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  • Peter Scott & Monica Kong

HAEUNDAE BEACH, Busan - 1 Month Stay with KIDS

Updated: Aug 4, 2020

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 the country, with a population of 3.5 million.

Haeundae Beach, Busan

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. Following our long flight from Vancouver with China Eastern Airlines, we got settled quickly in our new "home".

AIRBNB apartment in Busan

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!)

Fancy asian toilet
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, Busan
Haeundae Traditional Market
eel tank at the 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!

Haeundae at night, Busan, South Korea
Lights, water and music show on Gunam ro street
Night scene in Haeundae
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.

Kids in Haeundae Beach, Busan

Air gun at the beach, Busan
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!!

Beautiful city beach in Korea

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.

Korean temple with monks
Korean buddhist temple
Korean buddhist temple, Busan

Our neighbourhood was exactly what we were looking for. With a 5 minute walk to the beach, we spent a lot of time playing in the water and sand. The subway was also so conveniently close that we never needed to take a taxi. Perfect for lowering our carbon footprint and getting us to all the places to see in Busan while staying on budget. Oh, and lucky for us, we were also very close to the traditional market, where the kids loved sampling all kinds of yummy street food. Overall, we highly recommend families to stay in Haeundae Beach, Busan. And if you are still not convinced, check out our VIDEO of BUSAN with KIDS!

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