a first timer in South Korea
if you visit the country for less than a week.
Entering the beautiful country via Busan is..I am pretty sure... not really worth the first time experience
Although AirAsia cheap airfare to Busan is kinda tempting and well promoted too yeah?
I am not belittling Busan..of course! Who am I?? Busan is great..I love the manly man and the sexy saturi...ok, I'm serious. Saturi is sexy! Hehehe...
The bustling port city definitely has its own attraction and merits but believe me...not for the first timer.
Check out my reasons below. This is entirely my own opinion, you might disagree....yes or no, it's your choice.
Reason Number 1
To compare is to know the map...*cough* I mean the geographical layout of South Korea or what not.
Well...here is Geography lesson 101....hehehe. Look at the map.
It takes about 3 hours and a half by public transport ie bus from Busan to Seoul and that if there's no heavy traffic and about 2 hours and 45 minutes by KTX; the bullet train.
What does it mean here? The logic...
CASE STUDY: taking the AirAsia arrival time in Busan as the gauge
0115 hours from LCCT Airport Sepang, Malaysia
0830 hours arrive at Gimhae Airport, Busan, South Korea
Say you arrive in Busan...you will take KTX, cause this is your FIRST time experience taking the bullet.
Allow buffer time of 2 hours to reach Busan station for KTX, 3 hours is good (ya know...nature's call and etc --all depends on whether you're alone or in a group, young group, old group..)
Take the KTX from Busan Station to Seoul Station
If you're good..take the KTX at 1100 hours AND arrive at 1342 hours
OR the next one at 1200 hours AND arrive at 1443 hours
So far so good right? but if you fly to South Korea during the grave hours...after midnight and arrive in the morning---> YOU WILL BE DEAD TIRED by the time you reach Seoul around 2pm.
Tip: Try to stay either in Hongdae (noisier than Ewha but fun) or Ewha unversity area (a bit toned down)
So what am I saying here? the fact that YOU WILL LOSE ONE WHOLE DAY TAKING A REST..instead of painting the town red
I know that some might say..."I'm still young, I am on my best form and have climbed the Everest Mt -- I won't get tired!"...for example ^^ Of course you won't be tired...but on the 3rd day, you will be burnt...very slowly...heheh.
There goes my long-winded reason number 1.
Reason Number 2
Many of the IMPORTANT attractions can be covered in Seoul. The spots worth visiting are close to each other and walking distance. Being a tour guide with a year and a half walking experience in Seoul, you could trust me in this one. ^^
Check out Seoul magazine for easy to understand map and complete with important spots to visit.
Pstt...you can get this magazine for FREE in KTO or Seoul Global Center if you are the lucky one to grab it early every month or you can buy it at any of major bookstores in Seoul for 5,000 won a piece.
Reason Number 3
If you love beaches...by all means come during summer and try to stay in Haeundae. IMO, Haeundae is the prettiest beach among those in Busan. However, be prepared to share the beaches with Koreans as well. Summer is the peak season and a long-earned holiday for them.
But...being a Malaysian with many white beaches to choose from in her own country, I have no idea why I want to visit South Korea during summer??? I would rather go during autumn, spring or winter...just to bask in the differences. ^^
Reason Number 4
IMO, Busan's worth visiting spots are:
- Yonggungsa - the only temple beside the sea
- Beaches and the bridge
- Gamcheon Cultural Village
- Fish markets - Jagalchi and seafood restaurant (a MUST try)
The rests, you pretty much can cover similar places in Seoul ie. palaces, temples, museums, cool cafe's and etc