What To Expect
Visit famous Beomeosa temple dating back to the 7th century. Legend tells that one day a golden fish came from Nirvana, the Buddhist state of non-suffering, and has lived there ever since, so the temple's name became Temple of the Heavenly Fish or Where fish from Nirvana play. The temple is laid out in an unusual manner. The upper level is the Main Hall with a Buddha of Sakamuni attended by Bodhisattvas. This Main Hall from the 17th century boasts of architectural beauty with its excellent craftsmanship of wooden carvings. On the ceiling, you can see flower carvings as if they were falling from the heaven. There is a stone lantern which dates back to the 9th century. The second level is the Bojeru, the Save all Beings Hall with three storied pagoda from the Silla period and a belfry holding four Dharma instruments. The lower part includes the three gates; the One-Pillar Gate, Four Guardian's Gate, and the Gate of Non Duality, represents the fact that, though the visitor is passing from the secular world into the spiritual world of the temple, these two worlds are not different form one another. In addition, the temple is famous for Wisteria habitat. Some 6,500 wisterias, some of which are more than 100 years old, grow in the nearby valley.
Next, visit UN Memorial Cemetery where 2,300 deceased soldiers from sixteen Korean War allies rest in honored serenity. During the period of 1951-1954, remains of approximately 11,000 fallen of the UN Forces were buried here. Thereafter, most were repatriated to their home countries. It is the permanent home of war heroes of the following nations. Australia (281), Canada (378), France (44), Netherlands (117), New Zealand (34), Norway (1), South Africa (11), Republic of Korea (36), Turkey (462), United Kingdom (885), USA (36), Unknown soldiers (4), Non-belligerents (11).
Busan Modern History Museum, built in 1929, the building was once used as Japanese Oriental Development Company to implement the Japanese policy of economic domination of Korea. After liberation, it was used as a U.S. Army barracks and, later, the USIS. The museum is highlighted by the story of Busan from the late 19th century to modern-day Busan; opening of the port in 1876, exploitation of Busan by the Japanese, a hard time under the Japanese Colonial Rule, the transformation of Busan into a modern city, and the relationship between Korea and the U.S. The museum houses interesting photographs of Korean lifestyle of the century ago, and you may have a chance to see them.
Next, you will see the fascinating and bustling Jagalchi fish market located right off the downtown docks. The market offers a wide variety of fish including sea bream, sea bass, snapper, saury, pollack, halibut, corvina, cutlass fish, mackerel, octopus, sea squirt, cuttlefish, frogfish, flounder, abalone, crab, shells, to name just a few. One big draw of this market is its flexible pricing system. Since a wide array of foods from the sea sold here do not have fixed prices, visitors are free to haggle over what they expect to pay. There are also many restaurants selling raw fish at reasonable prices. Trying them here in the market is really a visual and culinary treat.
Explore BIFF square, packed with trendy shops movie theaters and even a walk of fame where famous stars and directors have pressed their handprints into the sidewalk. Neighboring block is Gukjesijang, the largest traditional market in Busan, where a variety of items that included cosmetics, accessories, folk art crafts, hats, belts, stationery, bags, clothes, food, kitchen utensils, and more are available at very reasonable and affordable prices. Here, you will discover all that local merchants have to offer, at the same time, enjoying the ambience of this massive market with exceptional offerings.
Lastly, you will visit Yongdusan park located at the head of a steep slope that looks over the city and harbor in a breathtaking view. The most conspicuous is the 120m high Busan tower topped by an observatory dominating the most of the area of the city, and the harbor views spreading below are spectacular. And smack dab in the middle of the park stands the statue of Yi Sunsin, the Korea's greatest naval hero who is credited with the perfection of the first iron-clad warship in history. In the park's octagonal pavilion, you cannot help but appreciate the collection of countless musical instruments from basically every part of the world: The instruments included the accordion, organ, guitar, viola, flute, violin, clarinet, drums, ivory horn, balafon, marimbas, and several others.
UN Memorial Cemetery
Busan Modern History Museum
Jagalchi Fish Market
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Optional activity costs
Tips and gratuities
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