Busan 2013 - Places to visit

Because of the unpleasant experience at Egg House, it really spoiled our trip in Busan.
Furthermore, we felt that a 4days4nights stay in Busan was too long!
Both of us felt there wasn't much to do there :(
Shopping was pretty boring compared to Seoul.

Here's a list of places of attractions we went:

1. Gamcheon Cultural Village/ Taegeukdo Village

Possibly my most favourite itinerary in Busan. If you've watched Running Man (I'm an avid fan of it), you've seen the episode with Choi Jiwoo and the Running Man cast at Gamcheon. Well, if you still don't remember, take a look at my photos :)
IMO, this is a very picturesque spot so be sure to bring along your camera! The place is full of vibrant coloured houses, but be warned of the narrow stairs and slopes!

By the way, I suggest you buy a map that allows you to fill them up with chopes at each labelled stations! It's a rather fun game, and after completing the chopes, go back and redeem your postcards! I got mine :)

Yay! I stood at the same spot as the Running Man Cast hoho
2. Gwangalli Beach (광안리해수욕장)

Gwangalli Beach (광안리해수욕장) is 1.4 km long, 64m wide, and is famous for its fine sand. This area has undergone a water cleaning program, and as a result, the water of the beach is pristine. The clean waters of this area also attract many fishermen. You can prepare raw fish dishes on the spot, right after you have caught the fish. For those looking for some action, there is the Olympic Yacht Rental where you can rent yachts. You can also enjoy water-skiing, jet skiing, windsurfing, and other exciting water sports. On the beach there is an outer concert stage where the Busan Ocean Festival and other various events are held. The area has a cultural center, a museum, theaters for plays and movies, an art gallery, TV station, and famous Korean and non-Korean fashion brand name shops. It is a popular gathering place for young people in their 20s and 30s.
One of the famous beaches in Busan. We came here during the late evening, hoping to see night lights on the bridge. It was pretty cold when we were there, but I kinda enjoyed just sitting on the beach and listening to the waves.

3. Haeundae beach 해운대해수욕장

Possibly the most famous landmark in Busan. However since our stay at Egg House dampened our mood zzz, I'll never want to go back to Haeundae again.

Haeundae Beach (해운대해수욕장) is probably the most famous beach in the country. "Haeundae" was so named by scholar Choi Chi-Won (857~?) of the Silla Dynasty (BC 57~AD 935). When he was walking past Dongbaekdo Island, he was fascinated by it and left the carved words "Hae Un Dae" on a stone wall on the island. Haeundae is 1.5 km long, 30~50m wide, and spans an area of 58,400㎡. The white sand is rough and sticks easily to your skin. The sand of this beach is composed of sand that comes from Chuncheon Stream and shells that have been naturally eroded by the wind over time. Haeundae Beach is also famous for the various cultural events and festivals held throughout the year. At Haeundae Beach there is a Folk Square where you can enjoy traditional games such as neoldduigi (seesaw jumping), Korean wrestling, tuho(arrow throwing), tug-of-war and yutnori. There is also the Beach Culture Center and the Beach Library. Numerous people visit every year from June to August
Strangely, I didn't get to see any seagulls when I'm there? I remembered the episode of the Yongseo couple (Yonghwa and Seohyun) in We Got Married, where Yonghwa was feeding seagulls food. Hmm, am I that unlucky? haha

By the way, it was scorching hot then! Argh, figured I got tanned during then, because the sun was so bright, and the heat was so unbearable, we just wanted to run to shades.

Luckily, when we reached our next destination, we were shaded and it got a little cooler!

4. Dongbaekseom Island (해운대 동백섬)

Continuing our trek down from Haeundae beach, we reached Dongbaekseom Island. Pretty scenic here too! So do walk down from Haeundae to this attraction!
Dongbaekseom Island (Island of Camellias) is an island located off one end of Busan's famous Haeundae Beach. Though the years of sedimentation have connected the island to the mainland, Dongbaekseom was originally an island and is still referred to as one.
Dongbaekseom is easy to navigate thanks to the walking path that is built around it. The island has several different points of attraction, including the monument inscribed with a poem of scholar Choi Chi-won, the mermaid statue based on the legend of Princess Hwagok, and the Nurimaru APEC House. It also offers fantastic views of the Busan shoreline towards Mipo, Dalmaji Hill, Gwangangdaegyo Bridge, and Oryukdo Island. As the name suggests, camellias burst into bloom everywhere on the island from winter to spring.

5. Nurimaru APEC House (누리마루 APEC하우스)

After visiting Dongbaekseom Island, APEC House was just nearby haha. So we covered 3 attractions just at Haeundae!
The name Nurimaru APEC House is created by combining the Korean words nuri(“world”) and maru (“summit”), and “APEC House,” which refers to an APEC conference hall. Collectively, it means “a house where the world summits gather together for an APEC meeting.”
Located on Dongbaekseom Island, which is noted for its beautiful, natural landscape accented by dense camellia and pine trees, Nurimaru APEC House has been used as a memorial hall and a prestigious international conference hall since the APEC summit meeting. Nurimaru, a 3-story building, is a modernistic expression of “jeongja,” a pavilion in traditional Korean architectural style. Its roof shape symbolizes the ridgeline of Dongbaekseom Island. Its interior design is a visual display of Korea’s creative traditional culture. 
The terrace, which has a Korean wooden floor concept, towers over Oryukdo Island, Gwangan Bridge and Dallmaji Hill. Located near Haeundae Beach, it not only offers a spectacular view of the beach, but also has the appearance of a reputable international conference hall featuring both modern and natural beauty.

There's actually nothing much here, so we left this place within a while LOL. Of course, we couldn't resist taking photos that are related to Singapore 

6. Centum City
The Shinsegae Centum City Department Store is registered in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest shopping complex in the world. The department store has a countless number of items all under one roof. Visitors can also enjoy numerous entertainment options in the complex. Shinsegae, which opened the first department store in Korea, reflects decades of retail experience in this flagship location. Some entertainment facilities include a spa and an ice rink. Globally renowned experts such as Italian architect Claudio Silvestrin and,an American architecture and design firm Callison completed Centum City under the concept of a “golden sea”. The department store has emerged as a defining landmark in Busan. 
After leaving APEC, we wanted to head to Centum City because my bf told me it's nearby. So we took out our map and a security guard at APEC told us in Korean that a subway station is nearby. Stupidly, we walked for I think an hour or so, ON FEET, to reach Centum City.
I was so angry and tired walking there, thinking when will I ever reach the place. Asked two passer-by how to get there, and they gave vague directions. At that point, I wished I'd studied Korean further - because they don't seem to comprehend English that well.

So the walk to Centum City, touted as the largest department store in the world, was really unforgettable. I wondered why I didn't ask to take a taxi, possibly to save money AND thinking that the place is really near. GRRR.

Anyway Centum City is pretty disappointing. Unless you really want to go to department stores and shop (which I suggest, just shop in Singapore la), you can come here just to see how big it is. IMO its not very big la :X

7. Yongdusan Park
Yongdusan Park, one of the most popular mountains in Busan
Yongdusan in downtown Busan, is one of the 3 well-known mountains in Busan. Its old name is Songhyunsan, which means a mountain has a view of the sea through the dense fine tree forest. Later the name has changed into Yongdusan. It came from its shape, which is similar to dragon head and people thought it has a spirit to defeat enemies coming over the sea.
On the mountain were shrine built by Japanese people during Japanese colonial role, but now are Cheokhwabi monument (the stone monument to the exclusion of foreigners from the country), Chunghontap (memorial tower for Korean war victims), 4.19 Revolution monument (the student's anti-government revolt), the statue of General Lee Sunsin(the great commander in Joseon Dynasty period(1392-1910)) and Busan tower.
During Korea war, displaced people built houses on it even on the top, but 2 times of big fires took all them away making it bald mountain. Since then, fierce efforts to plant trees have created such beautiful park. The name of the park was once Unam park in the time of the Liberal Party’s ruling but it went back to Yungdosan park after April revolution (1960). It is a place with beautiful scenery. Especially the night landscape from Busan tower is magnificent.
 Greeted by these colourful lanterns on our way up. Pretty sight isn't it?

We came here at night, and there were a few attractions in the park to visit:
*Busan Tower(73.11.21) – 129m high (2 lifts), 1,510㎡ (Exhibition hall and Souvenir shop)
* Palgakjeong (Octagonal Pavillion) (73.11.21) – 3 stories, 915㎡ (1F:Aquarium, 2,3F:resting place)
*Exhibition pavilion(73.11.21) – 2 stories, 1,900㎡
*Statue of the Great general Lee Sunsin(56.3.20) – 12m high
* Cheongdongyongtap (Bronze Dragon tower) (89.9.7) – 4m high, Donganhuijehyungsang(a bust of an activist for    national independence, An Huije (pen name, Dongan) – stone bust
*Flower clock (73.10.8))- 5m in diameter
*Welfare Center for the Elderly - 413㎡
*Literary monuments – 9 monuments made of native rock
*Busan citizens’ bell pavilion - 60.84㎡ of floor area, 11.62 m high
* Buddhist temple

Didn't take photos for all the attractions though, because we were tired at night :( You may also see the pretty lightings from Lotte Department Store near the Busan Tower!

8. Taejongdae Resort Park (태종대 유원지)
Designated as a Busan monument, along with Oryukdo Island, Taejongdae (태종대) represents Busan, and is especially famous for its rock beach. Featuring its highest peak at 250 meters, there are forests of pine trees and other 200 varieties of trees. Taejongdae was named after the 29th king of Silla Dynasty BC57-AD 935), King TaeJong Mu-Yeol (604-661). King TaeJong had traveled to many places but this was the place he enjoyed shooting arrows. 
Under the lighthouse of this resort is a rock called Sinseon Rock, named after the myth that gods and goddesses came down here to relax. At this rock is a figure called Mangbuseok, named after the story of a woman who waited for her husband who had been taken to Japan. Taejongdae is also famous for the ritual of praying for rain, performed when there are droughts, and rain on the 10th of lunar May is called the 'Taejong Rain'. On days with clear skies you can see Japan’s Tsushima Island from the observatory.
My memory of this park was that - OMG IT WAS SO DARN COLD.
Anyway, take the tram that goes around the park to explore the various places. You wouldnt want to walk your way everywhere - at least not for the lazy me

Here are some of the pictures we took here:
Yes, a beach again
There are haenyos operating a stall here, so if you wanna eat fresh raw seafood, you may! Too bad I don't know how to order, nor appreciate them!

9. Beomeosa Temple (범어사)
Beomeosa Temple is located at the edge of Mt. Geumjeongsan, a famous mountain in Busan. About 1,300 years ago it was constructed by monk Ui Sang in the 18th year (678) of King Munmu (reign 661~681) of the Silla Kingdom (the kingdom mainly occupied the Gyeongsang-do Province region in 678A.D.). In the geography book 'Donggukyeojiseungram' the origin of Beomeosa Temple is written as follows: "There is a well on the top of Mt. Geumjeongsan and the water of that well is gold. The golden fish in the well rode the colorful clouds and came down from the sky. This is why the mountain is named Geumsaem (gold well) and the temple is named 'fish from heaven'." 
The original Beomeosa Temple building was lost during Imjinwaeran Invasion (Japanese Invasion of Korea in 1592) but was renovated in 1713, which remains as it now is. Daeungjeon is one of the most delicate and luxurious architectures of the Joseon Dynasty (1392~1910). There is Iljumun, the three-story pagoda with four pillars, built in the 9th century, and seven royal palace wings, pavilions, three gates, and eleven hermitages. Designated as a natural monument, the wisteria woods and valleys are most beautiful in May.
Word of advice, if you don't have much time, you may wanna skip this. Because, we took a cab to and fro, but there wasn't much things for us to explore! I went into the museum where Buddhist relics hold, but that's about it.

10. Jalgachi Fish Market - this will be covered in the Busan Food post

11. BIFF Street - also covered under Busan Food Post

12. Seomyeon shopping district

If you're looking for shopping places, just head to Seomyeon station. Luckily for us, our hotel is right at the area. However, things got boring after just one day, because the shops there don't really attract us. Probably because we're not shopaholics, and prefer to spend our money on food!
FYI, MANY shops don't open till 11am. So this is an excuse for you to sleep in till late :P

If you're looking for food, coming here is the right decision too! There's many restaurants to choose from. And I'll be covering them in the Busan food post too.

Stay tuned!


  1. very informative. thank you

  2. great guide! am bookmarking for future use. thank you!

  3. Hi Cherry,

    Great post btw. I really like the 2nd photo in the Gwangalli section. Did you take that yourself? Looks amazing.

    I would recommend traveling to Nampodong while visiting Jagalchi as they are very close.

    Here are a list of places I recommend in Busan:

    Thanks for sharing :)