The Busan Aquarium
Okay, I would have put this in the must see activities, except that aquariums are aquariums no matter where you go. Even so, this was super fun!
The site isn't very big, only 2 floors down, but there's lots of stuff to see. Tropical, freshwater and deep-sea species, they're all here. There are two tanks that are particularly cool. The first is the two-story high fish tank that you can view from either floor. While we were visiting the aquarium, one of the staff was in scuba diving with the fish. She had a mic hooked into her mask, so she could talk to the kids outside. Fantastic! The second great feature is the huge shark tank. There is a curved tunnel that runs through the tank. We had the opportunity to watch a giant sea turtle glide right over top of us. Apparently, the aquarium offers shark dives where you can get into the tank and scuba dive.
We also did the virtual underwater ride. I really don't recommend this at all. Basically, it's a screen and a hydrolic lift stage that jostles you around in time to the film. The jostling is enough to make you want to have an intimate relationship with your chiropractor. It's cheesy, short, and not worth the five bucks you pay for it.
The aquarium is located in Haeundae, right down on the beach. If you take the subway, get off at #203 stop, and head for the beach. The aquarium is right there, next to the lifeguard/police station. Enjoy!
Busan Provisional Government Museum
This is a must to see if spending a little time in Busan. It is associated with the recently opened Busan Modern History Museum in Nampo-dong. Here one is able to tip toe about the fully restored mansion of the Govenment in Exile - President's Residence. It was an inovated home when built, energy efficiant and having the charm of a upper class residence one would find in a posh English suburb. It has a pleasant garden and some changing exhibitions in a annex. One can walk to here from Toseong-dong subway station heading up hill and to the right. Look out for the blue signs in English posted on the back street corners. Its the only old style house in the area and has a high pitched roof and trees sarounding it.
Delish Indian food
When you arrive at Ganga's, it's like stepping into a colonial restaurant. The decor is amazing, and the great Indian music adds to the ambiance. The servers are friendly and attentive, and make you feel very welcome.
The selection on the menu is incredible: tandoori BBQ, curry, nen bread, soups and salads, it's all there. Everything we tried was spicy and delicious.
The only downer was the price. All the selections were quite expensive for a Korean restaurant. The prices won't be shocking if you're from the west, but we've been in Korea for a few months, and it seemed a bit steep to us! We had the Ghost Vindaloo, which is a lamb curry dish... the curry was thick, spicy and delicious. Another really neat menu feature was the Butter boiled saffron rice. Just a little hint of saffron to give it that bitter raisin flavour... yummy.
For spectacular views of the city, there is no better place then the top of Busan Tower. The 120m-high tower, built in 1973, stands on a 69m-high hilltop. From its observation deck you can see the whole city and its harbour.
Weekends in Busan
[If you like the picture above, you should visit my Haeundae page for a truly wonderful view from Dalmaji Hill]
Working in Ulsan, I went down to Busan on a few random weekends.
At first, they were mostly with my Korean inspector counterpart, being his hometown, he and his family showed me a good time on every visit.
But subsequently, I ventured out on my own, visiting many of the city's sights and beaches.
For some more general thoughts, please visit my S Korea page.
(for more pictures, feel free to visit my S Korea Gallery. If you enjoy the pictures, please leave a comment.)
I've seen and visited many corners of the city, but there are a few things that are unique to Busan, like the famous Jagalchi Market.
Others have commented on it, so I will opt not to duplicate their efforts. But I thought this photo was worth sharing. It is of Yungkungsa Temple, north of Busan on the coast (in direction of Ulsan).