The Republic of South Korea

Tour 2: Busan

When I worked in Jeonju and Kwangju, I had ample opportunities to vist Busan, which was a bus ride away. This trip, like the parallel one to Kaohsiung in Taipei, I took in two stages. First, I found I needed to take a ferry from Busan to get my visa. Then, I decided to go just to see the city, having only had a night's sightseeing the first time.

Busan, like Kaoshiung, was something of a Japanese creation. The Japanese from before Hideyoshi Toyotomi's time maintained a foothold in Korea through the Kaya states. They used this foothold for the invasion of tne entire peninsula and then onward into the north. You'll surely notice one patriotic shrine blow which was dedicated to the heroic defense which drove them out. Unfortunately not all of the lessons of that invasion sunk in as deeply as they might.

When the Japanese came back to stay in 1910, having defeated first the Chinese and then the Russians, they brought modernization and modern economics to Korea. They needed a deep water port, and they chose Busan, whose sleepy status as a port is best depicted by the black and white photo below. Notice the lone ship and the beached whale (just kidding) in that photo. A far cry from today's modern container port. The Japanese, and especially Japanese companies and banks, made Busan into Korea's second city.

I toured here mostly in the winter as well, which you can tell. Halfway through my trip, the stock market crashed (again), and won hit 1700 to the dollar, which made this a stressful trip, not only to those who put their money in the Wooribank.

The South Korean National Anthem

Aegug-ga (Patriotic Hymn)

Latin Transliteration:

Tonghai Moolkwa Paiktusani
Marugo Taltorok
Hananimi Pohohasa Uri nara Mansei

Moogungwha Sanchulri Hwaryu Kangsan
Taehan Saram Taehan euro Kiri Pochun Hasae

Namsan Uye Chusonamu
Chulkapeul Turultut
Paramisul Pulbyunhamum Uri kisang Ilsae


Tong Hai Sea and Pakdoo Mountain,
so long as they endure,
May God bless Korea
our land for endless ages to come!

North to south bedecked with flowers,
land of beauty rare,
May God keep our country united
and preserve our land.

Eternally Naamsaan's pine trees
stand like an armour sure,
Through whatever tempest or danger,
as our symbol of strength.

South Korea

a happy map of Busan

less happy

a bitmore concentrated

Busan Customs terminal: the entrance from the sea

Another view with the Busan International ferry terminal behind

Another view of the port facilities

another view of the Port with an international cruise boat up front

Another view

The coastal ferry port

When I was the only visitor to the Coast Guard museum, they
pressed me to take some of these free postcards.

Here's that shiny new terminal where ferrboats go to and from
Japan so that Americans can get their work visas.

Surely, he has caught someone smuggling in a bunch of sushi.

This is the port before the Japanese took over the city.

The UN Cemetery for the Korean War dead

Another view of the same. See the rows of UN graves

The tomb of the Unknown Soldier

The Memorial for the UN Dead

The Gwangalli Beach, favorite of the locals

The author before the Gwangan Bridge

Haeundae Beach more remote but famous

Another view of the same

The APEC House where Asian Foreign Ministers met in 2007 to talk money

Haeundae Beach with picnickers

Beomosa temple, 1300 years old and north of the main city

Another view

Here's the main hall, I believe.

Some artistry inside the temple

The entrance to Jalachi Fish Market. I stayed at a hotel fairly close by.

Youngdusan Park with the city's tower This was once the center of Japan's settlement.

Another view of the Tower: Without a tower, this city would have to leave Asia.

Looking down from the tower

Another view of the same

The modern history museum

This is a Statue of Famous General Yi, who defeated the
Japanese invasion by building small armord ships, that
some regard as the first "ironclad" warships.

The 39 steps is some kind of a cultural landmark, but I don't know what it is.

This is Baekson Monument dedicated to a local patriotic leader

This is the pamplet from the Baekson memorial.

This is a view from the mountains near Samegala.

Another view

Yet another view

This is part of the mountains around the city

This is Haedongyounggunsa Temple, a famous landmark for the city.

Here's another view of the same. They'd be proud in Kileen.

Pigs is pigs! They are not Nazi pigs. That's the Buddhist symbol.

Here's a Buddha at the temple.

These are definitely funky guys.

This is the UN sculpture park which is near the memorial.

I guess I picked the wrong day to visit the Busan history museum.

This is Geumgang Park

This is Chungnyseola Shrine. This is the patriotic monument.

Another view

Another view. This celebrates the victory over the Japanese in the 1590s.

Yet another veiw. This is the Chungnyseola Shrine

other images
Some of these pictures I did not label correctly. Sorry.

This is part of major temple or palace.

This is more of the same.

But wait, there's still more.

And even more.

Now, I ask you: Does building a temple so close to the edge of a hill make any sense?

Another temple. Another view.

Would you feel safe with your money here?

I have a bigger head than Confucius, I think.

This is the old customs house.

Surf's Up.

Pig 1: If the Commies take over, all Korean pigs will be equal.
Pig 2: But some, I fear, oink, will be more equal than others.

Related South Korean Tours:
Back to Tour 1: Seoul
On to Tour 3: Taegu

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