Today, we met at the hotel lobby at 8.45 am after a night in Yeosu’s allegedly only bar, which is startling, given its population of 300’000 inhabitants. However, most of us were in shape and so we checked out from our hotel. After some problems with the storage room of the bus, we finally started our journey to Busan. The bus ride took ourselves about 2.5 hours, in which we travelled along the southern coastline of Korea, consisting of heavy industry and a rolling landscape.
Busan is the second largest city in Korea with about 3.6 mio. inhabitants and has the 5th largest harbour in the world. Busan is separated by a hill into an eastern and southern part and looks much like Hong Kong. The industrial center is about 3 hours away from Japan by speedboat and spreads out over 765 square kilometres. And have you known that 7 out of 10 of the largest shipbuilding companies are located in Busan?
At around 12.00 pm, we arrived at our smoky hotel, which was a bit of a culture shock after the standards we have experienced so far. After a quick check-in, we went back to the bus to start our visit through Busan with our tour guide, the lovely Grace. During the drive to a restaurant, Grace told us many interesting pieces of information about the city of Busan and the South Korean culture in general. We had, once again :-), traditional Korean food, which is called Bibimbap.
After the meal, we newly embarked on the bus and made our way to a Buddhist temple called Haedong Yonggung, where we had a stay of roughly an hour. The temple was built in the 14th century and rebuilt later due to the destruction by the Japanese. The temple, which is adjacent to the Pacific Ocean, was quite widespread and is still inhabited by three monks. We enjoyed our time walking around the area and took some pictures on the way.
We reassembled again on the bus and continued our journey to the Nurimaru APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) house on the Busan shoreline. In 2005, the APEC Leaders’ meeting with 21 members took place in that venue, a very important happening. The goal of the APEC is to provide sustainable economic development and common prosperity in the Asia pacific region. We visited the historic location and took group pictures together.
After our short stay we travelled further to the Novotel, where we said good bye to our teacher Mr. Rüttimann, since he resides at that particular hotel. Then, we relocated to the Haeundae beach, where we enjoyed a short swim in the ocean. The water was clean, but quite cold. Those who wanted could take the bus back to the hotel, however, most of us liked to stay a little longer to indulge in some sunbathing and beach soccer. Back at our hotel, we are getting ready for dinner and to discover some of Busan’s nightlife activities.