Healing, History and Haeundae: News tour program in Busan

by Laura McLuckie
haps Magazine Korea

Busan has a thriving tourism industry; from the shores of Haeundae to the peaks of Jangsan, the futuristic vibe of Marine City to the history and charm of Gamcheon Culture Village. There’s something for everyone in this ever-changing tourism hub, and with wellness tourism now the fastest growing tourist industry in the world, Busan is set to bustle with travelers looking to escape the hustle.

Busan City Government recently revealed their “comprehensive plan for people-centered policies” to make Busan safer, more comfortable and accessible to pedestrians as a ‘walking city’, and to promote healthy and happy lives for citizens and tourists. WellMi, a local wellness tourism start-up company, has jumped on board, offering tourists a walking tour with a healthy twist; Nature, Nurture, Learn.

Currently on a pilot program in Haeundae and Dongbaek Island, the WellMi ‘Nature, Nurture, Learn’ Tour is a unique wellbeing walking tour that takes participants to beautiful, natural locations throughout Busan and focuses on the healing properties of nature, while you learn the rich history of the area and practice wellness techniques that improve health and overall wellbeing.

The tours are designed to leave you feeling refreshed, relaxed and a little (or a lot) wiser, while the proven health benefits of being in nature, meditation and mindfulness last long after you depart.

A spokesperson for the tour company said, “So, so many of us suffer from stress and anxiety, depression, sadness, work pressure…the list goes on. But we can alleviate those symptoms by simply getting outdoors and reconnecting with nature. We want to give people something enjoyable that will also have lasting effects on their health and happiness.”

According to an expert in Forest Medicine and one of the directors of the Forest Therapy Society in Japan, Dr. Qing Li, “It is projected that by 2050, 75% of the world’s population will live in cities. It is proven that city-people are more likely to suffer from heart attacks, strokes, and cancer. Urban city life is also associated with higher anxiety and depression rates.”

Getting reacquainted with nature is becoming more and more important as the years pass, and luckily Busan has an array of locations just waiting to be explored. But what makes this tour any different?

Professionally trained tour guides take you on a gentle hike to get the blood pumping, through wooded paths and majestic mountains, or over windy sea walkways into peaceful temple grounds. The guides explain the old and modern history of the area, while you soak up the natural healing properties of the big green and blue.

Technology meets Tranquility

Once relaxed and revitalized, the tour takes an even more peaceful turn. Using specially developed audio tracks, participants use headphones to listen to a guided meditation that corresponds to the tour location. Simply connect via the app or download the audio file and you’ll enjoy mindfulness meditation right there and then, in the peaceful surroundings of Dongbaek Island or Haedong Yonggungsa Temple.

The tour is designed for travelers eager to experience Busan’s natural environment, travelers who look to cultivate great health and wellness practices, and who want to discover something new about the past and present of this dynamic city.

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