Cheaper than Seoul and with a more laidback coastal vibe, Busan is the second choice for many visitors to South Korea but return visitors insist that it is the premier South Korean city. Haeundae Beach is just one of Busan's attractions that have earned it the reputation as the holiday capital of the country.
Busan is a modern city and it lacks historical attractions. It is not a place to come to explore the past. This is the futuristic sub-capital of South Korea that forges a path to the future and mixes business with pleasure in an intriguing and unique way.
On busy summer days it seems that the entire South Korean population has decided to venture en masse to Haeundae Beach, easily the most popular summer waterside destination in the country. Jet-skis, health spas, South Korea's beautiful people and miles of beach umbrellas you get the picture.
The calmer, less-crowded version of Haeundae Beach is reached by its own dedicated subway station (Geumnyeonsan) and faces the gargantuan Gwangan Grand Bridge, which is dramatically illuminated at night. Less expensive hotels and beach concessions draw a laidback crowd.
Taejongdae's white lighthouse is one of Busan's most famous landmarks. Steeped in imperial history and named for a king of the Silla Dynasty, Taejongdae offers several rocky islands and excellent seafood restaurants.
This is Busan's central park and there are plenty of calm and green spaces underneath the rocket ship form of Busan Tower, which is a perfect reference point for new arrivals with its superb panoramic views from its observation decks.
Slightly to the south of downtown Busan, this is the city's retail and recreation center. Several major subway lines stop here and there are pedestrian plazas lined with multiplex cinemas, shopping malls and bars.
Subway line number 1 intersects with subway line number 2 at Seomyeon, the bustling business district of Busan. The stock market and many high-rise commercial towers and five-star hotels are located here.
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