Busan, a Metropolis full of "Life and Fun"
Date of travel: July-August 2012
Text and Photos by Arthur Jeciel
February 5, 2013 Mike and I were in South Korea last year, and one of the places we visited was Busan. We came there by taking the local train from Gyeongju, the capital of the ancient kingdom of Silla. The train ride took about two hours and by the time we reached our hotel which was located near the Haeundae Beach, it was already lunch time. I never imagined the beach would be so crowded that time of the day, but since it is one of the most famous beaches in the country, I guess it was pretty understandble.
It could well be justified as the "Rio de Janeiro" of South Korea with all the men and women, boys and girls having fun in the sea. But I guess you already noticed one interesting thing. Yes, a swim ring is a must. I could think of two reasons why..either safety and security always come first among Koreans, or they simply can't ----!!
Maybe finding a spot for you would be easier if you come early....
Or it could be a problem if you come late....
Of course, the answer to my curiousity earlier is that Koreans always make sure safety and security come first. These young (and cute) boys are everywhere in the streets...literally. They are always roaming making sure that peace and order is maintained everywhere, during day...
...and night!! Honestly, I've never felt more safe and secure than when I was in Busan.
The crowd in the beach slowly vanishes as the sun sets....probably because they all got tired of "swimming" or they simply are not allowed to stay there after a certain time. Well, it was another curiousity but I'll leave the answer to you.
In the evening, the fun and activities are endless. There are people playing music, dancing, painting, selling arts...The minute I leave the hotel premise and go outside, I could feel a lot of things are happening around me...
The beautiful view of Gwangan Bridge at night never fails to attract locals and tourists alike. Well, we were one of them. The bridge which is about 7,420 meters long, is actually the second longest bridge in South Korea.
When you get tired spending your time in the beach, there are plenty of other things to do while in this city. I could suggest a visit to the local fish market, the Busan Aquarium and the Busan Tower or just a stroll in the downtown. The possibilities never stop as there would always be something to catch your attention.
And lastly...the Korean food, which is almost always spicy, in my opinion. I normally do not eat spicy food so I always had to inform the waitress beforehand, and it worked just fine. There was this nice Korean restaurant near the hotel with really good food, that we ate there almost every night. Of course, don't miss the "bibimbap", a signature Korean dish which is a combination of warm white rice topped with seasoned vegetables and chilli pepper paste.
High Tech land
Aside from Japan, this is the only other country where I have seen high-tech toilets. Let's not forget that South Korea is also famous for their mobile phones. Samsung and LG were ranked as the first and third largest mobile companies in the world in the first quarter of 2012, respectively. The subway system offers really good wifi connectivity and 3G signals which explains why almost everybody had their eyes glued to their mobile phones, some surfing while others are watching TV programs. I've never seen such scenario before! Interesting to note was almost half of the commuters were using Iphone. As an Iphone user myself, I would understand why!
As I was writing this blog, I just realized how much I missed this country. The people are very nice and friendly, the country itself very clean, plus the very efficient transportation system. If you haven't been to South Korea, please do so, and make sure you visit Busan because as I said, it's a metropolis full of life and fun. Until next time, annyeong-hee gah-seh-yo!