Busan may not be everyone’s first choice when visiting South Korea. But once you have visited Busan, you will fall in love with it. And the best time to visit Busan is in spring. You will enjoy spending time outdoors as the weather is not too hot and not too cold. Plus, visually, it is so colourful, allowing you enjoy the beauty of nature to the fullest.
Here are the three reasons why I love Busan:
#1: Cherry Blossoms
Spot the cherry blossoms at Yeojwacheon stream!
Cherry blossoms – that’s the spring in South Korea. Each April, hordes of tourists will flock to Jinhae, a short one-hour ride from Busan, as it blankets in pink petals. It is home to the biggest cherry blossom festival in South Korea: the Jinhae Gunhangje Festival.
One of the best places to view the cherry blossoms in Jinhae is the Yeojwacheon stream (photo shown above). Flanked by multitude of cherry blossom trees on both sides, the Yeojwacheon stream and its famous romance bridge offers an amazing sight and you can’t help but keep taking photos from every angle!
The Gyeonghwa train station, no longer in service since 2006, is another must-visit spot to view cherry blossoms. Pink, pink, pink. Pink is everywhere! You can walk through the tracks surround by rows of cherry blossom trees and the stationery KoRail train forms a perfect backdrop for amazing photos.
#2: Food, food, food!
Food is one reason that I keep going back to Busan.
My fave is the seafood. Sashimi or fish soup, you choose.
They are so fresh and reasonably priced. Delicious! This is not surprising as Busan is a seaport, the largest port in South Korea.
With that being said, visiting a fish market in Busan is a must.
Apart from the famous Jagalchi Fish Market, you can also visit Busan Cooperative Fish Market, the largest fish market in South Korea, and more than 30% of the country’s fish production passes through this market.
There is no lack of variety when come to food in Busan. Busan is also well known for its wheat noodles, pork soup, and fishcakes.
There are some attractions that you must visit while in Busan.
Haedong Yonggung Temple
Every time I visit Busan, I sure will pop over to the Haedong Yonggung Temple. It is rare to find a temple perches on a hill overlooking the sea in South Korea as most Korean temples are located in the mountains.
At the bridge, you can see many people tossing coins after making a wish. I was lucky that my coin bounced and went straight into the bowl onto of the tortoise. Climb to the top where the Goddess of Mercy is and you’ll get a panoramic view of the whole temple and the sea.
Gamcheon Culture Village
The Gamcheon Culture Village, famous for its candy coloured and lego-like houses, is vibrantly decorated with mural and sculptures created by the residents. Built on a steep coastal mountain-side slope, the village has been nicknamed the “Machu Picchu of Busan”. The village also has a colourful history. From a shanty town built by Korean War refugees in the 1950s, it has become one of the most featured tourist attractions.
After a day of feasting and sightseeing, it’s time for shopping! Looking for gift ideas? You can try visiting any of the handcrafts co-operatives under the Busan Federation of Handcrafts Co-operatives which are located in many parts of Busan such as Youngdo, Haeundae-gu, Busanjin-gu, Donggu, Yeonje etc. These co-operatives have a spread of gift items from ceramic wares to décor to costume jewellery. Alternatively, you can buy agricultural products from the department store of the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation.
I always try to end my holiday in Busan with at least one trip to a traditional Korean Jjimjilbang – a must-do thing when you visit South Korea. Jjimjilbang is a spa, offering various sauna and pool facilities, sleeping rooms, entertainment facilities, snack bars, and more. You can relax in a hot or cold soaking pool, and have a scrub by an ajumma (a respectful Korean term for “auntie”) dressed in her bra and panty. After a good scrub, ahead for the various saunas. My fave is the pine tree wood fire sauna facility. I am sure that you will enjoy the Jjimjilbang experience.
This article was brought to you by SNCF’s Marketing.