Thursday, March 10, 2011

10 must-visit places in Busan City, south Korea

1. A building where history was made Nurimaru APEC House

The site of the APEC Summit Talks in November 2005, Nurimaru APEC House has been widely considered to be one of the most picturesque venues for the APEC Summit. Foreigners and Koreans alike have praised Nurimaru, where the sandy beaches of Haeundae meet the evergreen pines of Dongbaek Island.

The venue’s design also blends with its surrounding natural scenery. Built in a modern style, Nurimaru features the traditional Korean “arbor” style for its overall shape and roof to represent the curves of Dongbaek Island.

The lobby’s traditional multicolored, or dancheong, ceiling and floor harkens back to the daecheong maru, Korea’s traditional living room. The summit’s meeting room, where the ceiling has been constructed with the same motif from Seokgulam’s ceiling, highlights Korea’s creative traditional culture in visual form through interior design.

        * Information: Nurimaru APEC House (051-749-4335)

2. Korea’s most popular vacation spot Haeundae Beach
Korea’s largest vacation spot ? and the nation’s pride ? Haeundae Beach was a favorite among poets and painters of the past with its beautiful scenery: pine tree forests, a sparkling golden beach and nearby Dongbaek Island. The beach is open from July 1 to Aug. 31 every year, and its average water temperature during this time is a refreshing 22.6 degrees Celsius.

The sandy beach shore slopes 10 degrees and the water is about a meter deep. The area also boasts top international-grade hotels and various resting areas where you can enjoy both hot springs and the ocean. Visitors can also enjoy the beautiful views of Oryuk Islets, Dongbaek Island and Dalmaji Hill.
* Information: Haeundae Tour Information Center (051-749-4335)

3. Korea’s largest two-story bridge Gwangan Bridge
Gwangan Bridge, a 7,420-meter-long 25-meter-wide two-story bridge with eight lanes that connects Suyeong District Namcheon-dong with Haeundae U-dong Centum City, opened in Jan. 6, 2003, after breaking ground in August 1994. The beauty of Korea’s largest two-story bridge is apparent from any angle, its lights illuminating the night with over 100,000 different colors. The bridge itself has become a popular tourist spot in Busan with its stunning night vistas of Haeundae Beach. By day, it revels in its grandeur and majesty, and by night, it provides for romance and a resting place for the public.

              * Information: Gwangan Bridge (051-780-0077)

4. World’s only UN Cemetery ,UN Memorial Cemetery

The UN Memorial Cemetery, located in Daeyeon-dong in Nam District, is the world’s one and only UN cemetery. Established by Korea in 1951, the cemetery is the resting place for 2,300 soldiers from 11 countries, including soldiers from the United States (36), England (885), Australia (287), Canada (378), New Zealand (34), Turkey (462) and the Netherlands (117). Each year on Oct. 24 on UN Memorial Day, Busan City invites the ambassadors from the 11 represented countries for a memorial service. And every April, the city invites 200 soldiers from ally countries (England, Australia, Canada and New Zealand) who fought in the Korean War to express the nation’s gratitude.

          * Information: UN Memorial Cemetery (051-624-2165)

5 .Nation’s largest fish market Jagalchi Market
A must-see for any tourist visiting Busan, Jagalchi Market is Korea’s largest fish market that also represents the life of many Busan citizens.

The market completed its modernization in 2006 and reopened in a seven-story building with a fish market, raw fish restaurants, a wedding hall, a seafood restaurant, a cultural exhibition center and a shopping mall. The modernization has spurred even greater numbers of visitors to come check out the market.

Hydrophilic park, which is located toward Namhang beach on the building’s first floor, is another place to visit and has become a popular dating place for young couples.

* Information: Jagalchi Market (051-713-8000)

6. A place where the past and future coexist Mt. Yongdu Park
Mt. Yongdu gets its name from the fact that it looks like a dragon’s head rising from the sea. Yongdu means “dragon head” in Chinese characters. It is the consummate example of a place that represents the port city of Busan as it is today as well as the city’s long history.

Before independence from Japan, Mt. Yongdu Park was the site of a shrine. During the Korean War, shanty homes housing refugees filled the area. Today, Mt. Yongdu Park exudes a charm that culminates with Busan Tower. The tower, 180 meters above the ground, gives you full panoramic views of Busan and its surrounding area.

* Information: Mt. Yongdu Park (051-860-7820)

7. Unique rock formations and cliffs Taejongdae
A perennial chart topper on any list of must-visit spots in Busan, Taejongdae was designated as the nation’s cultural treasure No. 17 in 2005. First-time visitors often have their breaths taken away by Taejongdae’s stunning views of unique rock formations and of the sea, which seems to stretch into infinity. Hard-to-see scenery is best observed from the observatory at the southern part of Taejongdae or from the century-old Yeongdo lighthouse next to Sinseon rock. The mother and son sculpture, about a legend of a faithful wife who turned into stone, along Taejongdae’s rock cliffs and thick dense woods, adds to the charm of Taejongdae.

            * Information: Taejongdae Amusement Park Office (051-405-2004)

8 .World’s largest flat fountain Dadaepo Sunset Fountain of Dream
The world’s largest flat fountain, Dadaepo Sunset Fountain of Dream, was constructed in June 2009 and has become a popular tourist destination in Dadaepo. The fountain is 2,519 square meters, 60 meters in diameter, and its circumference measures 180 meters. Dadaepo Sunset Fountain of Dream can shoot water 55 meters into the air from its 1,046 nozzles. The fountain’s 27 smaller fountains and 1,148 LED lights provide a fascinating water and light show at Dadaepo Beach every night.
                 * Information: Saha District Office (051-207-6041)

9. 1,300-year-old temple that represents Busan Beomeosa Temple
Beomeosa Temple on Mt. Geumjeong is Busan’s largest, most historical temple. The scent of pine will greet and envelope you when you enter 1,300-year-old Beomeosa Temple. There are a lot of treasures located at Beomeosa Temple, such as Daewoongjeon, which has been designated as national treasure No. 434.

The stone lantern in the front yard of Daewoongjeon is Busan’s designated cultural asset No. 16. The entrance gate to Beomeosa Temple ? Jogyemun ? features four pillars and is often considered to be the best entrance gate among Korean temples.

* Information: Beomeosa Temple (051-508-3122)

10. Korea’s largest underwater aquarium Busan Aquarium
Busan Aquarium is the country’s largest and most high-tech underwater theme aquarium and is located at the entrance of Haeundae Beach. The 80-meter-long aquarium tank offers 270-degree views and contains over 350 species of fish, sharks, reptiles and penguins, totaling 35,000 creatures. You can also watch sharks, otters and penguins being fed, as well as coral diving.

* Information: Busan Aquarium (051-740-1700)

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