My 5: Busan, Korea.

Locals dancing Busan Train Station Korea

1. Busan Station, February 2015. The final stop of my two and a half week jaunt around Korea came in the southeastern coastal city of Busan. I arrived on the extraordinary bullet train, probably the smoothest, most comfortable long-distance train journey I’ve ever experienced. Happiest of all, as anyone who’s seen the zombie apocalypse movie Train to Busan will surely attest, my trip was free of lurching, flesh-eating monsters. This shot is of the main square outside Busan Station, where a group of locals had seemingly put on a dance performance to hail my arrival.

2. Jagalchi Market, February 2015. One of the first things I noticed is that Busan is a foodie’s wet dream. The place is positively packed with bakeries, cafes, hot pot joints, Korean barbecue restaurants and plenty of international options, in addition to a lively street food scene. This bustling market street near Jagalchi Subway Station offers up a range of hearty, inexpensive dishes, including oily noodles, sizzling meat sticks and just about every seafood option you can think of. 

3. On The Subway, February 2015. As in Seoul, Busan has a speedy, sparkling, highly efficient subway system to shuttle you around the city hassle free. There are four lines, one hundred and fourteen stations and at the time of my visit a single journey ticket was priced at 1300 Won (£0.90/€1/$1.20). Just help yourself from one of the zillion vending machines.

4. Gwangalli Beach, February 2015. One of two city beaches, Gwangalli is apparently Busan’s “second most popular beach”, though I’m not entirely sure how the rating system works. Boasting 1.4 kilometers of sands, it was a decent walk from one side to the other, with great views out to Gwangandaegyo Bridge and a stop for lunch at a roadside Burger restaurant. Locals take great delight in feeding the resident seagulls, who appeared to be going all Birdemic on this unsuspecting family. If you’re coming by subway, jump off at Geumyeonsan.

5. Busan Docks, February 2015. Another twenty minutes or so from Gwangalli Beach on foot and you’ll arrive at Busan Docks. It’s a wonderfully atmospheric area with striking street graffiti, rows of private yachts and a network of boardwalk paths running between the docking bays. Better still, you won’t have to share those gorgeous views out to sea with anyone other than the odd fisherman…. and maybe this dude. 

For more on this cool city, have a leaf through my other 5s on Busan.

You can also leaf through my various articles from around Korea.

Leighton Literature travel reports short stories travel blogger

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Freelance travel writer, voice over and English teacher from London. Former music and film journalist, interviewer of the stars. Passionate about travel, film, music, football, Indian food.

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