The Unspoiled Hinugtan Beach of Buruanga, Aklan

If you’re tired of the maddening crowds of Boracay island and you might want to go somewhere peaceful, with crystal clear blue waters, tall coconut trees, sparkling white sand, and virgin coast views, then Hinugtan Beach is the best for you.

Hinugtan beach in Buruanga, Aklan is a great seascape from the crowded beaches of Boracay island. It is located in the Westernmost part of Aklan and is a coastal Municipality that served as the secret hideaway of the province. It has remained unspoiled due to its proximity to Boracay island and with only a few tourists visiting easch year. This beach is quite similar to Boracay but smaller and older version of it.

This unspoiled beach is located on the foot of a hill with a kilometer of shore line, where guests are free to swim on the sea, lie on the sand, play volleyball or fresbee, take a nap on the bamboo cottages, ride on a swing, and other fun activities imaginable.

How to get here

From Boracay

The private boat that operates from Boracay to Hinugtan picks up guest from boat station 1. This day tour package cost 2, 500 pesos per person, for a minimum of 10 guests per trip (Lunch is included).

The 45 minute boat ride will surely leave its passengers in great awe with the panoramic view of limestone cliffs, crystal blue waters, and white shoreline of Hinugtan Beach.

From Iloilo

Since my bestfriend and I are coming from Iloilo, we hit the road by bus directly to Buruanga, Aklan. Go down the bus in Brgy. Alegria, Buruanga where the port is located and choose whether you want to reach Hinugtan by land or by sea. Ask suggestions from the locals especially when you are not sure about the weather. In our case we chose to ride the boat beause we don’t have much time to trek the hilly part before reaching hinugtan. We paid 600 pesos for our back and fort boat ride plus the sidetrip which is already good for two pax and travel time is 30 minutes. The boatride we had was a rollercoaster ride since the waves were so big and the boat was so small that it could only carry a maximum of 4 people (ka thrilling gne😅). Good thing was manong bankero was so expert in this field and he’s so accommodating that he even brought us to our resort. He fetch us the next morning and we had our sidetrip in Jambo beach resort. We stayed for about 2 hours on that beach mostly in the swing on a high tide.

But if you really want to go directly to Hinugtan beach by land with a 10 minute of trekking, you can negotiate the single motor driver to bring you there. Usually it will cost you 200 pesos (good for 1 or 2 passenger).

Note: prepare 50 pesos for the environmental fee

Overnight stay

Overnight stay is possible because a number of resorts are available along the beach. Expect that there’s no cell phone signal in most parts of the beach but electricity and water supply are very stable.

Since we brought our tent, we only payed 500 pesos for the accommodation plus the use of the common cr, pillows and foam (what a very comfy camp night).

Food

We didn’t spent much in food because we had our baons (sandwishes, canned goods, bottled water, and chichirias).

There are sari-sari stores available if you want to buy the basics like biscuits, chichirias and drinks.

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Well..experiencing paradise again does not mean spending too much of our hard earned money. We we’re able to enjoy our weekend with a minimum budget of 1,500 pesos only! (With san mig light while on the swing looking at the stars..charot). So, if you want to also experience the serene beach vibe of this unspoiled beach without sacrificing much of your savings, then bring your baons and tent! And bawal ang mag inarte!✌

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What to See and Do in Busan

I’ve read a few blogs and saw great photos of Busan that made me and my friend ended up with a decision to add Busan in our SoKor itinerary. It says there that aside from Seoul, Busan is now gaining attention and sees a steady flow of tourist.

Busan is located at the southern regions, a seaside town and considered as the second largest city in South Korea. And the city of Busan is a more chilled out and relaxed version of the more populated Seoul.

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We searched for beautiful spots to visit and of course what and where to eat in Busan. For us to save time and money on train tickets, we booked our 3 day korail pass (a railpass for foreigners that allows pass holder to take almost all trains operated by Korail in a selected period of time) early. We availed the unlimited KTX rides within 3 days and we really saved much on this.

Train to Busan

That’s it! We rode the train to Busan using our Korail pass. Luckily! No zombies running after us😂.

So, let me share to you our itinerary during our trip last April 10 to April 12, 2018. Here’s a breakdown of our itinerary, hope you’ll find it interesting and helpful for your next trip to Busan!

Haeundae beach, Busan Korea

# 1. Haeundae Beach

Haeundae beach is considered as Busan’s top beach destination. What I love about Haeundae is the fact that it’s a beautiful city but less crowded compared to other cities in Korea. There are restaurants all over the place and it is just a few meters away from the beach.

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Just a 10 minute of walk away from the beach there’s a handfull of chic bars, restaurants, and clubs in this area of Heaundae.

Street foods in Busan

Enjoying our tornado potato and korean spicy chicken skewers (dakkkochi) before we explored the beach. I suggest that you must try every street foods in Busan.

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At Haeundae beach we watched locals as they play and run after the seagulls (dami talagang seagulls jan lumipad lng).

How to get here

Take the metro to Haeundae Beach station Line 2 (Green Line), then walk to the beach about 10 minutes.

# 2 Gwangalli Beach

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Right after Haeundae beach we went directly to Gwangalli beach just 1.4 km away

Gwangalli beach is popular among Busan locals and is populated during weekends. The beach offers fine sand and clear blue waters. This is a perfect spot to see the lighted cityscape at night. You can watch the LED light show on the beach every hour after sunset. Every show last about 10 monutes.

How to get here

By subway take line 2 (green line) to Geumyeonsan exit 3. Do an about-face and turn right. Walk down about 3 blocks to the beach.

#3 Canola Flower Fields

The pink cherry blossoms was the main reason why we travelled to South Korea. But to my disappointment, the blooming peak was over and the flowers were falling from the trees when we reached Seoul and Busan. We just crossed our fingers that we could still catch a glimpse of cherry blossoms in some places in Seoul.

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Growing leaves of sakura trees were already evident when we reached Daegu.

We were kind of sad and disapointed but that mood was changed when we saw the vast fied of canola flowers. I didn’t expect that the yellow fields would be as beautiful as this. I really felt that this was like in a fairytale.

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How to get here

Take the metro line 3 and stop at Gangseo-Gu Office.

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#4. Gamcheon Culture Village

At about 1 in the afternoon my friend and I went directly to the Machu Picchu of Busan, the Gamcheon Culture Village. Gamecheon is the epitome of beauty and chaos rolled into one. The former slum is now a vibrant community with pastel colored and lego-like houses located at the foothills of a coastal mountain of Busan.

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When we arrived at Gamcheon we really got lost in its labyrinth of alleys. Getting lost in steep slopes and tiny alleys was actually fun becuase we were able to pass by the cute and artsy shops, cafes and art galleries.

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How to get here

Take the Subway Line 1 from Busan station to Toseong Station. Come out Exit 6. When you see an intersection, turn right at the corner and walk straight. You will then see a hospital on your right where the bus stop is located. Take either Bus # 2 or 2-2 that will take you to Gamcheon Culture Village.

#5. Taejongdae Park

Taejongdae park is viewed as the scenic yet rustic part of the southern most tip of Yeongdo-gu. Though the park is quite far from the city of Busan, the lush, thick forest, the blue sea and the rocky seaside cliffs is worth the visit.

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This was taken the first time we ventured the park at around 6 pm. The Danubi train which is the easiest way to reach the 5 major destinations of the park stops operating at exactly 5 in the afternoon. Since we were already late that time we don’t have any choice but to hiked all the way up here, where we were promised a view that would take our breaths away.

We were actually running because it’s almost dark when we reached the park.

We came back here the very next day since we were not satisfied with our first visit at the park. This time we were on time to catch the Danubi train and were able to visit the observatory station and Yeongdo lighthouse. We skipped the other 3 stations because we were already satisfied with the magnificient view at the lighthouse and were actually short in time.

How to get here

From Nampo station, take Subway Line 1 (Orange) and take Exit # 6. Walk to the Bus stop at the opposite of Lotte Department Store. Hop on the Bus #8/30/88 and drop at Taejongdae station.

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#6 Haedong Yonggung Temple (Haedong Yonggungsa)

This Buddist temple was built 1376 by the teacher known as Naong during the Goryeo Dynasty, and was originally known as Bomun Temple in the coast of the north-eastern portion of Busan. The seafront location of Haedong Yunggong Temple made it unique among South Korea’s temple which are set amid the mountains. This temple is also referred as “The Water Temple” because of the breathtaking coastal views it offers.

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Buddists worshiping the golden Buddha

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12 zodiac human-sized stone figures

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Golden fat pagoda

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The 108 steps to the temple.

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The 8 storey pagoda marks the entrance of the temple

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How to get here

From Haeundae Station (Line 2), Exit 7 Take Bus 181 get off at Yonggungsa Temple and walk about 15-20 minutes to the main entrance of the temple or you can take a cab from the Haeundae Station

The temple is open daily from early morning until sundown with no entrance fee.

If you are looking for a place to escape the hustle and bustle city life of Seoul, then Busan is a must to visit. My friend and I experienced so much culture, food, and great people. We really had an amazing time and wished that we could have stayed longer.

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Meet me in the yellow fields

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Annyeong! South Korea is one of the many countries that I’m dreaming to step my feet on. The reason of wanting to visit this country is mainly because of the influence of kdrama in my system. (Not to mention the many oppas that I’ve been wanting to meet in person😂)

I’ve been a big fan of korean movies and kseries for the past years (you’ll not be surprised if you’ll try to open my laptop and cp and see loads of kdramas). And this dream came true when my friends booked a ticket to SoKor last year.

My friend booked our ticket via www.cebupacificair.com and our travel period in SoKor was set April 9-18, 2018 just in time to witness cherry blossom festivals in so many places in SoKor. Before we got too excited about the trip, we first processed our South Korea Tourist Visa in the Korean Embassy in Manila (our friend was actually the one who processed our Visa as a group). Unluckily, 4/6 was denied of Korean Visa😭 and one of them was the one who processed it (ang shaket dba?). I’ll tell you the details about the visa processing on my next blog and the reason why they were denied.

Though only the two of us were approved by the Korean Embassy to visit South Korea, we decided to push through this trip (wala ng atrasan). My companion who’s also my very best friend and buwis buhay travel buddy for years added a plan in going to Busan. At first, I really didn’t know why she wanted for us to go there (bakit nga ba?🧐) frankly speaking I didn’t have any idea what Busan is famous of (there’s one pala, the movie Train to Busan which I enjoyed watching…whoa 🧟‍♂️🧟‍♀️are coming lol).

Okay, fast forward when we were already in Busan. On our first day we stroll around Haeundae and Gwanggali beach (I’ll post another blog about the trip in these famous beaches soon). The most exciting part was when we were travelling the next day via train going to Nakdong river where the CANOLA FIELDS are located. Yes! the canola fields, you read it right. There’s a vast of yellow fields in Busan too not just in Jeju island.

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Yuchae, commonly known as canola, is a flower that blooms during Spring time. Nakdong River in Daegu where this Canola fields are located is also famous for its cherry blossom festival during spring.

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Talking with each other much was not included in our train ride that day maybe because of lack of sleep and we we were dog-tired, but that mood was changed when the train was approaching Nakdong river. We could see the vast fields of canola flowers under that bridge and we were in great awe seeing hectares of beautiful yellow flowers. Our hearts was beating so fast becuase of the excitement that we can’t contain. We were actually running in going out the train together with the other turistas and locals who were also excited to go to the fields.

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On our way to the vast fields of canola flowers, we saw many tourist including pupils who were on their field trips. The weather was perfect. It was sunny and the chilly wind touched our skin. And when we arrived at the fields, I was speechless to be surrounded by the vast field of yellow flowers. We giggled and danced around while taking pictures all over the place. It felt so magical and I can’t contain the happiness that I’m feeling that moment. That was the very first time to see the vast fields of canola flowers and I didn’t regret adding this to my bucket list.

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Busan you are a stunner! I will surely not forget the feeling of pure happiness you gave to me.

How to get here

The easiest way to reach this yellow fields is if you have a car. Just use google map, use naver app or turn on your car’s GPS.

By subway and bus

Take Line 3, get off at Manpyeong station, and take Exit 1. From the bus stop take either Bukgu 3 (북구-3) or Chilgok 2 (칠곡-2) and get off at Nogok-dong Station (노곡동 역) bus stop.

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