I’m not going to beat around the bush. Busan in South Korea is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever visited. The soaring buildings, stunning landscapes, glorious beaches, shopping and eye catching temples. Busan is a city that should be on everyone’s bucket list.
Located on the South East corner of Korea. Busan is a tourist dream especially in the summer months, when the beaches get packed and the women look good. unfortunately for me, I visited this lovely city in winter time for four days over Christmas 2013, but the city’s appeal wasn’t lost and still a heap warmer than the freezing condition of Seoul we had just left.

Getting There
Busan is easy to get to from within South Korea or around the world with most airlines travelling to the Gimhae International Airport. We left from Seoul and while a domestic flight would have sufficed, we caught KTX speed train that got us to Busan in three hours while also experiencing the beautiful country side of Korea, best yet the train was clean, comfortable and you could purchase snacks from the cart while in your seat.

KTX Train Price:
Economy class 53000W – $60 AUD one way
First Class 74600W – $85 AUD one way

All ready to board the KTX Seoul to Busan

All ready to board the KTX Seoul to Busan

Haeundae Beach

In Summer Haeundae Beach is the place to go for locals or tourists. The beaches are jam-packed and to find a spot on the sand under the hundreds of umbrellas provided is difficult. But I didn’t need to worry about that being in Busan during winter.
Whether you are there in winter time or summer it doesn’t matter. There is plenty to do and see. Walk along the beach, even at night there is some entertainment provided. Eat at the many fine restaurants, I took advantage of the delicious Korean BBQ joint on many occasions including a Christmas lunch.

Since this was my first Christmas outside Australia. It was a culture shock for myself to see that everything was open. It was fascinating for me knowing back home everything is shut. But Busan much like Seoul is a city that never shuts.
Haeundae was also the location where we stayed. At a budget hotel called On Motel. It was clean, convenient, close to subways and cheap. However stuffing in two adults and two kids was a bit of squeeze, but if you are on budget there is nothing wrong with the ON Motel.

Korean BBQ in Haeundae Beach

Korean BBQ in Haeundae Beach

Shinsegae Centum City

A department store like I have never seen before. It is the biggest in the world and yes, its huge. You walk through the front doors as you get off the train that drops you off at the door step and you are hit with a stunning food court like. Fast foods, local cuisine, bakeries and cafes and if you make your through that. You need to get your wallet ready and have plenty of cash because prices in Shinsegae is rather expensive.
Then you need to go up, way up, nine floors in fact. Each floor just about dedicated in sections, men’s clothing, women’s clothing (well the women get a couple of floors of course), kids level, restaurants and even a golf range for the men to work on their game while the women shop. It truly is a paradise for those who need a shopping fix.

Getting there:
Catch a train on Subway Line 2 and get off on Centum City.

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Jagalchi Fish Market

The famous Jagalchi Fish Market is a must see in Busan. Walk the markets, the side streets and smell the fresh fish while also dodging the motor bikes scooting around without a care in the world. Be amazed by the many varieties of seafood and even those you didn’t know that existed. Watch the lobsters crawling around in their tanks and eat a live octopus which I didn’t attempt (I’m not big on seafood).  Whether you are a huge seafood fan or not, Jagalchi is an eye opener and experience you at least should try once.

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Haedong Yonggungsa Temple

Saving the best for last.The Haedong Yonggungsa Temple needs to be on your list to do when visiting Busan. Situated on the north eastern coast of Busan. This Temple was built in the year 1376 and reconstructed again in 1970. Come  and see this stunning Buddhist temple for yourself and witness the magic of the waves crushing into the rocks below and visit the old traditional buildings. Make sure you bring a camera as you could take a million shots and none of them would be a bad picture. Get ready to be amazed.
Getting there:
Catch a train to Haeundae Station on subway line 2 and from there the 181 bus that will take you all the way to Haedong Yonggungsa.

 

Haedong Yonggungsa Temple at Busan, South Korea

Haedong Yonggungsa Temple at Busan, South Korea

Conclusion

Yes Busan is all that and more. I have only mentioned a small amount of features to do in Busan. Visit the hot springs, have a massage, enjoy the night life (there is plenty). Or just plain relax at the many cafes and restaurants on offer but be sure to add Busan to your bucket list.

Checkout more hotels of Busan on TripAdvisor.

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