Busan, the shining city at the shore
Before this visit, I had a vague notion of Busan. I knew it was a port city on the southern coast of South Korea and host of the Busan Film Festival, which attracts many Korean pop stars and their fans. Despite knowing little I seized an opportunity for a visit just before Christmas. To my surprise it was worth the trip.
I was mostly impressed how the city brightens up when the sun starts to go down.
The Gwangan Bridge is one of the most impressive bridges that I’ve seen–possibly even the most. When the entire bridge (7.4km long) lights up, it looks like a giant dragon crouching on the water.
I particularly enjoy visiting markets in every place I travel, and the Jalgachi Fish Market of Busan is not something that you want to miss. The Jagalchi Market (자갈치시장) is Korea’s largest seafood market. After the Korean War the market solidified itself as a fish market. Most of the people who sell fish are women, so the women who sell here are called ‘Jagalchi Ajumma,’ ‘ajumma’ meaning middle-aged or married women. This market represents Busan and is famous throughout the country. If you visit you can eat fresh raw fish on the spot. Even these days you can see women selling mackerel, sea squirts (ascidians) and whale meat on wooden boxes along the road. Every year in October the Jagalchi Cultural Tourism Festival is held, and it is easy to visit because of the convenient transportation provided by the subway. The Jagalchi Market is where you can see the lifestyle of Busan natives.
Haeundae is a little pavilion on the hill known for being the best spot to enjoy the sunset. It’s also a popular spot for couples. The story goes if you pray to the moon in this pavilion on the first full moon of the year, the couple will then stay together forever.
I was somewhat surprised with the similarity of this pavilion to a typical Chinese traditional pavilion.
Another interesting place in Busan is the Gamcheon Culture Village. When you see the village from downtown, you might not agree with the locals’ name for it, “the Santorini of Korea,” at least until you get closer to the village.
I’ve never seen so many colourful houses in one place, within Asia. It’s easy to appreciate the randomness of the color, all coming together under a blue sky. You’ll easily find many visual blogs about Gamcheon village … (Click here).