The bus from Namwon pulled into the Busan Central Bus Terminal after a peaceful 3-hour ride. I jumped off and entered the terminal, dropping my wallet in the process. As I stopped to pick it up, another traveller approached me and as it turned out, we had matching wallets.
This was great grounds for introductions and I got to meet world travellers, Pem and Ben, who were travelling through South Korea, one of the stops in the year-long travel adventure.
After agreeing to meet up at some point over the next two days, we parted ways temporarily. I got into a taxi and headed to my accommodation at Arban Hotel for the next three nights.
Only a few minutes walk away from a metro station, I found the hotel to be a great base for my short stay in Busan. Over the next few days, I explored parts of the city during the day and wandered around in search of delicious street foods at night.
Short and Sweet Busan: Exploring the City
I planned to spend one full day in the city and started out by visiting Busan’s most famous beach, Heaundae Beach. The weather was lovely and it felt nice to walk along the shore. As it was still early in the day, no one was in the water but I saw several residents in their hiking gear, taking walks along the beach.
I imagine that there’s a huge contrast when visiting this beach during the day versus at night, but I did enjoy the fairly quiet morning on the beach. Later, I walked to Heaundae Sky Capsule Station and rode the slow but scenic ride along the coastline to Mipo Station.
Upon getting off, I attempted to meet up with Pem and Ben at another beach but failed to do so after a series of missed directions. I decided to take the beach train back to Heaundae Beach but somehow ended up in Waikiki Beach instead.
After spending some time watching people surf, I tried to find my way back to a point I recognized. But then, I began to see signs pointing towards Haedong Yonggungsa Temple. So I followed them instead…
Short and Sweet Busan: Haedong Yonggungsa Temple
My missed directions turned out to be a blessing in disguise as I had resolved to skip a visit to this temple, due to a few strong reviews I had read about it earlier. That would have been a shame because I actually did enjoy my visit and found the views of the temple from the coast to be quite stunning!
Surprisingly, on this beautiful fall day, the temple was devoid of a crowd and my visit was generally pleasant.
I was able to find my way back to the hotel quite easily from here and then, later in the evening, I met up with Pem and Ben for an evening stroll through Bupyeong Kkangtong Night Market. There weren’t many stalls open when I arrived, but we found some delicious street food anyway.
Short and Sweet Busan: Gamcheon Culture Village
The next morning, I headed out to visit Gamcheon Culture Village, a colourful art-themed village in Busan. I enjoyed my time strolling around the hilly village and taking in all the beautiful views from different vantage points.
After wandering about on my own, I visited the tourist centre, bought a map, and retraced my way around the village. I visited places I had missed out on earlier and collected free postcards along the way.
Soon, it was time to leave Busan for Seoul. I bought a ticket on the high-speed KTX train and arrived in Seoul in a little over 3 hours.
My visit to Busan was quite short but I thoroughly enjoyed my time there and would visit again, if given the opportunity.