To escape my destiny (aging and birthdays, you know…), I made a quick getaway from Hong Kong to try and find a place in the region I’ve never been to before, Busan in the southern part of South Korea. As usual with me recently, I did absolutely no homework, and so arrived blank slate with zero expectations aside from wanting to experience something new. It’s been more than 6 years since my last visit to Seoul in northern South Korea and all I could remember was that I was very impressed with Seoul and the Koreans. Busan and the Koreans did not disappoint, I had a blast. In scenery and urban life, Busan resembles a calm Hong Kong, mountains, beaches, port, sunshine, markets, very well (if not over) developed finance commercial centers, and generally high standard of living. The main difference is that it is far less crowded, far more affordable, and the Koreans are just polite, respectful, welcoming, and adorable. There are lots of examples, like the way they bow at intersections to promote their electoral candidates, how involved both the elderly and the young ones are in society, the emphasis on a balance between green space and urban life. It’s not the “lost in translation” experience I get with the funky Japanese and it’s not the WTH experience I get with the ultra busy and impatient HK people, the Koreans do have their own style and I like it.
Visited lots of lovely areas in Busan during the short time I was there.
To give you a feel for the place, here are my visions of Busan, photo walk through the main tourist areas…