Guides + Tips

Somang Stairs Monorail: Navigating Busan’s Hidden Gem

Upon discovering a captivating Instagram video featuring a charming mint-colored monorail gracefully navigating a vibrant staircase, I embarked on a diligent quest to pinpoint the exact location of this unique site. Despite the initial challenge presented by the absence of geotags and limited descriptions in the video, my persistent efforts paid off, revealing it as the Somang Stairs Monorail in Busan. During my recent trip to the city, I made it a priority to visit and document the experience, and now I’m eager to share all the details in this post. If you’re curious about this hidden gem, here’s the lowdown to help you plan your visit. Without further ado, let’s dive right in!

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    About Somang Stairs Monorail:

    Somang Stairs (소망계단), also known as the Stairs of Wishes, is a set of 192 steps located in Dongdaesin 2-dong, Seo District, Busan. In 2022, a significant enhancement was completed: The Somang Stairs Monorail, designed to facilitate movement up and down the staircase. This monorail represents a key component of the Dakbatgol Urban Regeneration New Deal Project, specifically addressing the needs of the community, particularly the substantial elderly population, which comprises over 30% of Dongdaesin 2-dong’s residents.

    Stretching over 91 meters, the monorail comprises two sections, each featuring a two-seater cabin for convenient transportation. Connecting Mangyang Road at the base to Jungang Park Road at the summit, the monorail aims to alleviate accessibility challenges faced by the residents. The entire journey takes approximately 6 minutes, offering an efficient and practical solution to enhance the local experience for both residents and visitors.

    Why Somang Stairs Monorail Stands Out:

    In Busan’s array of monorails, what distinguishes the Somang Stairs Monorail and captures the imagination of nimble-minded visitors is its charming, boxy cable car set against a backdrop of vibrant colors. Every step of the staircase is a canvas, adorned with lively mosaics or adorned with captivating illustrations. Beyond these picturesque designs, when the monorail takes you to its highest point, you’re greeted with a breathtaking panoramic view of the cityscape, adding another layer of allure to the experience!

    Getting to Somang Stairs Monorail:

    Apart from driving, there are convenient public transportation options to reach Somang Stairs Monorail. To be candid, taking trains or buses is often less hassle, considering the scarcity of parking spaces near the monorail area and the challenging steep and winding roads that can be unnerving for drivers. Now, let’s focus on how to reach Somang Stairs Monorail via trains and buses. Here are the recommended routes:

    From Dongdaesin Station (동대신역):

    Catch Town Shuttle Bus Jung-gu 1 (중구) at the bus stop outside exit 3 of the station. Disembark at Hanguk Villa (한국빌라) stop, the 9th stop. A brief 6-minute walk down the road will bring you to the top platform of Somang Stairs Monorail. The entire journey takes about 25 minutes, with a bus fare of approximately 1,480KW.

    From Busan Station (부산역):

    For an alternative route, head to Busan Station and exit from exit 7. Cross the road and board bus number 190 at Busan Station Bus Stop (stop number 03720). Ride the bus for 20 stops, alighting at Dongdaesin 2-dong Bus Stop (stop number 02162). The lowest platform of Somang Stairs Monorail is a two-minute walk down the road from the bus stop. The entire journey takes around 25 minutes, with a bus fare of approximately 1,550KW.

    Before Boarding the Monorail:

    Since the monorail primarily serves local residents and is not designed exclusively for tourists, it’s essential to be mindful of certain etiquettes and guidelines before hopping onboard these charming cabins:

    • Priority Consideration: Please prioritize the elderly, disabled, pregnant women, and local residents.
    • No Smoking and No Eating: Refrain from smoking or eating while on the monorail.
    • Sobriety Requirement: The facility does not allow access to intoxicated individuals.
    • Pet Policy: If you have a pet, they are only permitted if placed in a pet carrying bag.
    • Passenger Limit: A maximum of two persons per cabin is allowed, with a payload limit of 130kg.
    • Door Closure: Ensure that the cabin door is kept closed at all times during boarding.

    How to Navigate the Monorail:

    Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the usage guidelines, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to board the Somang Stairs Monorails:

    • Upon reaching any monorail platform, if no cabin is currently stationed, press the boarding button (a green button on a metal box protruding from the side of the platform’s picket fence) and wait for the cabin to arrive.
    • When the cabin arrives, pull open the iron cage door and board the cable car with care.
    • Locate the destination buttons, a long metal box with numbers 1, 2, and possibly 3 affixed on either side of the cabin’s window.
    • Choose your destination, with the larger number indicating the higher point of the station.
    • Enjoy the ride!
    • Upon reaching the destination station, exit without further adjustment. It’s a breeze!

    Additional Highlights:

    • Capture a memorable photo at the initial platform on Mangyang Road—it’s a vibrant and picturesque spot that you might regret missing, as I did. Trust me; it’s the best view!
    • Opt for a visit during sunset for a truly enchanting experience. Boarding the monorail as the city bathes in the romantic hues of dusk is an opportunity you wouldn’t want to miss.
    • The monorail is nestled in the heart of residential clusters, so it’s courteous to keep noise levels to a minimum.
    • Explore other nearby attractions such as Dakbatgol Mural Village, Jungang Park and Busan Democracy Park.

    That’s a wrap! Armed with the details I’ve provided about Somang Stairs Monorail, you’re all set for an amazing adventure. Wishing you a fantastic time as you delve into the wonders of Busan and savor the delightful journey down the Stairs of Wishes!

    Access Map:

    Essential Details About Somang Stairs Monorail:

    Address: 부산광역시 서구 동대신동2가 87-302
    Naver Map: Link
    Operating Hours: 7:30AM~8:00PM (weekdays) | 10:00AM~5:30PM (weekends)
    Boarding Fee: Free
    Phone: 051-240-4814

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