Wednesday, July 08, 2009

2박3일 - 부산

I came back from Haeundae just a few days before all the major beaches in Korea are 'opened' for this summer on July 1. As such, the Haeundae Beach was relatively quiet since the summer vacation crowd has yet to appear.

Anyway, this post shall serve as a summary of the places I visited in Busan.

A map of the places I visited in Busan

Haeundae Beach (해운대)

How to get there: From Busan Station, take subway line 1 to Seomyeon Station and transfer to line 2. Alight at Haeundae Station and then exit from either Exit 3 or 5. The walk from the station to the beach takes about 5-10 minutes.

If you only have time for one beach in Busan, then it has to be Haeundae. I like describing Haeundae as having an air of refinement and elegance.

White wave and turquoise sea at Haeundae

Dadaepo Beach (다대포해수욕장)

How to get there: Take subway line 1 all the way to Sinpyeong Station - the last station at the western end of line 1. Exit the station from Exit 4 and transfer to Bus 2, 11, 96, 98 or 338. The bus ride costs 1,000won and takes about 30 minutes. Alight at 다대포해수욕장 stop and walk towards the beach.

A factor which would discourage one from visiting Dadaepo Beach is that it is quite out of the way since it is not directly served by a subway station. The travelling time between Haeundae and Dadaepo is about 2 hours long. However, I still like the beach for its large shallow patch which makes water wading a lot of fun. The next wonderful thing about the place is that you can have an almost unobstructed view of sunset. Finally, the beach now boosts the world's largest 'floor' musical fountain which I didn't stay back to watch.

Shallow water wading and sunset watching at Dadaepo

Gwangalli Beach (광안리해수욕장)

How to get there: Take subway line 2 and alight at Gwangan Station. Exit from either Exit 3 or 5 and walk about 5 minutes to the beach.

The main reason to visit Gwangalli Beach is to see the beautiful Gwangan Bridge and the best time of visit is at night when the bridge is lit. I dropped by the place on the first evening and did a 'research' on the room rate around the area. Accommodation at Gwangalli is certainly more economical than Haeundae since it is more of a heartland than a tourist spot. A room in a 3-star hotel with a good view of the Gwangan Bridge costs only 50,000won per night.

Gwangan Bridge at Gwangalli

Centum City

How to get there: Take subway line 2 and alight at Centum City Station.

The Centum City is officially recognised by the Guinness World Records as the largest department store in the world. However, it didn't give me a feeling that it is very large. I would describe Centum City as a combination of two flagship department stores - Shinsegae and Lotte.

Busan Exhibition and Convention Center (BEXCO) as seen from Centum City

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