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Who said Seoul should have all the fun? Busan is South Korea’s 2nd largest city and is just as dope Ever been? Matter of fact, have you ever even heard of it!? Here are 10 reasons you should get off your couch, pack your bags, and visit Busan ASAP.
First up, Haeundae Beach, perhaps Busan's most famous beach. Is it worth all the hype? Well, it ain’t no Venice Beach—of Los Angeles, and my favorite beach in the world—but I'd say it’s definitely worth the visit.
High-rise apartments, 5-star hotels, hostels, restaurants, shopping centers, entertainment, nightlife—Haeundae Beach’s got it all. But the best part might just be the dope backdrop surrounding its 1.5-kilometer stretch of sand.
On one end you’ve got Damaji Hill, a hillside overflowing with a bunch of out-of-my-budget type apartments and buildings overlooking the beach. And on the other? Plenty of towering skyscrapers belonging to Marine City, Busan’s most affluent residential and commercial community.
By the way, it’s said that during the summer Haeundae Beach gets so crowded that it’s standing room only. Ouch!
Directions to Haeundae Beach in Busan: Hop on Busan Subway Line 2 to Haeundae Station.
Haedong Yonggungsa Temple
Temples, temples, temples—Busan is full of em’. But I get it; you’re in South Asia—you’re only looking for the best!
Therein lies Haedong Temple, probably the most majestic temple you’ll find in Busan. And why 'majestic?'
Cause Haedong Temple sits beautifully on a shoreline overlooking the ocean. Plus it's got a whole bunch of pagodas, Buddhist statues, carvings, and lantern. But best of all, the temple sits at the edge of a rocky cliff that the gets pounded by roaring waves. Know what that means? Heck, you’ll probably feel enlightened just looking at it.
Directions to Haedong Yonggung Temple in Busan: Hop on Subway Line 2 to Jangsan Station. Exit 7. Walk across the street to the 7th Street Pizza and take the #7 Town Bus all the way to the last stop, which is Haedong Yonggung Temple.
Rich in the West or balling in South Asia? Which would you prefer?
Need help figuring it out? Then head over to Busan’s Marine City. Upscale this, high-end that, yacht clubs here, 5 star hotels there.
It’d be cool to see how the wealthy live around the world, especially in a city like Busan, don’t you think?
Directions to Marine City in Busan: Hop on Subway Line 2 to Dongbaek Station.
If you’re a HUGE fan of catching megastructures up-close like me, then make a stop near Busan’s Gwangan Bridge.
At 7,420-meter-long and 24-meter-wide, it’s one of those “How in the hell did they make that?” type of engineering feats, and that’s from whatever angle you see it from.
Catch Marvel’s latest blockbuster superhero flick Black Panther? Wait, of course you have!
Remember that epic car chase in Busan, South Korea? How about the scene where Black Panther catapults off the car as it explodes? Yep, that was Gwangan Bridge!
Directions to Gwangan Bridge in Busan: Hop on Busan Subway Line 2 to Gwangan Station. Or, perhaps the best place to view Gwangan Bridge is at Gwangali Beach.
Gamcheon Culture Village
Favelas in Busan? Not exactly. Hands down, Gamcheon Culture Village is Busan’s most unexpected top attraction.
It’s exotic. It’s vibrant. It’s tourist friendly. And it’s got some of the best mountainside views across town, bar none. So what exactly can you see at Gamcheon Cultural Village?
Well it’s got a bunch of colorful terraced houses, winding streets, narrow alleyways, murals, art shops, museums, traditional markets, and a whole lot of photo zones for you to snap the best Instagram pictures you’ll probably ever take in your life.
Directions to Gamcheon Culture Village in Busan: Hop on Subway Line 1 to Toseong Station. Take Exit 8. Walk forward and turn right onto the inclined street leading up to the hill. Walk about 1 minute until you arrive at the first bus stop and take Bus #1-1, 2, or 2-2 up the hill.
Futuristic Parking Garage
Holy Sh*t! Busan’s got its own futuristic automated parking garage and it looks like something straight out of a Steven Spielberg fantasy film.
It’s a tower by the way—a very tall one. A car goes in. An elevator lifts it up to a specific floor. A platform takes the car and parks it into an empty space. Then it repeats. Did I mention it’s all automated?
You’re into seeing some cool tech floating around South Asia? Well don’t miss out on this one!
Directions to the Automated Car Garage in Busan: Hop on a subway to Seomyeon Station. Head to the Lotte Department Store.
Samkwang “Samgwangsa” Temple
Talk about one of the world’s best decorated temples! And hey, I’ve lived in China for over 6 years.
Samkwang “Samgwangsa” Temple is that awesome. Like Haedong Temple it’s got its fair share of lanterns, pagodas, and Buddhist statues—not to mention the most epic views of Busan from above—but everything’s arranged in a more … ornamental fashion, i.e., it's got that good fengshui.
Plus, every year around Buddha’s birthday Samkwang Temple holds a lantern festival that’s so lit that it attracts millions of visitors.
If that’s the kind of cool stuff you’re into then there’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t visit.
Directions to Samkwang (Samgwangsa) Temple in Busan: Hop on Subway Line 1 to Seomyeon Station. Take Exit 11. Cross the street and catch bus #133. The fair is 1,300 KRW. After about 7min. get off at the small intersection that has a CU convenience store on the left side of the street and a GS Supermarket on the right. The street is Saessak-ro 241beon-gil. Cross over to the CU store and walk down the alleyway next to it. Head down the alleyway, make a left and walk until you see a large brown “Samgwangsa Temple” street sign. Make a right at the sign and continue directly up the hill to Samgwangsa Temple.
7th Street Pizza
7th Street Pizza was and still is the best pizza I’ve ever eaten—no exaggeration, no shameless promotion, just the absolute truth. No kidding, I hadn’t experienced such a taste explosion from eating a pizza since stuffed crust was first invented. You’ll just have to try it for yourself!
Note: The specific 7th Street Pizza I visited was in Busan, South Korea, just outside of Jangsan Station, Exit 7.
Busan Tower—118-meters high, 360-degree view, and it’s located in one of Busan’s busiest shopping, dining, and entertainment districts. Enough said!
Directions to Busan Tower in Busan: Hop on a Subway to Nampo-dong Station. Follow the signs.
So what’s up with the nightlife in Busan? Korea’s 2nd largest city would certainly have some top-notch bars, lounges, or clubs to hang out at, right? Bingo!
Kyungsung University Nightlife Area
Kyungsung University nightlife area is one of the top places to party in Busan. It’s located directly across from the Kyungsung campus, which means that there’s a lot of young, fresh meat hitting the bars and clubs. You’ll find nightlife venues blasting everything from dubstep, electro, and hip-hop to rock, jazz, and pop.
Directions to Kyungsung University Nightlife Area in Busan: Hop on Subway Line to Kyungsung University / Pukyeong University. Take Exit 3.
BIFF Square is just one of those places you must visit before leaving Busan. The crazy part is that all the street snacks, boutiques, vendors, department stores, fish markets, bars, parks, and tons of people moving about aren’t even the best part.
The top reason to visit BIFF Square is its aesthetic appeal. Jam-packed business, thousands of neon lights hanging off buildings, local this, luxury that—it’s the perfect scene to capture all the essence of a South Korea city.
Oh, and did I mention that BIFF Square is considered the center of Busan’s film industry? Add this one to your bucket list!
Other notable nightlife hot nightlife areas in Busan: Haeundae Beach, Gwangali Beach, and Marine City. Boo-yah!
So what did you think of my list. Have you been to Busan and feel that I’ve left out some top things to do. Let the world know down below!
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