Host City, Busan
Busan at a Glance
Busan, a bustling city of approximately 3.5 million residents, is located on the southeastern tip of the Korean peninsula. The size of Busan is 769.89km² which is only 0.8% of the whole landmass of the Korean Peninsula. The natural environment of Busan is a harmonious relationship of mountains, rivers and sea. Its geography includes a coastline featuring superb beaches and scenic cliffs and mountains which provide excellent hiking and extraordinary views with hot springs scattered throughout the city. Busan enjoys four distinct seasons and a temperate climate that never gets too hot or too cold.
Busan is the second largest city and the first international port city in Korea. Its deep harbor and gentle tides have allowed it to grow into the largest container handling port in the country and the fifth largest in the world, handling more than 80% of Korea's container traffic. In addition, it is located at the end of the Eurasian continent and serves as the main gateway to the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia as a whole.
The city's natural endowments and rich history have resulted in Busan's increasing reputation as a world-class city for tourism and culture, as well as also becoming renowned as a hot spot destination for international conventions. With the completion of the Busan Exhibition and Convention Center (BEXCO) on May 2001, it emerged as the center of the soccer world for hosting the drawing of slots for the World Cup in December 2001. Other prominent events at BEXCO include the ITU General Meeting in September 2004, and APEC in November 2005, as well as the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference in October 2014 and the Korea-ASEAN Special Summit in December 2014 to enhance Busan's image and brand value as a global city. Busan is Korea's largest port and most important marine tourism, film, and international conference city. In the 21st century, Busan is focused on playing an even greater role in Northeast Asia.
Geographically, Busan has the Straits of Korea to its south; Ulsan to the north; and Gimhae to the west. Cities that share a similar latitude with Busan include Jinhae and Gwangju in Korea, as well as Tokyo, Algiers and Oklahoma City internationally. Busan is eight hours ahead of GMT. As for its geopolitical location, the city is located at the southern tip of a strip that connects Asia, Siberia and Europe. It also serves as a main gateway to the Pacific Ocean. This strategic location places the city at the center of international sea transportation.
Busan is located at the southeastern most tip of the Korean peninsula and in the mid-latitude temperate zone, which has seasonal winds. It has four seasons: spring, summer, fall and winter. The annual average temperature is 14.9°C. The annual average precipitation is 1,441.9mm. Busan has strong winds compared to other areas in Korea. Spring begins in March and ends in late June. Cherry blossom trees bloom in late March and the temperature is very comfortable from April to June. The rainy season at the end of June and July signals the beginning of the coming summer heat. The highest mean temperatures of around 32°C are at the end of July through mid-August. Fall is from early September through late-November. The weather is nice and cool at this time because of the continental high atmospheric pressure. Winter starts by the end of November and continues until February, but Busan rarely receives any snowfall. The average winter temperature is 3.8°C. Tourists can enjoy Busan throughout all seasons because of the nice weather and beautiful scenery. In summer, the city, particularly Haeundae and Gwangalli beaches, become crowded with visitors who come to enjoy the beautiful and laidback lifestyle Busan residents have come to love.
From its opening in 1876, the port city of Busan quickly developed into a hub of trade, commerce and industry. This development resulted in a rapid increase in its population, which had already reached 334,318 by 1942. A major leap in Busan's population came with the breakout of the Korean War, which resulted in an endless stream of people into the city. After Korea's liberation from Japanese colonial rule, the number temporarily decreased to 281,160 in 1945 as Japanese left Busan. When the name of Busan was changed in August 1949 and the Korean War broke out in June 1950, the population increased rapidly as refugees flocked to the temporary capital from all over the country and the population surged to 844,134 in 1951 and 1,049,363 in 1955. In 1980, it grew to more than 3 million people with 3,159,766 people, but the population began to decline in 1995 due to an economic downturn and decreases in the birth rate and number of small businesses as a result of relocating offshore. As of December 2019, Busan was home to 3,466,563 citizens, a decrease of 27,456 compared to 2018. The population of foreign residents living in Busan stood at 52,722, an increase of 156 compared to 2018.
Busan National Geopark
Busan is the 2nd largest city in Korea and home to various natural scenes of the sea, mountains, and estuaries. Between these gifted natural landscapes and cultural resources of the city, unique geological heritages abound.
The Busan National Geopark includes 12 geosites: Nakdong Estuary, Molundae, Dusong Peninsula, Songdo Peninsula, Dudo, Taejongdae, Oryukdo, Igidae, Jangsan, Geumjeongsan, Orbicular Gabbros, and Baekyangsan.
Natural barrier islands where the river meets the ocean
This is where the Nakdong River meets the South Sea to create the largest modern estuary in Korea. Discover beautiful sights of barrier islands, dunes, and lagoons full of migratory birds.
Road to the past
The lower Dadaepo Formation formed 80 million years ago. The tectonic changes since then can be seen here at Morundae. This site can be consider a textbook of geology because of its geological features like faults, fault rocks, dykes, veins, chert, cross-beddings, and trace fossils.
Earthquake that shook the paradise of dinosaurs
Once the paradise of many Late Cretaceous dinosaurs, this site gives an insight into the ancient environment of nest and egg fossils. Also, clastic dykes and seismite clearly show the past activity of earthquakes.
Songdo Peninsula – Dudo
The Lake of Vulcan
Along the shoreline, various rocks, such as sedimentary rocks of the Dadaepo Formation, basalt, pyroclastic rocks, and intrusive rhyolite are exposed along with dinosaur bones, egg and nest fossils, and calcic paleosols. You can enjoy the various geologic records with the marvelous landscape of Hallyeohaesang.
Dudo is an uninhabited island showing off a magnificent scenery of volcanic rocks and the Lower Dadaepo Formation from the Late Cretaceous period that sits along the sea cliffs of the south Songdo Peninsula. It is a treasure trove of dinosaur bones and egg and nest fossils.
Rocks born from lakes, enduring the sea
Taejongdae is a landmark in Busan, showing off various erosional landforms, such as sea cliffs, wave-cut platforms and sea caves created on lacustrine sedimentary rocks from the Late Cretaceous period. A marvelous geological scenery of orbicular hornfels, flower structures, and slumps formed by earthquake are also found here.
Oryukdo – Igidae
God of Fire (VULCAN) heads to the Sea
Through powerful eruptions of andesitic volcanoes 80 million years ago, volcanic ash and pyroclastics where topped and eroded by wave action to create grand sea cliffs, wave-cut platforms, and sea caves.
Born by a rhyolitic volcanic activity that occurred 70 million years ago, a mountain consisting volcanic ash, lava, and pyroclast was made. Spherulitic rhyolite, porphyritic rhyolite, and rhyolitic tuffs can be found with magnificent scenery of Jangsan Fall, talus, and the skyline of Busan.
A mountain where the legend lies
This mountain is the root of Busan that was cooled underground 70 million years ago, and underwent uplifting to this day. It was carved by wind and rain from time immemorial to create enjoyable cliffs, tor, gnamma, inselberg, and block streams.
Crafted by magma
Near Hwangryeongsan, gabbros from slowly cooling magma made minerals that form a concentric circle, showing a well-made orbicular texture. This is the only orbicular gabbros site in Asia and very rare throughout the world, making it a high value site.
Harmony of ancient rocks, holding the history of Busan
Various pyroclastic rocks created by volcanic activity 80 million years ago, sedimentary rocks deposited in lakes, intrusive granites, and limestone caves formed by the dissolution of a calcareous paleosol layer showing the geologic history Busan underwent.
Rising 49 meters above sea level in the middle of downtown, Yongdusan (Dragon Head Hill) forms a major landmark and offers a nice break from the concrete jungle of the city. From Busan Tower, which is situated in the middle of the park, one can enjoy a beautiful view of all of Busan. Time: 5 walking minutes from Gukje & Jagalchi; 30-45 minutes for the visit.
Beomeosa Temple is located on the eastern slope of Geumjeon-san and is said to have been built in 678 A.D. by the great priest Uisang during the reign of King Munmu of the Silla Kingdom. It is one of the three largest temples in the southeastern part of Korea and one of the ten most famous ones of Korea's Hwaeom Sect of Buddhism. It was destroyed during the Japanese Invasion in 1592 and reconstructed in 1602, but shortly after burnt again due to an accidental fire. In 1613 it was rebuilt again. Time: Around 40 minutes by car from the hotel; 1-2 hour(s) for the visit.
Haedong Yonggungsa (Temple)
Haedong Yonggungsa Temple is situated on the coast of the northeastern portion of Busan. This superb tourist spot and temple offers visitors the rare chance to visit a temple along the shore line. On the right-hand side, inside a cave, is a uniquely designed Buddhist sanctum, while situated just in front of the main sanctuary is a three-story pagoda with four lions. The four lions symbolize joy, anger, sadness, and happiness. Other special sites at the temple include the 108 stairs and stone lanterns lining the rocky landscape. After going down the 108 steps, one will be delighted with the beauty of the temple. Midway down the 108 steps one can stop and enjoy the calming sounds of the waves, as well as view the majestic sunrise. Many people often come to this spot on New Year's Day to make a wish for the new year as they watch the sun come up.
Gwangalli Beach is a famous beach and one of Busan’s representative hot spots together with Gwangandaegyo Bridge. It is the closest beach to the city center and also a trendy meeting place for Busan’s youth.
Along with its white sandy beach, Gwangalli is filled with diverse attractions such as restaurants serving delicious food, coffee shops with an open view of the sea, exotic stores hidden in alleyways, and the Namcheon-dong Cherry Blossom Street, which glimmers with pink cherry blossoms in spring. Gwangalli is also known for its numerous coffee shops and restaurants with a great view of the sea. You can enjoy a coffee in a café while appreciating the open view of Gwangandaegyo Bridge, or enjoy freshly sliced raw fish dishes in Gwangalli. The raw fish restaurants along the Millak Fresh Fish Street, and the Fresh Fish Town situated at the end of the beach, serve fresh and delicious sliced raw fish and seasonal seafood dishes.
Haeundae Beach is located in Haeundae-gu, Busan. Along the 12km of coastline, Haeundae Beach is Busan's most popular beach, and together with Seogwipo, is one of the best known beaches in South Korea. During the summer time, and especially on weekends, the area becomes a veritable wall of humanity with more than 100,000 people packed in on a narrow, one mile strip of sand.
Jagalchi Market (Fish Market)
Jagalchi Market is the leading fish market in Korea and the largest fish market in Asia. With about a hundred years of history, Jagalchi Market has long offered a livelihood for those in Busan. Over time, it has grown into a must-stop destination for foreigners. In the market, there are fresh and dried fish as well as various necessities and food. The market is always filled with a dynamic energy, bustling with the lively sounds of vendors calling, fresh fish flopping, and customers haggling for the best price. More than a traditional fish market, Jagalchi embodies the history of the city as well as the joys and sorrows of its people. Going to the market is like stepping inside the fast-beating heart of Busan.
Gukje Market is one of the largest markets in Korea. The marketplace was formed with a constant flow of people who wishing to sell goods here after Korea’s independence. Once it was called dottaegi (disordered) market because people sold smuggled goods here after the Korean war. It is the largest traditional market with diverse goods in the Busan area. This market is one of the most famous tourist attractions where many overseas tourists would like to visit. It is also the foundation of many citizens’ lives.