Busan is famous for its captivating landscapes and historical background. The hillside roads in the city were built along the mountainous areas surrounding the originaloriginal downtown area. These roads, also known as sanbok roads, pass through mountain ranges or run along the slopes at the top.
The sanbok roads in Busan are a reflection of the city’s unique identity, which has drawn in many outsiders over the years. The original downtown, surrounded by mountains and narrow valleys, was a home for dock workers who arrived during the port’s opening. During the Korean War, refugees flocked to Busan and took refuge in the mountainous areas, forming small communities. Poor migrant farmers who were displaced by the industrialization of the 1960s also made the mountains their home, contributing to the expansion of the neighborhood. These roads, connecting these communities, are a symbol of the city’s rich history and cultural heritage.
The History of Sanbok Roads in Busan
Sanbok roads in Busan have a rich and diverse history, woven into the fabric of the city. These roads were built in the mountainous regions surrounding the original city center of Busan, covering areas such as Jingu, Dong-gu, Jung-gu, Seo-gu, Saha-gu, and Sasang-gu. These roads were constructed to traverse the slopes of the mountains or cut through the middle of the peaks, connecting the residential areas with the rest of the city.
The influx of outsiders during the opening of the port in Busan led to the formation of unauthorized shantytowns on the mountainsides. The Korean War brought a wave of refugees to Busan, who also formed small communities on the higher mountains. They constructed makeshift homes, known as “hakobangs,” on the steep slopes. The displacement of poor migrant farmers during the industrialization of the 1960s saw them also settle in the mountainous regions of Busan.
Today, these communities have become popular tourist destinations, such as Gamcheon Culture Village and Yeongdo Huinnyeoul Village, attracting visitors from all over the world. The first sanbok road was opened in 1964 in Choryang-dong, Dong-gu, connecting the residential areas in the mountains with the production spaces in the city. With the advent of public transportation, the sanbok roads became a vital connection between the mountain villages and the bustling city center.
Illumination and Enhancement: Revitalizing the Sanbok Roads of Busan
The Sanbok Road Regeneration Project has breathed new life into the historic roads of Busan, transforming them into vibrant and illuminating experiences for visitors. With an eye towards preservation, the project has improved the infrastructure and added modern lighting, showcasing the winding roads and panoramic views of the city in a new light. These improvements allow visitors to delve deeper into the stories behind the hillsides and gain a greater appreciation for the beauty of Busan and its rich cultural heritage.
Renowned Sanbok Road – Mangyang-ro
Nestled among the rolling hills of Busan, lies the renowned sanbok road of Mangyang-ro. Overlooking the bustling Busan Harbor, this winding road offers breathtaking views at every turn. The landmark of Mangyang-ro is the Yuchihwan Mailbox, a symbol of love and hope that stands facing the sea in brilliant red.
Connecting Jwaacheon Subway Station to Hyekwang High School, Mangyang-ro passes through Choryang Ibagu-gil, Jungang Park, Busan Democracy Park, and Bosu-dong Bookstore Alley. It is officially named Mangyang-ro due to the spectacular ocean views that can be seen from any point along the road.
Recently, cafes with a youthful vibe have sprung up along the road, attracting tourists seeking an alternative to more conventional tourist hotspots. The winding hillside road and its stunning views have gained widespread recognition, making it a must-visit for tourists and locals alike.
Exploring Inner Neighborhoods
Embark on a scenic journey through the inner neighborhoods of Busan by taking Bus No. 186 from Taejongdae to Sasang Station via Hillside Road. This bus route provides a breathtaking panoramic view of the city’s diverse landscapes, showcasing its steep slopes, winding roads, and intricately designed residential areas. A particular highlight of this journey is the Yeongju three-way intersection, which offers a window into the vibrant daily life of the people of Busan. This journey is a must-experience for anyone looking to delve into the heart of this remarkable city.
The Mountainous Landscape and its Legacy
The city of Busan is renowned for its distinctive mountain landscape, dotted with winding hillside roads and picturesque mountain villages. These roads are a window into the city’s rich history and cultural heritage, showcasing the resilience and spirit of the people of Busan. From the pain of war to the modern comforts of today, the hillside roads of Busan are a testament to the city’s unique character. Whether you’re a tourist seeking a new experience or a local looking to rediscover your city, visiting the mountain landscape of Busan is an absolute must. Immerse yourself in the beauty and history of this one-of-a-kind city and experience the essence of Busan.