Sunday, September 30, 2018

Top 10 things to do in Busan, Korea | + Accommodation Recommendations

Out of the blue, I was listening to some Korean music in my bedroom and realized that I missed visiting Korea very much! One place I miss is definitely Busan, and since that was about a year ago since I last visited Busan, I decided to list down a few places that I truly missed and enjoyed during my stay there. With all hopes that this post would benefit anyone reading this, please enjoy my list of things to do while in Busan!

1 | Haedong Yonggungsa

Taking a picture at Haedong Yonggungsa with Golden Buddha at the back
Make a wish and throw a coin
Had to take a photo with the monkey statue since both of us were born in the year of the monkey.
A little history check on the Haedong Yonggung Temple, it is actually a Buddhist temple which was built in 1378 by a teacher known as Naong during the Goryeo Dynasty. Sadly during the Japanese invasion of Korea in 1592-98, it was partially destroyed but eventually rebuilt in the 1930s. The unique feature of this temple is that it built of one of the beautiful seasides in Korea thus making it a trademark of its own. Particularly famous for its Golden Buddha, you will enjoy walking around hills of rocks, filled with wishing stones. While you're there, feel free to make a wish!

2 | Jagalchi Market - Fresh fish and seafood market

If you're looking for seafood heaven, this is the place to be! Jagalchi Market is located on the shoreside road in Busan's Jung-gu and its well known to be Korea's largest seafood market selling both live and dried fish. This place represents Busan pretty well thanks to its history. It would be best to visit in October as there will be a Jagalchi Cultural Tourism Festival held. There are tons of restaurants along the market if you want to enjoy fresh seafood from the sea.

Train Station: Jung-gu
Opening Hours: 5am-10pm
Closed on First and Third Tuesday of every month

3 | Busan Tower

Busan Tower is another trademark not to be missed! Too bad I didn't get to visit the top cause we were running out of daytime. It opens at night, but I was expecting to go during daylight. Like any other tower in any country, this is one of the observatory decks if you would like to see a clearer view of Busan. The Busan Tower stands proudly 69m above sea level at the height of 120m. A unique feature that this tower has would be that the top of the tower is modeled after the baldaquin of Dabotap Pagoda in Bulguksa Temple.

Nampo Station (Busan Subway Line 1), Exit 7.
Upon exiting the station, turn left onto Gwangbok-o Street.
Walk approx. 160 m to arrive at Yongdusan Park (escalator on the right).

※ Take Bus 8, 15, 126, Airport Bus 161 or Airport Bus 61.
Operating Hours: 10am-11pm

4 | Gwangandaegyo from Haeundae Beach

Next would be the Gwangandaegyo Bridge, stretching over 7.4km from Namcheon-dong to Centum City. You can opt to view it from afar or make a trip to actually cross the bridge to be able to tell people that you've been on the longest bi-level bridge over the ocean in Korea. I decided to take a look at it at night from Haeundae Beach, and its a really nice sight to see. I only managed to check it out at night, but if you're here during the daytime, you'll get a clear view of Oryukdo Island, Hwangyeongsan Mountain, Gwangalli Beach, Dongbaekseom I, land and Dalmaji Hill.

Without a doubt, Haeundae Beach is the most famous beach in Busan. With white sandy beach stretching up to 1.5km long, it has a beautiful coastline making Haeundae Beach perfect for swimming. Popular during summer, Haeundae Beach is famous for various cultural events. While you're there, you can opt to visit Dongbaek Island, Busan Aquarium, and more! Perfect for those who love the beach, be sure to make time to spend your evening here.

 Haeundae Station (Busan Subway Line 2), Exit 5, 7.
- Walk straight for about 500m.

5 | Bulguksa Temple

Bulguksa Temple is the representative relic of Gyeongju and was designed as a World Cultural Asset by UNESCO in 1995. Built-in 528 during the Silla Kingdom, the temple underwent numerous renovations from different dynasty and was burned down during the Japanese Invasion war. It was renovated about 40 times, the Bulguksa Temple now is home to many important cultural relics such as Dabotap Pagoda, Saritap Pagoda and other national treasures. Making a visit here is a must when you're in Busan.

Operating Hours 
Mar-Sep 07:00-18:00 / Oct 07:00-17:30 
Nov-Jan 07:30-17:00 / Feb 07:30-17:30

From Gyeongju Train Station, follow Hwarang-ro Street and take Bus No. 10 or 11 (located in front of the post office).
- Get off at Bulguksa Temple (불국사) Bus Stop.
- Travel time: approx. 1 hr

While you're there, don't forget to visit one of their restaurants available as the prices are pretty reasonable and definitely something that is not easy to find in the main city. We managed to visit one of the stalls to try out this beef bulgogi freshly cooked right before your eyes. It was really yummy but it's a shame that I don't remember the name of the exact shop. Nevertheless, most of the food there is pretty similar, so don't be shy to walk into a shop and say hi! 

6 | Gwangalli Beach

Because I consider myself a beach babe (*coughs*), I just had to see Gwangalli Beach with my own eyes. The beach is a 1.4km long beach that is famous for its fine sand. This beach has undergone a water cleaning program and as a result, the water of the beach here is pristine. A famous spot for the younger generation (such as mua), this place is filled with romantic restaurants and cafes, and stores selling fashion brands. Usually, some locals would come here to enjoy the bright lights fo Gwangadaegyo Bridge.

Geumryeon Station (Busan Subway Line 2), Exit 1 or 3.
Make a U-turn and turn on the first street toward the beach.

7 | Beomeosa - 1300-year-old Buddhist temple founded in 678 AD

Beomeosa Temple is located at the eastern edge of Geumjeongsan Mountain and was constructed by monk Ui Sang in the 678 during the 18th year of King Munmu. Being one of the three most famous temples in the Yeongnam region, it was lost during the war and was restored in 1613 and has remained until now. Since I was an architecture student at the time, I enjoyed every detail of the pagoda with pillars, pavilions, gates, and eleven hermitages. Its pretty insane to imagine that most of the construction is made out of natural wood. There is also a temple stay program for visitors to learn more about the Buddhist culture and possibly discover oneself.

[Subway + Bus]
Beomeosa Station (Busan Subway Line No.1), Exit 5 or 7.
- Walk along the main road for about 5-min to arrive at Samsin Transportation Bus Stop.
- Take Bus No. 90 and get off at Beomeosa Ticket Office Bus Stop. 

Approx. 5 min from Beomeosa Station

8 | Gamcheon Culture Village

Gamcheon Culture Village is one of my favorites MUST GO places when in Busan. If you haven't been to Gamcheon, you haven't been to Busan. Hehe. The Gamcheon Culture Village is formed by houses built in staircase fashion on the foothills of a coastal mountain, earning its nickname of "Machu Picchu of Busan". If you love taking images, this is one of the places that you must visit to get the perfect shot of an unbelievably colorful village. It's an exciting resident area, thus be sure to respect their privacy while you're here.

Goejeong Station (Busan Subway Line 1), Exit 6. 
- Take local bus Sakha 1 or Sakha 1-1 to Gamcheon Elementary School Bus Stop. 

Toseong Station (Busan Subway Line 1), Exit 6.
- Take local bus Saha 1-1, Seogu 2 or Seogu 2-2 to Gamcheon Elementary School Bus Stop.

9 | BokcheonMuseum

If you love history, or you just want to understand more on the history of Busan, you can always make a quick stop at Bokcheon Museum. The museum is very informative and has an intriguing way of showing the history of Busan. It has a fairly good overview of the history of Busan. Worth the visit for newbies who have not been to Busan before. You'll spend a good 1-2 hours enjoying the exhibits explaining major events in Busan History. What I enjoyed the most was that they explained the array of relics and tombs discovered in the Bokcheon-dong ancient burial ground giving you some insights before visiting the actual site.

Admission: Free

Dongnae Station (Busan Subway Line 1), Exit 4.
Take Bus 6 and get off at Bokcheon Museum.

10 | Cheonmachong - Tomb of King Michu

The Cheonmachong Tomb is one of the many tombs that I have yet to visit! Excavated in 1973, the tomb consists of wooden coffin places inside an underground chamber mounded with boulders and earth, a typical upper-class tomb of the Silla period. I learned a lot about the Silla period while visiting the Cheonmachong Tomb as it explained on how tough it was to live in history. During the Silla period, they believed that the properties of the upper-class individual would be buried together with the body, which also includes human individuals too! It was a cruel period to live in, but honestly, exciting to know that there were a total of 11,526 artifacts were discovered within the tomb, and this is only one out of the many.

Operating hours: 9am -10pm

From Seoul Station, take a train to Singyeongju station. 
(Express KTX Line: operates 20 times a day / Travel Time: 2 hours) 
* Operating hours changes on week and weekend.


Hotel Cont, Yongdunsan-Gil
In case you're planning on your accommodation during your visit to Busan, I would highly advise you to check out Expedia to make your bookings! For less than RM300 a night, you can get a room located near the Busan Tower, specifically around Yongdunsan-gil area. I would suggest you stay in Hotel Cont here as it located in a convenient area with easy public transportation AND its located near Lotte Mall in case you want to do some shopping. hehe. Even though its marked as 2 and a half stars on Expedia, rest assured you will have a comfortable sleep with no worries. Wifi is free and breakfast can be included in your package if requested.

BOOK WITH EXPEDIA NOW <----- Click here

Well, that's all for now. I hope you enjoyed reading about my visit to Busan and if you may have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below or email me if you need anything urgent. Well, that's all for now. Signing out.

Sara xx


  1. bookmarked! nanti kalau i pergi korea i check your blog hehe

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