Sunday, January 16, 2011

Around Pusan – Busan

This is Pusan – city in Korea’s southern part. City has 3.6 million inhabitants and has amazing natural features - mountains and sea right in the middle of city. The name of city might be confusing – in Korea it is spelled in English as Busan, but China and Japan it is spelled as Pushan or Pusan, respectively.

I have arrived by both airplane and ferry. There are good tourist information offices in airport and ferry terminal. Ferry terminal from Japan is right next to downtown. Pusan has subway system in town, so it’s easy to move around.

Busan port
Image: Look from the port

Over couple of days, I visited several places. Near to main train station is Chinatown. It doesn’t really look like Chinatown apart from Chinese style gate. Inside mostly shops selling clothes and signs with Uzbekistan and Russian flags. While walking there some entirely Korean looking ladies said something in Russian to me.

Hotels are reasonably priced. I choose to stay at youth hostel first, but then moved to hotel. Price difference was really minor. I found hotels very comfortable and hospitality level was good.

Food is a bit spicy and has seafood elements in it. Some dishes seem to be influenced by Japanese cuisine as well. I tried some traditional looking eateries and can say that it’s a bit tastier in Seoul than Pusan. There are many small shops as well as eateries in department stores. Most of shopping goods like clothes imported from China, as China is really very close. I could not find many things made in Korea.

City has subway system. Lines are long and take longer time to move from one corner of city to another. It’s easy to anywhere, where heart wants.

There are several beaches. Haeundae is most famous in Korea. I preferred Gwangalli beach which is closer to city center. On the beach are lockers and showers. Water is a bit cold somehow. Songdo beach is in another side of city. There is more foreigners and touristy place with winder sand area on beach. When walking from Songdo beach there is nice view from Namhang bride. On the bridge can cross into Yeongdo island. Many people choose to walk this bridge.

Pusan Busan Port Sunset Namhang bridge
Image: Look from Namhang bridge

Two temples in city are famous for foreigners – Beomeosa temple and Haedong Yonggungsa temple. Beomeosa is easy to reach by subway and bus. There is also hiking trail which starts near temple. Hiking trail can lead to Geumjeongsan mountain (801 m), from there splendid view over city.

Pusan Busan hiking scene
Image: Geumjeongsanseong fortress

Pusan Busan hiking scene
Image: North gate, Geumjeongsanseong fortress

Video: some views around city

Pusan Busan Moon night
Image: Moon is shining bright over the city


Alison said...

Good to hear you're safe too in Kanagawa. The picture on here with the moon is incredible incidentally! Take care!

Mountaincat said...

Thank you :)
I was away from Japan, when earthquake struck. Don't like earthquakes, too.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm actually planning to travel to Busan by ferry from Fukuoka next month, but since it is my first trip I'm a little nervous about traveling alone in Korea. Can you tell me if it's a safe place, or is there any advice you can give me? Thank you in advance!

Mountaincat said...

Hi! Thank you for comment. I think it’s safe. I did go much around night time, but sometimes I got lost as there are many small streets in this big, hilly city and most signs are in Korean. Taking map with you is safer. There are free maps in tourist information centers in port and in railway station. I think city is enjoyable. Have a nice trip!