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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.
Updated Sep 15, 2005
Address: 137-7 ONCHUN-DONG DONGNAE-GU
Expect to see all kinds of sea creatures when you're in Jagalchi Fish Market, Busan.This place is not called the biggest fish market in Korea for nothing! For the life of me, I don't know how this scary looking fish is cooked. Neither do I know its name. Now, I suppose the head would have to go off first before it's curried, grilled or fried. Failure to do so might scare the hell out of the diner. Just imagine this scary looking thing beside your plate of chips...
Would any kind reader please tell me the name of this fish??
Updated Sep 15, 2005
Address: 37-1 Nampo-dong 4(sa)-ga, Jung-gu, Busan
If you don't mind being in an Asian wet market and surrounded by fishy odour, then you should really visit Korea's largest seafood joint, the Jagalchi Market . Unlike the Tsukiji fish market in tokyo, most of the fishmongers here people are women and they are known as the 'Jagalchi Ajumma' ( 'ajumma' meaning middle-aged or married women) . Come every October , the Jagalchi Cultural Tourism Festival is held, so that'll be a good time to go. Expect to seeworkers dressed like fish and other sea animals! Check with www.knto.com for the exact date of the festival.
Things to do
What else can you do but indulge in the fresh seafood? The surrounding area has many "pochang machas" / stalls which serve raw and cooked seafood.
There's a dried fish market nearby. More stinky than Jagalchi itself.
Written Sep 15, 2005
Address: 37-1 Nampo-dong 4-ga, Jung-gu, Busan
Taejongdae is a beautiful area with a bit of a morbid history. The cliffs jut out into the ocean and are one of the arms that embraces Busan harbour. The cliffs are absolutely beautiful, and must be 10-15 stories high (this is a personal guess). Although we haven't gotten to it yet, there is also a park that you can walk through and visit a observatory that sits on top of the highest cliffs. There are several other points of interest within the park.
We took a short ferry ride in order to get some seaside pics of the cliffs. The ferry costs 6000W, which is a little pricey for the quality of the ride, but worth it if you take your camera. You can get some magnificent photos.
The cliffs are nicknamed the Suicide Cliffs because of the number of young Koreans who have thrown themselves off of them. Koreans live in a very stressful society, with lots of pressure on their young people. For many teenagers and young adults, it is to much for them to handle. In order to prevent future suicides, the local government erected a stature of a mother watching over the cliffs. The government hoped that by seeing the statue and thinking of their mother, young people would be deterred from jumping.
Also a good activity to do at the cliffs is fishing. On any given day you can see dozens of people casting their flies in hopes of catching that elusive big one.
Written Jun 22, 2004
Address: Just south of Nampo-Dong
My very first suggestion to you upon arriving in Busan is to visit a tourist information booth to get a Busan tourist map. They are available in Korean and English, and are full of good info. The front has a very detailed city map, while the back has tons of sight-seeing activities, tours, and other useful info that you can use.
The easiest info booth to find is the one at Busan Station. The booth is inside the terminal, next to the ticket counters. The employees there do speak english, and can also give you a subway map and other good info.
Written Jun 28, 2004
Address: Busan station (Stop #13, Line 1)
If personal space is more your thing, avoid Haeundae Beach in July and August, you'll see nothing but mushrooms of umbrellas across this 2km space! What can I say, this is not Ipanema so just enjoy it for it is. During spring time, it is quieter and you can stroll along the white sands and listen to the sounds of seagulls.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
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!
Written Jun 19, 2004
Address: Beomeosa Temple, North of Busan Nat'l Uni.
Beomeosa is one of Korea's finest temple complexs and has been well looked after. Here one finds many of the traditional temple architecture. It was founded in AD 678, during the Silla Dynasty, by the priest Uisang. He had studied in China for some ten years before entering the priesthood.
To be here any time is a nice thing in spite of the crowds, but the most special time is during the celebrations of the Buddha's Birthday. Here one wittnesses and partakes into the lighting of thousands of paper lanterns. It is a spectacle to remember for many life times.
Updated Jul 5, 2004
Nampo-dong area of Busan is similar to Myeongdong in Seoul. It has hundreds of stores, cafes, shops, and restaurants. There is a food-vendor alley (called Mokja Golmok or "Let's Eat Alley") with dozens of little Korean ajumas making local, traditional Korean dishes. Also, look for the black market area, called Gukje Market, if you need anything from the US or Japan! It's kind of funny to walk through this area and see the variety of US goods labeled "not for export" and other similar statements.
This area is also home to the annual Busan International Film Festival and has some typical Korean nightlife.
Updated May 18, 2007
Beomeosa is an impressive Buddhist temple complex, founded in 678. Its name means the Temple of the Fish from Nirvana. It stands on the side of Mount Geumjeong, just outside Busan. It is a beautiful place. Although the original buldings were destroyed by the Japanese in 1592, it was rebuilt in the seventeenth century.
At one time more than a thousand Zen Buddhist monks lived here and there are still a number of monks there now.
Updated Jan 27, 2006
Address: eomeosa, Chongnyong-dong 546, Kumjong-gu, Busan
Phone: +82 (51) 508-3122
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