|My Busan City Tour Bus Ticket good for two loop tours - Haeundae and Taejongdae Tour|
Busan is named as South Korea's second largest metropolis after Seoul and the largest port in South Korea. It hosted Asian Games and FIFA World Cup in Year 2002 and APEC in 2005. Every year, it offers venue for the International Film Awards, worldly known as PIFF (Pusan International Film Festival).
Busan City Tour Bus offers two tours - Loop Tour and Themed Tours. Loop Tour is a hop-on/hop-off service that offers Haeundae Tour and Taejongdae Tour with the same tour duration of 1 hour and 40 minutes and 30-minute-intervals at every stop. It basically touring the Metropolitan City of Busan into two parts. Themed Tours,on the other hand, offers specific tour on anyone's preference - History and Culture Tour, Haedong Yonggunsa Temple Tour, Eulsukdo Eco Tour and Night Views Tour.
|The Busan City Tour Loop Tour|
There are three types of tour buses - open-top bus, double decker bus and ordinary bus. Depends on the schedule, it's a luck if you happen to take the open-top bus, but at that late winter weather, I thought it's more lucky to take the double decker bus. And I was lucky! I took the double decker bus as my first Busan City Tour Bus.
|The Double Decker Tour Bus|
After paying KRW10,000 for the hop-on/hop-off loop tour, I boarded the bus. I was the first one and chose the first row so I had the best view to take photos. It's not airconditioned (of course) but spaciously comfortable to just take a look of Busan in just two hours. The pre-recorded tour is in English and each seat has its own monitor where you can freely browse the places and learn a bit about it - eating is not allowed but at least a mobile web service if you have Korea simcard is good enough as an additional perk. As efficient as the passengers buses in South Korea, the tour bus left Busan Station exactly as scheduled with only me and two Japanese tourists (mother and daughter) on board .
|Inside the Tour Bus|
Then, the pre-recorded tourist guide in the bus plays the visuals for the first stop, Busan Museum. I settled with that and did not mind of getting off the bus. When nobody from the three of us went down to get off the bus, the tour continued.
In the next 5 minutes, the tour bus passed through the streets taking a few turns until it reached the main road along the harbour with the sights of the beach. I was getting sleepy already and the sight of the beach woke me up! I looked at my bus tour brochure. Next stop was Gwangalli Beach. This time I thought of getting off the bus and explore the beach but thought of asking the driver first about the time he can stay. He told me for two minutes.
I quickly got off the bus for a quick glance of the beach. There's a few people around and not so many things to see so I settled to take a photo and hurriedly board the bus again. (This is what I hate about tour bus).
|The view from the tour bus - with Gwangan Bridge|
|The view that made my heart alive at that moment!|
|Nurimaru APEC House (photo from www.visitkorea.org)|
I did not get off the bus when it stopped with the next stop in mind - Haeundae Beach.
Proclaimed as Busan No. 1 Beach, Haeundae boasts a magnificient seascape, the best subject for panoramic shot. It has long stretch of coastline beautified with the backdrop at both ends - the skyscrapers buildings and residences that colorfully covered the island.
The beach is fine sandy, best for playing around in the sand and not for swimming though at that winter. I guess it's crowded during summer. I maximized the 30-minute interval in the beach. I enjoyed watching families, with parents running after their kids who ran after seagulls in the sand. I felt envy though watching couples standing near the water holding hands together. The place is a bit romantic for such a chilly afternoon weather.
Haeundae Beach also houses the famous attractions in Busan such as Busan Aquarium which is named as the largest aquarium in Korea. The 1Km long sandy beach is also filled with luxurious hotels and restaurants.
|the couple by the beach|
The tour bus arrived at the expected time. This time, it's an ordinary bus (not double decker or open-top) with more tourists on board. It stopped in Haeundae Station, then at Shinsegae Department Store and Busan Museum of Art (Bexco). Though I wanted to see the largest department store in the world, my tiredness and sleepiness ruled over me. So I just stayed onboard and decided to finish the tour on board.