Korea: Daytripping around Busan

Posted by on Jan 12, 2017 in Destinations, Korea, Travel Photo Thursday | 25 comments


New Year’s Eve saw me heading to Busan, Korea’s second-largest city and leaving the out-of-this-world blue ocean views of Goeje Island. Welcome to week 310 (1/12/2017) of Travel Photo Thursday. Busan was the second destination on my new year weekend adventure with Seoul Hiking. You can find the Goeje Island post, our first destination, here.

We’re pretty easy going here at BTS, but please remember to follow a few guidelines.

To join in the Travel Photo Thursday fun simply post a photo on your blog.

Return here and place your link in the Mr. Linky at the bottom of this post.

Please post a link to a post featuring a travel photo, not simply a link to your blog.

Leave a comment before you go. I do read each and every one, and always try to respond.

We left Goeje Island late in the afternoon on new year’s eve, arriving in downtown Busan about 1.5 hours later at around 5:30 pm. Off the bus, and we were immediately weaving our way through the narrow streets to get a birds-eye view of Busan’s beautiful Christmas lights.

This magnificent Christmas tree is the focal point, and we were awed as it changed colors every few minutes.


Busan, Korea


The Christmas trimmed arches along one of the main downtown streets are also attention grabbers.


Busan, Korea


From there we battled the crowds to find the all-you-can-eat buffet where we had dinner. The food was good, nothing memorable. Once our tummies were full, it was back to the bus and we headed to our hotel located just around the corner from the city’s famed Haeundae Beach. The traffic was horrendous, and it took us over an hour to reach the front door. In hindsight, taking the subway and having the bus meet us at the hotel would have been a much better option. I am not much for new years eve celebrations and exhausted after our long day of traveling and seeing the sites I was in bed and asleep by 10:00 pm. The alarm was set for 6:30 am, so we wouldn’t miss the New Year sunrise on Haeundae Beach, scheduled for 7:35 am.

Haeundae Beach

We made it to the crowded beach with a few minutes to spare. Wondering out loud why everyone was carrying red balloons (except us!) we didn’t have long to find out why. Minutes before the sun rose above the horizon the balloons were released in tandem to celebrate the first sunrise of 2017. It’s difficult to tell from this photo that the balloons were red. Trust me, they were, and it was a scene worthy of a new year.


Busan, Korea


A perfect sunrise to herald in 2017, and leave behind a less than stellar 2016 for many around the globe. You’re probably thinking what’s that helicopter doing belching black smoke all over this perfect setting. Well, (or so we were told) whatever was being released gets rid of smog, and that means nicer photos!


Busan, Korea


Busan, Korea


Haedong Yonggunsa Temple

We oohed and ahhed over the sunrise for a few more minutes, and then strolled back in the direction we had come to catch the bus to Haedong Yonggunsa Temple. Often referred to as “The Water Temple” due to its perch overlooking the sea. Many Koreans come to Yonggunsa on new years day to make wishes for the coming year.

The temple is an easy 20-minute bus ride from Haeundae Station subway (line 2, Exit 7).


Busan, Korea

Come back next week for a complete tour of the temple. You’ll see why this temple is not only the most popular in Pusan, but a must see for anyone visiting Korea.

Have you ever rung in the new year in another country? Tell us in the comments.


Please welcome our co-hosts this week: Jan from Budget Travel Talk Ruth from Tanama Tales Rachel from Rachel’s Ruminations


You can browse the Travel Photo Thursday archives here.


Please share using the share buttons at the top or bottom. Much appreciated!

Budget Travelers Sandbox

468 ad


  1. I don’t believe I’ve ever celebrated New Years in another country though I have wanted to get to Scotland for Hogmanay. It looks like your New Years Celebration was fantastic – what a Christmas tree and I love the balloons!

    • Hi, Jill. Yes, this trip was a perfect way to bring in the new year. The tree was so unexpected, and I was surprised by all the lights and decorations in downtown Busan.

  2. We brought in 2017 by watching fireworks go off up and down the Algarve coast from a friend’s rooftop terrace here in Lagos. Absolutely beautiful but I also love the idea of welcoming the new year by watching the sunrise. I’m thinking the red balloons must have been incredibly festive as they floated overhead!

    • Hi, Anita. I love the idea of watching fireworks in the Algarve on new years. Maybe next year!

    • Hi, Anita. Fireworks in the Algarve sounds like a perfect way to bring in the new year. Maybe next year!

  3. Wow, simply wow! That Christmas tree is a knockout and then the rest of the lights take your breath away! Amazing place, thanks for introducing me to it! #TPThursday

    • Hi, Jackie. Yes, that Christmas tree was a stunner. I was surprised by all of the lights in downtown Busan.

    • Hi, Jackie. The Christmas tree was indeed a stunner. Downtown Pusan decks itself out for the season very nicely.

  4. Whether it’s the color of the natural sky or lights for Christmas, Busan has some wonderful beauty! I admired seeing your journey from the city to the outdoors to the temple.

    • Hi, Brooke. I agree, Busan is a lovely city and I know that I have just scratched the surface.

  5. What a coincidence! Today, I was reading the “52 Places to Visit in 2017” by the New York Times and Busan made the list. After what I read and saw on your post, I am sure the city is fabulous. Looks like a city I would like to visit. #TPThursday

    • Hi, Ruth. Nice to hear that Busan made the list. There’s a lot to see and, including some great markets.

  6. That sunrise is just beautiful and I love the idea of the red balloon release. What a great and memorable way to ring in the new year. Great decorations too. We rang in 2016 in Lucerne, Switzerland last year and really like the idea of not being home.

    • Last year I had just arrived in the Algarve and enjoyed the evening in my apartment nibbling on delicious Portuguese cheese and wine. This is only the second time I have been in Korea for New Years, and I did enjoy it.

  7. No Nancie, We’ve always been at home at Christmas and New Year although we have discussed having Christmas in NYC. Mayble one day we will do that. Actually, I lie, we did spend Christmas in Engliand when I was 23. We were living there for 9 months and spent 3 months in Devon. We knew people there and spent the day and night in the family pub on Dartmoor. How could I forget that! It was special.

    • New Years in England at any age would be special. Christmas in NYC would be magical.

  8. Thank you for sharing this. Now I know to look into Busan when tripping around Korea! We will be south of there for the rest of this winter, and not make it to Korea. Although it is now a place I want to consider.

    • Hi, Wendy. Lots to see and do in Korea. Spring and Fall are the best time to visit. Summer is very humid, and winter can be very cold. Although this winter (so far) has been excellent.

  9. We rang in the New Year by flying into Sydney on New Year’s Eve. As we took the taxi to our hotel, fireworks were exploding in the sky. I told my kids it was how the Australians greet guests. I really like that Christmas tree and would enjoy seeing it change colors. I’m looking forward to hearing more about that Water Temple.

    • Wow, Michele. What a great way to start 2017. I can’t wait to read your Australia posts. I spent a month there way back in 1980. I know a lot has changed since then.

  10. You had me at just that amazing Christmas tree of light in Busan. Looks like a great place to visit for the holidays. I did just join your Linky. I’ve never done one before and am not clear on what it is all about, but there it is!

    • Hi, Carole and Welcome! This was my first time in Busan over the holidays, and I was thrilled at how beautifully the downtown was decorated.

  11. They have certainly found a great solution to a Christmas tree! I can’t believe it’s completely made out of lights! The balloons sure put on a spectacle, but who picks them up once they land? This would take years to break down. I think it’s great you didn’t have any balloons to let go actually. This temple looks fab too, can’t wait to see more photos!

  12. Busan looks like a lovely city to celebrate the holidays. I really enjoyed your photos. They make me want to visit Busan and learn more about it.

  13. I was just in India and was so excited to celebrate New Years Eve there but it was no different culturally than in the US, though we did have fun.
    To see all of those Red Balloons would have been awesome, were you able to obtain one to fly off as well?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *