Busan pronounced Pusan has fast become one of my favourite Asian cities with its outgoing personality, flourishing in style and diversity. It’s the second largest in Korea with countless festivals, attractions and beaches to be enjoyed here.
Busan’s harbour view and being a port city, there’s a multitude of cruise companies which allow passengers the opportunity to step onshore and rid themselves of any shoppers’ anxieties from being on board too long.
The Korea National Maritime Museum exhibits more than 12,000 maritime relics, including the Joseon Missional Ship which is the largest replica in South Korea – half the size of the actual ship! A UN Memorial Cemetery can be found along the bayside as well.
The coastline stretching from the Maritime Museum is just one of the many explorations which can be made by foot. It allows visitors to seek out the region’s attractions at their own pace. There are a total of nine walking trails which can take from five to nine hours each in duration.
Busan harbour bridge-8 and just nearby on the other side is a mecca for shoppers and those who love spicy food. A plethora of restaurants, coffee shops and eateries will keep you fuelled up throughout the day.
Numerous smaller fish mongers here also offer cheaper prices to ensure all stock is bargained off by end of the day. Doors open at the crack of dawn with some amazing varieties caught from the South Sea; you’d need quite some time in Busan to try all delicacies if you love seafood.
Additionally, vegetables and fruit at any stall in the city appears to be of a very high quality. What did I particularly like about Korea’s market places? They were fresh with products seemingly tastier and a brighter colour to what’s available at home. You were able to have a hassle-free, ‘just looking’ experience without being cornered by the stall holder into buying. A big tick from me.
Is browsing within your sights? When you see this sign you’ll know you’re in the heart of one of the finest commercial strips, not just Korea but within Asia. No difficulties with hawkers here bothering you with all kinds of gigs to try and force you in through their doors. Seomyeon undoubtedly is one of the busiest and best places if you’re after anything specific. Hassle free and you can breathe easy while opening up those purse strings.
Women Only carriages operate between 7:00 to 9:00 am and 18:00 to 20:00 pm at night. A great way for ladies to feel a little safer during peak hours. A standard one-way subway fare is approximately 1,400 won per adult (A$1.70 on today’s exchange rate with AUD). Longer distances cost a little more.
However, a First Class one-way ticket on the KTX Express Train will cost about A$121.00 dollars directly to Incheon Airport with about five stops in between (including Seoul). Considering my luggage wasn’t checked for weight, I walked straight onto the train with my seat reservation (included in the price) and I stepped off at Incheon Airport – then meandered up the escalators to the departures and check in area. Too easy!
Speeding past plenty of market gardens along the way to Incheon whereby farming in Korea is concentrated around the flatlands. Being on level land with an adequate rainfall and a decent irrigated soil, it permits the most intensive cultivation of seasonal crops.
Incheon Airport with the national carrier Korean Airlines whereby they fly directly to/from Sydney and it’s approximately an eleven-hour flight. If you’re seeking a carrier which is reliable, has spacious leg room in economy, and lo and behold, Korean children who are well behaved – this is definitely the airline for you.
Don’t forget too, if you’re a Skypass Member and have 4,000 points available in kitty, this will allow you entry into the Korean Airlines Lounge when holding a confirmed KE ticket from Seoul. Luggage allowance is 23 kilos (50 lb) in economy, Prestige Class 2 x 32 kilos and First Class a generous 3 x 32 Kilos.
Do I love Bibimbap? Undoubtedly, I will miss the spicy dishes and traditional cuisine of South Korea, but mostly it would have to be the very friendly people who had helped me throughout my journey – even when English wasn’t spoken. The younger generation are on the right track in terms of being resourceful, well-mannered and decisive which gave me the opportunity to meet some incredible people along the way.
A memorable trip South Korea – I’ll be back for sure!