Beomeosa Temple – Haeundae Beach – BIFF Square Day Tour

Beomeosa Temple – Haeundae Beach – BIFF Square Day Tour

On our first day in Busan, we woke up late morning and went for brunch at Busan KTX station. Our itinerary for the day was spent visiting 3 popular tourist spots; Beomeosa Temple, Haundae Beach and Busan International Film Festival Square or BIFF Square as popularly known to the locals.

Beomeosa Temple is 1,300 years old and was built on the edge Mt. Geumjeongsan by Monk Ui Sang during Silla Kingdom in 678 AD but it was rebuilt in 1713 after the Japanese Imjinwaeran Invasion in 1592.

Directions to Beomeosa Temple

After brunch, we set off for Beomeosa Temple. To get there, you would have to get on the Metro to Beomeosa Station and transfer to bus # 90 that will take you to the temple.

In Busan, we stayed at Almond Hotel which is conveniently located to the left and within walking distance of Busan KTX Station. It is also a short walk to Busan Metro Station (diagonally across to the left of the KTX Station).

We hopped on the Metro towards the direction of Nopo Station via the orange line (line 1) for Beomeosa Station. The ride takes about 30 minutes.

Tickets are available via ticket vending machines located beside the fare gates.

Metro tickets can be purchased from ticketing machines located on the station floor along side the fare gates. Do have small change available as they only accept coins and 1,000 KW notes.

If you plan to visit multiple places like we did, do buy a day pass for unlimited travel or rides throughout the entire day. Each trip typically cost between 1,300 to 1,500 KW for adults while a whole day pass cost 4,500 KW.

On arrival at Beomeosa Station, head towards station exit 7 and turn left for a short walk up a inclined street on the right towards the bus stop located immediately left of the fork to take bus #90. This is the only bus going to Beomeosa Temple. Check out my gallery below for picture directions.

This is also the arriving bus stop on the return leg.

The bus ride is about 20 mins or so. If you have motion sickness; bring a sick bag! The ride although short has a number of sharp bends which could make you queasy.

Your cue to get off on arrival at Beomeosa Temple? When everyone else gets off and you see many people queuing to get on! Just kidding but actually it is quite obvious, however you might like to ask the driver to alert you when the bus reaches the bus stop for Beomeosa Temple or pay attention to the LED announcements of stops.

The bus stop where you disembark is also where you will board for the return leg.

You will need about an hour or so (if not more) to complete the visit to the temple.

From Beomeosa Temple, we decided to stop by Haeundae Beach. It is famous just as it is popular beach attraction among locals and tourist due to its accessibility from Busan downtown.

It has a 12 KM long coastline and during peak season, thousands of people packed the mile of sand along the beach. During the FIFA World Cup in 2006, over 50,000 people watched the South Korean team play on a giant screen. Haeundae Beach has one of the largest expatriate communities in South Korea.

Directions to Haeundae Beach

The beach is easily accessible on Line 2 (green) towards Jangsan for Haeundae Station. However, from Beomeosa Station we had to transfer train twice. From orange line 1, to Yeonsan Interchange Station for brown line 3 towards Seomyeon Station, and finally on green line 2 towards Jangsan Station.

On arrival, leave the station at exit 5 and it’s a straight walk approximately about 600 meters to Haeundae Beach.

We were greeted with lovely weather today. It was cool and breezy which makes for a wonderful and easy stroll along the beach.

Along the street towards the beach, there are numerous eateries and cafes that you can enjoy. You may also like to drop by Haeundae Market. A walking street occupied mainly by seafood restaurants, street food, a couple of clothing stores, small department stores and mini marts that sells local dry food stuff.

We finally wrapped up the day with a trip to BIFF Square or Busan International Film Festival Square. The name suffice due to the area being dedicated specifically to film since Busan held its first international film festival in 1996.

Since then, besides cinemas it has evolved into an area for leisure, shopping and dinning targeting tourist and the younger crowd.

Directions to BIFF Square

To get to BIFF Square, get back on Line 2 (green) from Haeundae Station towards Hopo Station, stopping on Seomyeon Interchange Station to change to orange line 1 towards direction of Sinpyeong Station for Jagalchi Station.

After you exit the station, look overhead for the exit to BIFF square.

Check out my gallery below for pictures we took at the three places we visited. There are also pictures with illustrations highlighting the direction to the bus stop to board bus # 90 for Beomeosa Temple.

I hope you find the information on this post useful. Do feel free to share the information with anyone you know who is planning a visit to Busan, South Korea.

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Singapore – Incheon, Seoul – Busan by Air & High Speed Rail

Singapore – Incheon, Seoul – Busan by Air & High Speed Rail

On our quarterly short getaway to recharge from work, we (or rather Brenda) decided on Korea (again…). On our last trip, we did Jeju-do and Seoul, so this time round we decided to spend a couple of days in Busan then go shopping in Seoul, South Korea.

We started checking out for flights late June 2016. After sifting through several airlines for best prices, we finally booked with Singapore Airlines on SQ600 leaving for Seoul on 22/9/2016, returning on 29/9/2016.

SQ600’s departure was 0800LT and the flight time was about 6.5 hours. A little short to enjoy all the movies on Krisworld (which for me is always a pleasure since I love watching movies).

Besides that, most other airlines don’t come close to the service on Singapore Airlines in terms of amenities and service.

Brunch and drinks were served during the flight with regular rounds of water and juice (standard service procedure) for all SIA flights, while other airlines only serve drinks and snacks on request.

Get Connected!

We arrived shortly after 1430LT, and cleared immigration and collected our baggage just before 1545LT. First things first; to get connected on WiFi!

In Korea, you can rent a hand phone or a WiFi port to stay connected. We chose the latter of course since we don’t need to be connected by phone from anyone nor do we wish to be bothered while having a good time on holiday (who does anyway right?).

You can easily sign-up for a portable WiFi port from a LG service kiosk located immediately to the left of the arrival hall once you exit the transit area after you have collected your baggage.

In Korea, instead of a data SIM card, the LG port serves as a mobile WiFi connector. It cost 6,500KW a day to rent. There is isn’t a package rate regardless of number of days you plan to use it for.

Take a queue number and wait to be served. We waited for about 15 minutes before getting our LG WiFi port. Do take note, you can share the network and only one unit is required if your group is together on the move.

Directions to Busan

Our challenge next is to get to Busan. Before leaving for South Korea, I was too lazy to do any research. Anyway, there are several ways.

You can rent a car (self drive), take a bus or get on the High Speed Rail (HSR) via Korail’s KTX trains. We chose the latter since we have never been on a HSR before and thought it would be fun.

Bookings can be made online via Korail’s website. Frankly, I can’t really say it’s user friendly. Train information and schedules were hard to find.types of happy rail passes available for tourist to South Korea

The only information I could gather were prices for their Happy Rail Pass. I decided to consult a Korean friend of mine who lives in Seoul for more information.

He told us that there are regular HSR trains departing for Busan every hour or so from Seoul and we need not book in advance. He also mentioned, the Happy Rail passes don’t apply to KTX HSR but only on regular rail trains. So it defeats the purpose of booking online.

The entire ride is about 2.5 hours from Seoul station not including a 40 minute ride from Incheon International Airport as there are no direct HSRs to Busan. For your information, a bus ride takes about 4.5 hours and self drive depends on your driving ability as well as experience.

You can buy tickets for the entire journey directly from all ticket counters located at Incheon Airport Rail Station. Your ticket connects and transfers you from the airport rail system to Seoul Station then onward to Busan (or other cities of your choice if service is available) on KTX HSR. Total cost 133,500KW for the both of us (one- way economy). First class tickets cost about 30% more.

We arrived at Seoul station around 1800 rather leisurely and with 30 minutes to spare before connecting to the HSR.

Just you know, KORAIL’s KTX and regular train connects statewide and the procedure is the same if you like to visit other cities in South Korea.

Do buy a takeaway dinner before you board your connecting train ride to Busan. They only serve beverages and snacks on board.

There are several stores selling bento set meals along the way to the train platforms. Bento meals cost between 5,000 to 9,000KW. Full set meals includes the main course, soup, wet  napkins, and a small pack of water.

Another thing to note, all train services (regular or HSR) are very puncture. They arrive and leave on the dot. So do arrive early at the correct train platform and be ready to board on time.

We settled into our seats in economy quite easily. There are luggage racks in every cabin so not to worry.

The HSR train cabins are clean, washroom amenities are stocked regularly, the are the seats are comfortable, leg room is reasonable, and the air conditioning is just right. The 2.5 hour ride was fast as expected and it was rather enjoyable.

Overall, the experience was seamless and effortless. There are clear signage along the way to show you where to go, i.e. directions to the Airport Rail network, where to buy tickets, entrance to the station, cellular or mobile network service providers, etc. At one point, Incheon International Airport was rated the best in the world, so expectations are fulfilled above and beyond at most levels of passenger service.

Everyone from the airport speaks English reasonably well, and are mostly friendly assuming some are a little apprehensive due to their degree of proficiency. But overall, I find Koreans generally friendly. It was a great start to our holiday.

I hope my article was helpful in helping you plan for your trip to South Korea. If it is, do feel free to share by clicking on the share icons below or leave your comment and feedback.

 

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Jatujak Weekend Market (Chatuchak) in Bangkok, Thailand

Jatujak Weekend Market (Chatuchak) in Bangkok, Thailand

Derek and Margaret decided to pass on the trip, they were too tired from the previous day. It has been a long time since we went and decided to go ahead without them.

How to Get to Jatujak Weekend Market

The best way to get to Chatuchak (or Jatujak) Weekend Market is by BTS (Bangkok Transit) to Mochit Station. The traffic here in Bangkok as you may have heard, is “renowned”. Don’t waste your time sitting in a taxi caught in a jam.

Our 7 Day Six Night Taiwan Trip

Our 7 Day Six Night Taiwan Trip

Taiwan was our holiday destination this year from the 11th to 17th November 2015. This year instead of just the two of us, we were joined by our two nephews Rey, Marcus along with Brenda’s third aunt’s family (party of three).

We were booked on Scoot on an overnight flight. Airport transfer and land tour arrangements were made with a contact that my sister-in-law Cindy had provided. She had previously used Mr. Ip’s services the last time she was holidaying in Taiwan with her family.

We arrived early morning of 11th November 2015 and were greeted by Mr. Huang whom was our driver for the day tour before heading to our hotel in Cing Jing, located in Renai Township of Nantou County, Central Taiwan. Our first three nights there was a farm stay at Qin Ming Chingjing Manor – Bed and Breakfast Cingjing.

Jeju- do, South Korea.

It was a toss between several countries for our holiday but we ultimately decided on Jeju-do and Seoul in SOUTH KOREA. Brenda has always been by the charm of Jeju-do watching Korean dramas on DVD.

We firmed up the dates and submitted our annual leave. First stop, Jeju- do from the 14th to 20th November then to SEOUL until the 24th November 2014.

Second Leg Of Our Trip To South Korea

We landed in GIMPO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, SEOUL on a Korean Air flight at 1535 hrs after spending 6 beautiful nights in JEJU Island. We picked up our luggage and hurriedly went about locating the Limousine Bus Service.

Brenda suggested heading over to INCHEON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT instead for a return Limousine Bus Service since we are departing from there on the 24th November. I was more keen to take the SEOUL METROPOLITAN SUBWAY (METRO) to Myeong-dong Station as it was just 100 meters away from our hotel, PACIFIC HOTEL (according to reviews). Anyway, don’t argue with a women, just agree and go with it.