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Exploring each parts of Haedong Yonggungsa Temple will be so much exciting. There's a natural cave inside the complex housing Gulbeop Buddhist Sanctum. Right in front of the cave, a stunning three-story pagoda temple guarded by four lions, each carved with four different expressions. It is said that the four lions are supposed to symbolizing human's four basic emotions: joy, anger, sadness, and happiness. There are also Daeungjeon Main Sanctuary and Yongwangdang Shrine with their distinctive and interesting architecture details. To get the best view of sunrise from the temple you should first climb on 108 stairs leading up to the rocky hill nearby. The sound of waves and a picturesque view of calm sea are very soothing. There are also souvenir shops lining near the entrance offering various unique local handicrafts, so be sure to check them out too!
Yongdusan Park is a habitat for more than 70 different species of trees. In ancient times the mountain is also a place for holy shrines to worship mountain gods by the Japanese during their occupation, today the mountain hold several monuments and museums letting you dig deeper into the country's history. You will be amazed that back in ancient times, people actually made musical instruments out of fruits, rat skins, and even human knee bones. You can even touch, handle, and play the instruments displayed. There's also Exhibition Hall of World Model Boats, displaying over 80 models of traditional Korean's sailboats and turtleships and modern warships and luxurious cruise ships. Enter Busan Tower, a tower modeled after Korean imperial building hosts an exhibition hall and souvenir shops. There is also a statue of Admiral Yi Sun-Shin, a highly influential figure in Korean history Baeksan An Hul Monument, Yongtap Monument, Yongdusan Art Gallery, and more!
Taejongdae is a natural park of Busan which also becomes one of Busan's viewpoint for scenic natural scenery. Climb unto the sturdy rock cliff to get the best view of open sea along with lush greens consist of evergreen trees growing on the island. On top of the island, a lighthouse stand proudly to guide the fishermen and marine pilots sailing on the sea. Enter the observatory area to get a much clearer view of surrounding islands, if the weather is clear you can even see Tsushima Island of Japan. Taejongdae National Park is also a place for various Korean legends. Below the lighthouse you will find a rock called Sinseon Rock, legend has it that gods and goddesses will descend down from Heaven and relaxing on the spot. There's a stone figure of Mangbuseok, a woman who waited for her husband who had been taken to Japan during wartimes. If you're lucky, you can even watch a rain-calling ritual usually performed during droughts. Hence they named rain falling down on the 10th day of the fifth lunar month as 'Taejong Rain”. Children will love riding on various attraction rides in the amusement park also located on the national park complex.
SEA LIFE Busan Aquarium is home for more than 250 species of fishes, algae, reptiles, amphibians, and over 35,000 marine animals from all over the world. Walk along an-underwater tunnel with only sturdy acrylic window separating you from majestic marine animals swimming freely along the exhibit. There's also a touch tank which allow you and your children to interact directly with certain variety of sea creatures. The exhibits are divided into 40 different themed areas, where you can see penguins, otters, and even piranhas in an environment resembling their natural habitats. The aquarium also hosts several interesting sea-themed attractions and rides, such as Glass Bottom Boat above the sharks, Shark Dive, 3D Rider, and many more.
Beomosa Temple is one of Busan's heritage close to all Korean's heart. Literally means 'Temple of the Nirvana Fish', Beomosa Temple truly offer heavenly view of the grand temple blend perfectly with lush greens of Mt. Geumjeong. You will get to see grand architectures of Daeungjeon Hall reflecting art and architecture skills of Joseon Dynasty. There are also Ijumun Gate, a three-story pagoda built in the 9th Century, this building is also become the temple's most important and main charm. You can also hike on the mountain and discover various tree species growing on the area. Beomeosa Temple also offers a templestay program for you who are interested in learning more about Buddhist culture.
Gukje Market is a perfect place for you to shop large variety of items in the market from electronics, kitchen appliances, agricultural products, fish and dairy products, clothings, and more for affordable prices. There are also some vendors offering both wholesale and sale items, which definitely make your visiting time here much worthwhile and satisfying. Gukje Market is not only the largest but also the oldest traditional market in Korea. The traditional market was originally built by refugees who survived the Korean War in 1848 by setting up stalls and sell things in order to make a living. What used to be a small market now has grown into a bustling marketplace. It is also connects to other traditional markets in the area, such as Bupyeong Market and Kkangtong Market.
Busan is universally known as a city where so many Korean dramas take place, Train to Busan is one of its example. Busan is also the second most populated city after Seoul, it is also South Korea's centre for economy, cultural, and education's growth. Aside from towering skycrapers and glimmering view of city's life, Busan's traditional culture and natural beauty flourishes and attracting tourists from around the world every year. So make sure you're including these Busan's attractions in your traveling itinerary.
How to Get Tickets?
You can always buy the ticket on the spot or online. But buying tickets on the spot means you need to stand in line for quite a long time. To avoid that, plan your travel better by purchasing you ticket beforehand. You can purchase them on this website and make a safe payment after that.
How To Get Around?
There are many options for public tranportations in Busan since walking around is not a very great option in this busy city. You can try taking the subway which has extentsive network and cheap ticket price. They operate from 5.10 am to 12.45 am. You can pruchase their one trip ticket or buy Hanaro or Mybi card if you're going to use it often. Aside from that, there's also bus. The ticket is affordable as well and they reach almost every spot in Busan. Remember to always press the button on where you want to be dropped off. Even though the drivers usually don't speak English, the announcement is available in English and Korea. Same goes for the subway announcements. If you want to have easier trips, you can always ride the taxi. And if you have an international driver's license and you're 21 or older, you can rent a car and drive around town at your own pace.
What Should I Wear?
During the summer and spring, you can wear less clothes such as short sleeved tops and shorts or skirts. But you need to always bring a scarf or other objects to cover your thighs when sitting down. Try to also not show cleavage, even shoulders. In fall, wear layers such as shirt and cardigan, paired with trousers and a hat since it might get windy. During the winter, wear thicker jackets, and bring your gloves, fur boots, and earmuffs. Korean tend to dress fashionably so do dress up even if you're only going shopping.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Busan is during the spring season. Spring is from April to May when the weather is cool with clear skies.
Will I Need a Guide?
Since the accouncements in the public transports are provided in English and Korean, you don't need to worry about getting around on your own. Busan is also very easy to roam, even though not on foot. So it's not a problem if you choose to travel without a guide. It's always better to study a few words in Korean that might come in handy since some locals might not be able to speak English. If you think language barrier can be a problem and you'd like to visit more hidden gems of the city, hiring a one day guide can be a great option, but not necessary.
How To Get There?
Busan can be reached by air if you're traveling from major cities in Asia, arriving at International Gimhae Airport. If you're departing from other palces beside East Asia, you can land in Seoul or Jeju and then take a local flight to Busan. If you're traveling to Busan from Seoul, you can also take the KTX train. It goes to and from Busan and Seoul via Daegu and Daejeon. If you're traveling from other cities in South Korea, taking a bus can be a great option since almost every city in South Korea has an express bus to Busan. The city can also be reached by ferry if you're traveling from Jeju Island or any of these cities in Japan; Tsushima Island, Fukuoka, Shimonoseki, and Osaka.
When you're eating with a group of Korean, wait until the older ones have started eating before you eat. It's very normal to ask someone's age so don't get offended when a local ask your age. Don't leave the table before your meal is finished. Never take a seat in the priority seats in public transports if you don't belong to the category. Don't write anyone's name in red because it means the person is deceased. The plug type in Busan and in South Korea is type F. This type has two round pins and two earth clips on the side.