My trip to South Korea with my high school friend, Mon, involved 11 days of touring Seoul (with day trips to Paju, Anyang, and Gapyeong), Danyang, Busan, and Jeju. Our third stop was in Busan which is the second largest city in the country. The world’s biggest department store, Shinsegae Centum City, is also located here. Busan is recommended for travelers who prefer a laid-back, more affordable, and less crowded version of Seoul.
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Read my post here to view our complete itinerary with a list of directions, expenses, and tips.
How to get to Busan from Seoul:
KTX Gyeongbu Line: Depart from Seoul Station (Subway Line 1 or 4, Exit 1) and descend at Busan Station. Travel time is 2.5 hours.
KTX Honam Line: Depart from Yongsan Station and descend at Mokpo. Travel time is 3 hours.
Type and Price of Korail Pass:
(c) Official Korail website
(Please note that I am not familiar with this process because Danyang was our origin. You may visit the Korail website here for more info.)
How to get to Busan from Danyang:
Go to Danyang Bus Terminal and purchase a bus ticket en route to Busan. We did not catch the last trip though but fortunately, the ahjumma behind the ticket counter advised us that we could hop on a bus going to Busan from Yeongju. Travel time took about 5 hours.
- Danyang to Yeongju bus ticket is worth KRW 4,500 (PHP 181 PHP or USD 4).
- Yeongju to Busan bus ticket is worth KRW 19,300 (PHP 776 or USD 17).
WHAT TO DO AND SEE:
1. Shop at Shinsegae Centum City.
Shinsegae Centum City in Busan is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest shopping complex in the world.
- Location: 35, Senteomnam-daero, Haeun Daegu, Busan
- Operating Hours: 10:30-20:00, Extended hours 10:30-21:00, Restaurants 11:00-21:30 (Last order at 21:00)
2. Food trip at Jagalchi Market.
Jagalchi Market is the largest seafood market in South Korea. Ironically, we did not eat any seafood here because we happened to pass by a stall that sells grilled intestines of pork called “gopchang”. In the Philippines where I live, there is a similar street food which is also my favorite known as “isaw”. The difference is that the gopchang we ate was mixed with cheese and garlic while isaw is skewered and dipped in vinegar. There have been times that I am craving it because that is just how good it is.
- Location: 52, Jagalchihaean-ro, Jung-gu, Busan
- Operating Hours (Closed on the first and third Tuesday of every month) : 08:00-22:00
3. Visit the Haedong Yonggungsa Temple.
Among the temples we visited in South Korea, Haedong Yonggungsa is the most instagrammable at a millennial’s point of view. It is a Buddhist temple situated along a shore line that was founded by a monk named Naong. Visitors flock here to pray as it is believed that the wishes and prayers would be granted.
- Location: 86, Yonggung-gil, Gijang-eup, Gijang-gun, Busan
- Operating Hours: 05:00-Sunset
- Admission Fees: Free
- Visit their website here.
4. Beach bumming at Haeundae
Haeundae Beach is one of the popular beaches in South Korea and is the most famous in Busan. It has a 1.5 km stretch of fine golden sand. It is packed with visitors during the summer months from July to August.
- Location: 264, Haeundaehaebyeon-ro, Haeundae-gu, Busan
- Operating Hours: 24/7
- Admission Fees: Free
- Visit their website here.
5. Gamcheon Culture Village
The village itself is a piece of art. It is formed by a series of houses painted with different pastel colors making it a resemblance of the favelas in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Other facilities that can be found here are workshops (pottery, woodworking, textile, flower arranging), rooftop, art shop, cafes, museums, and restaurants.
- Location: 177-11, Gamnae 2-ro, Saha-gu, Busan
- Operating Hours: Open all year round (Haneulmaru 09:00-18:00, Art Shop 09:00-18:00, Gamnaeeoulteo 09:00-18:00, Gamnae Cafe 10:00-19:00)
- Map: KRW 2,000
6. Stay at First Guesthouse.
The guesthouse is a walking distance from Haeundae Intercity Bus Terminal, Haeundae Subway Station (Busan Line 2), and Haeundae Beach. It is 10 minutes away from Centum City by subway and 40 minutes from Busan KTX Station by bus. It offers private and dormitory-style rooms, free WiFi, shared bathrooms, and communal kitchen.
- Location: F6-7 ,4, Jungdong 1-ro, Haeundae-gu, 612-821 Busan
- Price per night of Twin Room with Bunk Beds (Double Occupancy): We paid PHP 2,252/ KRW 56,664/ USD 49.
WHAT TO EAT:
Click or hover your mouse over each photo to read the descriptions.
Busan is as an ideal destination if you are traveling to South Korea on a budget. As you may have noticed, the admission fees of the tourist spots mentioned above are free so you can experience both the modern and the traditional Korean culture without shelling out extra cash.
Read the other posts in my South Korea blog series to know what to do, see, and eat in each destination.