Category Archives: busan

Busan Aquarium [Korea]

Busan Aquarium

Located next to the beach, Busan Aquarium is a popular tourist destination as well. Compared to the aquarium at Seoul’s COEX Mall, the lines were much shorter and they didn’t feel the need to put fishes in all kind of funny places (refrigerator, TV etc.).

They usually have a special exhibition as well, this time they showed the “Seven ugliest fishes”. At least they put the ‘ugly’ in quotation marks to not offend them too much.

Busan Aquarium

Busan Aquarium has pretty much all you can expect from an aquarium including a huge water tank with turtles, sharks and a tunnel leading through it. Of course they also have penguins! Read the rest of this entry

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Haeundae Beach [Korea]

Haeundae  Busan 15
During our trip to Busan, we also went to Haeundae Beach. Haeundae is probably the most famous of all beaches in Korea and during the Summer season, tourists from all over the country come to Busan just to have fun at an over-crowded beach. If that famous Shibuya crossing was suddenly turned into a Korean beach, it would definitely be like Haeundae. Best time to visit is May or September.

Haeundae is also an event space. Although the beach is not close to the town centre, it is used as a venue for the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) and other events. Near end of May/early June the Sand Festival is held at Haeundae which I’ve visited three times so far.

Shopping Mall Enter 6Night time view of the shopping mall

Before going to the beach, I went to nearby shopping mall Enter 6. It’s not a big mall and only has a few restaurants and a small trick art museum. One of the restaurants is an all-you-can-eat buffet one, which also offers wine and steak to order if you want to eat something more fancy. I didn’t feel like paying even more, so I decided on the buffet (16000 won). The buffet was actually quite good and a mixture of Asian and Western cuisine.

When you exit Haeundae station to the beach, turn left and walk ahead until you see the mall.

But now to the beach… Read the rest of this entry

The view from Busan Tower [Korea]

Busan Tower

I’ve been to Busan at least five times and not once did I go up the Busan Tower. The tower was opened in 1973 and is a 120m tall structure at Yongdusan Park. It is – just like Seoul’s Namsan Tower – a popular place for couples watching the city lights at night. Yongdusan Park is one many tourist destinations for which the city of Busan offers free wi-fi. You just need to confirm your session on your devices web browser.

At the park you’ll find a traditional-style Korean bell, a 12m statue of General Yi Sunshin, a stone bust of independence activist An Huije and a flower clock. Entrance to the park is free and it’s just a ten minute walk from Nampodong Station exit 1. Nampodong is the area of the annual Busan International Film Festival and should be visited in the evening.

Busan Tower

Except for one stair case, you can take the escalator up Yongdusan. Go up another stair case to get to the tower. Up there is also a convenience store and the view is even better than from the base of the park. Now you could go to the Busan Tower… Read the rest of this entry

[Korea] Temples in Busan: Samgwang Temple (Samgwangsa)

Samgwangsa
Samgwangsa (Sam Kwang-sa, Korean writing: 삼광사) in Busan is overshadowed by the two other big temples, Beomeosa (범어사) and Yonggungsa (해동용궁사) Both are inarguably more picturesque: Beomosa because it’s in the mountains and an excellent starting point for a hike, Yonggungsa because it’s next to the sea.

Samkwangsa is next to the typical sprawl of anonymous apartment complexes on the slope of mount Baekyang. It is probably the most central of the three temples if you start from Seomyeon. That is, if you can find the right bus. I couldn’t, at least not using the description from the tourist page. If the people who wrote that page would’ve spent five minutes more time on the descriptions, they would’ve helped thousands of tourists.

Samgwangsa 3

The best connection to the temple is by taking bus line number 15 which stops right in front of it. Bus lines 63 and 81 stop near the temple but there are no signs pointing to the temple from the bus stop. Read the rest of this entry

Ferry between Busan and Fukuoka

Ferry Busan Fukuoka  08

Fukuoka is closer to Busan than to Tokyo and my plan for the school holiday was to combine a trip to Busan with one in Fukuoka. When I stayed at the Zen Backpacker hostel, I told the owner that I plan to go to Fukuoka. He then asked me if I had a ticket. Since the online reservation system still showed many free seats, I told him that I’ll buy it at the port. Then he made a call and found out that there were only two seats left. Oops.

When I arrived at the Busan International Ferry Terminal, it didn’t look that crowded. Similar to a plane, you need to be at least there one hour before departure for the check-in. There may be additional taxes on both ferry terminals for fuel and whatever fees the creative people in Japan and Korea can think of. While there is supposedly a weight limit for you baggage, I’ve never seen them putting anyone’s luggage on a scale. In fact, they don’t even have a scale at both terminals. You just carry your luggage onto the ship.
Ferry Busan Fukuoka  02 Read the rest of this entry

[Korea] Annyeong Busan – Hello Busan

Today I arrived in Busan by ferry from Fukuoka. It takes only three hours by JR Beetle ferry and it was very comfortable and not as shaky as I thought it would be. Despite what their website is saying, luggage is just brought onto the ship and they don’t even check the weight of it. On the Korean side, everything is very much just like the procedure at the airport

I took my camera with me on my trip to Haeundae Beach. It’s not my favorite evening/night time location here, but I came to the beach because it’s relaxing atmosphere is nice for studying a bit. As you can see in the video, there is construction work going on. It’s for the Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF), one of the biggest film festivals in Asia.

Oncheoncheon Citizen’s Park in Busan

Busan Dongnae 14
On my way to Beomeosa Temple, I made a stopover at Myeongnyun-dong Station. There is a stream beneath the station which is the Oncheoncheon. Similar to Seoul’s Cheongyecheon, this stream and the Citizen’s Park stretch for quite a bit. Along the stream are Tennis and Basketball courts, and pedestrian and biking paths.

At some places there is tall grass with stones set into the water so you can cross the stream.

Busan Dongnae 17

Acupressure foot massage for your tired feet. You can find this in many Korean parks.

Arriving in Busan

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Flying from Tokyo to Busan is more expensive than flying to Seoul and it can be even cheaper taking the KTX bullet train from Seoul to Busan. But I didn’t want to spend too much time in planes and trains, so I took a direct flight. Gimhae Airport is much smaller than Incheon Airport (serving Seoul) and is connected to the city by busses and taxis, though a train connection is under construction.

The airport bus had the additional benefit that it was stopping near my hostel, the Actor & Tourist Guesthouse. The hostel is between Namcheon subway station exit 2 and KBS. Of course taking a cheap flight usually means arrival in the evening so it was already dark by the time I arrived in Busan.

While that also meant that exploring the city was out of question, I could still go to the beach. Gwangalli Beach is just a 5-10 minute walk away and is just one of the famous beaches of Busan. Each beach is special in its own way, with Gwangalli best visited in the evening because of the illuminated Gwangan Bridge (nicknamed “Diamond Bridge”). There are a variety of illuminations depending on the date or special events. Many bars are near the beach too making it a great place to have a beer and then doing some noraebang (Karaoke).

Busan-Gwangalli_Beach_Shops-13.jpg