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Busan

The Lost Wanderer Itinerary Series

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24 – 25 December2011

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ITINERARY TABLE

Annyeong Haseyo! ....................................................................... 5
Going There .................................................................................. 6
Going Around ............................................................................... 8
Gwangalli Beach .......................................................................... 10
Taejeongdae ................................................................................ 13
Busan International Film Festival Square .................................. 16
Jagalchi Market ........................................................................... 18
Hello Guesthouse ....................................................................... 20
Haeundae Beach .........................................................................23
Seomyeon................................................................................... 24
Yongdusan Park ..........................................................................25
Going Back ...................................................................................27

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Day Time Activity
Day 1 Morning Go to Busan from Seoul
Noon Arrive in Busan
Gwangalli Beach
Check into Hello Guesthouse
Afternoon Taejongdae
Evening Busan International Film Festival (BIFF/PIFF)
Jagalchi Market
Christmas Party @ Guesthouse
Day 2 Morning Checkout from Hello Guesthouse
Haeundae Beach
Seomyeon
Afternoon Yongdusan
Going back to Seoul

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Annyeong Haseyo!

It had been 4 months I lived in Seoul. Finally I had a chance to visit
Busan during a weekend in Christmas 2011 when my Indonesian
friend, who was living in Japan at that time, came to visit South
Korea.

Busan (or sometimes written as Pusan), is the second largest
metropolitan city in South Korea after Seoul, andlocated on the
southeastern tip of Korean peninsula, about 325km from Seoul. It is
the largest port city in South Korea, and so the weather is much
milder than Seoul during Winter. On that Winter 2011, I was going
away from snowing in Seoul to catch some sea wind and sun in Busan
for 2 days. Off we go!

Picture taken and edited from Sogang University website
http://www.koreanimmersion.org/4000/4200.php

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Going There

Every year there are many interesting benefits offered for tourists
from Visit Korea Committee http://visitkoreacommittee.com/en/
(VKC). In 2010-2012 for example there were free shuttle buses going
between Seoul-Busan and Seoul-Jeonju specially for overseas visitors
and foreign residents every day except Monday.The bus to Busan
was departed from Seoul at 8AM, and the bus back to Seoul was
departed from Busan at 4PM. It took about 6 hours to go by bus
from Seoul to Busan and the other way around. The maximum
capacity accepted for Busan shuttle bus was 25 seats only. If
application for the same date exceeded limit, it was going to be
assigned by drawing a lottery and the ‘winners’ would be announced
10 days before the trip.

I tried to apply 2 tickets of this free shuttle bus to Busan for me and
my friend on 24th December and going back to Seoul on 25th
December, but I did not win the seats. Busan was a quite famous
place to visit and my traveling time was in holiday season, so there
were many applicants so it was more difficult to get the free seats.
Public buses Seoul-Busan-Seoul cost about 40,000 won (2 ways). If I
got the free seats, I would not care about the long 6 hours journey.
But if I had to pay, I would prefer something faster (but not too
expensive either).

There were also domestic flights from Gimpo Airport (Seoul) to
Gimhae Airport(Busan) by Korean Air, Jin Air, Jeju Air and Eastar Jet
which took only 55 minutes, but of course you have to count the
waiting and spending time on check-in (1-2 hours before flight) and
on taking luggage afterwards. Korean Air is the best and largest
airline in Korea, while Jin Air, Jeju Air and Eastar Jet are budget

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airlines therefore cheaper than Korean Air. Budget airfare from Seoul
to Busan could cost between 30,000 and 70,000 won, depends on
booking and flying time. Since my trip to Busan was in peak season
(Christmas), the fare was quite expensive.

Looking for other alternatives, at that time I found there was another
great deal from VKC for foreigners: 30% off for using KTX (Korea Train
Express), South Korea's high-speed rail system. Maybe not as fast as
Japan’s Shinkansen, but I thought I should try that fastest train in
Korea while I was in Korea.One way of KTX from Seoul to Busan was
55,500 won and took about 3 hours. Discount 30% = 38,900 won. Two
ways cost would be 77,800 won.We decided to take this option
considering our limited time traveling to Busan.

We took KTX at 6.30AM from Seoul Station and arrived in Busan
Station at 9.12AM. Like Seoul Station, almost entire building in Busan
Station was covered with glass, but Busan Station looked more
unique with its convex curved front.

Busan Station

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Going Around

Since Busan is a large city just like Seoul, it has good public
transportation as well. Four lines of metro/subway called Humetro
are integrated and connecting all districts in Busan. There is also very
affordable City Tour Bus called Buti that can take us to main tourist
places. I was planning to take Buti on the first day and metro on the
second day for going around.

Buti has 2 Loop Tours, Haeundaeu Tour and Taejongdae Tour, which
is a hop-on hop-off bus service. The Loop Tour ticket can be
purchased on the day on the bus itself and can be used for both
routes all day from 9.30am to 5pm.

Picture taken from Busan City Tour Bus website
http://www.citytourbusan.com/en/02.citytour/01.php

Buti also has 4 Theme Tours: History and Culture (1x/day),
Haedongyonggungsa Temple (1x/day), Eulsukdo Eco (2x/day) and

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Night View (1x/day). One Theme Tour ticket can only be used for one
Theme Tour service and must be reserved in advanced.

Picture taken from Busan City Tour Bus website
http://www.citytourbusan.com/en/02.citytour/01.php

All the buses run every day except Monday, started from Busan
Station bus stop, across Arirang Hotel. Some of them are double
decker buses and the rest are open top buses, and provide audio
guide service for each spot along the way.

Each ticket costs 10,000 won. Please check the
websitehttp://www.citytourbusan.com/en/01.busancity/05.phpfor
more info for discounts because they offer many affiliate discounts.
Like ourselves, we purchased the Loop Tour ticket by showing our
KTX ticket and got 2000 won discount price each. With 8000 won we
can go around main tourist attractions of Busan in one day, very
cheap!

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Gwangalli Beach

Taking Busan City Tour at Busan Station

First we took Buti Haeundae Tour which passed by Haeundae beach
where our hostel located, so we could put our bags first before going
around the town. As you can see from the route picture above, first
stop of Haeundae Tour is Busan Museum, but we did not stop there
because not really interested haha. We stopped at the second stop
instead, Gwangalli Beach.

From this beach, which has very fine sands,we can look
towardsGwanganBridge (a.k.a Diamond Bridge) and small mountains.
It was so windy and cold, nobody swimming of course. The
government had set a swimming period for visitors which was from
July to September only. However, many people still come here in

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other months, especially in October for Busan International
Fireworks Festival, and to enjoy the view in general.

I heard Gwangan Bridge is very beautiful to see at night with
wonderful lights, but we did not go back there again in the evening.
Even in the day the bridge already looks romantic.The bridge is the
second longest one in Korea, after Incheon Bridge.

People enjoying cold windy GwangalliBeach

The beach stretched about 1,4kms. It was very clean and and fresh,
because no smoking allowed there. Because it is a touristy place,
there are Tourism Information Center, a lot of shops, hotels and
restaurants around here.

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In this area I also saw map of a Busan Footpath, a trail that gives
many nice sights of Busan for the walkers, such as Gwangan Bridge,
Haeundae Beach, ports and islands around Busan. The route lays for
23 KMs (approximately 8 hours walks) from Gwangalli Beach to
Jaseongdae Park with half coastal trail (beside the sea), and half
mountain trail (hiking). Hmmm it was interesting and I might do it if I
stayed in Busan for quite sometimes, but not during this short visit
and too cold weather like this.

We walked around Gwangalli beach for about 1 hour, from 10.30am
to 11.30am. Then taking Buti again, we continued our trip towards
Haeundae Beach, second stop from Gwangalli Beach. From the bus
stop of Haeundae Beach, we walked to check-in and place our bags.
It was not check-in time yet, so we did not get a chance to see our
room. After putting our bags in the receptionist, we directly went out
again.

We took the next Buti at 12pm from Haeundae Beach back to Busan
Station without alighting at any stop. We did not think those stops
were interesting butwe did enjoy sightseeing while sitting in the bus
though, especially when we passed by Gwangan Bridge.It was quite
traffic jam, so we arrived at Busan Station around 1.30pm. We directly
went around the area to find some foods to eat. We had lunch in a
Kalguksu restaurant (noodle soup). It was really warming our body
inside.

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Taejeongdae

We took Buti Taejeongdae Tour at 2pm from Busan Station, and
arrived in Taejeongdae around 2.45pm. Taejeongdae is a natural
recreation park near cliff and facing the sea. It has lighthouse, temple,
amusement park and observatory and cruise ship terminal and the
roads are surrounded by big pine trees. It was named after King
Taejeong Muyeol, one of Kings from Shilla Kingdom who liked going
to this place to practice shooting arrows.

Danubi Train to go around Taejeongdae

There was no admission fee, but the small train called Danubi that
could take us around the place cost 1500 won / person and rand
every 20-30 minutes. Other than Danubi Train, visitors also can walk
around this area by foot.We saw Danubi queue was VERY long, could
take an hour just for waiting. Since Buti only operated until 5pm, we

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planned to catch the bus from Taejeongdae around 4pm. That meant
we had only about one hour to go around this resort park. So we
decided to walk instead, rather than waiting Danubi too long.

After few minutes walking, we just realized the path was quite
inclined. We were easily out of breath and often making stops haha
did not expect it would be a little hiking in the winter.

Taewon Pebble Beach

Around 300meters from the main gate, we stopped by Taewon
Pebble Beach, which also served as a place for ferry boat terminal.
The boat could be an alternative way to see around Taejeongdae
other than Danubi and walking. It took about 30 minutes to complete
the trip and go back to Taewon Pebble Beach. Like its name, the
beach was full of pebbles much like rocks, instead of sands. We could
hear the sounds of rocks collided with each other.

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Then we continued walking for another 400meters and found
Gumyeongsa Temple, a really serene place. In the end we only could
walk further for almost 1km before going back to the main gate.
Around the bus stop, there are many foods and games stalls. While
waiting for our Buti to come, we played some childrengames like
throwing big needled to balloons to get a doll haha.

Ahjumma with her balloons game

Here I saw again another Busan Footpath, a whole coastal trail from
Taejeongdae to Songdo Beach passing by Namhang Bridge. The
route stretches for about 17km/8hrs. What I like about Korea is how
they determines to provide facilities for their people to live a healthy
lifestyle. There a lot of hiking and coastal trails like this, and makes
their limited resources become interesting to see and visit.

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Busan International Film Festival Square

Our last Buti ride for the day took us from Taejongdae to Busan
International Film Festival (BIFF) Square, and arrived there around
6pm. Some people writes Busan as Pusan, so you can find some texts
as PIFF instead of BIFF, do not confuse, they are all the same.The first
theatre in Busan was built in this area, so the street became a famous
landmark to celebrate film industry especially Asian movies. Every
year in October Busan held BIFF that the grand opening usually takes
place in this square. Meanwhile in the other months, this place is
crowded with tourists, fashion shops, fortune tellers and street food
stalls. We really did not know which foods to eat, there were a lot
and all looked tempting in that below zero degrees.

A lot of yummy street foods

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On the street we can see also some
hand prints of famous actresses
and actors. It is like Avenue of Stars
in Hong Kong. However, I did not
find any familiar names there
whichwere mostly Korean
celebrities. I could not take any
good picture of the handprints
because people feet kept passing
by on that Christmas Eve.

We can go there by Subway Line 1
to Jagalchi Station and go out at
Exit 7, then walk straight and turn left for about 5 minutes. Or like we
did, take Buti Taejongdae Tour and stopped at BIFF Square.

BIFF Square at Night

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Jagalchi Market

Just near BIFF Square, there is what they claim as the world famous
fish market called Jagalchi withJagal means gravel. People said this
place is used to be surrounded by gravel. Located in the seaside road
on the edge of Nampo port, Jagalchi Market is opened from 5am to
10pm every day except the first and third Tuesday of the month.

Jagalchi Market gate

The building has 7 floors with mostly selling fresh live seafood on the
first floor, including eel, abalone, crab, squid and octopus. Visitors
can choose their own live fish and eat there, or buy dried fish to take
home. Have you seen Koreans eating live octopus with some sauces
in TV shows? Yeah, you can try it here, but not for me, thanks.

Honestly fish market is not my kind of thing. I love eating fish but I
rarely buy raw fresh fish in the fish market even in my own country.
So I really did not know how to purchase fish, moreover in Korea
where I could not speak the language very well. We only walked
around the first floor of Jagalchi Market without buying anything. We
were also quite stuffed with foods we ate while in BIFF Square.

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Eels

We can go there by Subway Line 1 to Jagalchi Station and go out at
Exit 10. Or like we did, take Buti Taejongdae Tour and stopped at BIFF
Square / Jagalchi Market bus stop.

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Hello Guesthouse

Around 7pm we walked to Jagalchi Station to go back to our hostel
near Haeundae Station. That was the first time we took Humetro, the
name of Busan city subway, because our Buti session had ended. We
bought one way ticket of Humetro by cash 1500won. At that time,
only Hanaro and MyBi cards are accepted, not Seoul T-Money card
(that I had). Since I did not plan to travel in Busan for many times, I
did not buy Hanaro cards for the rest of my journey in Busan and just
bought the tickets by cash each time taking subway. Fare difference
between using card and cash was usually around 100won.Humetro
has 4 intercity lines and Busan-Gimhae light rail line (Gimhae is the
nearest international airport to Busan).

Humetro Lines

Hello, Guesthouse! Time to get rest…. Nope! Just when we entered
the guesthouse, staff invited us to join their Christmas Eve Party in
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shared lounge / TV area. It started at 9pm so we had time to take
shower first. They had prepared many light foods for us to eat while
mingling such as salads, cakes, breads, fries, fruits… and it was all
free. We sat in circle form, then the MC started to play some games.

There were some foreigners but mostly Koreans. Local young
tourists often travel around Korea with their friends and staying in
guesthouses like this. They are very friendly, sociable, and partygoers.
I rarely met a Korean that does not like chatting and drinking. If they
meetup with friends, it always ends up with 3-4 rounds: first heavy
meal, second coffee or ice cream, third alcohol and forth Noraebang
(karaoke). Like this party, they continued eating, drinking and talking
until early morning. Not that they celebrate Christmas, they just like
partying for any occasions.

Christmas Eve Party at Hello Guesthouse

I and my friend excused ourselves to get rest at 11.30pm. Ah, finally
hit the bed!

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Standard 8 Bed Female Dorm

We booked 2 beds in Standard 8 Beds Female Dorm via HostelWorld
which cost 30,000won per bed. That female room was lovely with
flowery pillow cases and cute blankets. It was warm too with heater.
Anywhere inside this guesthouse was clean, including toilets and
shower rooms. The staff could speak English very well and quite
helpful to ask for guides.

When we woke up the next day, the lounge area was quite empty. I
guess many guests were partying up late night. We took shower and
had small breakfast that they provided for free: some breads and
coffee. Then we checked-out and brought our stuff along to explore
other places in Busan.

Merry Christmas, and Happy Holiday!

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Haeundae Beach

Just 5 minutes walking from our hostel, we arrived in Haeundae
Beach. We had not stopped there the previous day because we had
to catch Buti bus to Taejeongdae, so that morning we paid a visit to
this famous beach. It has white sands and stretched along 1.5km. Just
like Gwangalli Beach, it is a popular place for tourists during summer
and often used as a venue for events and festivals. During winter,
nothing much we can do except enjoying the scenery. I like Gwangalli
Beach more because at least it has a beautiful bridge to view.This
beach is also famous for watching sunrise (especially New Year
Sunrise), but too bad we were too lazy to wake up early.There are
Tourist Information Center and Busan Aquarium in this area too.

Haeundae Beach View

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Seomyeon

From Haeundae Metro Station, we took Humetro Line 2 (green color)
towards Seomyeon Station which was located 16 stations away but in
the same line. Out we went, from a peaceful beach into a lively
neighborhood.

I think Seomyeon in Busan is like Myeongdong in Korea. It is a
commercial center filled with shops, restaurants, theaters, bars,
department stores, coffee shops and many more. Since it was
Christmas holiday, the streets were full with cute Christmas
decoration.

We went there not because we wanted to do some shopping. We
could find all of the items there easily in Seoul. We went there
because our next destination, Yongdusan Park, had the entrance
gate in Seomyeon.
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Yongdusan Park

Yongdusan was a small hill where
we could see Busan city from top.
The entrance stairs and escalators
were from bustling streets of
Seomyeon. Yongdu means dragon,
and San means mountain. It is said
the park was shaped like a dragon
head. We could see a statue of
Dragon near the entrance. There
was also a statue of Great Admiral
Yi Sun Sin, a Korean naval
commander in 16th century who
won many battles over Japanese
attacks by the sea.

Other attractions in this park
included flower clock, citizen’s bell and bust of a Busan-based
independent activist named An Hee-Je. This park did not only attract
tourists to come but many local people spend their time strolling
around this park. Because, the park was really neat, clean, fresh, and
convenient with many big trees and pavilions around the place. It is
good for exercise too because the park

The main feature of this park is Busan Tower. This is a 118 m high
white tower where the deck on top of the building had panoramic
view of Busan city.The entrance fee was 4000 Won per person. The
view up there was so stunning! The picture on the cover of this
ebook was taken from the top of Busan Tower.

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On the lower deck there is also a Love Locks area, just like Seoul
Tower.Here many couples and friends usually put a lock there and
throw away the key hoping their love and friendships will last forever.

Love Locks at Busan Tower

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Going Back

It was time to go back to Seoul. We booked KTX ticket that departed
from Busan Station at 14.45 and arrived in Seoul Station at 17.15. We
took metro again to Busan Station which was located 6 stations
away from Seomyeon Station in line 1 (orange color). Seomyoen
Station was passed by 2 lines: line 1 and line 2. We grabbed some
foods for quick lunch near Busan Station.

Busan Station Metro

That was the end of our short weekend getaway to Busan city. Surely
2 days was not enough to cover all places. See you next time, Busan!

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