A 20-minute bus ride from my home/work is the large City Park of Busan: Children’s Grand Park. The park is similar in many ways to large city parks you might know, like Central Park in NYC or City Park in Denver. It provides a natural, green space get-away from the large city that surrounds it. The paths and creeks are nearly all shaded by towering trees, which makes it a cool place even on hot summer days.
But these parks are well-used by probably thousands of people each day. So, paths are engineered to handle lots of foot traffic: rock or pavers, metal, wood or recycled timber handrails and fences, detailed signage.
In this park, there is also an amusement park, many little stores selling ice cream, mylar balloons of spongebob and other characters, and even a few Korean restaurants sprinkled about the park.
The first day I visited was a weekday and the paths were busy with 50+ year olds. The men are often wearing North Face or Columbia gear. The women wear either fancy label gear like that or a nylon blouse and visors with large brims. (My student friend joked that one woman with a huge dark plastic visor was Robocop and hid behind a tree as she passed!)
On the weekend, I went with fellow teachers. It was packed! There was some type of fun run, but those participants were only a fraction of the thousands of people in the park that day.
A really cool aspect of the park is the number of places that people enjoy a picnic! Koreans seem to have a knack for savoring picnics. Groups of women, men, or families are seen resting on a picnic mat (either of straw(?), plastic, or foam pad), with traditional snacks like kimbap (kind of a Korean California roll).
The creeks were lined with picnickers. At a couple places the creek was ‘redesigned'(??) to make it nice for people to splash about in. (Click on the photo for more pictures.) We considered joining them but weren’t sure if we might ruin the experience for others, by participating. As the only three ‘foreigners’, in the park, to have the three of us (including one big Australian), bust into the stream with the little kids seemed a bit iffy.
After our walk, we stopped at a nearby restaurant and enjoyed cheap, wonderful Korean food. My friend ordered the mulmyeon, a great choice for a summer day. Noodles in a cool broth with melon, hard boiled egg and a slice of beef.