Busan Metropolitan City, also commonly referred to as Pusan, is the largest seaport city in Korea, with a population of about 4 million. Busan is South Korea's second largest metropolis next to Seoul. The densely populated city is situated in the narrow Nakdong River valley, with mountains separating some of the various districts. Busan is located at 35°6'10" North, 129°2'25" East (35.102778, 129.040278). 
Busan was the host city of the 2002 Asian Games and APEC 2005. It was also one of the host cities for the 2002 FIFA World Cup. On November 14, 2005, the city officially announced its bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympics Games.
The mountain Geumjeongsan to the west is a popular weekend hiking spot for Busan residents. To the north, the neighborhoods around Pusan National University sports student theaters, cafes, bars, restaurants and open air cultural street performances during some weekend. Tongdosa is one of the major 3 Buddhist temples in Korea. Beomeosa is also a very important temple in Korean Buddhism, and is located at the northern end of line 1 of the subway.
Dongnae area is a traditional rich residential area. Dongnae Onchon is a natural spa area with many spas, tourist hotels, restaurants, clubs and shopping area. Many restaurants in the area are very famous with family recipes passed down through generations. Chungyulsa is a Confucian shrine dedicated to soldiers during the battle on Dongnea castle against a Japanese invasion in the 18th century.
Busan is the so-called summer capital of Korea since it attracts tourists from all over the country to its six beaches. High class hotels and a carnival boardwalk line the Haeundae Beach district, which is generally regarded as the most beautiful beach in Korea. Gwangalli Beach is famous for its cafes, bars and restaurants along the beach. During the summer however on long weekends these beaches can get extremely packed. Pukyung National University and the Kyungsung University areas have many cafes, bars and restaurants attracting college students and youth.
Seomyeon is recognized as the new downtown with many cafes, bars, restaurants, shops and shopping centers. This is where the lines 1 and 2 of the subway cross, and this convenience is part of the reason why it has become such a central meeting area.
The Gwangbok-dong and Nampo-dong areas form the old downtown with many cafes, bars, shops and restaurants. Some Some of the restaurants in the area are quite well known. Jagalchi Market (near the very active port) is an area of narrow street stalls and is well known for its fish market. Taejongdae is a natural park with magnificant cliffs facing the open sea on the island of Youngdo.
The area known as the "Foreigners' Shopping Street", near the main docks, has a large number of Russian businesses that cater to the local Russian population, plus the crews of foreign ships. Busan has the largest population of Russian people in all the major cities in the country, and Russian on signs throughout the city is a common sight. The area was originally known as the Foreigners' Street because so many businesses were set up there during the 1940s and 1950s to cater to American soldiers in the area. The Busan-Jinhae Free Economic Zone Authority, one of two such administrations (the other being in the harbor of Incheon), was created to continue the tradition of Busan's status as an international trading center. It is now attracting ships from all over the globe and is aspiring to become a regional financial center. In addition, Busan is internationally ranked as the third largest seaport in terms of cargo volume and efficiency by the AAPA.
Busan was one of the few areas in Korea that remained under the control of South Korea throughout the Korean War and had been a capital for South Korea during that war. UN troops established a defensive perimeter around the city known as the Pusan perimeter in the summer and autumn of 1950. The city has been an independent metropolis for a long time together with Seoul, and the two cities rival each other in their respective characters. In addition to the large number of Russian people in the city, the close proximity to Fukuoka gives Busan a large Japanese influence, and the dialect itself of the province has more similarities to Japanese than the language of the capital does.
Since 1982, the city has been home to the Lotte Giants, who play in the Korean baseball league. In Korea, Busan is known as the capital of baseball and has the reputation for very enthusiastic baseball fans and its unique and enthusiastic cheering style for its homeground team Lotte Giants.
The city is also home to K-League football club Busan I'Park, which was one of the strongest teams during 90's, and Korean Basketball League team Busan KTF Magicwings.
Busan is also famous for the Pusan International Film Festival, or PIFF, which is one of the largest and most well-known international film festivals in Asia and attracts huge number of tourists from all over East Asia during the annual festival.
Busan also hosts an annual polar bear swimming competition in Haeundae Beach during the winter.
Busan is divided into 15 wards ("Gu") and 1 county ("Gun").
|Average precipitation (mm)||37.8||44.9||85.7||136.3||154.1||222.5||258.8||238.1||167.0||62.0||60.1||24.3||1491.6
Geochilsan-guk existed in the 2nd and the 3rd century as a nation included to Jinhan. Geochilsan-guk was absorbed by Shilla and renamed Geochilsan-gun. The word Geochilsan (거칠산) means "rough mountain". It is thought that it was named after the old name of Hwangryeongsan, located at the center of the city. In 757, Kochilsan-gun was again renamed Dongnae, the name it continues to hold today.
From the beginning of the 15th century onwards, the Korean government designated Busan as a trading port with the Japanese and allowed their settlement. Other Japanese settlements in Ulsan and Jinhae diminished later, but the Busan settlement, called Waegwan (왜관, 倭館) at the time, continued until Japan invaded Korea in 1592. After the war, diplomatic relations with the new shogunate in Japan were established in 1607, and Busan Waegwan was permitted to be reconstructed. The Japanese settlement, though relocated into Choryang later, continued to exist until Korea was exposed to modern diplomacy in 1876. In 1876, Busan became the first international port in Korea.
During the Japanese occupation, Busan developed into a hub trading port with Japan. Busan was also the only city in Korea to adopt the steam tramway before electrification was introduced in 1924.
Since 1978, Busan has opened three container ports including Jaseungdae, Shinsundae and Gamman. Busan is renowned as one of the world's three largest ports that can handle up to 6.44 million TEU shipping containers per year.
Busan vs. Pusan
As with many Korean consonants, the pronunciation of the name depends on which place it holds in the sentence. When not following another syllable it is pronounced more as a 'p', whereas when in the middle of a sentence it takes on a softer 'b' sound. The new romanization of Korean adapted by the government changed the spelling from a p to a b, but in most cases the name of the city is pronounced as with a p.
As of July 2006, a search on Google for "Busan" shows 7.23 million results, and "Pusan" has 4.54 million.
- Google Groups historical search beginning from 1981 (latter year is calculated from July 15th when the search was performed):
- 1981 ~ 1985: Busan 0, Pusan 2
- 1981 ~ 1990: Busan 0, Pusan 22
- 1981 ~ 1995: Busan 40, Pusan 975
- 1981 ~ 2000: Busan 926, Pusan 22,000
- 1981 ~ 2002: Busan 1,730, Pusan 25,400
- 1981 ~ 2004: Busan 3,340, Pusan 27,300
- 1981 ~ 2006: Busan 4,860, Pusan 29,100
- Google Groups historical search during time period only, not a combined total:
- 1981 ~ 1985: Busan 0, Pusan 2
- 1985 ~ 1990: Busan 0, Pusan 19
- 1990 ~ 1995: Busan 40, Pusan 952
- 1995 ~ 2000: Busan 883, Pusan 21,600
- 2000 ~ 2002: Busan 632, Pusan 3,540
- 2002 ~ 2004: Busan 1,120, Pusan 1,990
- 2004 ~ 2006: Busan 1,480, Pusan 1,800
This shows that even though the trend is moving towards adopting the official spelling of the city, the spelling with the P is still widely used, and indeed in names of businesses, schools and the like that have been using the P spelling there is no need to make the change.
Restaurants and Bars
As the average Korean, Japanese, and Chinese restaurants are in abundance throughout Korea and are easy for foreigners to find, the following restaurants reflect a sampling of restaurants considered to be either popular or are western-friendly choices and other ethnic foods.
Ferries connect Pusan with Shimonoseki (Kanpu Ferry), Fukuoka and Hiroshima in Japan. There are also ferry services to China. The most-often used ferry to Fukuoka is the Beetle, a high-speed hydrofoil run by JR Kyushu. It takes about 2 hours 55 minutes to cross the Korea Strait, located between Korea and Japan. There is another slower ferry to Fukuoka called the Camelia, but its slower speed does not result in a lower price as it is more of a luxury liner whereas the Beetle is for quick trips across and has few facilities.
Busan is served by Gimhae International Airport in the west.
Busan lies on a number of rail lines, of which the most important is the Gyeongbu Line which connects it to other major cities such as Seoul, Daejeon, and Daegu. All classes of trains run along the Gyeongbu Line, including KTX trains which provide service to Seoul in approximately 150 minutes. The Gyeongbu Line terminates at Busan Station. Other lines include the Donghae Nambu Line.
There are three subway lines, Line number 1, Line number 2, and Line number 3.
Distance from Busan to major cities in Korea:
Higher Education in Busan
Universities with Graduate Schools
Other Institutions of Higher Education
Useful phone numbers
- 24 hour travel and interpretation: 1330
- Busan foreign national service centre: 441-3121