[Been There Done That] Busan, Where History and Nature are Mixed in Metropolitan Life
[Been There Done That] Busan, Where History and Nature are Mixed in Metropolitan Life
  • Reporter Lee Suh-young
  • 승인 2011.05.04 12:07
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Busan, located on the southeastern tip of the Korean peninsula, is South Korea’s second largest metropolis. Two Postech Times reporters traveled together on a weekend after midterms and redesigned the virtual one-day travel itinerary from what we had experienced on foot.

▲ Virtual tour path

It was an approximately two-hour bus trip to Busan from Pohang. Getting off the bus at the Busan Central Bus Terminal, we took the subway and set out for the first of our itinerary, Beomeosa Temple. The history of Beomeosa Temple goes back over 1,300 years ago to the reign of King Munmu of the Silla Dynasty. Celebrating the upcoming Buddha’s Birthday on May 10, the temple was decorated with uncountable colorful lecterns. Escaping from the complicated and hectic modern life, we enjoyed the clean breezy air from the Mt. Geumjeong.

By bus, we arrived at Shinsegae Centum City, which is registered in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest department store of the world. Near the department store, there are several famous places such as the Busan Exhibition and Convention Center (BEXCO), Busan Museum of Art, and several hotels with beautiful ocean views. After having lunch, we headed to Haeundae Beach.

Haeundae Beach, which is the most famous sandy beach in Korea, is just a few stops next to Centum City by subway. Along the 1.5 km of seaside, there were a few couples enjoying the beautiful scenery of the sea despite the bad weather. Beside Haeundae Beach, there are several enjoyable places such as the Busan Aquarium. The aquarium contains over 35,000 species of fish and it is famous for its tunnel experience which is like a walk along the ocean floor with various sea creatures swimming above. This is a very popular area of the aquarium and is sure to amaze visitors.

On the way to the beach, we visited Dongbaekseom Island where Nurimaru APEC House, in which APEC Summit 2005 was held at, is located. It took about one hour to walk around the island but it didn’t make us feel tired because the complex was just a perfect place to have a walk. Viewing the beautiful Busan sea, we lost the sense of time passing. Moreover, if weather is good enough, it is possible to see Tsushima Island which belongs to Japanese territory.

After walking on Dongbaekseom Island, we headed to the Busan Museum. At the museum, we glimpsed the entire history of Busan from the prehistoric age to the Chosun Dynasty and from the Japanese colonial period to the Korean War. There is one more place nearby to visit: the UN Memorial Cemetery. The UN Memorial Cemetery is the only one of its kind in the world in that it is a resting place for UN soldiers who lost their lives during the Korean War to protect freedom and promate peace.

Twilight then came; it was time for us to go for dinner. Transferring at Seomyeon station, we got off at the Jagalchi station. At BIFF Square, the hand prints of world-renowned movie stars set into the pavement of the plaza reminded us of the Busan as the city of the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF). After visiting Gukje market, the most important traditional market in Busan, we headed to the Jagalchi Fish Market in order to eat nice seafood cuisine.

The merchants shouted, “Oiso, boiso, saiso!”, which means “Come, look and buy!” and we went to a cozy food stall. Watching the dark sea, we ate fried sea eel cooked with briquette fire. With a bowl of makgeolli, we celebrated the end of our tour. Although it was raining outside, in the stall, there was only warm atmosphere from the briquette fire. Finishing up our makgeolli, we called it a day of our journey. With the shouting of venders, the night had not come yet to Jagalchi Market.