Gijang-gun, BUSAN -- When it comes to must-visit destinations in Busan, the spotlights often fall on the breathtaking Haeundae Beach and the bustling Jagalchi Market, not to mention the internationally acclaimed Busan International Film Festival area. However, nestled in the tranquil northeastern side of Busan City lies a hidden gem that remains relatively unknown to many: Gijang-gun.
This hidden coastal enclave boasts stunning blue waters less affected by urban pollution, and is a haven for surfers and beach lovers.
Alongside the shores are quaint fishing villages, enveloped in a serene ambiance.
Visitors can choose to travel at their own pace, strolling through the tranquil parks or immersing themselves in the meditative atmosphere of the temple facing the ocean.
Gijang promises an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. But that is not all the county has to offer. When the sun sets, the town reveals even more of its allure.
On July 18, Village de Ananti, a new resort, joined the ranks of the renowned Ananti Hilton Busan and the Ananti Cove, both in Gijang.
Village de Ananti occupies a vast 160,000-square-meter area and not only provides luxurious accommodations, but also constitutes a complete complex featuring shopping malls, cultural activity centers, lounges and restaurants. Nestled amid the serene surroundings of Gijang, the property offers the possibility of rejuvenation at the end of the day.
A summer day in Gijang can start out with relaxing on Ilgwang Beach.
Surfers on colorful surfing boards can be easily spotted on waves, with a mix of skilled surfers and novices getting quick lessons from instructors.
Board the Haeundae Blueline Park Beach Train for a ride with stunning coastal scenery. The train service was created in 2020 through an eco-friendly transformation of the former railway facility of the East Sea South Line.
The route stretches some 4.8 kilometers from Haeundae's Mipo to Songjeong.
Get off at Daritdol Skywalk Station and walk for some 10 minutes, passing vintage shops and cafes along the way and you will be found yourself at Ilgwang Beach.
Haedong Yonggungsa Temple
Unlike many most Buddhist temples that are nestled up in the mountains, Haedong Yonggungsa offers a breathtaking view of the ocean and the surrounding cliffs.
Standing in the main hall of the temple, you can hear the sounds of waves at a close distance, along with the low voices of visitors praying for good fortune to the statue of Buddha.
Walking through the surrounding scenery is a delightful experience, where lush pine forests and bamboo trees gracefully blend with rocks of diverse shapes and sizes, creating a picturesque landscape.
Situated just one kilometer from the entrance of Haedong Yonggungsa, is the Fisheries Science Museum where you can explore exhibitions on maritime science and technology.
Village de Ananti
At the day's end, it is time to unwind and relax.
Some might seek a quiet and serene retreat in their own time and space, while others may crave a vibrant summer atmosphere with activities and pool time. Village de Ananti has something to offer to both.
The complex features a total of 392 cabins, with 114 hotel rooms accessible to the public, while 278 private villas and penthouses are for the exclusive use of Ananti Club members.
Guests are invited to indulge in relaxation and entertainment at five swimming pools and 11 charming squares scattered throughout the property, seamlessly connecting to various facilities, including dining halls and cultural activity destinations.
One must-visit spot for shoppers is LP Crystal, a retail space located at the heart of the hotel, with shops selling various trendy brands and Ananti's signature lifestyle retailer, Eternal Journey.
"I have always envisioned a picturesque coexistence of the sea and forest, city and garden and the past and the future," Lee Man-keu, CEO of Ananti, told reporters on July 20. "Although we have rooms dedicated to members only, the platform we have built is fully open for everyone to enjoy, including those not staying in our rooms."
To celebrate the grand opening, live music performances will take place at G Square every Friday night, and an art exhibition will be hosted at LP Crystal's lobby lounge from Aug. 1. Every Saturday beginning this week through Aug. 26, a special program for children featuring an outdoor percussion band parade will take place.