Why travel to Busan?
Busan seems underrated next to Seoul. Though the city represents a more laid back image in contrast with the capital’s fast-paced life, Busan earned and uphold its rank as the 2nd largest city and widely-known as the “Summer Capital of South Korea”. No pun intended, but it is discerningly noticeable that common people hailing from this southeast tip of the peninsula, as we all amicably agreed, are warmer. If my memory serves me right, this was just the aftermath. This long-awaited vacation will never be possible without my husband’s tight-knit family. Their collective participation on flight selection, preferred accommodation, itinerary building, and budgeting was a huge deal. We saved almost half as much than booking tailor-made packages in full.
There are several airline companies flying out Manila for Busan, South Korea. Our main goal was to search for a promo fare as we’ll be travelling in a group of seven (7). Choices went down to two (2). Between Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific Air, we decided to go with the latter. Please note, this trip was precisely planned 5 to 6 months before the intended travel. Though we never got the chance to procure “Piso Fares”, at least half of the original fare was reduced per way. As far as I can remember, an estimated fare for each costs about Php 6,000 without the baggage. We only had a combined total of 60 kilos baggage allowance as an add-on and divided amongst ourselves and this helped us save a lot more.
It would be a wise move either to rent a house/apartment thru Airbnb or simply stay in a dormitory when travelling in a group. Apart from a cost-efficient tactic, this is an ideal family bond experience than staying in separate rooms. My sister-in-law and I stumbled upon Traveller’s Point, an active travel community where they feature accommodations across the globe along with some useful maps and itineraries to guide each traveller on his/her upcoming trip. I must say, a unique network, consolidating unrated and star-rated hotels and other accommodations which are either advertised or less marketed. This helped us sift through its vast selection, the most suitable for a family of seven (7). Busan SUM Guest House Nampo surfaced on the top of our list as it can accommodate big travelling groups in a backpacker or dormitory-style guesthouse. The cozy interiors will make you feel like you’re staying at home away from home.
Via Tour Road, a reputable Korean-owned Travel Agency, we visited some places in Busan for a full-day, provided with roundtrip airport transfer service. Was dropped off at Sum Guesthouse and just a few blocks away from the accommodation, we were able to take only a glimpse of Lotte Department Store as we arrived during night time.
Day 1: N/A
Day 2: (Click the description links via Trip Advisor and Visit Korea Organization).
Nurimaru APEC House: Located on Dongbaekseom Island, which is noted for its beautiful, natural landscape accented by dense camellia and pine trees, Nurimaru APEC House has been used as a memorial hall and a prestigious international conference hall since the APEC summit meeting.
Busan Tower (Yongdusan Park): Busan Tower is a symbol of Busan that stands proudly 69m above sea level at a height of 120m. The top of the tower is modeled after the baldaquin of Dabotap Pagoda in Bulguksa Temple, Gyeongju. Beloved by Busan citizens and tourists alike, the tower offers a stunning night view and plenty to see, such as the Statue of the Great Admiral Yi Sun-shin, the Bell of the Citizens, a flower clock and a bust of the Busan-based independent activist.
Day 3: Off to Seoul via KTX (Yup! But in this case, it’s Train from Busan)
Our trip ended in Busan but we spent about 2 days in Seoul then back to Busan on our 5th day in South Korea which will be posted separately.