The quiet(er) beach
There are several beaches in Busan, and on the weekends, they are crowded and loud, not at all the relaxing weekend getaway that many people are looking for after a week of dealing with the boss/coworkers/students/people in general! Most of your guidebooks will recommend Haeundae beach, as will many ex-pats. It's a really fun place. If you're looking for something a little more mellow, head for Songjeong beach, just over the Talmagji hill.
Songjeong is a smaller beach in a smaller bay. There is a watersports shop/club along the waterfront. I've received secondhand info that you can rent body boards, surfboards and parasailing equipment, as well as wet suits. The waves are a bit bigger than at Haeundae, so if you're into this stuff, this is the place to be.
The beach is family oriented: lots of games and activities for the kiddies on the weekends. There are also beer tents, vendors and the like for those of you who want a bit more fun. Along the point there is a small hill for hiking and sitting. If you like fishing, there's space for this too!
To get to the beach, take the number 2 line subway to the last stop, Jangsan. Catch a cab, and just ask for Songjeong beach. The cab fare is about 4,000W one way. Getting home is a little tricky. Cabs don't seem to be very numerous, so be careful you don't leave it until too late in the day.
Busan Urban Transit Authority
The Busan Urban Transit Authority (in short: Busan subway) consists of two subway lines. Line 1 operates in north-southerly direction, whereas line 2 runs across Busan in east-westerly direction. By means of those two lines, almost all parts of Busan can be reached.
Similar to Seoul, fares vary by distance (max. 1,000 KRW) and tickets can easily be purchased at a station's ticket machine or ticket booth.
Apart from the single tickets, there are two different kinds of transportation cards available:
a) Hanaro Transportation Card
This card can be used to pay for subway, bus and toll gates and a variety of stores within the city.
b) Mybi Transportation Card
This card is an all-round electronic card as it can be used for transportation (subway, intra-city bus, village bus, toll for roads, toll for tunnels), e-business, internet shopping malls, etc.
Buddha's Birthday at Beomeosa
Buddha's Birthday is the Christmas of the Buddhist World, from what I can gather. In Busan, the place to be is Beomeosa Temple. The holiday usually falls at the end of May or beginning of June. The holiday's other name is Festival of Lanterns, for good reason. The temple is decorated with thousands of paper lanterns. We visited at dusk, and I think that this was probably the best time. We arrived with hundreds of other visitors and worshippers, and were greeted by the sounds of a Korean drumming group. As the sky darkened, several monks performed a ceremony, although we watched quietly, as none in our group spoke Korean. After the ceremony, candles were ditributed, and all the lanterns were lit. A truly beautiful site!
Sunset Lounge and Chillers Rooftop
"Sunset Lounge and Chillers Rooftop"
The best place to kick back and have a good western meal. Sunset Lounge is new to Heaundae (8 months). Just a walk down to the end of the beach path (at the 7-11) turn left and walk up about 2 blocks. Look for large English Signs on the right side. Sunset Lounge is a great place to watch sports on 5 flat screens, enjoy great western food or just have a cool drink and watch the sun go down.
Busan is located on the southeastern tip of the Korean Peninsula at 128o east longitude and 35o north latitude. It is an international city linking the continent and the sea. Busan is located on the same latitude as Tokyo, Kabul, Los Angeles, Memphis, Beiruit and Algiers. Busan is about 8 hours and 37 minutes ahead of World Standard Time, and about 24 minutes behind Standard Korean Time.