Sprawling between Ulsan and Haeundae, Gijang-gun is a coastal district north of Busan. Its sandy beaches are interspersed with a 14th-century Buddhist complex and a whimsical church while the region’s fishing industry is celebrated during the annual Busan Gijang Anchovy Festival.
Things to do in Gijang-gun
One of the most popular landmarks in Gijang-gun is the Jukseong Dream Church, which was built as a filming location for the 2009 South Korean television series “Dream”. It is perched on the coast overlooking the Sea of Japan and is particularly photogenic at sunrise. A more active religious complex in Gijang-gun is the Haedong Yonggungsa, a 14th-century Buddhist temple home to a golden statue of Maitreya Buddha.
To experience the local comings and goings, visit Daebyeon Port. Stroll along the waterfront while watching the fishermen unloading the day’s catch or dine at one of the restaurants serving grilled fish and steamed crab. Also not to miss is the Gijang Market with its changing array of seafood specialties throughout the year. Browse the stalls piled high with snow crabs, eels and lobsters, as well as cutlassfish sold in the lead up to Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving).
For insight into Busan’s pottery industry, pay a visit to Toam Ceramic Park, which is a working centre for local artisans. You can watch the craftspeople at work and browse the ceramic figurines on display before strolling through the lush surrounding garden. The on-site restaurant serves delicious, home-style Korean food.
Getting around Gijang-gun
Gijang-gun is around 25 minutes by train from Busan and 1.5 hours from Gimhae International Airport. Buses travel throughout the region and taxis are readily available for getting around.