Another interesting couple custom
In Korea, it is customary for the man in the relationship to hold the woman's purse when they are out shopping. It took me awhile to adjust to seeing men carrying around faux-fur pink purses, but I'm getting better: I manage to not glance for more than a few moments!
If you plan on staying in Busan for an extended period, pay the 2000 W and get a Hanaro metro card. The card is an automated debit card that debits money whenever you use public transit (subway or bus). You can deposit any amount you want ahead of time (I recomend only about 10000 W at a time, because if your card demags, there's no way to get the cash back). The cards are great because you don't have to carry change for the bus or subway around with you, and you don't have to worry about purchasing the correct type of subway ticket. This is especially beneficial on the weekends: no line ups for tickets, and no worrying about having enough change after your 5th ride to get to your next location.
Haedong Younggungsa Temple
This is a beautiful Buddhist temple located a bus ride away from Songjeong Beach. Apparently most Korean temples are located on mountains so this one is unusual as it is set next to the sea. When you arrive at the temple site, you will see a line of vendors' stalls. Then there is a row of statues leading up to the temple's main gate. Walk down the stairs and you will see more statues and a lucky red bridge to your left. Stand on the bridge and listen to the noise as the incoming waves throw the stones arond on the rocks below you. The main temple buildings are to the right of the stairs. As you cross the bridge to the main temple buildings, you can join the locals in trying to toss a coin into the bowls the statues are holding up in the gulley below.
There are two golden pig statues and a laughing golden Buddha as well as a statue of the goddess of mercy within the temple complex. The temples beautiful wooden buildings are decorated with paintings of dragons and Buddhas.
From the ground, Busan Tower is an ugly mark on Busan's skyline, but the views from the tower are unbeatable. There are also several shops on the lower levels selling Korean crafts and souvenirs.
The elevator to the top costs around 600 Won.
I purchased several wood-burned pieces here that were less than half the price of the same items in Seoul. A portrait of you can be completed in about 10 minutes while you watch... for only 20,000-30,000 won!
Busan and Korea, changing so quickly!
Busan Metropolitan City, also commonly referred to as Pusan, is a harbor city and designated Metropolitan City in the southeast of South Korea. With a population of about 4 million, Busan is South Korea's second largest metropolis, next to Seoul. The densely populated city is situated in the narrow Nakdong River valley, with mountains acting as a check on expansion to either the east or west.
Busan is Korea's city on the bay, an extended urban sprawl that's grown ten-fold in population since the mid-1940s, and is one of the world's busiest ports.
Kumjung Mountain to the west is a popular weekend hiking spot for Busan residents. Tourist hotels and a carnival boardwalk line the Haeundae Beach district. To the north, the neighborhoods around Pusan National University sport student cafes, bars, and open air noodle restaurants. Chalgalchi Market (near the very active port) is an area of narrow street stalls and is well known for its fish market.