Busan (Officially Busan Metropolitan City), formerly spelled Pusan (Korean pronunciation: [pusan]) is South Korea’s second largest metropolis after Seoul, with a population of around 3.6 million. It is the largest port city in South Korea and the fifth largest port in the world.
The city is located on the southeasternmost tip of the Korean peninsula and faces the Korea Strait. The most densely built up areas of the city are situated in a number of narrow valleys between the Nakdong River and Suyeong River, with mountains separating some of the districts. Administratively, it is designated as a Metropolitan City. The Busan metropolitan area is divided into 15 major administrative districts and a single county.
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Busan is home to the world’s largest department store, the Shinsegae Centum City and is pursuing a large number of multi-skyscraper projects, including the 110-floor, 510m-supertall Lotte Super Tower, which is slated to become the world’s third tallest building in 2013, after Burj Khalifa in Dubai and Taipei 101 in Taipei, Taiwan.
Busan Parks, Beaches, and Resorts
Geumjeongsan to the west is a popular weekend hiking spot for Busan residents. To the north, the neighborhoods around Pusan National University (also known as PNU, which is one of the most highly recognized national institutes of higher education in Korea) have student theaters, cafes, bars and restaurants, as well as open-air cultural street performances on weekend nights. Nearby is Beomeosa, the city’s main Korean Buddhist temple.
Dongnae-gu is a wealthy and traditional residential area. Dongnae Oncheon is a natural spa area with many baths, tourist hotels, restaurants, clubs and shopping areas. Many restaurants in the area are famous for their family recipes. Chungnyeolsa is a Confucian shrine for soldiers who died during the sixteenth century battle against the Japanese at Dongnae Fortress.
Busan is called the summer capital of Korea since it attracts tourists from all over the country to its six beaches. Luxury hotels and a carnival boardwalk line the beach at Haeundae. Gwangalli Beach is famous for its cafes, bars, and restaurants along the beach, and the Grand Gwangan Bridge. The area around Pukyong National University and Kyungsung University has many cafes, bars and restaurants attracting college students and youth.
Taejongdae is a natural park with magnificent cliffs facing the open sea on the island of Yeongdo.
The area known as the “Foreigners’ Shopping Street”, but commonly referred to as “Texas Street” near part of the Port of Busan, has many businesses that cater to the local Russian population, as well as the crews of foreign ships. The area was originally the location of the local Chinatown and still contains a Chinese school. Because of the Chinese presence, the area was designated to serve as the commercial and entertainment needs of American soldiers, and businesses were set up there during the 1940s and 1950s to cater to them.