Photos by Ju-seok Oh. Words by Peter DeMarco.
See Korea’s most “dynamic” city at her best – when the sun goes down.
Busan, Seoul’s little sister to the south, is one of the best kept secrets in Asia. How can a city almost as big as Los Angeles be practically unknown outside of Korea? Not only was it a host city of the 2002 World Cup and Asian games, it’s the home of the largest department store in the world, one of Asia’s biggest film festivals, the fifth largest port in the world, and soon to be home of one of the tallest buildings in the world. As if that was not enough, this city by the sea is bidding for the 2020 Olympic games.
It takes much more than a bunch of superlatives for a city to capture the minds and hearts of travelers. By day, Busan looks like any other big Korean city: block after block of apartment and office towers covered in signs. Once the sun begins to set though, the city takes on a dreamy quality that is distinctly Busan.
From bold to brash, blissful to beautiful, Busan photographer Ju-seok Oh shows us his home town as you’ve never seen it before.
Busan is very accessible from any point in Korea.
- By plane, you can fly into Gimhae International Airport. There are direct flights to many cities around Korea and Asia. Airport buses are available from Gimhae to Busan Station and the Haeundae hotels.
- By train, Korea’s high-speed KTX makes the trip from Seoul Station to Busan Station in just under 3 hours for about 50,000 Won one way.
- By boat, there is daily ferry service to/from Busan to Jeju Island and Fukuoka, Japan.
Where to stay:
- Zen Backpackers (010-8722-1530, www.zenbackpackers.com): With it’s central location in Seomyeon, this hostel in the heart of the city has great access to the subway lines, shopping, and restaurants.
- Westin Chosun Busan (051-749-7000): What could be better than looking down on Haeundae beach from your hotel room? And the Westin’s brunch is one of the best in the city. Rooms start around 250,000 Won. Keep an eye out for their monthly specials.
What to do:
- Party it up Busan style. Read Busan’s Nightlife Renaissance to find out where to go.
- Want to know where to find the best beach (it’s not Haeundae), best beer, or best bargain shopping is? It’s all here: Busan’s 10 Best: Beyond the Festivals and Beaches.
- Take in a movie at the Pusan International Film Festival. You can find more details about PIFF and what to do (in this article I wrote and photographed that someone else was credited for!!) here: Uncovering Busan: Korea’s Hollywood by The Sea.
Biography: Ju Seok-oh is a native of Busan and one of Korea’s best amateur photographers. Although he does not actively promote his work, he has been published in international travel magazines, newspapers, and more. He is about to graduate from Inje University with a major in System Management Engineering.
Photo Blog: Check out Ju-seok’s award-winning blog which includes photos of his travels to Australia, America, China, Japan and beyond.
Photos on Flickr: J’s Favorite Things