Dynamic Busan

Dynamic Busan, or so the tourist board named it, is Korea’s 3rd city after Seoul and Incheon, and is a favorite hangout for Koreans and expats alike. With miles of beautiful coastline and golden sandy beaches, and dozens of bars and clubs, it’s a partygoers dream, especially in summer, when thousands of weekend tourists descend upon Haeundae Beach in what can only be described as a swarming mass of undignified humanity. It’s always amazing to see Haeundae in the summer season. The beach disappears beneath an estimated 1,000,000 people on peak days, but such is the desire of Koreans to remain white skinned, tans being disnmissed as the mark of the lowly laborer, they will rarely venture out from beneath the almost 8,000 beach umbrellas. It’s a contradiction of the highest order. Just stay home already, and leave the beach for beach lovers. Like me.

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Haeundae Beach. Image credit HERE

But during off season, when the beaches are deserted and clean, and the ocean air isn’t suffocating you with 100% humidity, Busan is a lovely place to visit. With a nice 5 day break from school, Leslie and I rode the KTX bullet train the easy 50 minutes south from our new home in Daegu.

It has snowed a couple of times in the last week, and it has been really cold. But in Busan we were greeted with clear, cerulean skies, and though it was chilly the sun felt warm on our backs as we walked along the picturesque promenade.

Twenty First Century Nomad Busan, Korea

Nearby Haeundae Beach 해운대 해변 is Haedong Yong Gung Temple, or 해동 용궁사. Haedong Temple sits proudly on its cliff top location, and has a nice story to go with it. 1200 years ago, a fierce dragon lived in the sea and, always angry, caused storms to rage for months, effecting the livelihoods of the fishing community. In an attempt to appease the dragon, the Buddhist monks sacrificed a young girl by casting her into the sea. Satisfied, the dragon relented, and the seas have been calm ever since, and that’s how we found them on our visit; placid and peaceful.

Twenty First Century Nomad Busan, Korea

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Pagoda at Haedong Yong Gung Temple

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Despite the warming sun, icicles were a sharp reminder that winter is close.

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Twenty First Century Nomad Busan, Korea

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Korea is starting to evolve architecturally, and space age buildings sit quite comfortably alongside traditional pagodas. The famous Diamond Bridge at Gwangalli Beach (광안리 해수욕장) is in the background. This is The Apex Convention Center.

Twenty First Century Nomad Busan, Korea

The stick-selfie phenomenon is sweeping the Korean peninsula.

The stick-selfie phenomenon is sweeping the Korean peninsula.

And do you know what all good Buddhist novice monks are reading for their enlightenment these days? "I Have Lived Today," of course!

And do you know what all good Buddhist novice monks are reading for their enlightenment these days? “I Have Lived Today,” of course!

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2 Comments

  • Reply December 17, 2014

    Stephen

    Good article! Busan is a great city. Nice photos too! If you’re ever in need of a great tattoo artist in Busan, check out this guy: http://www.ohmycreativesoul.com/need-know-korean-tattoo-artist-jackson/

    • Reply December 17, 2014

      mogsaway@hotmail.com

      Thanks, Stephen. I appreciate any feedback.

      I will actually be looking for a tattoo artist in the summer, so if I can’t find what I want in Daegu I will check out the link. Thanks for the heads up.

      Cheers.

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