Busan (pronounced and formerly spelled as Pusan), one of the most popular locations to visit in Korea, second to Seoul, was on my list to visit before I leave Korea. Although many English teachers in Korea recommend visiting this city during the summer time for the beach, it is definitely worth it to make a trip down South to dodge the cold weather in Seoul for a couple of days. With the weather slightly warmer than Seoul, it is almost impossible to see snow in Busan, but of course that wasn't the case for me because I would go during the coldest week of the year!
For starters, Busan is known to be the summer capital of Korea with six beaches in the big city. The most popular, Haeundae, is the one must visit in Busan. There is also Gwangalli Beach and the popular Grand Gwangan Bridge. With restaurants, bars, cafes, and so much to do along the beach, it is definitely worth it to take a stroll during the day and especially at night to enjoy the amazing view and lighting. Lastly, the Taejongdae on the opposite side of town faces Yeongdo is known for it's natural park with amazing cliff views that is popular for many tourists.
Hiking in Busan is also on the top of the list for many. Going to Geumjeongsan for a weekend hike is one thing that many locals and travelers like to do in Busan. The main Korean Buddhist Temple is also in close distance in Beomeosa. Dongnae-gu is the most wealthy and traditional residential area in Busan which is worth visiting. The one recommendation that I will make is going to Yongdusan Park, where Busan's highest building is. The Busan Tower is located by the Lotte Department Store where you can find a water show at every hour. Be sure to also check out the Christmas tree festival that is in the area of the shopping streets. Just like the Myeondong of Seoul, there is a lot to pick up and a handful of cheap goodies (even cheaper than those in Seoul). When in Busan, it is important to eat what they are known for. Seafood, fresh sashimi is number one on the list. You can find all types of seafood and fresh fish to order from. A second yum, dongnae pajeon 동래파전 is a different take on the Korean pancake made with seafood and a thicker wheat flour mix. Another Busan eat is milmyeon 밀면 which is like the cold buckwheat noodle soup of naemyeon. One recommendation that is a must try for every English teacher in Korea is the Dwaeji Gukbap 돼지국밥 which helps to warm any stomach during a cold winter day. This pork soup rice is made with thick slices of pork and a white soup base which hits the spot after any tourist visit. Be sure to make a visit to Busan when visiting Korea. You don't want to miss out on the amazing views and great food they have to offer. The one problem that you may have with communication is the different dialect. Locals have their own pronunciation of certain Korean words so getting around can be tricky, but totally worth it!
Graduating with a double major in Communications and Chinese from Rutgers University, it wasn’t long after working in the Big Apple that Cindy Ung decided to take a break from the cliché 9-5 lifestyle and move to Korea to teach English for CDI. Making the bold step to leave her comfortable, mapped out life in the States, she has fallen more in love with the Korean culture as each day passes. With weekly mountain hikes, weekend road trips, discovering great foods and beauty products, constantly meeting new people, her life in Korea has been everything but mapped out.
Check out Cindy’s blog to get a glimpse of what Korea has to offer!