So, you’ve read my latest article, “Top 5 Things to Do in Busan this Summer”, and now you’re planning your trip – hooray! I outlined some great sights to see and things to do, but here are a few specific activities for you and your traveling companions to do while exploring this southern port city.
Not surprisingly, there are vast opportunities for you to play in and around the waterfront. Whether you choose to relax in an inner tube on the favored Haeundae beachfront, or cruise around the Diamond Bridge on a stand-up paddle board off the sandy shores of Gwangalli, or – for those of you who are mildly insane, participate in a shark dive at Haeundae’s famous Aquarium, there are multiple ways to keep yourself busy and have a great time on the beach (or very close to it). I did some investigating for your future convenience, and without further ado, here are several suggestions about what to do on your upcoming visit to Busan.
If relaxing in an inner tube (5,000 won for the day) amongst hundreds of thousands of fellow “relaxers” is up your alley, then head to Haeundae with the aforementioned swarm of tourists.
However, Gwangalli Beach is definitely the place to be if you are looking for options. Gwangalli Beach is significantly less crazy than Haeundae, and the smaller number of beach-goers makes for a wider variety of water-based activities available to you. The Gwangalli Leports Centre, found at the very south end of the beach, has a huge selection of water sports equipment for rent. Here is a list and price breakdown.
Gwangalli Leports Center at the south end of the beach
Price: FREE (yay!) for 3 hours at a time. You’ll have to sign one out at one of the tents near the Sports Center. You can’t miss it, just head towards all of the kayaks on the sand!
Stand-Up Paddle Board
Price: 30,000 won for 3 hours. There is basic training included, which is a plus.
Price: 40,000 won for 3 hours.
Wakeboarding / Waterskiing
Price: 40,000 won for 1 person.
Price: 15,000 won for 1 person.
50,000 won per person for the regular Daytime Cruise (departs 14:00/16:00)
60,000 won per person for the Moonlight Cruise.
Both cruises are 60 minutes and offer slightly different travel routes depending on if you go during the day or at night. If the mere idea of cruising around the bay doesn’t provide enough incentive, the months of July and August feature an all-you-can-drink draught beer party on the Moonlight Cruise!
A quick note on Jet Skis – you see them everywhere, and they look like a great time. I asked about jet-ski rentals at every booth renting any kind of water sports equipment, and it looks like they are unavailable for rent (boo!). I hear they may be available in Songjeong beach, about 15 minutes north of Haeundae. Stand by for a confirmation.
Ask any Korean about the scuba diving community in Busan and you will most likely be met with some quizzical looks. Scuba diving is a relatively unknown activity amongst Koreans, but there have been enough diving-inclined expats to create a large scuba diving community.
Haeundae Fun Divers and Busan Scuba are two such organizations that offer basic training and dives for experienced and non-experienced divers alike. Prices range depending on experience and type of dive desired (time, length, depth, etc). A basic first-timer can expect to pay about 100,000 won for a training session in a pool followed by an ocean dive.
The famous Haeundae Aquarium also hosts a Shark Dive for those looking for a unique experience here in Busan. For 150,000 won, you can dive with the sharks, have some pictures taken, and then check out the rest of the impressive aquarium post-dive. Participants must be 16 years of age or older.
Gorgeous Amnam Park is perfect for climbers seeking a good climb with a great view. There are multiple routes with varying degrees of difficulty, and the natural beauty of this particular park is hard to beat. Bring your own equipment and thirst for adventure.
How To Get There: From Jagalchi (metro exit 2), take bus 9-1, 9, 71 or 7, in the southern direction.
Sightseeing on a Two-Wheeler
No, I’m not talking about an old-fashioned bicycle. Why pedal if you don’t have to? In Haeundae, you can rent an electric scooter and tour around the bay. Check out Park Marina and zip down the boardwalk with the wind in your hair, taking in the coastal views and not-so-distant mountains. Note that Haeundae Wangbaltong will not rent scooters on a rainy day, so if the weather literally rains on your parade, you can easily change your rental date to one with a better forecast. There are safety regulations and height/weight requirements to be aware of; have a look and book a rental here!
There are plenty of activities here in Busan to guarantee a fun-filled weekend getaway. Adrenaline junkies (see shark diving opportunity) and water sports enthusiasts will be sure to have a blast.
You’ll also be sure to work up an appetite.. but where are the best places to satisfy your taste buds? Stay tuned, friends.