Throughout South Korea, there are various observation spots where guests can appreciate the natural beauty of the country. However, the Oryukdo Skywalk is perhaps the most unique and majestic spots to experience South Korean nature. Located among the Oryukdo Island, its scenic views are popular among visitors. Anyone visiting Busan should visit the skywalk to get those Instangramable photos!
History of the Oryukdo Skywalk
The skywalk has not always been part of the observation deck. However, since it’s construction, the skywalk functions as the perfect spot for viewing the horizon along the sea line along with grand jutting cliffs. Especially during the sunrise and sunset, the ocean spreads out like a painting for what seems like an eternity. Throughout history, it has been a spot where people have gathered near the cliffs to experience this breathtaking scenery.
Long before the observation deck was ever constructed, this magical spot underwent many other names. Such names include “Seungdumal,” “Seungduma,” and “Jallokgae.” These names derived from the fact that the area has a saddle-like look to its cliffs or even a horseshoe has been sited as a resemblance. In 2007, it was named as the 24th South Korea’s Natural Cultural Sites.
Oryukdo Skywalk Features and Adaptation of the “Skywalk” Name
What makes this observation deck unique from others is its architecture. In 2013, the deck opened for guests, and it impressed everyone with its ascending walkway. This walkway was said to be reaching towards the sky, giving guests the experience of “walking the skyline” as they climbed. This is where its current namesake came from.
While the walkway is impressive, what it gives way to is its most beautiful feature. The walkway opens up into a large observation deck area where guests can find information boards on the area’s ecology and history. There are many telescope binoculars that give gorgeous views of things speckled along the horizon of the ocean, far away. At the very end of the observing deck area is the specialized bridge.
This bridge is especially unique because it is made of glass. The deck itself sits among 35m high (114 feet) columns, above the ocean. The glass bridge itself sits at 15m (49 feet). The bridge was safely constructed using bulletproofing material as a reinforcement feature. Don’t worry the glass is thick enough where it would not crack under the combined weight of the visitors!
The clear glass gives way for guests to view rolling waves beneath them, as well as get the impression of walking among the sky and ocean. It is among one of the best places to visit while in Busan, South Korea. Witnessing a sunset or sunrise from the glass bridge is a once in a lifetime opportunity for travelers from afar.
Its clarity brings tranquil peace to all its visitors. From watching the ocean in such vastness is genuinely a grand experience. On exceptionally clear days, it is said that visitors can see Daemado Island. The deck itself is said to be the dividing point between the East Sea and the South Sea, which gives it its sky like ambiance as well.
Hours of Operation
The skywalk is open year-round, every day of the week. The hours are 9 AM to 6 PM, except for holidays where it is noon to 6 PM. While the admission is free, there is an occupancy limit of 120 people, so be sure to get there early. Otherwise, you may have to wait a while to witness the majestic beauty of the ocean.
How to get to the Skywalk Deck
Getting to the skywalk is relatively simple. Guests generally use the Busan Station subway first, then the bus to the exit for the island. At the Busan Station, guests will use exit 10. From there, there are two bus stops, and guests must ensure that they are using Bus 27.
Once on the bus, it will take approximately 40 minutes to get there. There are two similar bus stops near the island. Guests must watch out for the SK View Human stop, as that is the correct one. The first one is labeled SK as well, but it is the stop directly after that that should be taken. After that, it is a short walk from the exit, guests will see the island lighthouse in the distance.
Other Attractions Near the Observation Deck
Even though the deck is an attraction all itself, there are other places to visit while at the skywalk. Below are some of the most popular nearby points of interest.
While the skywalk is located within this area, there is actually a cluster of islands that make up the Oryukdo area. Depending on the tide, there can be five or six visible islands you will be able to see. This is where the namesake of the area came from, as “o” means five in Korean and “yuk” is the number six. However, primarily, there are only five islands.
The island is a grouping of stones and cliffs. Thus, the island is not a livable place, with the exception of one of the islands which house its lighthouse. The lighthouse is a popular spot among tourists and residents.
This little park near the skywalk also offers beautiful views of the ocean. It’s rock cliffs can only be reached by boat, but once there, it has a horizontal slope among its center peak. This not only gives a prime view of the ocean. It is a well-known fishing spot, as well. Before it was used by the public, this area was a military location up until 1993.
Jutting out from Hwangryeongsan Mountain, the Sinseondae Cliff is one of the oldest and respected scenic views in Busan. It has many vantage points for all to see, including surrounding areas that aren’t the sea. It is the flattest, which makes it easy for most anyone to climb and use.
While visiting the skywalk, there are a few restaurants nearby to check out as well. These spots will offer up some delicious meals for hungry visitors.
This chic restaurant offers up flavor that cannot be matched. They pride themselves with their noodle soups and dumplings. All their soups are made with seasonal veggies, really setting themselves apart from other places. Along with the vegetables, most soups are made with red pepper powder and rice.
Bonga Kongnamul Haejangguk
This traditional Korean food spot has been serving customers for over 40 years. It is popular among those with hangovers, though anyone is welcome to eat here. They have deliciously flavored bean sprout soups, soybean paste and seafood soups, and hot stone pot bibimbap. The food is served here as a main dish with up to 6 side dishes to accompany the meals.
Halmae Patbingsu Danpatjuk
For over 30 years, this spot has been serving a bit of savory with sweet to its customers. It is most famous for its shaved ice with sweetened red bean paste. They also are known for their sweet red bean porridge. Both of these dishes have long been favorites of this classic spot.
Best Time of Year to Visit Oryukdo Skywalk
While the Oryukdo Skywalk is open year-round, there are certain times that visiting has its peak interest to experience the ocean first hand. The winter can be a bit tricky as to when to visit, so checking the weather forecast first is key. At the deck, they do provide shoe covers to prevent any accidents. Seeing the ocean in the winter is a whole other viewing pleasure all its own. However, the summer months are most suitable for comfort and ease of access, as the deck will close due to bad weather.
Oryukdo Skywalk is a guaranteed spot for seeing majestic views, but visitors can enjoy the entire area as well. No matter what visitors to Busan decide to do, the skywalk is an absolute must-see. It is one of the various ways to appreciate and experience the natural beauty of South Korea.