Korea Tips  

Notebook Computers
Most notebooks can be configured to work in Korea. Just remember that Korea is on 220AC current so check the power adaptor for your notebook. Most power adaptors will have a range, such as 100-240, etc. As long as your computer can handle 220AC you can plug it directly into a power strip in Korea. If not, you will need an adaptor.

The next thing you probably want to know is what about Internet? Well, it is not that difficult to configure most notebooks to be able to get online. You can buy prepaid cards that have service provider numbers and passwords on them. Using the information on the card you can make a new connection on your computer and then connect to the internet. Internet cafes are really cheap in Korea.

If you plan to do a lot of travelling while in Korea and your laptop is not that important for you to have, then you might want to consider leaving it at home. If you will probably just stay in Beijing and want the added convenience, or you need it for work purposes, then by all means we recommend that you do bring it.

Mobile Telephones
Mobile phones (cell phones) are all over Korea! You will notice the minute that you arrive in the airport because everyone will be pulling out their newest model phone to call someone. It is very easy to purchase a mobile phone and get an account set up in Korea and also extremely convenient to have. There are no complicated service plans and really not that many choices. Telephones are sold separately from accounts, if you wish or need to purchase a mobile phone in Korea. Accounts are prepaid--you purchase a small SIM card that fits inside your telephone and that also can hold data. This SIM card contains your Korea mobile telephone number. Then, all you have to do is purchase time for your phone via prepaid cards you can find at almost any small shop. Very convenient. When you run out of minutes there is a message that tells you and you simply recharge by purchasing another time card and calling the service centre to add the minutes in. All services are in English and Mandarin.

If you want to use a mobile phone that you already have, you will have to make sure it can be used in Korea. Korea is on the GSM network. For example, Nokia phones in Korea use the GSM900, GSM1800, and EGSM900 bandwidths. Many Triband telephones can also be used in Korea. Most mobile phones purchased in the United States or Japan cannot be used in Korea, whereas many phones purchased in Europe, Australia and Hong Kong can be used in Korea. If you are not sure, check with the manufacturer in your area about your phone.

Electricity and Adaptors
If you plan on bringing any electrical devices, just remember that Korea is on 220V AC current. If your accessories were manufactured for a different voltage, you will need an adaptor. This is not only an extension that changes the size or shape of the prongs! It actually converts the electrical current to 220. Extension cords can be purchased easily in Beijing. Adaptors can be purchased in Korea but best to bring a reliable brand from home if you need one. Adaptors due tend to get very hot after prolonged use, however, so remember this if you might be using the appliance for a long time. Also, for small appliances such as hair dryers, you might also consider simply purchasing a new one in Korea. Weigh the cost of the device versus the cost of the adaptor.

Busan Metropolitan City, also known as Pusan[2] is the largest port city in the Republic of Korea. With a population of about 3.65 million, Busan is also South Korea's second largest metropolis, after Seoul. The most densely built up areas of the city are situated in a number of narrow valleys between the Nakdong River and Suyeong River, with mountains separating some of the various districts.

Busan was the host city of the 2002 Asian Games and APEC 2005 Korea. It was also one of the host cities for the 2002 FIFA World Cup, and is the center for international conventions in Korea. Administratively, it is designated as a Metropolitan City. On November 14, 2005, the city officially announced its bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympics Games.

Transportation and shipping are among the most high profile aspects of the local economy. Since 1978, Busan has opened three container ports including Jaseungdae, Shinsundae and Gamman. Busan is renowned as one of the world's largest ports and can handle up to 6.44 million TEU shipping containers per year.

The Busan-Jinhae Free Economic Zone Authority, one of two such administrations (the other in the harbor of Incheon), was created to continue the tradition of Busan's status as an international trading centre. The port attracts ships from all over the globe and aspires to become a regional financial centre. Currently, Busan is ranked internationally as the third largest seaport in terms of cargo volume and efficiency by the American Association of Port Authorities.

Shopping and Commerce
Jagalchi Market

Commercial areas are dispersed throughout the city near busy intersections and adjacent to university campuses, but the two largest central business districts in Busan are Seomyeon and Gwangbok-dong/Nampo-dong. There are also four substantial shopping areas of note: Seomyeon, Gwangbok-dong, Busan Dae Hakap in Jangjeon-dong, and Haeundae.

Seomyeon is the crossroads of Busan. The local subway station serves two lines and is one of the busiest in the city. The local head offices of Korean and international banks are located in Seomyeon. It is recognized as the ascendant shopping and entertainment districts with many cafes, bars, restaurants, department stores, shops, and offices. Directly adjacent to Seomyeon is Bujeon Market, the largest traditional market in the city.

The Gwangbok-dong, Nampo-dong, and Jungang-dong areas form the old central business district with many offices, cafes, bars, shops and restaurants. Some of the restaurants in this district are locally famous with family recipes passed down the generations. Jagalchi Market (near part of the very active port) is an area of narrow street stalls and is well known for its fish market. The Gukje Market is also located nearby. Jungang-dong is the home of many international law offices, the old Immigation Office, and the international ferry terminal serving Japanese routes. Lotte World II is currently under construction along the water between Jungang-dong 7-Ga and 8-Ga. When completed, Lotte World II will house a hotel, department store, entertainment complex, and a skyscraper that will be one of the tallest buildings in the world

Parks, Beaches, and Resorts

Geumjeongsan to the west is a popular weekend hiking spot for Busan residents. To the north, the neighborhoods around Pusan National University (also known as PNU, which is one of the most highly recognized national institutes of high education in Korea) have student theaters, cafes, bars and restaurants, as well as open-air cultural street performances on weekend nights. Nearby is Beomeosa, the city's main Korean Buddhist temple.

Dongnae area is a traditional as well as wealthy residential area. Dongnae Oncheon is a natural spa area with many baths, tourist hotels, restaurants, clubs and shopping areas. Many restaurants in the area are famous for their family recipes. Chungnyeolsa is a Confucian shrine for soldiers who died during the sixteenth century battle against the Japanese at Dongnae Fortress.

Busan is called the summer capital of Korea since it attracts tourists from all over the country to its six beaches. Luxury hotels and a carnival boardwalk line the beach at Haeundae. Gwangalli Beach is famous for its cafes, bars, and restaurants along the beach. The area around Pukyong National University and Kyungsung University has many cafes, bars and restaurants attracting college students and youth.

Taejongdae, is a natural park with magnificent cliffs facing the open sea on the island of Yeongdo.

The area known as the "Foreigners' Shopping Street", but commonly referred to as "Texas Street" near part of the Port of Busan, has many businesses that cater to the local Russian population, as well as the crews of foreign ships. The area was originally the location of the local Chinatown and still contains a Chinese school. Because of the Chinese presence, the area was designated as to serve the commercial and entertainment needs of American soldiers and businesses were set up there during the 1940s and 1950s to cater to them.

Temples, Shrines and other Historical sites

  • Chungnyeolsa Shrine
  • Beomeosa Temple
  • Samgwangsa Temple
  • Haedongyonggungsa Temple
  • Geumjeongsanseong
  • Fortress site of Jwasuyeong
  • Yungongdan
  • Jeongongdan
  • Songgongdan
  • Dongsam-dong Shell Mound
  • Busanjinjiseong (Jaseongdae)
  • Dongnae eupseong site
  • Dongnaebu Dongheon
  • Dongnae Hyanggyo
  • Gijang Hyanggyo
  • United Nations Memorial Cemetery
Professional sports
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 a reputation for very enthusiastic baseball fans. For the first few years, Lotte Giants utilized Goo-Duck baseball field as their home. But, in mid-80s, they moved to Sa-Jick baseball field, which was built as part of a huge sports complex for 1986 Asian Game.

Daewoo Royals, which was the strongest team during the 1990s in K-league. It is also home to National League soccer club Busan Transportation Corporation.

Busan is also famous for the Pusan International Film Festival, or PIFF, a large and well-known international film festival in Asia that attracts film-loving tourists from all over East Asia and the world. It is also the home of the Busan Biennale, a well renowned international contemporary art biennale which takes place every two years.

  • Busan Museum
  • Bokcheon Museum
  • Busan Modern History Museum
  • Dongsam-dong Shell Midden Museum
  • Temporary Capital Commemoration Hall
  • Busan Museum of Modern Art
  • Pusan National University Museum
  • Dong-A University Museum
  • Kyungsung University Museum
  • Dong-eui University Museum
Major express bus lines link Busan with other cities in Korea at two primary bus terminals, Nopodong Bus Terminal (at the northern terminus of Subway Line 1) and Seobu Bus Terminal at Sasang Station on Subway Line 2.

Busan Harbor Pier 1 with the International Ferry Terminal (3 docked ferries shown).

The Coastal Ferry Terminal serves ferry services to many locations on Geoje Island as well as to Jeju City in Jeju-do.

Ferries leaving from the International Ferry Terminal on Busan Harbor Pier 1 connect Busan to the Japanese ports of Izuhara and Hitakatsu on Tsushima Island, as well as the cities of Shimonoseki, Fukuoka, and Osaka on Japan's mainland.
  • PanStar operates the PanStar Ferry between Busan and Osaka.
  • The Seaflower 2, the ferry to Tsushima operated by Dae-a Express Shipping,
carries passengers only between Busan and Hitakatsu in 1 hour 40 minutes and between Busan and Izuhara in 2 hours 40 minutes.
  • The Seonghee, operated by Pukwan Ferry, links Busan to Shimonoseki.
One of the ferries to Fukuoka is the Camellia, operated by Camellia Line. The Camellia make the trip to Fukuoka over-night in 7 hours 30 minutes, and trip back in the afternoon in 5 hours 30 minutes.

The other ferry service to Fukuoka is assumed by the Beetles and the Kobees, 2 fleets of high-speed hydrofoils operated by Mirajet. About 5 departures from each cities are scheduled every day. By hydrofoil it only takes 2 hours 55 minutes to cross the Korea Strait to Fukuoka. The Beetles are owned by JR Kyushu.

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 the 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.

The Busan Subway network contains three lines: 1, 2, and 3. The network is operated by the Busan Transportation Corporation.

The Busan-Gimhae Light Rail Transit line is under construction for completion in 2010.

Busan is served by Gimhae International Airport to the west in Gangseo-gu.

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