Busan Day 3 : Museum, Cemetary, Beaches, Aquarium
Trip Start Aug 16, 2013
376Trip End Aug 25, 2013
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The park was divided into plots based on nationalities. The big contributors (USA, UK, Turkey, Canada, Aus) had large sections, but there was representation from many other European, African, and Asian nations that participated. I believe it holds the Guinness world record for the most participants. They had a special exhibit for the Turkish soldiers and a monument to the Canadian Troops. For its size the entire park was fenced so you have to walk all the way back to exit
Next headed to Gwangalli beach. This is the smaller of Busans two main beaches. This is a u-shaped bay with a two tier bridge spanning across. Although a distinctive landmark of the city, gives the beach a bit of an industrial look too. I was trying to find somewhere to get lunch but all they had was bars and most places didnt open till five.
After this headed a few subway stops further to Haeundae beach, Busans most famous beach, dressed in my winter coat, baseball cap, scarf, in light drizzle!. The subway seemed crowded for an afternoon and when we got to the stop suddenly the carriage emptied with all the korean pensioners getting off. I found it a bit odd that they would all be headed to the beach on a wet February day? The area leading to the beach had a bit more of a lively feel to it. Found a market area and grabbed some tempura shrimp and vegetables to hold me over till I could find proper food.
As I approached the beach I heard load speakers playing korean traditional music and large crowds crossing the road, so I figured something was going on. Sure enough, there was a large tradional korean festival going on which is where all the elderly people had been heading
There was a stage setup with four singers in traditional dress. Different dance artists in costume were performing routines in front. To the distance there was a giant 5 storey pyramid christmas tree like structure made from branches. I figured this was going to be lit at nightfall and this would last all day so I could check out other places in the meantime. Later I found out this is to celebrate the first full moon of the lunar new year.
youtube video : Haeundae Beach - First Moon Festival (daytime)
I wandered to the western end of the beach, this is where APEC house is where the 2005 summit was held, and to see if I could see the bridge over Gwangalli beach from this side. The rocks by the shoreline had many people lighting candles and placing paper cups over them to stop the wind and rain from blowing them out. Around the curve in the rocks was a bronze statue version of the mermaid. Further down was a lighthouse.
Inside of the APEC house there is an oval conference room with a seat for each of the represented countries
When I came out it was already twilight and the giant tree bonfire was already completely engulged in flames. Now there were two large groups of female dancers, one dressed in red, one in blue. The perrfomed different routines in their circles, then made a giant circle together. I was really surprised and lucky again I stumbled across this festival. It was mainly elderly koreans, not many young people, and barely any foreigners.
youtube video : Haeundae Beach - First Full Moon Festival (nightfall)
Then went into the Busan Aquariam another highlight of the beach. It was good but I think the Singapore one was better as it had moving walkway thru the tunnels, and much more variety of sealife
youtube video : Busan Aquarium
Haeundae really came alive at night and was quite buzzing, even for a february. Then headed to Centum City which claims to be the worlds largest shopping mall. They had a 10 storey oval shaped atrium with escalators. On the fourth floor was an indoor skating rink.
I've been using a metro day pass for $3. Originally I was going to use the topup card which we have in daegu and they used in Seoul. But the topup card will keep deducting whereas the day pass is a flat $3 so more economical. Also subways in korea number the stations. So line 1 stations are numbered 101,102,103, etc, and so forth for lines 2,3,4 etc. This makes it easier to remember stations then hard korean names.
They are building two new lines, but confusingly already show them on the subway map. Elderly seating is also respected. They will remain empty even in packed rush hour trains and are reserved strictly for them. Surprisingly, I even had a few pensioners talk to me in english trying to help me, whereas most people in daegu over 30 hardly speak english