• Peter Scott & Monica Kong

HAEUNDAE BEACH, Busan - 1 Month Stay with KIDS

Updated: Feb 17

When we were last in South Korea, 15 years ago, we were just passing through Busan on our way to Jeju Island. This time, we really got to know this busy port city, second biggest in Korea with a population of 3.5 million.

We found a cute apartment/loft studio on AIRBNB 5 mins away from HAEUNDAE BEACH. It wasn't cheap, but the monthly discount helped (a good TIP for finding cheap accommodation on Airbnb is to look for weekly and monthly discounts, sometimes as high as 50% off for long stays). In terms of location, this place ticked all the boxes: close to the water, near the subway, but away from the main hustle and bustle. We also wanted a relatively comfortable place to ease into things after being on the road all summer long.

It did feel a little cramped at times for a long stay with kids, but it was more than adequate for all our needs. There was even a large gym in the building. The place was well-equipped with all the kitchen necessities. There was also an all-in-one washer/dryer and a toilet with all kinds of fun buttons for your toileting needs! (Sounds fancy, but it's very common in Korea!)

Like a spa for your bum!

The neighbourhood was just the right level of busy. Not too chaotic, but with enough things to do and places to eat nearby. 10 mins walk from our apartment is the HAEUNDAE TRADITIONAL MARKET, with lots of street eats and seafood vendors.

Haeundae Traditional Market
Fresh eel anyone?

While during the day, the streets in our neighbourhood seem relatively quiet except for construction work, it comes to life after dark as the city literally lights up. Lots of young couples, families and tourists strolling on the main drag. And of course, lots of red-faced, soju drinking locals crowding the bars and restaurants!

Lights, water and music show on Gunam ro street
Gunam ro - A wide pedestrian walkway in Haeundae, 5 mins walk from our place

September is a lovely time to visit Korea. It has been between 20 - 28 degrees celsius every day. Sure, we had a typhoon pass by last week, but beautiful sunny skies followed the day after. No biggie! Not only are the kids in school, but it's "too cold!" for locals to go swimming. Koreans in general don't like to tan and fear the sun like the plague, hence the giant visors, long sleeves, sun umbrellas, and impeccable skin. So other than the odd crispy-brown, itty-bitty-speedo-donning, middle-aged, Korean man (yes, even in Korea), there are mostly foreigners on the beach this time of the year. The water is still quite warm in September. In fact, the water was much warmer than most of the lakes we went to on our Canada road trip this past summer.

Air gun for removing sand from your feet - brilliant!

Below is a photo of what Haeundae beach looks like now in September versus in peak season. Yikes, what a difference!!

Lastly, just less than 15 mins walk from our place, past all the skyscrapers, busy shops and restaurants was this peaceful, beautiful Haeun Gungsa Buddhist temple by the mountains.

So much to see just within our neighbourhood. We have barely scratched the surface! More to come on BUSAN....

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