Away from the hustle-bustle of the busy city of Seoul, South Korea’s Busan offers some of the most spectacular experiences for seasoned travellers and enthusiastic tourists. Home to mighty mountains, glistening beaches and delectable cuisines, one can witness all its glory in just 48 hours. Here’s how! By Bayar Jain
Located in the South Eastern province of South Korea, the seaside town of Busan is known for its beaches, mountains, and for providing a space to the country’s largest fish market. With colourful houses perched on a hill, and lush greens juxtaposed against the clear blue sea, Busan is often called the San Francisco of South Korea, or even the nation’s personal Santorini. We can see why! Contrasting with the fast-paced life of the capital city, Busan appeals to those who seek a more laid-back vacation. At the same time, there’s a lot to keep you busy. If you’ve got only 48 hours to spare, here is how you can make the most of it.
- Taejongdae National Park
Begin your Busan adventures with a small, but exciting hike. Located at the southernmost tip of the Yeongdo-gu island, this park houses many attractions within it. An amusement park, observatory, cruise ship terminal, and even a lighthouse finds a home amid the lush greens and rocky terrains. To make the most of your time here, try to pack an early start to the day. If possible, try catching the sunrise while you’re here.
- Oryukdo Skywalk
Extending up to 350 meters over the Songdo beach, the Oryukdo Skywalk gives you the feeling of floating on water, to say the least. This saddle-shaped glass bridge is considered as the dividing point between the East Sea and the South Sea. Strong gusts of ocean winds are sure to enthral you, while the transparent floor gives you a glimpse of the magical wonders of the sea.
- Gamcheon Culture Village
Imagine colourful houses built on the foothills of a mountain where narrow, yet vibrant alleys meander through the community. Gamcheon Culture Village brings this visual to life. This beautiful labyrinth is dotted with street art and public sculptures, each giving you a glimpse into the lives of the locals. If you’re looking to shop for souvenirs, the village also has countless shops for you to explore, offering everything from cute socks, to accessories, as well as handicrafts. Our favourite, however, is the Little Prince statue here. Based on the famous 1943 novella of the same name by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the Little Prince Statue (and his pet fox!) overlooking the entire village make for an adorable photo op.
- BIFF Square
When your day is packed with so many activities, you’re bound to work up an appetite. Head to BIFF square for a delicious culinary night. You can gorge on delicious street foods as you marvel at statues of movie stars. A giant maze-like shopping and restaurant area reminiscent of Seoul’s Myeongdong shopping area makes BIFF Square a fun spot, day or night. But if you go deeper into the maze, you’ll find clothing shops and restaurants. In fact, the area is a haven for apparel, bags, high-end gadgets, cosmetics and shoes.
- Dongbaekseom Island
‘Dongbaek’ is a Korean word for camellias, and ‘Seom’ is a Korean word of an island. As the name suggests, it used to be an island, but now is a part of the mainland. Offering a beautiful view of Busan, a boardwalk stretches the entire length of the beach, and even up to the rocky coast till the tip of Busan itself. Along the way, traditional pavilions are sure to compel you to stop and pose.
- Haedong Yonggungsa Temple
In South Korea, most temples are tucked away in the rocky shades of the mighty mountains. The Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, however, breaks away from this tradition and finds itself perched across the ocean. As waves crash against the rocks, the temple itself basks in a calm spiritual demeanour. The complex is centered around the Daeungjeon Main Sanctuary, a colourful sanctuary, which dons many shades. In front of the sanctum is a magnificent three-story pagoda that is guarded by four stone lions symbolising joy, anger, sadness, and happiness, respectively.
- Sea Life Busan Aquarium
Who said Aquariums are just for children? With over 250 species and up to 35,000 marine animals, the Sea Life Busan Aquarium offers a stunning display of marine creatures and aquatic flora that will keep you engrossed for hours. Whether it’s petting a starfish, watching stingrays swim underneath you through a glass bottom or watching the fish being fed, the aquarium has a multitude of experiences to capture your attention. If nothing, we’re sure you’re going to get mesmerised by the almost therapeutic visuals of sea urchins under UV light.
- Haeundae Beach
Rid yourself of the day’s long tourist extravaganza by lazing around at Haeundae beach, a 1.5 km long white sand coastline. Although beaches are usually considered a day-spot, over here, the area livens up after the sunset. As it gets darker outside, many people throng to the beach for performers. Jugglers, musicians, and singers become a common sight, and you’re bound to hear live music syncing with the crashing of the ocean waves. An ideal way to bid goodbye to the chill city of Busan, isn’t it?