I recently made a return to Busan, a beach on the southeastern part of South Korea for the annual Haeundae Sand Festival. Looking back, I was there last October and had a great time.
Busan is amazing. It has beautiful beaches but is also a big city as well. It truly is the best of both worlds. A very laid back atmosphere during the day but the opportunity to rage at night, good restaurants, BIGGEST DEPARTMENT STORE IN THE WORLD, it’s just great. I left there and for the first time had regrets about coming to Korea, but it was only in regards to the city I chose to live in.
The Haeundae Sand Festival features sand castle contests, beach volleyball contest, arm wrestling contest, fireworks, sand boarding, music, etc. Here’s a bunch of pictures and a video.
Not to sound like a lush, but drinking in public is an amazing thing. In Western countries, people have a tendency of abusing any privileges they are given. This lax rule would probably lead to an obscene amount of kegs, big parties on the beach, people destroying things, etc. Here, it just means you can bring beers and chill out. No one going crazy (despite that one beer chugging contest sponsored by the hotel), no trash on the beach, no one disgracing themselves, etc. Just good times all around.
The freedom over here, is one big thing I’ll miss about Korea. The lack of certain regulations is great; drinking in public is okay, cell phones are used on the trains/buses, you can bring your own food/drinks into sporting events, bars don’t have to close at certain times, no big deal for cars to run red lights if no one else is around, etc. However, these luxuries rarely get abused. You won’t find many people talking on their phone on the bus or subway, and if they do, they’re usually quiet and quick. I can only imagine how annoying the NYC subway system will be the day cell phones can work when you’re underground.
I wasn’t in Busan for 48 hours that weekend and couldn’t stop raving about it. The entire time I just felt like I was on vacation. I hope I’ll make it back.