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- Full speed ahead for Haeundae cruise ▲The Haeundae River Cruise aims to become fully operational in 2021. (Source: Haeundae-gu Office)After a delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Haeundae River Cruise gives Busanites the chance to take in the charms of the Suyeong River and sea. The cruise takes place on a 20-seat vessel and takes a round trip from APEC Naru Park via the Millak Waterside Park. Currently, there are cruises in the day and evening, which run 50 minutes, and one for dinner, which is 70 minutes long. Cruises give passengers the chance to see Busan's sites like never before. Take the day cruise at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. or 3 p.m., or take part in the evening cruise, which leaves every hour beginning at 5 p.m. The dinner cruise departs at 5 and 6 p.m. Cruises vary in price depending on age and time of day. Adults pay 25,000 won for the day, 30,000 won for the evening and 50,000 won for dinner. Youths pay less, and infants under three ride for free. Those who live in Busan can enjoy a 5,000 won discount. Reservations can be made at haeundaerivercruise.com. Tickets may be booked by phone or in person at the ticket office in front of the dock at APEC Naru Park.Website: haeundaerivercruise.comHow to get there: Centum City Station (metro line 2), exit 12. Go to APEC Naru Park opposite Shinsegae Department Store in Centum City. Phone: 051-711-1789
- Corporations begin 2021 business ▲The Busan International Finance Center is the new home for many new businesses.Financial companies from South Korea and around the world will begin operations in Busan. Six businesses from four countries will set up offices on the 63rd floor of the Busan International Finance Center. Domestic companies such as Korea CityBank and Yozma Group Korea will begin in the first half of the year. Businesses from abroad, which include Hong Kong's Winsome Group and Indonesia's Huobi, will begin in the latter half, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Busan has been planning and working toward doing business with these companies since June 2019 and views cooperation with these financial bodies as imperative for local success in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The city will help the companies settle in by providing them with everything they need, from a free three-year lease to interpretation services. Everything Busan will do for the financial corporations will be to foster better success, in order to progress as best as it can in future industries, such as FinTech and Blockchain technology.
- City Hall forms influential panel for tourism ▲ As South Korea's first International Tourism City, Busan is ready to improve, upgrade and promote its tourist attractions through City Hall's new tourism advisory group. To become the best international travel destination it can be, City Hall is listening to tourism experts from all over the world. To strengthen policy development and advisory functions for global visitors, the city set up an advisory committee on Dec. 9 last year to kick off its international tourism project in earnest.The International Tourism City is a key project of the national government, wherein the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism selects and supports metropolitan cities (excluding Seoul and Jeju) with potential for becoming global tourism spots. Busan was selected as the country's first international tourism city in January 2020.Recruitment for the advisory group was conducted online publicly in November last year and sought out foreign residents in Korea. From a group of 34 people across 16 nationalities, 14 candidates from 10 nations were chosen. The advisory group is composed of experts from abroad in a variety of career fields who have lived in Korea for at least three years. Experts on tourism and marketing from local universities, general directors of global franchise hotels, brand marketing representatives, global influencers and broadcasters fill the committee's seats and experts spanning from East Asia to Europe will carry out their duties to transform Busan into an international tourist destination. The term of office for an advisory member is two years long, and someone who holds the office will, among other duties, attend meetings twice a year. The group serves in an advisory capacity at the request of the agency that promotes tourism projects in Busan. It will also participate in the FAM Tour and other popular festivals and events hosted by City Hall.
- You gotta go to Gadeokdo ▲ Busan's largest island is a historical site in the city and is equipped with a strong tourist infrastructure for solo hiking, sightseeing and visits with families. (Source: Kwon Seonghoon)With Busan's new airport now within reach, Gadeokdo Island is the talk of the town. As the largest island in the city, it is the natural choice for the site of a new gateway to the Korean peninsula and the world. ▲ Gadeokdo Island is home to a new airport the city has needed for over two decades. (Source: Kwon Seonghoon)■ Strategic location Gadeokdo Island is located in southwestern Busan and is the city's largest island. It was a peaceful fishing village until the mid-2000s, when the island's transportation infrastructure developed to make it a container terminal for Busan's New Port. By then, Gadeokdo Island had been a major marine transportation hub for centuries. From the seventh to 10th centuries, it was a strategic location for trade with China. In the late 16th century, Japanese forces fixed the island as a strategic location during their invasion of Korea. The Joseon Dynasty also knew that Gadeokdo Island had potential as an important point of marine transport; Heungseon Daewongun, the father of King Gojong, set up the cheokhwabi, coastal defenses that still remain on the island. While on the cusp of war with Russia in the early 20th century, Japan pointed to Gadeokdo Island as a prime location to prepare for battle against Russia's navy. Guns and artillery were set up around the island, which was further expanded militarily after the conflict. To this day, the island remains important for South Korea. The country's naval academy and submarine force command are both located there, and now it will be the site of Gadeokdo International, Busan's brand new state-of-the-art airport.▲ Gadeokdo Island's New Port is Busan's beating heart. (Source: Kwon Seonghoon)■ Driving growthGadeokdo Island is now representative of Busan's bright future. Along with the airport, the site is also home to the Busan Newport project, which is being hailed as the new heart of the city. The current port has reached capacity, and the New Port project aims to make room and improvement for the cargo of the future. Unlike the current port, the Newport will feature reprocessing and port automation facilities. The Newport is also connected by rail. While used exclusively for cargo at the moment, it is possible that the train will accept passengers once the airport is constructed and operational. The Noksan National Industrial Complex, which aims to become the center of Busan's industry, is also under development on Gadeokdo Island. The new airport on Gadeokdo Island will repair many problems currently plaguing Gimhae International Airport. Despite being an international airport for commercial flights, Gimhae airport is shared by civilian airlines and the nation's air force. This is problematic on its own, but especially when noise pollution makes flights possible exclusively between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m and is a problem residents have complained about for years. Furthermore, large aircraft have difficulty taking off and landing from its shared runways. The landings in particular can be bothersome due to the turbulence. Gadeokdo Island's new airport will make it possible for large planes to take off 24 hours a day, which will mean that passengers will be able to travel internationally from Busan whenever they choose and without having to travel to Incheon International Airport beforehand. The new airport in Gadeokdo will also go a long way in improving logistics for Busanites and travelers, and it will also help to attract more people to the city for tourism and transfers. Overall, Gadeokdo Island will become Busan's economic and transportation hub, connecting the land, sea and sky into perfect synergy for Busanites, Koreans and citizens of the world.■ Gadeokdo's futureWhile Busan eyes 2021 as the year it puts the pandemic in the ground, it also plans tourist development of Gadeokdo Island. Already, the island features convenient and picturesque roads for driving, trails for walking and sights for seeing. The island's main attractions are Yeondaebong Peak, Dahang Observatory, Saebaji's artificial cave, Oeyangpo Port and local lighthouses.◎ Yeondaebong Peak Grab your hiking boots and reach Yeondaebong Peak via its beautiful hiking trail, which is the island's most famous. Historically, the summit was used for signal fires warning of imminent foreign invasion. At almost 500 meters high and taking two to three hours to scale, visitors to it, will see why the peak was given this most important job in the line of national defense. From the top, take in the gorgeous view encompassing Oeyangpo port. ▲ Marvel at the emerald sea that sparkles at Saebaji. (Source: Kwon Seonghoon)◎ Dahang Observatory and Saebaji Dahang Observatory is a must-visit on Gadeokdo Island. Once here, you'll be able to see a view you may very well have never seen before. A quiet fishing village sits below waiting for the eye of your camera. Look upon the scenic view and walk along the path to Saebaji, a small and picture-worthy fishing village. Take photos at its local dock and unique lighthouse that serves as the village's mascot. ▲ The island is home to some beautiful natural beaches. (Source: Kwon Seonghoon)At the end of the village, you can visit Saebaji's man-made cave, which was built by the Japanese to defend themselves against aerial bombings and other assaults during World War II. Explore what the cave has offer, then take a stroll along the coast, and listen to the elegant sound of the waves as they crash along the shore.※ How to get there: Hadan station (metro line 1), exit 3. Take bus 520, and get off at Dahang Observatory.▲ Busan's past comes to life on Gadeokdo Island. (Source: Kwon Seonghoon)◎ Oeyangpo PortOeyangpo Port is the former home of households that were kicked out by Japanese forces in the past. In preparation for what would be known as the Russo-Japanese War of 1905, Japanese soliders set up Howitzers and light guns as coastal defense against Russia's imposing navy. While the locals were able to return to their homes after Japan's defeat in 1945, many of the military installations, such as a spot used to fire artillery, may still be seen today. As a result of Gadeokdo Island's use as a strategic military position and South Korea's own past with foreign powers, Oeyangpo Port and the island serve as a fascinating tourist attraction and a sobering history lesson.◎ LighthousesGadeokdo Island is also famous for lighthouses both old and new. One structure, constructed in 1909, stands next to its modern sibling, built in 2002. The former is regarded to be the oldest lighthouse in the country. At two stories, it was built in the contemporary Western style. It is said that a Japanese lighthouse keeper resided in it, and so an old tatami mat is still inside. In September 2003, it was designated as one of the nation's tangible cultural assets. The newer lighthouse is about 40 meters tall, making it the country's second tallest. Permission in advance is required to visit either lighthouse, because they are both under military care and supervision. Visitors to the lighthouses should sign in upon entry, and while photographs are restricted, they are not entirely forbidden, so make sure your phone is charged!COVID-19 has put further limitations upon visitors. For more information, visit the website of the Busan Regional Maritime Affairs and Port Office. Website: portbusan.go.kr
- Adios·Sayonara·Aloha 2020, Bonjour·Selam Alaykum·Ciao 2021 △ As the sun sets on what has been a difficult year for Busan, Korea and the world, celebrate the coming year by watching 2020's final sunset or by catching the first sunrise of 2021. (Source: Moon Jinwoo) It's been a hard year, but 2020 is on its way out. And, while we have no way of knowing what's in store for 2021, it is still with optimism that we look upon the upcoming 365 days. So, how can we celebrate the end of this year and the beginning of the next? △ Visitors to Dadaepo walk along Sunset Road. (Source: Kwon Seonghoon)Dadaepo Beach (다대포해수욕장)As the sun sets on 2020, begin by visiting Dadaepo for Busan's best sunsets. Once out of the way beyond the reaches of the city's subway line, the orange line was extended to Dadaepo Beach in 2017. This improved access has brought a larger number of visitors to the area in recent years, many of whom go specifically to see the sun set.Morundae (몰운대)Of course, Dadaepo Beach is hardly the only place of note out west. Within walking distance of the beach are the cliffs of Morundae. The park may be lesser known than sites like Taejoengdae or Haeundae, but it's no less beautiful. The cliffs were named "Morun" because of how hard they are to see on foggy or cloudy days. Over the years, soil and sand from the Nakdonggang River connected what was once an island to the mainland and made the geographical shape resemble a crane spreading its wings. With mythology attached to cranes since ancient times, it's no wonder Morundae is so important to Busanites. △ Dadaepo is home to some of the city's best views of the sun. (Source: Kwon Seonghoon)Dadaepo Beach Park (다대포해변공원)Dadaepo Beach Park opened in 2015 and is home to the most scenic spots for picture-taking. With a wide tidal flat, the beach is quite different from Haeundae or Gwangalli Beach, giving Dadaepo Beach its own unique charm and setting. Permanent fixtures from a previous Sea Art Festival and a swing among the park's pine trees give Dadaepo added character and an even more beautiful backdrop to take in a breathtaking sunset. The park is also home to Gowooni Ecological Trail, a wooden deck built on a wetland spanning about 650 meters. Walk the trail and see what amazing plants and animals you can spot! △ People all over Busan try to find the best sunset spots. (Source: Kwon Seonghoon)Amisan Observatory (아미산전망대)For one of the city's best sunset views, visit Amisan Observatory. Stretching three stories, you'll find art exhibitions on the second floor and a cafeteria and gift shop on the third. Have a coffee, and then head outside to a beautiful outdoor deck and walkway for a stunning sight. Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (The observatory cafeteria operates until 9 p.m.). Closed on New Year's Day and Mondays. How to get there: Dadaepo Beach: Dadaepo Beach Station (metro line 1), exit 4. Amisan Observatory: Dadaepo Harbor Station (metro line 1), exit 1. Take Saha-gu village bus 15, and get off at Morundae Church stop. Due to COVID-19, events may be altered or canceled at any time. Please consult the website of Busan City Hall for updates.△ A picturesque sun sets over the calm of Imnang Beach. (Source: Jung Hanwook)Imnang Beach (임랑해수욕장)Despite its eastern setting, the sunset on Imnang Beach is also gorgeous. Located in the easternmost part of the city, it's one of the most popular attractions that Gijang-gun (county) has to offer. Famous for its green pine trees and calming waves, the beach is also the starting point of the Galattgil Trail. The best time for sunset at Imnang Beach is between 4 and 5 p.m. Sip on a coffee or take in a satisfying meal at a nearby cafe or restaurant and enjoy the lovely view to your heart's content! △ Imnang Beach is a quiet part of the city perfect for sightseeing. (Source: Jung hanwook)Address: Imnang-ri, Jangan-eup, Gijang-gun Phone: 051-709-5448 (Administrative Service Office)How to get there: Ilgwang Station (Donghae Line), exit 1. Cross the street and take bus 180, 188 or Gijang-gun village bus 3. Get off at the Imnang Intersection stop.Ring in the new year, literallyNew Year's Eve is full of events to go to, but the city's most popular one is Yongdusan Park's bell tolling ceremony. The bell came to be via donations from generous citizens, and it is rung at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Day by a select group of people from all circles. The ceremony, however, begins at 11 p.m., and crowds begin to show up even before 10 p.m. to catch some of the pre-ceremony entertainment. The plan at present is for a year-end concert to begin at 11 p.m. and for the big countdown to begin as the clock turns toward midnight. How to get there: Nampo Station (metro line 1), exit 1. Take the escalator to Yongdusan Park.The first sun of '21 Busan is famous for its sunrise, in large part because there are so many places to see it. Whether you're on the sands of Songjeong or Songdo or on Geum-jeongsan or Jangsan Mountain, it's easy to catch the sun as it makes its first appearance of the day. But, the two most traditional spots for the Jan. 1 sunrise are Haeundae and Gwangalli Beach. More than 200,000 people visit Haeundae Beach on the morning of every New Year's Day. Usually, scores of Busanites and visitors greet the year on the beach by 7:30 a.m., when the Jan. 1 sun typically rises. In Gwangalli, Gwangandaegyo Bridge has a tradition of opening itself up to pedestrians who like to ring in the new year in truly unique fashion.How to get there: Haeundae Beach: Haeundae Beach Station (metro line 2), exit 5 or 6. Go straight for five minutes. Gwangalli Beach: Gwangan Station (metro line 2), Exit 3 or 5. Walk 10 minutes down Gwangan-ro to the beach.
- Seek out that amazing autumn grass As urban as Busan can be, the city is strewn over innumerable mountains and parks available to the public at any time. A walk in nature can do any Busanite a world of good, and given the current state of the world, is an activity that will give you peace of mind. Whether you live in the western reaches of town, by the eastern beaches or in the center of the city, you're bound to be near a mountain or park no matter where you are! △ Vast fields of pink muhly grass are iconic parts of an autumn in Busan and provide great opportunities for pictures. (Source: Kwon Seonghoon)One of the highlights of autumn in Busan is the foliage. Trees of orange, brown, yellow and red delight your eyes everywhere you look. While the trees are beautiful, silver and pink are also defining colors of a Korean fall. Silver grass and pink muhly can be found in locations all over town and will be some of the prettiest things you'll see all year!△ Jangsan Mountain's silver grass may grow taller than you. (Source: Haeundae-gu)◆ Jangsan MountainMountain is the city's third highest after Geum-jeongsan and Baegyangsan Mountain. It's also one of Busan's most popular destinations for a walk. Boasting gorgeous forests and waterfalls, it's easy to see why. Jangsan Mountain is particularly popular with hikers on the weekends, due to its convenient location in the east. It's easily accessible from exit 10 of Jangsan Station (metro line 2), but visitors can also reach it via Jaesong, Banyeo and U-dong (neighborhood) and Gijang. Jangsan Mountain has a wide range of hiking trails, including one that goes around the mountain that's perfect for a stunning autumn day. Among the many trails available to you throughout Jangsan Mountain, Dynamic Busan's number one recommendation is the one where you can easily see the silver grass fields and valleys famous to local residents. Walk 15 minutes from Jangsan Station through Daecheon Park to enter the mountain. It's a slightly uphill walk, but the park is beautiful and serves as an appetizer of sorts before you reach the main course of the Jangsan Mountain trails you're searching for. Follow the signs conveniently placed and pay attention to the incredible sights along the way. On the trails and from the summit, you'll be able to see some of Busan's most iconic locales: Songjeong, Haeundae and Gwangalli Beach, the peaks of Hwangnyeongsan and Geumnyeonsan Mountain, and, on really clear days, Japan's Tsushima Island 50 kilometers away! You'll also have access to Marine City's skyscrapers and Gwang-andaegyo Bridge, and it's with this view of the bridge that many often enjoy the annual Busan Fireworks Festival. But, one of the highlights is a gorgeous field of silver grass that glistens in the afternoon hours. On the way back down to Daecheon Park, enjoy Jangsan Falls and Pokposa Temple. Once you reach Daecheon Park, it will become clear that it's a really lovely spot, especially for families. You'll likely see parents and their children taking a walk, or kids and their friends enjoying themselves on bicycles and scooters.△ Seunghaksan is one of Busan's most beautiful mountains. (Source: Saha-gu)◆ Seunghaksan Mountain own from Jangsan Mountain and forms the boundary between Saha-gu (district) and Sasang-gu. It's home to one of Busan's most scenic hikes.The name, according to legend, is derived from the mountain's shape, which resembles a crane soaring to the sky. But, this isn't its only connection with birds. At almost 500 meters high, it's possible to catch a glimpse of innumerable migratory birds flying around the mountain and the Nakdonggang River. And, like Jangsan Mountain, there's a great abundance of beautiful silver grass fields near the summit.Our pick for the best trail on Seunghaksan Mountain is the also the easiest one: Take the village bus from Dangni Station (metro line 1), exit 1, and get off at Dongwon Benest Apartment. Here, hikers can easily access the trail, which is paved and well maintained. On the way up, both Gadeokdo and Geojedo Islands will be visible. You'll also see the Nakdonggang Estuary and Dadaepo Beach Park. Cypress Trees will fill your senses and give you peace along the way. If you get tired, take advantage of the benches that lie along the trail for a quick break and a drink of water. Follow the signs to the silver grass fields. It'll take about 40 minutes to reach. There's an observatory near the summit that's worth viewing. From there, you'll have an amazing view of Busanhangdaegyo Bridge, Taejongdae Park and Oryukdo Island. The descent is an easy one, and you can stop by the Openarts Flower Village in Seo-gu on the way back down. All in all, you're looking at a three-hour experience from start to finish.△ Red, yellow, orange and brown aren't the only fall colors. (Source: Kwon Seonghoon)◆ Busan Daejeo Ecological Park There are five ecological parks along the Nakdonggang River in Busan. Among them, Dynamic Busan recommends Daejeo Ecological Park and Eulsukdo Eco Park, which are good for enjoying silver grass, pink muhly and other animal and plant life. Daejeo Ecological Park was constructed in 2009 and is over seven kilometers long. There are exercise and recreation facilities as well as natural wet and grasslands. Notably, the park is where visitors can enjoy scenery that changes with every season and a wide variety of flora. Daejeo Ecological Park is most famous for its large collection of canola flowers that blossom in the spring, but it offers beautiful pink muhly and silver grass in the fall. No matter the season, the park is one of the best spot in town to take pictures. How to get there: Gangseo-gu Office Station (metro line 3), exit 1. Go straight for 10 minutes. △ Enjoy a beautiful fall sunset in the western part of town. (Source: Saha-gu)◆ Eulsukdo Eco Park Eulsukdo Eco Park, famous for its migratory birds, is four-and-a-half kilometers of beautiful nature. Restored from farmland in 2012, the area is now renowned for its bird watching, especially in winter when exotic birds make the banks of the Nakdonggang River their seasonal home. The park is also the centerpiece of the Nakdong Estuary Ecotourism Site and a host of other invaluable nature facilities that operate there, including the Nakdong Estuary Eco Center and the Wildlife Treatment Center.The park usually contains silver grass and pink muhly, but the city is concerned about the number of visitors they draw during the autumn season. As a result, City Hall has determined that it will not display its annual field of pink muhly grass fields this year.That being said, there are still some natural beauties to experience at Eulsukdo Eco Park. The venue's current highlight is the reed forest that runs along the Nakdonggang River. Around 4 or 5 p.m., the colors of the sky and the reeds make a moment perfect for taking pictures. And with an abundance of trails available, you can choose the one that's best suited to you. Bring your camera, because there's a lot to see!How to get there: Hadan Station (metro line 1), exit 3. Take bus 3, 55, 58 or 168. Get off at Eulsukdo Island stop.
- Busan's history and innovation represented in eomuk ▲ There's nothing better than a stick of eomuk and some steaming hot broth to warm your belly and soul in an unusually cold winter. Ask any Busanite what the best food of the winter is, and they'll likely say eomuk, or fish cake that's served on skewers with piping hot and flavorful broth. With the long nights and short days of January and Februrary now upon us, find out where you can stay warm, full and satisfied with Busan's eomuk. ■ From Kamaboko to EomukEomuk has long been loved by Koreans. The dish traces its roots to kamaboko, first introduced to Korea by Japan in the 18th century. While similar, kamaboko was different to the eomuk we know today. Kamaboko is steamed white fish in flour, whereas eomuk is fried in oil. Nonetheless, the dish began to become commonly found on the peninsula in the early 20th century. The earliest known kamaboko stores are from 1915, according to a monthly newsletter published by Busan's local government at the time. After the Korean War, fish cakes became a popular street food due to their low prices and high protein and would evolve to become the beloved dish it is today. Not everyone knows it, but Busan eomuk is more expensive than its regional counterparts, and that's because there's something a bit more special about the Busan variant. In fact, the city's fish cakes are 70-percent fish fillet, which is a higher concentration of fish than other forms of eomuk. Undoubtedly, this is due to Busan's relationship with the sea, which it has long appreciated. As a result, many of Busan's eomuk stores have been around for decades and satisfy diners to this day. ▲ Eomuk comes in both traditional and innovative forms.(Source: Samjin Amook)◎ Samjin AmookEstablished in 1953, Busan's oldest fish cake establishment is Samjin Amook in Yeongdo. The company offers premium eomuk and other fish cake products that put a new and innovative spin on the traditional street food. Have a taste of the conventional eomuk you know and love or try Samjin Amook's delicious fish cake croquette. No matter what you choose, it's impossible to go wrong. In 2013, the company modernized itself and re-opened. Now, its main branch presents such a clean interior that it is hard to imagine that it was once a factory. Samjin Amook is one of the greatest symbols of how Busan's past and its present can be seen in the same place.○ How to get there: Nampo Station (metro line 1), exit 9. Take Yeongdo-gu bus 5 and get off at Bongnae Market stop. Go 70 meters into the first alley.○ Website: samjinfood.com▲ Enjoy eomuk in its purest form or shredded into delicious noodles. (Source: Kookje Daily News)◎ GoraesaGoraesa has been around since 1963 and also dabbles in the traditional and innovative. Here, you can marvel at the taste of noodles and sushi that incorporates eomuk into their flavors and combine it with black sesame, cheese, bacon and other amazing combinations. Goraesa is located in Bujeon Market, which is the city's largest, near Seomyeon, and it's worth a trip no matter how far away you live. Enjoy the meal and see the amazing sights of the historic Bujeon Market!○ How to get there: Bujeon Station (metro line 1), exit 5 of the Underground Shopping Complex. Enter the first alley and walk about 80 meters. ○ Website: goraesa.com
- Christmas is the most bunderful time of the year △ Whether sweet or savory, plain or with cream, bread in South Korea comes in all styles, shapes and sizes. (Source: Kwon Seonghoon)Bread is delicious at any time of the year, but as the Christmas lights come on and the thermostat lowers, what can be better than a warm loaf of floury goodness? Korea's bread cultureBread is one of the country's most beloved snack. While not a staple part of a daily meal, Korean bread is often sweet and frequently innovative because of the Western and Eastern flavors it combines. Whether as a tasty snack or a party food, bread is being consumed more and more each year. The Korea Agro-Fisheries and Food Trade Corporation reports that the Korea's bread market has been on the rise every year, from 383.7 billion won in 2014 to 455.6 billion won in 2018. By bread product, non-cake breads accounted for 33 percent of 2018's consumption, and cake stood at 20.3 percent. Bbangdoli (빵돌이) and Bbangsuni (빵순이)Bbangdoli and Bbangsuni are the forces behind the modern bread scene. Thanks to their support, it's easier than ever to see bakeries anywhere you go in South Korea. Busan's most prominent baking scene is Namcheon-dong (neighborhood), also known as Bbangcheon-dong, named after the word bbang (bread). In this quaint part of town, which came to prominence in 2018, you have around 25 small and large bakeries to choose from. Bbangcheon-dong features bakeries both traditional and trendy, including OPS, Hongokdang, Swiss Bakery and the Pumpkin Store. How to get there: Namcheon Station (metro line 2), exit 1 or 3. The neighborhood stretches four kilometers.Bbangcheon-dong's best bakeriesWhat are some of the best bakeries to check out in Bbangcheon-dong? The good news is there are a lot of choices. The bad news is there are a lot of choices. Sunssalbbang Sunssalnara (순쌀빵 순쌀나라)Hours: 8 a.m. to midnightSignatures: White rice bread and rice cake flavored with mugwortAddress: 122, Gwanganhaebyeon-ro, Su-yeong-guThe Pumpkin Store (호박가게)Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed on Sundays Signatures: Pumpkin injeolmi and sweet pumpkin cream cheese souffleAddress: 21, Gwangnam-ro 48beon-gil, Suyeong-guHongokdang (홍옥당)Hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Signatures: Choices of bread made with red bean or a sweet, creamy pasteAddress: 49, Namcheondong-ro 108beon-gil, Suyeong-guSwiss Bakery (스위스제과점)Hours: 6:30 a.m. to midnight Signatures: Mocha bread and cream baguettes Address: 45, Gwangnam-ro, Suyeong-guDally (달리 과자점)Hours: Noon to 7 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday Signatures: Dacquoise cakesAddress: 1F, 31, Gwangnam-ro, Suyeong-guOPSHours: 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.Signatures: Cream puffs and apple pies Address: 37, Hwangnyeong-daero 489beon-gil, Suyeong-guKim Yeong Pyo Patisserie (김영표 과자점)Hours: 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Signatures: Twisted bread sticksAddress: 95, Gwanganhaebyeon-ro, Suyeong-guHongcaron (홍카롱)Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday Signatures: Character macaronsAddress: 125, Gwanganhaebyeon-ro, Suyeong-gu△ Visit Namcheon-dong for amazing pastries. (Source: Park Youngeun)△ Cakes also play a role in Busan's bread scene. (Source: Visit Busan)
- Holy mackerel, godeungeo is good Busan is the undisputed mackerel capital of South Korea. Known as godeungeo in Korean, it's a healthy and tasty fish that is challenging to keep in tanks. Whether the fish is grilled or boiled, Koreans usually eat it aged or salted. It's also available as hoe (raw fish) and sushi, which is prepared with incredible skill in places around town. Where can you get the best mackerel in Busan this November? △ Busan is responsible for 70 percent of the nation's mackerel production, a number no city in the country comes close to matching. (Source: Kwon Seonghoon)◆ Han Eobueui Godeungeo Sarang (한 어부의 고등어 사랑, Haeundae)Our first stop is Han Eobeui Godeungeo Sarang, which loosely translates to "a fisherman's love of mackerel" in English. The interior immediately presents a school of mackerel to diners, so the mackerel here is super fresh! To make things better, the mackerel hoe at Han Eobueui Godeungeo Sarang is served immediately after you give your order, so dig into some of the freshest fish in town with some sweet and sour broth and rice or noodles. But hoe isn't the only thing on offer. The restaurant also serves baked mackerel marinated in amazing flavors. Crispy on the outside, hot and soft in the middle, this is the way that fish was meant to be enjoyed. In fact, Han Eobueui Godeungeo Sarang has plenty on their menu. Their signature meal is a grilled mackerel dinner for 12,000 won, but they have larger sets, raw and cooked, that go to 40,000 won and beyond. A small order of mackerel hoe is 40,000 won. Medium goes for 60,000 won, and a large order costs 80,000 won. Their special lunch menu provides a set that ranges between 16,000 won and 25,000 won.How to get there: Haeundae Station (metro line 2), exit 7. Go straight for about 250 meters, turn left at Hyundai Motors' Haeundae branch, and go straight for 50 meters.Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Phone: 051-506-9092◆ Busan Godeungeo (부산고등어, Songdo)Songdo Beach is also home to an incredible mackerel restaurant. Busan Godeungeo, near the Busan Cooperative Fish Market, was selected by the city government to be part of the "Busan's Best Famous Local Restaurants" booklet that it published. It's easy to see why Some of the most flavorful and nutritious mackerel can be found here. Hoe over a bowl of rice is a basic menu item at Busan Godeungeo, and sometimes that's all you need. With plenty of side dishes to keep you going in addition to your meal, you won't go wrong with this simple and delicious choice. But, if you crave something a little more complex, the restaurant also provides sushi and mackerel chueotang, a classic soup dish.You can enjoy a special lunch set and sushi at Busan Godeungeo for 15,000 won each. Rice topped with mackerel is 8,000 won.How to get there: Jagalchi Station (metro line 1), exit 2. Cross the crosswalk and take city bus 71 at Chungmu-dong Intersection stop. Get off at the Amnam-dong Community Service Center stop. Cross the main street and enter Songdo Food Town in front of the Songdo Patrol Division. Go straight for 133 meters.Hours: 1130 a.m. to 10 p.m. Phone: 051-231-3312△ Enjoy mackerel sushi or mackerel cooked in a piping hot bowl marinated in incredible flavors.
- Annual year-end tax settlements due by end of February (Source: Imagetoday)Time has come yet again for foreigners to file their annual end-of-year tax settlement. The due date is Feb. 28, and it must be filed regardless of the employee's nationality. The information workers provide includes length of sojourn and pay and helps to determine the refund they will receive, if any.■ Residents / Non-residentsA foreign employee who is a resident or who has resided in South Korea for at least 183 days may choose the 19-percent flat tax rate instead of the basic tax rate of six to 42 percent for up to five years from the first day of working in the country. Should the employee choose the 19-percent rate, tax deductions, exemptions and credit will not be applied. For workers who are not residents, or who have lived in South Korea for under 183 days, only their domestic income will be taxed. Most deductions and credits, including special deductions, will be excluded.■ Reductions and exemptions of income tax for foreign engineersWhen foreign engineers meet certain conditions or work as researchers in a foreign investment company, they will receive a 50-percent reduction of income tax for five years from their first day of working in South Korea on or after Jan. 1, 2019. Those who began working on or before Dec. 31, 2018 will still be under a tax reduction period of two years. ■ Tax treaties, teachers and more informationResidents hailing from a country that has a tax treaty with Korea and foreign teachers who meet specific requirements may receive tax exemptions for income related to lectures or research for a certain period of time. Because tax exemption clauses differ by country, foreign teachers should confirm what they will and will not receive. A list of countries with tax agreements with South Korea, as well as convenient guides for year-end tax settlements, are available at the National Tax Service's website at nts.go.kr in English, Chinese and Vietnamese. The latest editions were posted on Dec. 31 last year. The National Tax Service plans to reorganize its English website and to provide an automatic calculation service. It also provides telephone service in English at 1588-0560 to help foreigners who are not proficient in Korean. Service Type How to Use National Tax Service English Homepage www.nts.go.kr/eng Counseling call for Foreigners 1588-0560 (English Only) Internet Counseling and FAQs https://www.nts.go.kr/eng Help Desk Q&A/FAQ Easy Guide (KOR/ENG) www.nts.go.kr/eng Resources Publication Easy Guide for Foreigners' Year-end Tax Settlement 2020 Automatic Calculation Service www.nts.go.kr/eng Help Desk Quick Viewer Service Automatic Calculation Service for Year-end Tax Settlement Manual for Foreigners www.nts.go.kr/eng Resources Publication Foreign language Manual of Year-end Tax Settlement 2020
- [INTERVIEW] Mike Edmunds markets Busan to world ▲ Mike Edmunds is ready to give Busan the marketing it deserves. To promote Busan as an international city of tourism, a new organization called the Global Citizen Advisory Group for International Tourism City began its duties on Dec. 9 last year. The body actively takes part in promoting Busan's international appeal and puts forth innovative ideas to help foster a healthy travel industry based in the city. A panel of 14 advisors has begun its hard work, and its members will continue to meet twice a year. One member of the panel is brand marketing expert and associate professor Michael Edmunds of the Busan University of Foreign Studies. Professor Edmunds is in charge of marketing and management as well as the founder of Meme Creative Communications, which provides marketing, advertising and copyright services. Dynamic Busan asks his thoughts on what it takes to market our city to the world. Q. Greetings! Tell us a little about yourself!A. My name is Michael Ed-munds. I'm Canadian and have been living in Busan since 2006. I studied Economics in university and have an MBA. I'm an associate professor at Busan University of Foreign Studies. I also founded and own a marketing communications company called Meme Creative Communications that helps Korean organizations communicate with English-speaking customers through a diverse array of services that comprise of trans-creation, copywriting, marketing, and advertising design.Q. Congratulations on being selected for the Global Citizen Advisory Group for International Tourism City! That must be very exciting!A. Thank you! It really is! I'm excited and honored to have this opportunity to help Busan with its marketing efforts and to be a part of the city's story; one that I hope we can share with the world by making it an international tourist destination!Q. What's your history with Busan? A. Busan is my home. I've lived here for almost as long as I lived in my hometown growing up, which was 15 years. It's where I've developed my professional life and where I made my family. My wife was born in Yongdo, so she is from Busan, and my son, who is now three years old, was born here. There is no city that's closer to my heart.Q. What does Busan look like to an expert in marketing?A. Where I am from in Canada, Thunder Bay, Ontario, you have to drive for three whole days to get to an ocean. It's also extremely cold in the winter. So when I look at Busan, I see a beautiful oceanside city with great weather that's perfect for tourism all year. Busan also has a unique mix of modern and ancient cultural and architectural sites, gorgeous mountains and coastlines, beaches, MICE infrastructure and endless choices of hotels, restaurants and tourist sites. I see a city with limitless possibilities for travel.Q. As a foreigner, what do you want Busan to look like in the future?A. I'm actually quite satisfied with how Busan looks. If I have to change something, I guess I would like to see a Tim Horton's restaurant here. Do you think we can make that happen? I'll even be the owner and manager!Q. Tell us your resolution or vision as a member of the Global Citizen Ad-visory Group for International Tourism City!A. My vision for the advisory group is to work toward promoting Busan as the best city in Korea for tourism. You see the name "Korea's Second City" in a lot of Busan's marketing materials. Busanites are very respectful of Seoul as the country's capital and largest city, and that's good, but not when it's time for marketing and promotion. I would like to see Busan promoted as the premier city in Korea. I believe that's true, and the city should approach its marketing with that in mind.
- Vietnam, the sea and ships on display △ Explore Vietnamese marine culture. (Source: Korea National Maritime Museum)A free exhibition titled "Viet Nam, Bien, Thuyen: The Ships through the Living Together Vietnamese Sea" [sic] is ongoing at the Korea National Maritime Museum until Jan. 31. "Viet Nam, Bien, Thuyen" translates to "Vietnam, sea, ships" in Vietnamese, and those facets of Vietnamese culture are what are on display. Visitors to the exhibition may experience and learn about Vietnam's maritime history and marine culture. Additionally, the country's natural environment and how it relates to its ship-building way of life is also outlined. The National Maritime Museum has put the exhibition into three sections that explore the nation's abundant forest resources, displays ships and dives into the Vietnamese relationship with ships and the sea, which spans millennia. The National Maritime Museum is running an online pre-booking system in compliance with COVID-19 prevention rules. You can make a reservation on the museum's website up to the day before your visit. Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed on Mondays. Website: knmm.or.krHow to get there: Nampo Station (metro line 1), exit 6. Take bus 186 or 66.
- Rebuilt Nambu rail is the best way to chill out ▲ The Nambu railway, up until recently barely more than a walking trail, is once again home to a train, and tickets to ride are available now. (Source: Moon Jinwoo)You may think that the experience of taking a train by the coast is one reserved for a European vacation, but you'd be wrong! This sort of magical adventure is perfectly accessible to those in Busan. Haeundae Blue Line Park officially opened after a long period of exhaustive redevelopment of the nearly five-kilometer-long section of the old Donghae Nambu railroad track. Now, the once abandoned area features a walking trail, a functioning train and a scenic park. Whether you take the train or go for a stroll, you won't go wrong with this amazing coastal view.Course: Mipo Station, Dalmaji Tunnel, Cheongsapo Station, Cheongsapo Daritdol Observatory, Gudeokpo and Songjeong Station (four-and-a-half kilometers)▲ The Cheongsapo Daritdol Observatory snakes over the sea.The Haeundae Beach Train is the highlight of Blue Line Park. The exterior of the train's four cars are red, green, yellow and blue and feels more European than Asian. Inside, the train is equipped with large glass windows designed to give you the best view of the sea and the coast as possible. The train runs at a leisurely pace with sights of Marine City, Gwangandaegyo Bridge, Cheongsapo and Songjeong. Even at its moderate speed, the ride isn't too long and is perfect for those who want to see the sights in a short time. It departs every 30 minutes on weekdays and every 15 minutes on weekends and peak seasons. A one-way trip from Mipo Station to Songjeong Station takes about half an hour. A pass from one station to another is 7,000 won per person. A ticket for two stops is 10,000 won. This ticket is also good for a round trip. Those who want to visit all six stops will need to pay 13,000 won. Tickets are available digitally at every station. The Haeundae Beach Train is up and running, but another attraction is also noteworthy: the Sky Capsule. Going back and forth between Mipo and Cheongsapo Station, the Sky Capsule shuttle travels the two-kilometer distance at five kilometers per hour along an elevated track. Prices for the Sky Capsule vary depending on party size. A round trip for one or two passengers costs 55,000 won. How to get there: Jangsan Station (metro line 2), exit 7. Go straight for 600 meters. Cross the road in the direction of Haeundae Wonjo Halmae Gukbap at the five-way intersection and walk for an additional 140 meters. Website: bluelinepark.comPhone: 051-701-5548▲ The many colors of the brand new attractions add to the area's sense of wonder. ▲ The Blue Line is perfect for a quick tour.
- Historical fortress keeps Busan's story safe Busan is a modern city and became so in a relatively short time. But, Busan's history didn't just begin with the Japanese colonial era or the Korean War. The city has a rich and vibrant history that goes back centuries. One site evocative of Busan's long existence is the Dong-naeeupseong Fortress in Dongnae-gu (di-strict), a defensive structure built toward the end of the Goryeo Dynasty, which ended in the 14th century. △ Dongnae was once its own city, but now the iconic Dongnaeeupseong Fortress that used to defend it is located in the heart of Busan. (Source: Kwon Seonghoon)In the Joseon Dynasty during the 16th century, Busan was known as Dongnae, and Dong-naeeupseong Fortress was constructed to protect the government facilities, schools and commerce in the center of town. The fortress has six gates: one in each cardinal direction and the Insaengmun and Ammun Gate, where funeral biers would travel in and out. The gates constructed in the cardinal directions have names in Korean, except for the North Gate, which has remained simply Bukmun (North Gate) since the shameful fleeing of general during the Japanese invasion of 1592.In fact, it would be that very invasion that would prove to be the initial doom of the Dongnaeeupseong Fortress. Although the Koreans were armed mainly with insufficient weapons, the resistance to the invaders was fierce. For as passionately as the defense fought, the fortress fell the following day, Dongnae's status in the eyes of the king disintegrated, and the fortress was left in disrepair for over a century.It wasn't until 1731 that the fortress was reconstructed, but the iconic walls would fall again during the Japanese occupation of Korea throughout the first half of the 20th century, under the pretext of urban modernization.Busan City Hall began restoring the fortress to its former glory in the 1980s. The gates and command posts were rebuilt, and now Dongnaeeupseong Fortress stands proudly in the center of the city. Today, the site is a gorgeous place for a learning experience and an autumn walk. Enjoy the weather, take in the evening lights and look upon Busan with pride.Phone: 051-550-6634Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (closed on Korean New Year's Day, Korean Thanksgiving Day, temporary holidays and Mondays)How to get there: Chungnyeolsa Station (metro line 3), exit 3. Take Dongnae-gu village bus 3, and get off at Bokcheon Museum stop. △ A musical performance taking place at the annual Dongnaeeupseong Festival.△ The fortress used walls and gates to protect the lives of its people.
- Sea beacons beckon you come see "There is a small island where you can sleep on a wave of frozen moon shadow and gather strong waves in the middle of winter, so think of the holy and beautiful love of the lighthouse keeper." Those are the lyrics to the Korean children's song "Lighthouse Keeper." Lighthouses and those who keep them are beloved cultural symbols of trust and devotion, and Korea's love of them comes through in song. Busan itself is home to 88 lighthouses, including two that are manned. Although technology has reduced the importance of lighthouses, they still serve as a necessity for nighttime seafarers. Recently, stories and legends surrounding these beacons have come to light, attracting tourists in turn. △ Oryukdo Islets The lighthouse that sits atop one of the Oryukdo Islets, dubbed "Lighthouse Island," is an icon of Busan and was designated as one of the nation's national cultural heritage items. The lighthouse has been regarded as a symbol of the city for over eight decades and began operating as an unmanned lighthouse last year. △ Gadeok-do Islets On the cliffs of Guksubong Peak, south of Gadeok-do Island, Korea's past and present stand side by side. A small Russian-style lighthouse, built in 1909, serves as a distinctive contrast from its neighbor: the nation's second-tallest lighthouse, constructed in 2002. The former is highly valued for its history and original, intact architectural integrity. The latter presents 198 steps to those who'd like to see a fabulous view of the sea.△ Baby Bottle The Baby Bottle lighthouse is in Yeonhwa-ri, Gijang. It was erected as a part of a project to battle the nation's slow birth rate by signifying the importance of childbirth. The lighthouse is decorated with tiles adorned with the hand and footprints of 144 babies and children. △ Haeundae APEC The Haeundae APEC lighthouse was built on the sea in 2005 to commemorate the APEC summit that occurred in Busan. The lighthouse is shaped like a flower to symbolize hopes of harmony and prosperity among the countries of Asia and the Pacific. △ Seagull The Seagull lighthouse, built in 2012, and the Baseball lighthouse, constructed in 2011, are located in the northern part of Chiram Port in Gijang. The former presents three seagulls flying in a circle, which is shaped by the local name Haeoreum, which is Korean for "sunlight." △ Baseball The latter lighthouse is symbolic of the importance of baseball to Busan. Inside, a photo of Lotte Giants pitcher Choi Dongwon, who died of colon cancer, is respectfully displayed. △ World CupThe 2002 FIFA World Cup was a historic moment for the nation and the city. To commemorate the global event, a lighthouse was constructed on the eastern part of the port of Daebyeon, Gijang-gun (county). The tournament's official ball was installed on top of the red tower. Scores of games, as well as the flags of participating countries, adorn the lighthouse's lower sections. △ The Great General Under Heaven and The Female General Under GroundA jangseung, or village guardian, is a wooden pole that was traditionally placed on the outskirts of small villages to mark boundaries and to ward off malevolent spirits. Jangseungs were mostly installed in pairs. One would be called the Great General Under Heaven and the other the Female General Under Ground. A couple of lighthouses shaped like jangseungs on the waters of Daebyeon, Gijang, keep the coast safe at night and provide the area with a little extra tourism.