10 Key Things about Busan, South Korea

Busan – The city of Relaxed Luxury

Busan has become an economic and cultural power at par with any other major city of the world. The city’s natural beauty with it’s cliff’s, temples and beaches with blue water is a complete contradiction to its metropolitan nature. However, it somehow just works, and the result is a city which attracts its fair share of tourists.

1. History of Busan

At first the district of Busan was a part of the administration of Jinhan alliance, but was later absorbed into the Silla dynasty. In the 15th century, the city was involved in trade with Japan, and became a major port town which received a large inflow of the Japanese population. Japan ultimately succeeds in overpowering the city and colonises it. By the later part of 1800s, the city manages to establish itself as a centre of commerce. Historically, it was one of the only provinces which wasn’t captured in the Korean war, apart from Seoul.10-key-things-pusan-civil-servant-yongdusan-1024x682 10 Key Things about Busan, South Korea2. Nightlife in Busan

The city is simply breathtaking at night; there’s lots to do after the sun goes down, plenty of bars ranging from cheap but trendy to high end luxury ones, most of the dance clubs are located in the PNU area and the most important thing when hanging out here is to dress like you own the world. Koreans are pretty committed about looking good. If you want a more relaxed experience go down to the nightclubs near the universities which are a bit more foreign friendly. There’s also gambling in The Paradise Casino, if that’s something you wanna try. Haeundae is the fun magnet of the city where there is plenty of stuff to do and enjoy whether it be day or night.10-key-things-haeundae-beach-umbrellas-1024x768 10 Key Things about Busan, South Korea3. Safety in Busan

The city is as safe as any other big city with a yound and wild crowd. Women should exercise caution, especially at night as harassment and assault cases are unfortunately common in the city. Follow the buddy system and avoid taking risks. Be alert around the bus station. People are not extremely helpful if you face any problems, you and only can look out for yourself. Expecting any assistance from the police will only fetch you dissapointment. Gangs of Korean males who likely are part of some unsavory groups are present and should be avoided at all costs. Keep your valuables in check, and remember Constant Vigilance!

4. Living Expenses in Busan

Renting an apartment of one bedroom for a month in a posh area will cost you 650,000 ₩ (USD 560) and a three bedroom apartment 1180000 ₩ (USD 1017).    

You can find guest houses starting from 13000 ₩ (USD 11) whereas budget hotels charging a tariff of 52000 ₩ (USD 44) and luxury hotels like Park Hyatt Busan charge per night 290000 ₩ (USD 250). If you want a bit of privacy and are willing to pay for it then there are many many apartments and penthouses (fully furnished with all the amenities) which you can rent for USD 200-500 per night depending on the location and view.

5. Cuisines of Busan

Busan being a coastal city offers a variety of fresh seafood. Some local dishes to look out for are Dongnae pajeon, Daegu Tang, and Bokguk. You’ll find an abundance of fried food, including, but no way at all limited to fish and other catch. Rice cakes, fish cakes, rice stuffed fish and squid, mandu (Korean dumplings), and so many fresh fruits…you’re in for a treat, and all of this can easily be found in Shinsegae Centum City, the largest departmental store in the world at present. Sushi Berry has become famous for serving the best sushi in the country; for some caffeine fix go down to Buanova Coffee or the Coffee factory, they come highly recommended.10-key-things-seeds-hotteok-1024x682 10 Key Things about Busan, South Korea

6. Statistics of Busan

With a population of more than 3 million people spread across an area of 767 sq.km, Busan is South Korea’s second largest city. With it’s largest port in the country, the city is involved in International trade. It is resident the largest departmental store in the world. Half of the population follows either Buddhism or Christianity, the other half following no religion at all or preaching their local cults and deities.

7. Public Transport in Busan

The port of Busan connects the country to Japan and Jeju island through passenger ferries. The city is also connected through the Gimhae International Airport. Busan is suitably connected to other parts of South Korea by a well established network of buses and railways. To get around, you can make use of the subway, buses, taxis and light rail transit system which can be accessed easily by the Travel Card.

Pollution in Busan: Busan has acceptable air quality, however people who are sensitive should take precautions. The PM 2.5 level is of a moderate 82, compared to Delhi’s alarming 195.

8. Weather of Busan

Busan maintains a moderate temperature throughout the year hardly experiencing extreme weather. Summers are average whereas winters are dry and cold. The month of September experiences typhoon season so plan your vacation accordingly. Best time to visit would be in the spring.

Summer: June till September. Average High 25°C; Average Low 20°C
Autumn: October till November. Average High 19°C; Average Low 10°C
Winter: December till February. Average High 9°C; Average Low 1°C
Spring: March till April. Average High 17°C; Average Low 9°C

Average annual precipitation in the city is 1,519 mm.

9. Culture of Busan

The city is home to two major art museums. The Busan Museum of Art which showcases works from sculpture to paintings to photography, is well maintained and larger than life, frequently taking part in art exchanges and research. Kyungsung University Art Center is another thriving cultural hotspot.

Art Galleries like Kim Jae Sun, Banana Long and Johyun have provided and uplifted the cultural aspect of the city in the past few years, showing edgy pieces and gathering support and appreciation from locals as well as international entities.

In addition, the biggest international film festival of Asia takes place in Busan.10-key-things-oryukdo-beach-1024x576 10 Key Things about Busan, South Korea

10. Places to Visit in Busan

Things to do in Busan: Must see places on your trip here would be Yonggungsa Temple; Beomeosa Temple; Gamcheon Cultural Village; Dalmaji Hill; Seokbulsa Temple; Jagalchi Fish Market; and lastly spas, and for that you could go to Spaland Centum City (the city is after all famous for it’s relaxing detoxing spas). Cruises and boat tours are also something you can relish.

Things to do for Kids in Busan: Take your kids down to the city aquarium for some under the sea exploration or hop down to the beach to splash around a bit. If you time it right, then you and your munchkins would able to enjoy the annual city festivals like Muju Firefly Festival, Haeundae Sand Festival, or even the Pohang International Fireworks Festival.

Museum and Galleries: Modern History Museum; Busan Museum; Busan Museum of Art; Trickeye Museum; Radium Art Center; The world Modelship Exhibition Hall; Shinsegae Gallery; Kim Jae Sun; Banana Long and Johyun.

Places nearby: Gyeongju just a day away from Busan, is a historical city full of ruins and archaeological evidence of it’s rich history and is a major tourist destination.

Offbeat places: Take a hike and then explore the Taejong-Dae cliff and view the sea from the top.

Author’s Conclusion: There’s so much to do, that a short trip might not cover all that this city has to offer. However long, you’re sure to have a fun filled experience in Busan.

Country South Korea
City Busan/Pusan
Area 767.35 sq. km.
Population 3.417 million
Demonym Korean / South Korean
Languages Korean (Gyeongsang dialect)
Currency South Korean Won (₩) (1₩ = USD 0.00086 as of 23rd March 2016)
Time Zone Korea Time Zone (UTC+09)
Driving Right Hand Traffic, Left Hand Drive vehicles
Helpline Police-112 ; Fire-119 ; Emergency-119 ; Medical Emergency (foreigners)-1339  

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