Free weekend music
Every weekend, you can find a free concert in the central hall of the Semyeon subway station. The music varies from week to week; so far, I've seen several rock groups, individual singers, and a few traditional music groups. There is always a crowd, so expect to stand if you want to watch. There are stools set up around the show area, so if you're lucky, you might just snag a seat. Also, if you go during the summer, bring a paper fan. The AC isn't that great, and the station can get pretty hot.
Metro in Busan
The website below might help you with information not provided here.
We bought our tickets at a ticket booth and we used the vending machines. At a ticket booth, you explain which station you want to arrive at. One travel is generally 1,300 won in Busan (a little more than what it costs in Seoul). To use the vending machines, select English, select which direction and the number of tickets. You can then put bills or coins into the machine to pay. Don't use a denomination that is too large. The machine will give you change. Allow a minute for the machine to generate your tickets and your change.
You put your ticket in the gate machine and it spits back out after you pass through the gate. GRAB this ticket because you will need it later on to exit the Metro station.
Most subway maps are written in Korean, Japanese and English.
Foreign currency is not accepted at subway ticket windows, so make sure you have Korean Won.
Senior citizens, handicapped persons and children have priority seating. Senior citizens will also cut in front of you to enter the metro first and will also cut in line to get a ticket at the ticket booth. Complimentary ticket machine gives free metro tickets to senior citizens.
A Bath in Busan
Laugh at me if you must ,but taking a bath in busan is probably the coolest thing you can do over here. Why ever not? Heosimcheong Spa is supposedly the biggest hot spa in Asia and it can accomodate 2000 naked folks at any one time. Other than naked sods, this place is packed with more tubs and saunas than a toilet warehouse. And all those tubs are filled with fragrant herbal infusions that you can dip until you become all prune-wrinkly. And if you're bloody fool hardy, you can bare your naked ass in the open and soak yourself in the open-air pool outside. It's sadistically wonderful in winter time. Other than that, there are waterfalls that massage your backs and staff to scrub your back for 10,000 won or so. But be forewarned, you must be prepared to go all starkers here. Pay 8000 won at the entrance, grab a locker key and head for the gender-seperated baths. Last entry is 9 pm.
Busan Children's Park
Although it was a holiday weekend, we decided to venture to the Children's Park in NCentral Busan. The park is only about a 10 minute busride from downtown Busan, but we thought we were miles away once we were inside the park.
The park has several parts to it: an amusement park, a zoo, a small man-made lake, and extensive hiking trails. We were making a short afternoon trip, so we only had a chance to visit the amusement park and the main trails.
We arrived at the park and paid our entrance fee (a whopping 60 cents). We then hiked up the 1km trail to the amusement park. The park is nestled in behind the hills in a small valley. It overlooks a small lake, making for some rather picturesque scenes. We tried out several of the rides for about $2 each. The ferris wheel wasn't bad, although it was all enclosed and didn't necessarily make for the best pics. The rollercoaster was pretty fun, though short and a little risky safety-wise (no proper straps, only a loose lap belt). We also ventured on the Dragon Boat, which was great. There were tons of families about, and lots of small rides for the kiddies, including a mini of the Dragon Boat!
After the rides, we slowly made our way back down the trail. Although it was busy, it was quite a bit more relaxed than most other places we've visited so far in Busan. Most people are there with their families. Not too much pushing or shoving, as is the case in the rest of the city!
On the way down, we strolled along beside the lake. It was very pretty, and there were dozens of oversized koi fish swimming around. On one bridge, several people were feeding them, making for a pretty good fish frenzy spectacle.
Although we didn't get to check out any of the hiking, it looks as though the trails are very well maintained. If you want an easy hike, this might be the place to go.
A visit to Busan
My wife and I flew back to Japan to visit her parents, and I had arranged to fly into Fukuoka, so that we could easily visit Pusan.
We managed to find an excellent package deal through HIS in Fukuoka which was too good to not take up, and went across on the fast ferry for a couple of days.
Having visited Korea before, we were Korea fans and had a fair idea of what we wanted to do, and had a great trip.