Sunday Special – Busan, South Korea

Today we’re going to check out South Korea’s second largest city and the world’s ninth busiest port: Busan. Located on the southeast coast this urban centre of 3.6 million residents has plenty to offer. Being a seaside port it is has beaches where you can relax and then take to the nearby mountains for some views and hikes (or tram car if you get tuckered out). With food markets a plenty this city is also a haven for food lovers and seafood would be high on the list. This is what I have found out about intriguing Busan:

  • Beaches – Recognized for its beaches Busan is not lacking in available sand-time. Some of the notable beaches include Haeundae Beach (very popular in summers and this site of the yearly Polar Bear Swim in the new year) and Gwangalli Beach (which has golden sands and a view of Gwangan Bridge that lights up at night).
  • Hiking – With the mountains as natural artwork it is not a wonder that plenty of people would want to connect with nature though hiking. Do remember to research the trails and the levels of difficulty so you won’t be surprised. Some popular areas to hike are Jangsan Mountain which has two points you can trek to; Geumgang Park which is home to the Geumgang Fortress; and Seunghaksan that offers some very pretty views.
  • Food – Food is one of my favourite topics and Korea does have some tasty dishes (as I learned when I was in Seoul many many years ago). With Busan being a seaside city it is naturally a delight for seafood lovers. Be it renown markets like Jagalchi Fish Market or cafes and restaurants serving up local specialties such as seafood pancake (dong-nae pajeon) to gourmet restaurants, Busan will no doubt impress many a foodie.
  • Sights – There are plenty of areas to see and wander about in Busan. Among them are the  Gamecheon Cultural Village, a family friendly area where you can see the colourful buildings holding much history. It does have plenty of stairs and alleyways that will give you a different viewpoint on every turn. Youngdusan Park Tower offers a view from its perch at 118 m /59 ft and a park that you can relax in. Set in the backdrop of the mountains, Beomeosa Temple is considered one of Busan’s top-rated. And it’s location offers some great vistas of the city.
  • Busan International Film Festival – Held every October since 1996 it runs for 10 days showcasing both international and Korean films. A popular event, tickets sell out quickly.
Busan at night – South Korea. Photo credit: RsmokovHaeundae veiw from GwangalliCC BY-SA 4.0
A sunny day Haeundae Beach – Busan, South Korea. Photo credit: StephNurnbergHaeundae Beach in BusanCC BY 2.0

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