Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Bank on Busan

Beomeosa Temple (Korean: 범어사) is located on Mt. Geumjeongsan in Busan, and was established in 678 as one of the ten major temples of the Avatamsaka School. According to the Sinjeung dongguk yeoji seungnam (新增東國輿地勝覽; Revised Academic Geography for the Eastern Country), a golden fish descended from heaven and frolicked in a well on this mountaintop. Thus, the mountain was named “Geumjeongsan (金井山; literally ‘Golden Well Mountain’),” and the temple built on it was named “Beomeosa (梵魚寺; literally ‘Spiritual Fish Temple’).”

I took two days off during the 3 day 10/10 holiday weekend and checked out cheap tickets out of Taoyuan Airport. My daughter was recently saying how she wanted to go to Korea. I was looking into tickets to Seoul and getting psyched to revisit there ( I worked there for 6 months in 2004). But the airfare was cheaper to Busan on Busan Air, so I got excited again to check out a new city with my kid. Here is my itinerary:

AccommodationSua Guesthouse  수아 게스트하우스
1 double with bath by Haeundae beach is TWD 5,935 KRW 208,000 for 4 nights
My highlight, the traditional Korean Tea ceremony
Limousine Bus for Haeundae  KRW 7,000 / ChildKRW 4,500 Departs every 20 minutes, stops at: Gimhae Airport Daenam Junction Geumnyeonsan Station Suyeong Junction BEXCO Olympic yacht Stadium The Westin Chosun Hotel Haeundae(Five-star Hotel) Novotel Paradise Hotel Jangsan Station Haeundae New Town

The Busan Hanaro Card (하나로카드) is a very useful travel card system that can be used on:
·         Subway
·         Light rail (e.g. to the airport)
·         Taxis
·         Local buses
·         Local road toll ways (Such as Gwangallli Bridge)
The physical card itself costs 6,000, and then you can buy and put money on the card using kiosks in almost every subway station.
Day 1/Thursday: Yonggungsa Temple, Haeundae Market
Day 2/Friday: Beomosa, Songdo Beach,  Gamcheon Culture Village
Day 3/ Saturday: Busan International Film festival, Walk around Dongbaek
Day 4/Sunday: Oryukdo Skywalk+Igadae Park, Busan Museum, Traditional Tea Ceremony, Trick Eye MuseumDay 5:Monday: leave for airport at 8am
My kid's highlight, The Trick Eye Museum

1.    Haeundae Beach 海雲臺區

SEA LIFE Busan Aquarium (SEA LIFE
 Adults 25,000 won / Children 19,000 won. The Busan Aquarium contains over 35,000 species of fish, algae, reptiles, and amphibians. This state-of-the-art facility is one of Korea’s top aquariums. We skipped this. I think my daughter and I had enough of seeing marine life in captivity. After our Okinawan turtle encounter we prefer to see sea life in the wild.

Haeundae Special Tourist Zone (해운대 관광특구) Haeundae Beach in Busan is famous both in Korea and abroad. Not only is it popular as the largest summer vacation spot, but it also attracts people even in the fall. I prefer the empty beaches in October than the picures I saw of the beach in summer, full to the brim with umbrellas and people.t

Haeundae Grand Hotel (Sauna) (해운대그랜드호텔)
Sauna + Fitness club + Swimming pool: 24,000 won 
* Visitors must be 14 years of age or older to use the facilities. If you have younger kids, like me then go to the more local Haeundae Sauna, its much cheaper too. They also have a gym with yoga classes.

Jangsan, a popular mountain to hike. A good starting point is Daecheon Park in Jangsan. A hike to the summit and back should take 3-4 hours.The height of 634 meters. Once known as the fragrant hills.
Walk: Start at the beach, turn right and walk around Dongbaek island and then explore the town.

Dalmaji Hill (해운대 달맞이길) Haeundae (From Haeundae station (Line 2) it is probably easiest to take a short taxi ride. Otherwise at Haeundae Station (Busan Subway Line 2) and take city bus No. 100, get off at Yeongnam Apartment bus stop. Walk for about 10-15 min, following the signs. you can walk to the eastern end of Haeundae Beach (Mipo) and climb the small hill to arrive at the start of Dalmaji). This is regarded as Busan's 'romantic road', and climbs a hill overlooking the sea. At the top there are many viewing areas, as well as an amphitheater, pleasant cafes and spa facilities nearby. Along the way there are many galleries. Come on days with clear skies and you can see Japan’s Daema island from the observatory.

MoonTan Road ( 문탠로드 ), Haeundae (Half way up Dalmaji Hill (above). This is a great forested walk along the sea coast. At night time it is lit up

Dongbaek Island (Dongbaekseom), Haeundae Beach, next to Westin Hotel (At Haeundae Beach turn right and walk to the Westin Hotel. The walk around the island starts from there.). Dongbaekseom is not a real island, but a forested area with Camellia and pine trees past the Westin hotel. It offers a pleasant and short coastal walk, and the APEC Conference Center (with great views of Busan) can be visited here as well. Look out for the mermaid statue. Nearest subway station is Dongbaek station, line 2, exit 1

Haeundae Cruise Boat, Haeundae (Line 2-Haeundae station. Walk to Haeundae beach, turn left and walk to the end). 09:00 ~ 22:00. This boat trip starts off at Haeundae’s Mipo Ferry Terminal and heads towards Oryuk-do Islets and the Igidae area. The shores of Igidae are composed of breathtaking views of fantastically shaped cliffs. This 1-hour boat trip offers great views of Busan Harbor. Adults\18,000, Kids 9000

2.    Busan City Tour Bus (Busan KTX Train station) 20,000 Won p/person, 3 loops (Red the best) 9:30-5pm
I opted not to use this tour bus and just used day cards on the metro, as I knew where I wanted to go.

·         1. Red Line(Busan StationHaeundae) double decker bus
- Buses, starting from Busan Station, stop at total fourteen stations including UN Memorial Park, Gwangalli, Marin City, Haeundae, Centum City, etc. and can pass through Busan specialties, Busan Port Grand Bridge and Gwangan Grand Bridge.
·         2. Blue Line(HaeundaeYonggungsa) single-decker bus
- Buses, starting from Haeundae Beach, stop at seven stations to Eastern Busan including Dalmaji-gil Road, Songjeong Beach, ++Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, etc.
·         3. Green Line(YonghomanOryukdo Islands) single-decker bus
- Buses, starting from Yonghoman Cruise Terminal, stop at two stations to Igidae Park including Oryukdo Islands. etc.
Transfer Guide
·         Yonghoman Cruise Terminal : : Red Line- Green Line transfer
·         Haeundae Beach : : Red Line- Blue Line transfer
·         Busan Museum of Art /BEXCO : Red Line- Blue Line transfer

3.    ORYUKDO SKYWALK (LINE 2) + Igidae Park

Oryukdo Skywalk was built on Seungdumal, the border between the East and South Sea. Walking on this skywalk translates to “walking in the sky,” or so the skywalk is intended to make you feel. The horseshoe-shaped bridge is set against a 35-metre coastal cliff. With the entire bridge made of glass, you can enjoy watching the waves crash against the cliffs beneath you.

++ LINE 1: Combine Gamcheon + Beomeosa + Hurshimchung Sauna (허심청)  on same day (DAY PASS 4,500)
4.    Gamcheon Culture Village, the so-called ‘Santorini of the East’, more like the favalas of Korea. 

Take Subway Line 1 (accessible from Busan Station) to Toseong Station
 Come out Exit 6.
  You will be facing an intersection. Turn right at the corner and walk straight. You will see a hospital on your right. The bus stop is right in front of the hospital.  Take either Bus 2 or 2-2. This will take you to Gamcheon Culture Village at top of the hill.  stamp scavenger hunt you can buy the Gamcheon Map for 2000KRW

While most would venture West of the beach towards the skywalk, there is another hidden photographic gem that cannot be missed, the red suspension bridge. It can be found on the opposite end of the skywalk, at the far East of the 
Songdo Beach by the rocky cliffs.

6.    JAGALCHI MARKET  It is walking distance from the Nampo Lotte Department store or Jagalchi station on the Busan Metro Line 

Korea is well known for their seafood markets and you cannot leave the country with out experiencing one. Jagalchi Market is by far the largest fish market in Korea. Set in a modern 7-storey building by Nampo Port, you can find the freshest catch here, since all the seafood is caught on the coast of Busan and Korea’s South Sea. The highlight of a visit to the market is to sample some raw fish or live octopus if you prefer! In fact, you can even have a taste of raw abalone (marine snails) if you wish. Better yet you can visit restaurants on the 2nd floor of the main multi-storied fishing complex and eat fish you've picked out from the first floor.

"I never expected to find such a perfect viewpoint while exploring Jagalchi Market, but the Yongdodaegyo Bridge is truly another magnificent spot away from the crowds to absorb Busan’s ports. The 7th floor of Jagalchi Market is an unlikely place to find a guesthouse, but this is the location of the pretty 
Terra Guesthouse. Head to the outdoor terrace and be greeted by an incredible 180-degree panoramic view of Busan’s ports and the bridge."
Haedong Yonggung Temple 海東龍宮寺 (Hangul: 해동 용궁사) is a Buddhist temple in Gijang-gun, Busan, South Korea.The temple was built in 1376 by the teacher known as Naong during the Goryeo Dynasty. The temple complex is a large one and one of few in Korea to be set on the seaside.


(해동 용궁사)

86, Yonggung-gil, Gijang-eup, Gijang-gun, Busan
부산광역시 기장군 기장읍 용궁길 86
Known as the temple by the sea, 
Headong Yonggungsa Temple offers one of the best views you can get in Busan outside of the city. The name means Dragon Palace Temple. This fine and extremely popular Buddhist temple complex spreads along the shoreline, decidedly unusual in Korea where most temples are at the top of a darn steep hill. It’s also famous because its beauty of Buddhist statues and sculptures such as Hakeupul Buddha statue who is known for his blessing for success. The sound of the ocean and beautiful architecture create a magical effect. Go down the temple you will find a subterranean medicinal spring (yak suh toh 약수터). To get there take bus 181 from outside Centum City or Haeundae subway stations. At Haeundae station the bus to Yonggungsa Temple is on the opposite side of the road to the station, it is 19 stops from the station and takes approximately 30 minutes. You will pass a large stone sign for the Temple right before the stop to get off at.

End your night on 
Hwangnyeongsan Mountain, if not for the tranquility and the city breeze that the peak offers, then for the view of the lights across the Diamond bridge!

me at Beomosa

10.  BEOMEOSA TEMPLE (범어사) 546, Cheongryong-dong, Geumjeong-gu, Busan-si
부산광역시 금정구 범어사로 250 (청룡동) Beomeosa Station (Busan Subway Line No.1), Exit 5 or 7.
- Walk along the main road (
청룡예전로) for about 5-min and arrive at Beomeosa bus stop. Take Bus No. 90 and get off at Beomeosa Ticket Office bus stop. Alternatively, take a taxi (KRW2,800-3,500). for about 5 minutes to arrive at Beomeosa Ticket Office.We took a taxi there and the bus back.

EAT: Cappadocia (카파도키아) 123-9, Geumdan-ro, Geumjeong-gu, Busan
부산광역시 금정구 금단로 123-9 (남산동) * Chicken Kebap - 7,000 won
Marinated and grilled chicken skewer chunks prepared with special aromas
*Yahni - 8,000 won
Special combination of lamb and vegetables
* Lavash - 2,500 won 
Thin and soft Turkish bread to wrap the Kebaps

Goodbye Busan, we'll be back! (Gimae Airport)


11.  Gyeongju. Visit Bulguksa World Heritage Site (불국사 )  UNESCO World Heritage sites, Bulguk Temple and Seokguram Grotto. Adults (ages over 19): 5,000 won 
Children (ages 7-12): 2,500 won / Group: 2,000 won
 From Gyeongju Train Station, follow Hwarang-ro Street and take Bus No. 10 or 11 (located in front of the post office).
- Get off at Bulguksa Temple (
불국사) Bus Stop.
- Travel time: approx. 1 hr

From Gyeongju Intercity / Express Bus Terminal, take Bus No. 10 or 11 from the bus stop located across the street from Gyeongju Express Bus Terminal.
- Get off at Bulguksa Temple (
불국사) Bus Stop. 
- Travel time: approx. 1 hr
from Haeundae-Gyeongju is KRW4,800 (no assigned seat), journey takes 1hr 30mins.

12.    Hurshimchung Sauna (허심청) 23, Geumganggongwon-ro 20beon-gil, Dongnae-gu, Busan
부산광역시 동래구 금강공원로20번길 23 (온천동) Adults: 8,000 won / Students (ages 8-13): 6,000 won
Oncheonjang Station (Busan Subway Line 1), Exit 3.
Hurshimchung is located behind the Home Plus Building.
At the back of the building, turn right onto Oncheonjang-ro 119beon-gil Road.
Go straight 150m to arrive at Hurshimchung (
허심청) on the left.

KRW 208,000
TWD 5,935
Limousine Bus for Haeundae 
 KRW 7,000 / ChildKRW 4,500 x2 (total=23,000)
651 NT
Adults 25,000 won / Children 19,000 won (Total=44,000)

1,247 NT
Food (lunch + dinner)
50,000  KWR x 5
1, 418 NT x5 = 7,5000 NT
Busan Hanaro Card (하나로카드)
6,000 x2
340 NT
KRW4,800x4 (train) +7,500 W entrance +bus (total = 26,700
765 NT
4000 x4
227 NT
170 NT
Adults: 8,000 won / Students (ages 8-13): 6,000 won
400 NT
 TOTAL=                      365, 000 KRW,                                                            12, 000 NT

 Exchange Rate:
1 TWD = 35.18 KRW
100 TWD = 3,518 KRW
500 TWD = 17,592 KRW
1000 TWD = 35, 184 KRW
2000 TWD= 70, 369 KRW
10,000 = 351, 845 KRW


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