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Bongnaesan Mountain: A short hike with great views

Me standing on bongnaesan mountain looking at the Busan city view

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The Bongnaesan Mountain hike is another easy walking route that gives you great views for minimal effort in Korea’s second-largest city. It’s the most southern mount in the Busan metropolitan area and is located on Yeongdo Island near Busan Port.

Considering many of the shorter hikes get ignored or overlooked in the city due to the sheer number available, it’s always a bonus finding a short trail with panoramic sights.

And, well, this one gives you exactly that! That’s why it’s one of the best hikes in Busan!

This is the perfect trail to spend a little time admiring the coastal landscape around the city without breaking much of a sweat.

Check out the Bongnaesan mountain walking route with me.

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Currency:South Korean Won / KRW
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The view from a peak in Busan

Bongnaesan Mountain trail stats

Length of trail:

2.70 km / 1.60 miles

Elevation gain:

186 m

Time to complete:

1 hour and 5 minutes

The Bongnaesan Mountain hike is an out-and-back walking trail on Yeongdo Island in Busan. It’s a straightforward hike compared to many others in the area. What’s great about this paved walking trail is how it takes minimal effort for the great reward of the views of south Busan.

This trail is suitable for most fitness levels as the majority of the route is a gradual incline along a well-looked-after wooden boardwalk. There are a few places to take shortcuts if you do enjoy more of a challenge which we will get into later.

Want to visit some more hikes in Busan?

If travelling by public transport don’t forget to top up your T Money card!

How to get to Bongnaesan Mountain

Location of trailhead: Busan Yeongdo-gu Sinseon-dong 3(sam)-ga 산4-28

The Bongnaesan Mountain hike is located on Yeongdo island in the south of Busan.

The closest subway station to the Bongnaesan hiking trail is Nampo, found on Line 1 (the orange line). From the station, you can take exit 2 and take the number 9 bus which will take an average of 40 minutes to arrive.

That bus only runs every 20 minutes so if you don’t time it right you will need to take a different bus. The other options from Nampo station are as follows:

  • Bus 30 or 113, but this route will require you to walk 15 minutes to the trailhead.
  • Bus 71 from outside Jagalchi Traditional Market with just a 6-minute walk to the trailhead.

Alternatively, you can rent a car to drive yourself to the trailhead, just be aware it can be hard to find parking.

What to expect on Bongnaesan Mountain

The path and a viewing platform of a Busan hiking trail
The paved trail and the first platform viewpoint from below

The start of the trail

You will initially be dropped off in a hilly residential area and will need to walk up towards the “Sweet Potato Historical Park” to access the trail. The Historical park is a small children’s playground dedicated to sweet potatoes and you can’t miss it. From the park, you will continue to walk up the hill along the paved road.

The trail is well-maintained and is a clear path with a slow and gradual incline. There are lampposts along one side, so if you decide to complete the trail in the evening, you will easily find your way.

You will only be walking about 10 minutes up the trail before you get a small glimpse of the view on your right-hand side. You’ll also notice a tall yellow platform towering over you on your left side. This is the first platform viewpoint and you have two ways to reach it.

  • Continue along the paved path slightly until you reach the official entryway to the platform
  • Take a sharp left along a shortcut before the purple heart photo opportunity

Realistically, this “shortcut” is only about 5 minutes quicker so if you would prefer to do things properly you can and your time won’t be affected much.

Whichever way you choose to take, you’ll eventually reach a staircase that takes you to the top of the platform. From here you’ll be able to see Busan port and the ferries that travel to Japan.

Here are the views from this platform:

Wooden viewing platform on Bongnaesan mountain
The first viewing platform
View of south Busan from Bongnaesan mountain in Korea
The view of Busan port from the first viewpoint

Walking to the peak

After admiring the views at the first viewpoint you can get back on track. Heading towards the back of the platform you can walk through a large hedge. If you take the staircase on your left you will reach a large radio station. Follow the hill keeping the station on your right until you reach a crossroad in the path.

From this crossroad, you can either take the boardwalk on your left or head up the steep stone stairs. It is a little bit quicker to take the stone steps but it will be more challenging due to the incline.

The stone stairs take you directly to the peak platform and you will need to scramble along some of the rocks along the way. This route is well-walked but it is not for all physical abilities as it involves a little bit of climbing.

Please use caution when going up this way as it can be very slippery after rainfall.

a red, wooden boardwalk turning left and a stone staircase heading right through the forest on a hiking trail in Korea
The two paths you can take to the peak

If you are happy to take a more gentle stroll then you can take the boardwalk route. It won’t take you too long but will take you around the mountain to not be too steep at any point.

As you take the boardwalk you will reach another 2 viewpoints before reaching the top. The trail takes you around the east side of Mount Bongnaesan so you can enjoy the view the entire way. The first platform along this side is only small.

The second is much larger and gives you views of the opposite side of the mountain with a clear glass railing to keep you protected. This railing is safe and secure and is a good way for (supervised) children to also see the view without being lifted up above the railings.

Each of the viewpoints gives you a slightly different perspective of the landscape. On the one hand, you can see the 3 tall towers of Haeundae Beach, and on the other, you can see the small islands and Amnam-Dong.

A red boardwalk trail and the view over Busan port from bongnaesan mountain
The view of Busan port from the wooden boardwalk near the peak
The peak stone on Bongnaesan in Korea
The peak rock with carvings of the elevation on

The peak & final viewpoint of Bongnaesan Mountain

You’ll know you’ve reached the top of the mountain when you reach a very large viewing platform, much bigger than the ones you have passed already. The view is less obstructed than it was on the lower levels and you will be able to see much further from here.

There are benches located on the platform so you’ll be able to take a rest if need be.

On the platform with the boardwalk path behind you, you’ll see a large pile of rocks that shape the mountain landscape. These are located just next to the peak rock that has the mountain’s name carved into it.

Some people will use these rocks to pose for photos of the view behind them, but the best views are actually located a few feet away facing in the direction of Amnam-Dong.

There are some parts of the rocks which are flat and easy to walk along or stand on which makes for a great photo opportunity. Please be careful though as the rocks here are not protected with any fences or railings so you should use caution if heading out to this part of the walking trail.

There are also some steep drops if you get too close to the edge so take this as a warning.

Me sitting on a rock overlooking the ocean and a city view
My housemate and I looking at the view from the tall rock near the peak

Best time to visit Bongnaesan Mountain

Because of the direction that the main viewpoints face, this is a great mountain for both sunrise and sunset! Plus, because the walk to the top is so quick and easy, it’s definitely one of the most accessible for both of these times of the day.

If you are arriving before sunrise you will need to walk along the route in the dark and you will arrive at the peak before it gets light. To see the sunrise you’ll have to go to the highest platform and face between the direction of Haeundae Beach (look for the tall towers) and Busan Port to find true east.

Pro tip: The three tall towers in Haeundae have lights on the top and are the highest in the area so you should easily spot them in the dark.

If you would rather watch the sunset from up here, you will not see much from the platform at the peak but instead, you’ll need the platform in the middle as it faces westwards. This will give you a stunning multicoloured sky as the sun goes down and the city lights start to turn on beneath you.

Day Hike EssentialsWhy?
Appropriate footwear & socksLess likely to injure yourself & more comfortable
Portable battery pack & wireTo charge your electronic devices
Water (0.5L per hour roughly)To keep yourself hydrated throughout the hike
FoodPreferably lightweight but healthy snacks
Trail DirectionsPhone/GPS device, compass or paper map
Mobile OR satellite phoneHelpful in emergencies to call for help
Clothing layersTo put on or remove based on changes in weather
HatTo prevent sunstroke or keep warm
SunglassesTo see better without squinting all day
First aid kitTo solve minor injuries along the way
Multi-toolMultiple uses for multiple problems
IlluminationTorch or phone light to navigate in the dark

Final thoughts on the Bongnaesan walking trail

Having walked along many trails in the Busan region, this has got to be one of the easiest trails overall. Fantastic views, ease of access, safe and secure viewing platforms and a clear view for sunrise.

It’s a trail that’s accessible by most people, close to the city, and takes under an hour to complete, which makes this an extremely underrated path that more people should take. Try out the Bongnaesan walking trail next time you have an afternoon free.

Want to hike some more challenging trails? Check out the biggest in Korea:

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