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Looking for reasons to go to Busan, South Korea? Read On….

Busan Temple

Every Tuesday morning, Cathay/Dragonair release ‘fanfares’, a selection of cheap flights.  This week, Busan is available, although for four more days only so get in quick.  If you’re looking for a reason to get to Busan, here is Angie’s inspiring trip review:

Busan
Busan is the second largest city in Korea, and close to a lot of the cultural sights down south, as well as home to Korea’s most popular beaches. It’s less intense than Seoul and a nice provincial town, and people are very friendly. We found it very pram and child friendly, lots of people stopped us to smile and say hello to our son,
Koreans love kids.

Who: My husband, my 7 month old son and myself

Flight

Good news is Dragonair flies direct to Busan from Hong Kong and it is only about 3 hours; bad news is that the flight to Busan leaves at 2.30 in the morning. To minimise disruption to our sons sleep, we checked in during the day and then booked a car to take us to the airport at 12.30am.

Airport Transfers

On arrival we just hopped in a taxi. There were lots of them around and you could choose between normal and luxury taxis. The main difference was the latter had very comfy seats. So after an overnight flight we decided to treat ourselves to the nicer of the two. But to be honest the other taxis looked just as nice.

Hotel

We stayed at the Westin Chosun (known to locals more commonly as the Chosun Beach Hotel) mainly for sentimental reasons. My husband lived in Busan as a boy and they used to go there for lunch on the
weekends for a special treat. The rooms were great, the beds were very comfy and the staff went out of their way to be helpful. Every night they would come up to our room and grab my sons bottles to sterilize them in their kitchen. The breakfast buffet was also very good and all restaurants we ate in the hotel had a highchair even the bar,
O’kims.

Busan Beach 1

The Hotel is right on the beach so it was super easy to push the pram along the beach promenade for our morning walk. There is also a lovely park behind the hotel called Dongbaek and that was a pleasant stroll in the afternoons. The highlight of the hotel for me though was that it had heated toilet seats, my husband thinks I’m crazy but I love them.

Time of year

Busan Cherry BlossomWe went at Easter so late March/early April. It was still a bit cool so we didn’t go swimming but on the plus side the cherry blossoms were out everywhere, so it was very beautiful and we managed to take hundreds of pictures of them. During warmer months, there are lots of water sports to choose from.

 

Busan DinnerFood

There are lots of restaurants to choose from both Korean and Western. We love Korean food so we mostly chose to eat that but I have to admit that even as a lover of Korean food after the third day I was kimchi’d out and we decided to have western meal for lunch. Most restaurants outside of the hotel did not have high chairs but we had packed our trusted Totseat so it wasn’t a problem for us.  As we ate at traditional Korean restaurants in the evening, most of them gave us a private room.  It was great as Koreans usually eat on tables low to the ground and they sit on cushions on the heated floors, which meant our son could crawl around and play while we ate.  In regards to our sons food, we just took along foodpacks as we were only there for a short time.

Sights

Busan MarketWe did a few sights in town, namely the Jagalchi fish markets, the Kukje market (next door to each other) and walked around Haeundae beach. One of our favourite things to do was just to walk around on the (large) sidewalks and beach promenade and breathe in the fresh air and it never felt crowded, even felt fairly chilled out, which I can’t say for moist Asian cities. We also did a short ½ day trip by taxi to Beomosa temple, a well-known and large temple on the outskirts of town. There are other temples and cultural sights in Kyungju, about 2 hours away, but we didn’t manage them this time round, as we were only there for 3 days. Would probably recommend an overnight stay there, as lots to see, and 2hrs each way with children would make for a long day.

Beaches

The beaches in Busan are city beaches with not a lot of surf, so don’t expect miles of undisturbed sandy beaches where it will be just you and your family. In the summer months think Bondi beach on Boxing Day, as it gets very crowded. And even in autumn you will find lots of family and friends having picnics on the sand.  Haeundae beach has permanent football posts set up on the beach; every day we saw groups of kids having a friendly game of beach football, for younger kids there is also a slippery slide.  Overall I found the beaches very clean and inviting. Had it been warmer I would have definitely added either a morning or afternoon swim + to our daily routine. Haeundae beach is also where you can find one of the city’s outdoor snack food markets.  Gwangali Beach which is the next beach down from the famous Haeundae beach also had kayaks for rent amongst other things, and was a more happening beach with a slightly younger crowd and lots of cafes along the beach.

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