Friday, July 4, 2014

Must Visit in Dynamic City, Busan

Busan is the second largest City in South Korea and it's considered the best summer location in the nation where beaches are quite a few. As part of our 10 days trip to Korea, we took 2 days and 1 night to go to Busan and see for ourselves what all the hype was about.

Here's my guide if you're visiting Busan for the first time:

I. Visit Famous Temples

A. Beomeosa Temple

How to get there?

Ride subway and alight at Beomeosa Line 1 Exit 5. Look for uphill street in the right and walk 3 mins towards a small bus station. From Samsin Bus Stop, take No. 90 Bus going up to the temple which will take 10 mins travel time. Then walk uphill again for 10 mins going up to the temple. 

For detailed instructions on how to get there click >> here << 

Verdict:
The temple has beautiful scenery and you can take a lot of pictures and videos going to the temple and also inside temple. Although if you're not fond of temples and don't like to take a lot of pictures, you can skip this. But it's worthwhile to visit this place and you only need to stay for a short time as the temple is very small.

B. Haedong Yonggungsa
How to get there?
Ride subway and alight at Haeundae Line 2 Exit 7. Walk a few steps in front towards the bus stop and ride Bus 181 going to Yonggunsa Temple. Note that there is only 1 bus going to the temple and each buses comes only once every 30 minutes. You need to tell the bus driver that you'll go down at the temple as there is no sign on where you'll get off. The landmark nearest the temple is a big restaurant with a lot of pictures. Once alighting, go uphill and walk towards the temple which will take you around 20 minutes. Once you're near, you will see a lot of artifacts and food stalls near the entrance of the temple.

For detailed instructions on how to get there click >> here << 

Verdict:
This is definitely one of the most beautiful scenery in Busan. If I were to choose among the two temples, I would choose this one as Yonggunsa temple is located on top of the sea which makes it more beautiful. Same with Beomeosa, you will only stay there for a few minutes but you'll be able to take a lot of good pictures. However, going here will take you several hours due to the lack of transportation but since this opens at 4am, you can take the early morning bus at around 5am and go here so you can get back to the city by around 7-8am.

II. Beaches:

A. Haeundae Beach
How to get there?
Ride subway and alight at Haeundae Line 2 Exit 5. Walk straight for about 10 mins until you reach the end of the road and you'll see the beach. This is very very near our hostel in Busan at 24 Guesthouse.

Verdict:
Haeundae Beach is the most famous beach in Korea and it is comparable to Philippine's Boracay by popularity, but it's not as nice as Boracay. You can try visiting the beach during the summer (July to August) in Korea and you'll see literally hundreds of thousand people laying by the sand or swimming by the beach because it's FREE! But if you want peace and quiet and just relax in the beach, you need to go there during off-peak season which is during colder days. For me, this is a must visit only because of reputation but expect to see just a regular beach with nothing else to do aside from just swim or play in the sand. It's not like in the Philippines where there is so much you can do in the beaches (night life, snorkeling, banana boat, cliff diving, island hoping, etc...). 

B. Gwangalli Beach
How to get there?
Ride subway and alight at Gwangan Line 2 Exit 5. Upon exiting, you need to walk to the left side towards the beach but might be difficult to locate as there no signs so you need to ask people there on how to get to the beach. It's about 10 mins walk similar to Haeundae from the station to the Beach.

Verdict:
Gwangalli is very much similar to Haeundae in terms of quality of beach, the only difference is that there are fewer people and a sight of a bridge with lights at night. Aside from the beach, Gwangalli is known for it's several seafood restaurants where you can buy live seafood and eat it in the restaurant (aka "dampa" style). Again, not much you can do here but it's worth a visit as it's really one of only few famous beaches in Korea.  

III. Sight Seeing:

A. Gamcheon Culture Village

How to get there?
Ride subway and alight at Toseong Line 1 Exit 6. Upon alighting, go to the intersection and turn right at the corner. Walk straight for about 5 mins until you reach the hospital on your right. There will be a bus stop located and take bus 2 or 2-2 until you reach the village. The bus ride will take 15-20 mins and it will be very uphill ride as you'll go up until the top of the mountain.

For detailed instructions on how to get there click >> here <<

Verdict:
A must visit for photographers and also for the average traveler. The colorful scenery of houses reminds you of Santorini in Greece! We went there and spend the most time as we went around literally the whole village as there are a lot of photo zones (such as the little prince) which you can visit. Just a watchout though that you'll be extremely tired from all the walking especially going up and down the hill and you'll get lost going back as you need to take a different bus going back to the city (look for bus station). But definitely a must visit for you if you visit Busan.

B. Busan National University
How to get there?
Ride subway and alight at Busan National University Line 1. We did not go to the university, but just went around the area.

Verdict:
Busan National University is like the Hongdae area of Busan. A lot of stores where fashionable clothes are sold by students so it's a good place where you can shop trendy clothes but prices are not cheap! Aside from shopping, you can also hang out in various restaurants and cool cafes in the area but we did not go around much given that we did not wanted to shop in Busan so if you don't plan to shop you can skip this.

We were not able to visit some of the more famous destination such as Jagalchi Fish Market which is one of the largest fresh market in the country where you can see a lot of different variants of seafood and also go to nearby seafood restaurants.
Also, Taejongdae Park which is where the famous lighthouse in Busan is located. We skipped both these destination due to lack of time as you would need to devote another half day just to visit the two but you can definitely include this in your itinerary as a lot of travelers make sure to visit these places when in Busan.
Overall, Busan is a very good place to visit aside from the more famous Seoul. However, you don't need to stay for a long time as it's not as big as Seoul and not a lot of sight seeing compared to the main City. You can maximize your visit to Busan in 3 days 2 nights or can opt to have it overnight similar to what we did which you can visit already 80% of the destination but will require serious foot ache and back pain from all the walking and no resting.

NOTE: all photos without my TINCO watermark are all grabbed from Google Images :)

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7 comments:

  1. Hi, Ms. Tin Co. I always love reading your blog especially your South Korea trip. I'll visit korea this december for 2 weeks and planning to visit Busan for 2 days, i know this blog would be a really great help. I am travelling alone and it's gonna my first time going to korea. Can you breakdown your expenses at Busan? Also your specific itinerary po. I'm currently budgetting my expenses now po kasi, haha.

    Thanks po in advance. Also, thanks din po for sharing your travel experiences abroad and inspiring people with your blog. ^_^

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Daru, THANK YOU FOR READING MY BLOG! Nakakataba ng puso haha :) Anyway to answer your questions... Please check out the following links of my recent trip to Korea:

      1) MULTI-CITY SUGGESTED ITINERARY:

      http://tincowashere.blogspot.com/2014/09/suggested-south-korea-multi-city.html

      2) BUDGET BREAKDOWN 2014 (Sorry I don't have a specific breakdown for Busan pero this is the latest budget post I have for Korea and kasama na dito yung other cities na pinuntahan namin)

      http://tincowashere.blogspot.com/2014/08/korea-2014-expenses-breakdown.html

      Delete
  2. Hi Tin, Happy New Year! :)
    Me and few friends will visit korea this feb and would like to go to busan for 1 day, as in balikan lang via KTX, is it possible? also could you give us a list of places we shouldnt miss?
    Thank you in advance and btw I love reading your blog :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Aien, HAPPY NEW YEAR as well! :) Thanks for dropping a message and to answer your question:

      1. Yes it's possible to go to Busan for a day trip via KTX but it is quite expensive and you need to know the schedules beforehand. If you want, you can also do what we did... we went to Busan via bus and stayed 1 night there :) much cheaper alternative than go there via bullet train and balikan lang :)

      2. For the places...I suggest you visit the sites I posted in this specific blog post. Yun na rin kasi most probably pwede mo magawa sa Busan eh :)

      Thanks! I hope I was able to answer your questions ;) Good luck and enjoy your trip!!!

      Delete
  3. This is such an amazing blog entry as I have been researching information on getting around Busan. cheers!

    ReplyDelete
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