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Taxi Drivers in Busan want to be your tour guide and will slow down to show you things and/or take the longer way to your destination - the scenic route. So, you should indicate you want to get to your destination by the shortest route. The valet at your hotel could probably relay this message to the taxi driver for you because most taxi drivers do not or will not speak English.
Do not take photos while riding in a taxi. The taxi driver will stop so you can take your picture and all the while, the meter is still runing.
Have your destination written down in Korean (if possible) so you can show the taxi driver where you want to go. If you don't speak fluent Korean, there is a HUGE possibility the taxi driver doesn't understand you.
There is no tipping in South Korea. You do not have to tip the taxi driver.
Written Apr 29, 2008
Many other posters have commented on the fact that there are fast ferries between Busan and Japan (Hakata terminal in Fukuoka).
However, few have posted the proper phone numbers, either if calling from Japan or from Korea.
From Korea : 051-441-8200
From Japan : 092-281-2315
Travel time is scheduled at 2h55m on the fast Beetle ferry. Cost will be $75, plus $10~$15 for fuel surcharges and terminal fees. Fees are different depending if departing from Busan or from Hakata.
If the fast ferry is not your preference, nor within budget, Camillia Lines Ferries offer ~14hour slow trips between Busan and Fukuoka (Hakata port).
telephone - 051 466 7799
email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Depart: Hakata (Japan) 19.00 ~ Arrive: Busan (Korea) 8.30
Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday
Depart: Busan (Korea) 19.00 ~ Arrive: Hakata (Japan) 8.30
One-way prices 9,000 yen - 18,000 yen
092 262 2323 (Hakata/Fukuoka)
051 466 7799 (Busan)
Busan International Ferry Terminal is 5~10 minutes walk from Jungang-Dong subway stop.
Updated Jun 20, 2012
Train station in Busan city is one of the cleanest I've seen. And each station names is translated to English so its convenient for Tourist.
There are 4 Subway Metro line and 1 airport rail and color coded.
Line 1 Orange Sinpyeoung - Nopo Dong (32.5 km)
Line 2 Green Yangsan - Jangsan (44.5 km)
Line 3 Red Daejeo - Suyeong (18.1 km)
Line 4 Blue Minam - Anpyeong (12.7 km)
Busan Gimhae Light Rail Transit in Pink - Sasang - Samgye (24 km)
There are some major points of each line that can be interchanged.
This is very important tip: If you use train station, make sure to know what EXIT NUMBER your destination requires you to get off because exit are labeled in NUMBERS (usually from exit 1 - 10).
Updated Dec 12, 2011
The best way to travel to Busan is on the high-speed KTX train from Seoul, which also stops at Daejeon and Daegu. A single ticket costs 45,000 won. There are no discounts for return tickets. But, you should reserve your seats in advance, as the trains are often full, especially on Sundays. The ultra-modern Busan Station, which looks remarkably like Seoul Station, opened in 2003. There is a special desk where foreigners can buy tickets, and avoid the long queues, to the right of the main ticket counter.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
After reading and hearing so much about Korea's new express train, the KTX, I spontaneously decided to give it a try on Korea's National Foundation Day (October 3). In Korea, the word spontaneous is usually nonexistent and it's deemed impossible to get a train or flight ticket during a national holiday unless you booked it around two months in advance. However, I guess I got lucky as it turned out to be no problem at all to get a ticket for the early morning train from Seoul to Busan station.
The one-way ticket Seoul-Busan was around 44,000 KRW in the standard 2nd class train. I remembered reading a recent comment on the 2nd class seats, however, which were supposed to be rather narrow and uncomfortable. Hence, I opted for the first class compartment for around 66,000 KRW. I did not regret my decision!
The picture above shows you the 2nd class compartment. It's really rather small and would have been much less comfortable. Especially if you wanted to sleep.
-- To see an impression of the 1st class compartment, please follow the link to the second picture ("1 more photos")
The seats in the first class compartment were extremely comfortable, very much like the Business Class seats in airplanes: lots of space for your legs, wide cushions, foldable table in front and footrests. In addition, free drinks were distributed during the ride.
2 hours and 40 minutes later, I arrived at Busan station, rather refreshed from an hours sleep on the train.
The ride on KTX is definitely recommended as compared to the previous Saemaeul trains, which simply take too long for the ride. However, considering the narrow seats in the 2nd class, I would recommend to upgrade to first class. You won't regret it!
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Korean Air and Asiana Airlines offer almost 40 flights per day (!) from Seoul's Gimpo airport to Busan's Gimhae airport and vice versa. Flight time is only about 45 minutes and you will have some good views onto the Korean peninsula as the entire flight goes right across the country.
As compared to traveling by train, it must be said that Gimhae airport is situated at a slightly remote location about an hours drive (by bus) from the inner city. If you would like to speed things up a little, I recommend to take one of Busan's taxis (please refer to the next tip for details).
Ticket fares vary by season but start at around 60,000 KRW.
Updated Oct 5, 2005
Busan has a lot of ferries going to Japan, mostly Fukuoka, but also Shimonoseki, Osaka,Hiroshima, Kitakyushu and Tsushima.
We used the Beetle service between Fukuoka (Hakata port) and Busan. It takes just under 3 hours.
Updated Jan 14, 2006
This is a good interactive map for Busan. The link below takes you to Dynamic Busan site and in the middle of the page you will see Busan Tourism Maps. Click on view of Busan City Tourist Map.
Your hotel will also provide you some excellent street maps of Busan.
Written May 15, 2008
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.
Written Aug 2, 2004
From Japan there are regular fast ferry services from Fukuoka to the Port of Busan International Ferry Terminal near Nampo-dong. Two companies - Beetle and Kobe running their boats several times per day. Its only about $75 each way and takes approximately 3 hours.
Written Jun 21, 2004
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