[Image of Busan at night; photo credit: Amy Park]
My first visit to Busan, the second biggest city in South Korea, gave me a new experience. I saw new things and had a different experience than other previous vacations.
At first, I thought Busan would be a place similar to Seoul, a city. Yet, after visiting, I found out that it is more than just a city. Not just this, but I even thought Busan is better than Seoul. There are beautiful beaches right next to a crowded city. This town has everything, such as shopping malls, restaurants and streets containing traditional elements, which felt like everything was accessible in Busan.
Before, I never had the chance to visit Busan until this winter break. My parents and I planned to stay for about three days, visiting beaches, famous shopping malls, and restaurants.
Busan, located in the southern part of South Korea, is one of the most well-known vacation landmarks. Each year millions of people visit this second largest city in the country.
The first place I went to was Haeundae, the most famous place in Busan for its beautiful beaches and cafes.
When I got there, I was so surprised at how the beach and tall apartments blended so well with each other. It almost looked somewhere like Hawaii on one side and Seoul on the other, which shocked me. Since many apartments were built reflectable in the outer part, I was clearly able to see the waves and seagulls flying without even looking at the beach.
Then, as I went closer to the beach, I realized that the water was so clear that I could see the sand and pieces of clams underneath. Although I could not go inside because it was too cold, I was eager to jump into the water.
I visited a nearby cafe, which is located near the beach, and drank a vanilla latte while looking at the view. All I could think was ‘wow, so beautiful!’ and could not notice that I stayed there for five hours.
The next memorable place I visited in Busan was Seomyeon, a spot popularly known as ‘Myeongdong’ of Busan. I also thought this since I screamed, “did we come to Myeongdong?’ to my mother.
It is a place full of people every day with various shops, restaurants, galleries and more.. These included Lotte shopping mall and Deokjane Bangatgan. Seomyeon also had very well organized public transportation that I didn’t even need a car to visit other places.
However, one significant part of Seomyeon that I felt was different from Myeongdong is that there are many cultural and traditional aspects. There is a street near exit 9 of Seomyeon station, which has many symbolizing statues representing traditional marriages, hanok, and Seal of the Korean Empire.
Walking there gave me a sense of the traditions of South Korea and I learned new things like what the bride and grooms used to wear on their day of marriage. It was interesting to see and recognize so many aspects of South Korea that I didn't recognize even though I am South Korean.
I had so many options of places to visit in Busan. If I wanted to be ‘stress-free’, I could go to a beach. If I wanted to go shopping with friends, I could go to Seomyeon, when these two areas are just 10 minutes apart.
During this winter break or in the future, I would definitely recommend everyone try visiting Busan. I promise it will not let you down.
Amy Park 박이안
Seoul Foreign School
Amy Park firstname.lastname@example.org