Friday, October 6, 2017

Busan, South Korea

Busan부산시, is the second largest city in South Korea.  Until 2000, the romanisation of it's name was Pusan.  Now it is officially Busan Metropolitan City and it is home to over 3,5 million people.  However, the great metro area has more than 8,2 million inhabitants.

General Jeong Bal (1553-1592)

Busan dates back to between the 2nd and 4th centuries.  The Japanese islands of Kyushu and Honshu are only about 190 km (120 miles) away so in the 15th century the city was designated as a trading port with the Japanese.  Although being so close most certainly wasn't a good thing during the Japanese occupation of Korea.

Busan was one of only two cities in South Korea that was not captured by the North Korean army during the first three months of the Korean War.  The entire city became a giant refugee camp during the war.

Busan is home to the 9th busiest port in the world.  The Diamond Bridge officially opened in 2003.  The suspension bridge is the second largest in Korea.

Busan Museum opened in 1978 and entrance is free.  The museum is very well done and shows the city's history and culture from prehistoric times to the present.

The Busan Museum of Art opened in 1998.

Jalgalchi Fist Market is the largest fish market in the country.  It's the best place to get freshest seafood.

And by fresh, I mean octopus that is still wiggling around 30 seconds after being chopped up.  Add a little salt and sesame oil and it's an interesting snack.

Busan Independence Hall was opened in 2000 and has exhibits showing Japanese aggression and anti-Japanese protests in Busan.  It is located near Democracy Park and the Memorial for the War Dead.
BEXCO is the Busan Exhibition and Convention Centre located in Centrum City.

Every year the city hosts the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) which is one of Asia's most popular film festivals.

The United Nations Memorial Cemetery in Korea is the only U.N. cemetery in the world.  It was established in 1951.  There are 2,300 graves on over 14 hectares (35 acres) representing the 21 countries that provided military and medical support to South Korea.
The Hwamyeong Arboretum is the largest in Busan.  It contains 190,000 trees representing 1,052 different species.
Texas Street, across from the Busan Station, is the home of Korea's Chinatown.  Although it's actually more ex-USSR town now.  Most of the shops, karaoke joints, and bars all have signs in Cyrillic.  There are a number of prostitutes who all seemed like their best days were 20 years ago.   

Busan Tower, at Yongdusan Park, was built in 1973.  The tower is 188 metres (387 feet) tall and unlike towers in many cities, it doesn't function as a TV or radio tower. 
Daegaksa Temple is off the beaten path in the Nampo-dong area.  It was built by the Japanese during colonial rule but was later converted to more resemble a traditional Korean Buddhist temple. 
Haeundae Beach is the largest beach in South Korea.  It is the beach that Koreans go to for their holidays.  It is also home to the Busan Aquarium.
The National Institute of Fisheries Science was established in 1921.  It operates under the authority of the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
Gamcheon Culture Village used to be a poor hillside neighbourhood.  In 2009, the residents and local artists transformed it into an art village.  It's a picturesque area and a great area to go walking about.
Haedong Yonggungsa Temple was built in 1376.  It was destroyed by the Japanese and rebuilt in the 1930s.
This is one of just a few temples in Korea that is built on the seaside.  The temple is beautiful and it is well worth the time in queue to get inside.
On Thursday we took Ben's free walking tour of Nampo-dong along with two German couples.  Ben was a great guide and gave us some fun insights to Busan.  

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