Sunday, August 25, 2013


April 2012

Seeing abundant cherry blossoms in Busan highlighted my visit. I spent “spring-summer” holy week vacation 2012 in this awesome place with my travel buddies. Even if I have visited Korea for several times already, it always felt like it was my first time because its atmosphere and people never fail to amaze me.


Initially, our itinerary was scheduled as follows:
Day 1 Arrival in Busan
Day 2 Whole Day Busan City Tour
           Then over night journey to Jeju Island via ferryboat
Day 3 Jeju Island Tour                                                                                                                  
          Then back to Busan via overnight ferryboat
Day 4 Last peep in Busan before going back to Manila

Unfortunately, it did not materialize. Six hours prior to departure, my friend in Seoul who was in charged in the reservation of our ferry seats going to/from Jeju Island informed me that there was no boat voyage on our selected dates.  We have no choice but to stay in Busan, explore and feel its heartbeat. So before departing in Manila, I booked our hotel via Agoda for two nights. We stayed at Ibis Ambassador Hotel in the city centre of Busan, located at 573-7 Bujeon-dong Busanjin-gu 614030 Busan South Korea. The nearest subway station is Bujeon station, Exit 1 or 9. There is also a Mini-mart and Starbucks close to our hotel. The famous Bujeon market is also in close proximity.

Jeju Island

During that time, Jeju Island was newly and formally confirmed as one of the new 7 wonders of nature.

Jeju-do is a volcanic island located 130 kilometres off the southern coast of South Korea. It is the country’s largest island, smallest province and home to its tallest mountain, Halla-san, a dramatic-looking dormant volcano that rises 1,950 metres above sea level. The people of Jeju have developed a culture and language that are distinct from those of mainland Korea, and the island is famous for its matriarchal family structure, symbolized by the haenyeo (“sea women”), who make a living from deep-sea diving to harvest marine products.” – new7wonders

Upon arrival at Busan International Airport, we took a cab going to Sunset Business Hotel, wherein we are booked for our first and fourth day in the city. Sunset Business Hotel is situated at 1391-66, Jung-dong, Haeundae-gu, Haeundae Beach, Busan, South Korea. The nearest subway is Haeundae station.

Haeundae Beach, Haedong Yonggung Temple, Busan Aquarium and Spa, Paradise Duty free and the market are accessible from where we are staying.

Haeundae Beach
One of the best resorts in Korea with luxurious hotels and restaurants are located along the beautiful coastline of Haeundae Beach. A variety of festivals are held here throughout the year, including many, right on the 1km long sandy beach.
Haeundae Market

The Tour

Busan City has two types of tours: the themed and loop tours. The themed tours consist of history and culture, temple and eco tour and the night views tour. This time, we chose the loop tour. Loop tour is a hop-on hop-off service, which departs everyday (except Monday) in front of Arirang Hotel at Busan Station Square, between Exit 8 of Busan Metro and Exit 1 of Busan Railway Station. Tickets can be purchased on first-come-first-serve basis from the driver. You can visit their website, Busan City Tour for more information.

Look for this Hop-on Hop-off  Bus Signage where you can alight or get in to the bus
On our Day 2, we took the Taejongdae Loop tour for us to have fantastic views of the ocean and beautiful 9.1km coastline at the southernmost point of Yeongdo Island. Taejongdae is a leading tourist attraction best known for its observatory and lighthouse overlooking the sea and its view of Japan’s Tsushima Island.

 Ride this Tram to go around the Yeong-do Island (not free)
The next day, we availed the Haeundae Loop tour. The loop consisted of visits at Haeundae Beach, Busan Museum, Gwangali Beach, Nurimaru, Shinsegae Department Store, BEXCO and UN Memorial Park.

APEC Venue 2005

Shinsegae Centumcity is the largest department store in the world. It is an amazing and fun place that is like a city itself and a Guinness World Record holder. The certification is dated June 26, 2009.
Furthermore, Guinness World Records recognized the Busan Cinema Centre’s Big Roof located at Centum City in Haeundae, as the largest cantilever roof in the world.

World's biggest Canopy
World's biggest Department Store 
I discovered more amazing facts about the heartbeat of Dynamic Busan. I am sure that this city will continue to grow and flourish not just in the world but in the heart of many people just like me. Korea is waiting to share its richness and beauty with you.

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