Yongdusan Park is a juxtaposition of the modern and the traditional melded together in harmony. The name ‘Yongdusan’ means ‘dragon head mountain’, as the mountain resembles a dragon descending from the Baekdudaegan (the principal mountain range of the Korean peninsula) and heading towards the sea.

The Citizens’ Bell Pavilion and Busan Tower in Yongdusan Park display the harmony between modern and traditional architecture.

While the downtown port city of Busan is wide awake at night, Yongdusan Park has an ambience that felt quite the opposite. It gives off a different vibe from its day setting too, when more tourists visit the park, snapping away with their cameras as they pose for a memento. At night, almost deserted and dimly lit, the park usually has only a few senior citizens, teenagers, and couples taking an evening stroll. It emanates a deep tranquillity.

Citizen’s Bell looks stunning and mysterious at night. The pavilion is 60 metres2 and almost 12 metres high.
Citizen’s Bell looks majestic during the day. Many visitors stop in front of the pavilion for a better view.

During the day, Yongdusan Park is one of Busan’s most popular parks. Nestled on Yongdusan Mountain, it attracts both the locals and foreign tourists. It’s also a mere few minutes walk from Nampo train station, Nampodong Street (for shopping), and BIFF Square – a movie district that’s home to the Busan International Film Festival. Just take the escalator from the main shopping street near the subway station and you’ll arrive at the park.

Either at the end of a long day or before starting the day’s adventures, visitors can enjoy a peaceful stroll along one of Yongdusan Park’s footpaths. Or simply people watch and enjoy the surrounding scenery while perched on one of the many park benches.

You can take a break on the benches provided in the park.
Visitors enjoying a stroll along one of the footpaths.

If a stroll is not to your liking, then visit the park on a Saturday afternoon as the park opens its stage for cultural performances. Do note that these traditional shows only happen from March through November.

Alternatively, head over to Busan Tower for a panoramic view of Busan Port and its surrounding areas. Day or night, the view from the observatory deck is particularly stunning, perfect for a moment of reflection. Before heading back down to ground level, do pick up a souvenir or two at the gift shop, or enjoy a cup of coffee at the café.

The path leading to Busan Tower is on a slight slope.
Visitors can pick up souvenirs at the gift shop below Busan Tower or take the lift up to the observation deck for a great view and more souvenirs.
Downtown Busan comes to life at night.
Yongdusan Park in the day.

The adventure doesn’t end here. Near the tower, there stands a love platform with a balcony grill covered in love locks. It’s a beautiful sight; romantic at night but colourful during the day. It makes you wonder how many love confessions have taken place here.

Take a snapshot at the love platform at night for its romantic vibe.
A photo here during the day gives off a colourful and funky vibe.
Visitors display their declarations of love and wish for a dream come true.
‘Yongdusan’ translates to ‘dragon head mountain’.

This is Yongdusan Park in my eyes. Do you fancy the park during the day or at night? I suggest visiting Busan to find out for yourself. Perhaps you’ll be presented with a different experience altogether.

*All photos are courtesy of author.

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