June 28, 2018 at 2:29 pm #3769
Hi, Gonna be on a cruise around Honshu 7/11-19. Looking for accessible ways to get around Pusan, South Korea. Thanks!June 28, 2018 at 6:16 pm #3782
If you’re arriving by boat you’ll probably arrive at Busan Port passenger terminal, which is accessible and within walking distance of the main train and metro station.
From what I remember, (almost?) all metro stops are accessible, they have a lift and flat access to the trains. You can double check this if you know where you want to go by using the Busan metro website: http://visual.railportal.kr/RailContents/korLines/simple/index.do
Buses were completely inaccessible, they are in the process of upgrading the bus fleet so I did see some of the newer models driving around last year, but they never showed up on the lines I needed.
I don’t know the details of an accessible taxi service but I would assume one exists.
Because Busan is so hilly I found it fairly hard to get around, even with someone who could get onto the inaccessible buses. Most non-chain shops will have steps to get in, same for most of the small restaurants you may encounters. Your best bet is to stick to the large shopping malls, they’ll still have a large variety of good quality restaurants to pick from.
Depending on your level of mobility, some good areas to explore would be:
There’s a big Lotte shopping mall near the Nampo train station which has accessible toilets and restaurants. The Jagalchi fish market and food strands lining the streets just north of it are recommended. If you’re able to stand up for a little while, there are escalators that take you up to the Busan Tower on the hill just north of Nampo station or I think you can take a taxi up to it.
The area around the beach is very flat and even though the beach itself is hard to get onto (very fine sand), the walk around it is still nice. You can walk up to the Dongbaek park, there’s a very nice view of the city and the beaches near the APEC building.
This area is only served by buses and is very hilly, but if you can take a taxi to it there is an accessible route through the village. Because this area is very old, almost all shops are inaccessible and I don’t recall seeing an accessible toilet. Even a drive-by of the area would be nice.
The area around Seomyeon is very dense and gives you a good idea of what a busy Korean city is like. There’s no real touristy things to see but I enjoyed seeing all the buildings with 13 levels of shops, the crazy signs everywhere and the underground shopping malls.
Oryukdo Skywalk: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/ATR/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp?cid=1981825
Once again there’s no metro nearby and it’s only served by the old buses, but if you can find an accessible taxi the Skywalk is really nice. The scenery and the view from the viewing platform are great, and they allow wheelchairs on the skywalk.
Make sure you download Kakaomaps to your phone before you go, as Google Maps is barely functional in SK because of military reasons. Their Android app is now English and will help you find your way around the metro system.July 6, 2018 at 4:05 am #3982
We visited Busan last fall via a Princess Cruise. To let you know our perspective, my husband is partially disabled, and used an electric wheelchair while we were there. However, he was also able to walk short distances with a cane (but stairs were very difficult).
We visited the Beomeosa Temple, and went to a “cultural experience” (short dance theater presentation). The temple was not accessible for him. He was only able to get up to the “gate.” After that, there were large stone steps (with no handrail) and other stairs inside, so it was just impossible. The outside was pretty, though, so he didn’t mind waiting for us there (lots of trees, small creek and little waterfalls, granite statues, etc.).
The theater experience was only semi-accessible. Our guide got us into the theater, but then my husband had to get out of his chair to get into a seat. There was no way for him to remain in his wheelchair and see the show 🙁
So sorry I can’t be more helpful! But the previous commenter sure gave some great tips! Hope you have a wonderful time 🙂 Bon Voyage!!
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