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Often overlooked as just the location of Busan's airport, Gimhae has plenty of historical sights and famous chicken restaurants to try. It used to be a significant city in the ancient Korean Gaya kingdom (AD 42 to AD 562).
By light rail
The Busan Gimhae Light Rail line meets up with both the brown and green Metro lines. The light rail provides a convenient way for getting to Gimhae town. Note that the light rail ticketing is not integrated with the Busan Metro, and therefore a separate ticket is required to change between them.
Gimhae has two Korail stations: Hallimjeong Station (한림정역) and Jinyeong Station (진영역). The nearest high-speed KTX station is Gupo, in West Busan.
Central Gimhae is fairly easy to walk, but there are also plentiful bus and taxi services. The primary method of transportation among locals is by car. There is a light rail line along the west and south perimeters of the central Gimhae area, but it is better suited for travel to and from nearby Busan.
- 1 Jillye-myeon (On the west side of Gimhae.). This village, nestled in the plains of a valley, is famous for showcasing the area's history and for making all types of pottery and clay pieces. An encouraged short trip "off the beaten path" is to walk the main street and shop the numerous pottery and craft stores. Also in Jillye-myeon is the Clayarch Gimhae Museum, which exhibits many works of art by local and regional artists, as well as some history.
- 2 Tomb of Queen Heo Hwangok (수로왕릉), 312 Seosang-dong, Gimhae-si, ☏ . 09:00 - 17:00. Legend has it that in AD48, Princess Suriratna of the Ayutah Kingdom in the city of Ayodhya in India was sent to Korea at the age of 16 to marry King Suro, and became Queen Heo Hwangok. Although it is not certain that these events actually happened, Korean historians believe that if true, the subsequent Kim clan can claim to have as many as 10% of Koreans as her descendants. It has been relatively rare in Korea to have foreign family connections, so the story is quite significant. Her tomb is situated in a nice park with other tombs.
- 3 Gimhae National Museum (국립김해박물관), 190 Gayaui-gil, Gimhae-si, ☏ . 09:00 - 18:00. Historical exhibits about the ancient Gaya kingdom.
- 4 Bunsan Fortress (분산성), 경상남도 김해시 어방동 산 964. Built in the Gaya Period and demolished after the Japanese Invasion in 1592. It has been reconstructed and is a popular hiking stop.
- 5 Inje-ro (인제로). The stretch of Inje-ro from the light rail northward to Bunseong-ro is popular in September, when its plots of red spider lilies bloom, and October, when festive lanterns are hung to line the walking trail.
- 6 Daeseong-dong Tombs Museum (대성동고분박물관). 09:00-18:00. Relics excavated from a nearby ancient tomb in Daeseong-dong, Gimhae, are being stored and displayed. 0₩.
As with much of Korea, there are many good places to eat — especially in the central district. However, Gimhae has become famous for its chicken restaurants that have begun on the west side of the area, near Sinan-ri, particularly on Dae-Am San mountain.
- 1 Milyang Pork Soup (밀양돼지국밥), ☏ . 09:00-22:00. Warm Pork Soup.
- 2 suson jjajang (수손짜장), ☏ . 10:30-22:00. It is a Korean style Chinese restaurant. Japchaebap and sweet and sour pork are delicious. 4500₩~27000₩.
- 3 gaya milmyeon (가야밀면 장유본점), ☏ . Delicious Wheat Noodles. Warm pork dumplings.
- 1 bonghwang1935 (봉황1935), ☏ . 11:00-23:00. A cafe with comfortable seats and delicious coffee. The atmosphere is so good. Quiet conversation in a sedentary room. 4500₩-7500₩.
- 2 Cafe Dahlia (카페 달리아), ☏ . 11:00-23:00. It is a cafe building that won the grand prize of architecture. You can enjoy tea, coffee, and bread while looking at the mountain scenery.