Amidst all the throwbacks, I’m really starting to miss my travels from December to January. 5 weeks in Korea plus 2 weeks in Monaco. So I decided to throwback to my Busan trip in January this year. It was a jam-packed 3 days. Albeit having travel lethargy, aka bad moods, Busan was a really nice change for good from Seoul. These are the places I recommend going in Busan, and of course, I must thank my friends in Korea for planning this trip! 🙂
- Haeundae Beach
How can you not miss the beach in Busan? Haeundae beach is one of more famous beaches there. Seagulls are everywhere here, possibly thinking that with more people around means more food available for them. It’s a very hip beach, and of course any beach in the world will be better than those in Singapore because you won’t see any tankers or ships in the sea. The sky and the sea meet seamlessly. The thing I like about Haeundae beach is that you have skyscrapers as background on one side of the beach, and traditional Hanok villages and housing on the other. And of course the skyline and sea as background. Different angles different feels, a photographer’s dream!
How to get there: Exit Haeundae Station at Exit 5, Walk straight all the way along Gunam-ro.
- Spa Land Centum City
If you really want to go to their Jimjilbang (Steam room/Sauna) but you are very particular about hygiene and security (peeping toms), then this is honestly the best place for you. With reasonable prices, and even cheaper prices for early visit and night time tickets, this place is a must go for everyone. Forget jimjilbangs in Seoul that are honestly quite old and a bit run down, this spa land is like total luxury. It is a wellness centre at its best, and you honestly feel pampered with all the facilities around you. If you are not familiar with the jimjilbang culture, then I must warn that everyone is completely naked inside the showering and sauna areas, but separates by gender. Come on, this has to happen right, if not society will be in chaos. But really you will feel entirely comfortable even though everyone is hanging loose, cos the facilities are just too good.
How to get there: Exit Centum City Station, Shinsegae Department store is connected to the station, and is where the Spa Land is located (just beside)
- Gamcheon Cultural Village
If you don’t go to this village when you are in Busan, then it is like not visiting the Merlion in Singapore. It can get quite confusing to get here to be honest. But besides this, it is a very calming walk or stroll along the whole village. I really appreciate how they can combine tourism with a village where people actually spend their everyday lives in. It takes a lot of trust on tourists to not disturb local villagers, and careful planning to prevent excessive disturbance. With that said, remember that the first thing you should do when reaching there is to buy a map at their tourist information centre for 2000 Won. Just follow the map and walk through the whole place! The map also has this chop thing so that you can collect the stamps and it also ensures that you are on the correct path, how smart.
How to get there: A variety of ways to transfer, but remember only those mini Hongkong-like buses get you there. Bus services Saha 1-1, Seogu 2 or 2-2 will take you to Gamcheon Elementary School. Walk down the slope and you will see the information centre immediately. OR the best way is to follow the others. There is only one reason they take those buses.
- Haedong Yonggungsa Temple
A Buddhist temple which attracts a whole lot of visitors who pray and seek for health and prosperity. To me, the highlight is not about the temple, but the rocks on the shore which are so beautiful. Climb on them and take all the photos that you want there. Of course, only these things can excite a budding photographer like me.
How to get there: From Haeundae Station Exit 7, take bus 181 and stop at the temple station. You will see a lot of people dropping off as usual. And you will see a famous restaurant selling seafood that advertise using TV images.
- Lotte Department Store
While on the way to the temple by bus, you might spot a large shopping centre, that is Lotte Department Store, an outlet mall so big, your shopping instincts get activated in an instant. You start to buy whatever things you see. Big international labels, small Korean brands, and even food can be found here. Most importantly, get your hands on Honey Butter Chips here. This is the most authentic one, get it from here at cheaper prices!
How to get there: You might walk from the temple, about 10 minutes’ walk!
There are other places in Busan but these 5 places are really worth the time and effort to experience. Be sure not to miss it!
Cr: @jeeheng + my friends who have a part in planning