Busan: My First Stop in South Korea


Ranked as the second largest metropolitan city in South Korea, Busan is the first city I flew to. In terms of location, Busan lays in southern part of South Korea which is suitable for my plan, traveling from South to North, ended up in Seoul. It was late autumn at that time, the sky was clear blue with mild sunshine and chill weather. Colorful leaves, combination of red, yellow, orange, and green, is what I dreamed to see of in autumn.

Most of travelers I met prefer Busan then Seoul. They said Busan is relaxing, chill, and during summer, many tourists spend their time in the famous beach Haeundae and Gwangalli Beach. Since I came during cold season, so I skipped the beach. Here are several things that you can see in Busan.

1. Beomeosa Temple


Probably the most famous temple in Busan. Getting here is very simple, with a single journey subway to Beomeosa Station then continue by public bus number 90. I had loads of time so I did a not so short walk up to the temple. Despite getting lost for few times, finally I could enjoy my first temple in South Korea. There are several sections for prayer, monk's housing, and also temple stay which is cheaper than other temple stay program in South Korea, only for 40,000 won. Besides walking around the temple, visitors can hike the trail up to Mount Geumjengsan.

2. UN Memorial Cemetery


To recall the honorable soldiers who bravely fought during Korean War, the government volunteered the land for permanent use of UN. As much as 16 countries contributed in the devastating war between South and North. Two guards with a full set of uniform greeted me as I walked in. Then, I saw a triangle-shaped building, looks like a chapel. Inside, the short video of the war was played and I could see how tragic the war was. The admission is free, and the closest subway station is Daeyon Station.

3. Yongdusan Park, Nampodong, and Jalgachi Market

These three places are just located nearby to each other so it's easy to walk. My first stop was the famous fish market, Jalgachi. Don't be surprised when you see giant size of crabs, fishes, clamps, and others. The fishes are caught in the sea between Korea, China, and Russia, It's interesting to see the local activities. Next to the market, the famous shopping district Nampodong with lot's of shops queue on the street. Whatever clothes you want, you can find it here, from the cheap street clothes until the high fashion one. What makes it more attractive is the varieties street food along this area. Still in downtown area, Yongdusan Park was where I took a sit after a long walk around Jalgachi Market and Nampodong. In the middle of the park, there is a statue of Yi Sun-sin, Korea 16th century naval hero. Visitors can also go up to the 129 meters Busan Tower for 4000 won.

4. Haedong Yonggungsa Temple


This beautiful temple on the cliff is also one of the main attraction in Busan. Not many temples in South Korea are located on the sea side, mostly at the mountain which makes this temple unique. There are 12 chinese zodiac statues when I walked in, I had to walk down long stairs until I reached the main temple. It's beautiful during the sunset, the sound of the waves hitting the rocks makes it more peaceful. To get here, take subway to Heundae Station and take bus no 181.

So, if you have time, check out Busan while you're in South Korea. The boat departing to Jeju also the flights to Jeju from Busan are pretty cheap. Have fun and enjoy!


Traveled in 16-19 November 2014

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