Well we all know we could kill a lot of time eating in Busan, but at some point we have to do some sight seeing right? Well the first place that always comes to mind is the beach. There are a few beaches in the area Haeundae and Gwangalli Beach are probably the most well known.
Haeundae Beach is the largest and most famous beach Korea. However, if you are used to beaches like Florida you will be disappointed by the beaches in Korea as the sand is more coarse and the beach isn’t very clean. Apparently a lot of the sand is comprised of shells that have been eroded (the sand is similar to the sand at Dewey Beach, DE).
Gwangalli Beach is southwest of Haeundae. The sand at Gwangalli is definitely finer, but even though Gwangalli has undergone a cleaning program, I felt the water and beach area still was in need of cleaning. The other good thing about the Gwangalli area is that it is known for a lot of night life. Lots of beach bars, restaurants, and nightlife. I think the next time we go to Busan I will be staying in Gwangalli.
In addition to the beach we visited the Haedong Yonggungsa Temple which is a temple by the sea. It is especially unique because most temples in Korea are located in the mountains. However, Yongungsa Temple, which means King’s Dragon Palace, was built in 1376 to worship the Great Goddess Buddha of mercy in the sea who lives alone near the sea and often appears on the back of a dragon. The Haedong Yonggungsa Temple is one of 3 Sacred Places related to the Goddess Buddha. This temple preserves religious concept deeper than that of any other temple ever as the sea, dragon and the Great Goddess Buddha embody harmony here. The original temple was destroyed during the Japanese occupation and reconstructed in 1970.
Haedong Yongungsa Temple
부산광역시 기장군 기장읍 용궁길 86 (86, Yonggung-gil, Gijang-eup, Gijang-gun, Busan)
Another nice place to visit is Igidae Park which has very nice scenery and quite a few different hiking trails. It’s a great way to enjoy the outdoors.
부산광역시 남구 이기대공원로 68 (용호동) (68, Igidaegongwon-ro, Nam-gu, Busan)
Overall there are a lot of things to do in Busan and a lot of them are outdoors. So get on your hiking shoes or bathing suit and enjoy the fresh air!