The second-largest city in South Korea, Busan hosts everything from a world famous collection of hot springs to the world famous Pusan International Film Festival, held each fall. Busan is the coastal flipside to inland Seoul and it continues to compete with the capital, having launched a Summer Olympics bid for 2020.
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.