It seems that Busan has become my weekend getaway of choice lately. Last weekend, I made my third trip to Haeundae Beach, the most famous beach and one of the most famous neighborhoods in Korea. It is advertised as a “world-class” resort area, but it is more Daytona Beach than Hilton Head. At night, it has a spring break party vibe, and during the day the beach is absolutely packed with tourists. But I like it nonetheless.
This time, I traveled with a Korean friend who showed me a couple of places that I would have otherwise never known existed. First, she took me to Chinatown, which was more Russian than Chinese and completely underwhelming. The only fun part was looking at all of the horribly tacky shirts hanging all over the place – mainly in the Russian clothing shops.
After escaping Chinatown, we went to one of Asia’s largest department stores, 신새개 (shin-sae-gae). The name translates to “New World”. It is huge, clean, elegant and packed with a great selection of stores ranging from Cartier to GAP. We spent a few hours just wandering around.
The rest of the trip was spent walking around the Haeundae neighborhood and beach. At night, we went bar-hopping and explored the night life. The next morning, we took a short hike through a park that adjoins the beach and offers some amazing views of the city. On the north side of the park, we stumbled across the site of the 2005 APEC conference, and we took a tour of the room in which several world leaders met. It wasn’t an exciting tour, but I found it interesting.
Enjoy the pictures!
Until next time.