, visitors can even spot the beloved elderly women divers cleaning sand off fish, or preparing vegetables for healthy, fragrant soups.
Two-way adult rides in the standard cabins cost KRW15,000, while those in the crystal cabins cost KRW20,000.
Photos courtesy of Busan Air Cruise
This article first appeared in the September 2017 issue of Smile magazine.