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Thursday, March 30, 2017

South Korea: Day 6 - Haeundae, a Seaside Temple And More Of Busan

After a (free) morning coffee at the 369 Hotel in Busan, we walked to the nearby Yeonsan Subway Station. We took a subway to Suyeong Station and changed trains there to Haeundae Station, using our convenient T-Money-Card.


It was just a short walk from the subway station (straight down the Gunam-ro) to Haeundae Beach, one of Busan's most famous attractions. It is a huge, sandy beach. In summer it is said to be completely packed. But now, in spring, we could just walk around there (unfortunately too cold to swim) and inhale some ocean breeze.


However, we weren't just at the beach to adore it. The beach - or more precisely - the Sea Life Busan Aquarium in front of the beach, is the starting point for the Blue Line of the Busan Citytour Bus. There we took the first bus at 10.20 a.m. and bought the ticket inside the bus. We bought a One-Day-Pass, that also included rides on the Red Line and the Green Line of the Busan Citytour Bus. It´s a great service, as you can hop on and hop off the buses, as you please.

The bus wasn't really crowded and soon we arrived at the main reason, why we had bought the bus pass: The Fishery Science Museum/Haedong Yonggungsa Temple-Stop. The bus stopped at the museum and from there it is just a short walk along the coast to the temple (from the bus stop just a few steps straight to the coast and then follow the path to the right). It is not just "a temple". The Haedong Yonggungsa Temple is a rare seaside temple, built in the year 1376. I found it very impressive and it offers many details from statues to a Golden Buddha and a little cave.


After a little rest at the coast, we also visited the Fisheries Science Museum. It is a huge and modern museum and it was gratis. Inside there are many artifacts and information, regarding fishery and the sea. While some of the information is in Korean only, there's still just so much to see, including an aquarium, fish pottery, and a Ship Maneuvering Experience Room, where you can play captain. 


When we were finished with the museum, we were just in time for another Citytour Bus and continued to the Busan Museum of Art/BEXCO-Stop. There we changed buses from the Blue Line to the Red Line and were soon at the Peace Park-Bus Stop. We had seen, that you can walk from there through the Peace Park to the UN Memorial Cemetery and so we did. 


The UN Memorial Cemetery honors soldiers from different countries, that were killed during the Korean War from 1950-1953. They had come to help when South Korea was invaded by North Korea. Coming from the Philippines, I of course paid my respect to the Filipino soldiers. Two of my uncles were veterans of the war. The Philippines were actually the first Asian country to help. The cemetery remembers the soldiers and also has some Monuments. We were surprised, that it looked like, that especially many soldiers from Turkey lost their lives, fighting for South Korea. 


From the UN Memorial Cemetery, we could take another bus of the Red Line from the Citytour Bus. It was just two stations from there to the Yonghoman Sightseeing Boat Terminal-Bus Stop, where we switched buses to the Green Line to continue to the Oryukdo Islands-Bus Stop. There, we enjoyed a little snack and the view of Oryukdo Island. There is also a viewing platform with a glass floor, but it was so crowded, that we skipped that. 



Finally, we returned to the Yonghoman Sightseeing Boat Terminal-Bus Stop and switched buses back to the Red Line and exited the bus at the Dongbaekseom Island Bus Stop and walked to the nearby The Bay 101, which offers restaurants and a view of the skyscrapers at the sea. There we had coffee and Pancake Cake and I met a fellow Filipina, living in South Korea, which was nice and interesting.


We weren't finished with sightseeing, however, and walked further into  Dongbaekseom Island. There we found a surprising but cool statue of "Princess Cordelia Pet from Plastic Island", pointing out to the pollution of the oceans with plastic. We also came to the Nurimaru APEC House, which, unfortunately, was closed already. We also didn´t really see the Mermaid Statue on the island (just from the distance), as the path was closed, due to renovation. The green island, however, is nice to walk around along the ocean and we went to the lighthouse.



So, we walked from the island to the Haeundae Beach, where we had started our journey. After a long day of sightseeing, we returned from the Haeundae Subway Station to the hotel and soon went to sleep, getting some rest before another sightseeing day in Busan.