Korea in Three Days (Part 2): Gwangju to Busan

After enjoying one day in Boseong (보성), my friend and I traveled back to Gwangju (광주) by train where we spent the night at an Airbnb. The same train that took us from Gwnagjusongjeong (광주송정) also has a stop at Gwangju, but it is after Gwnangjusongjeong so take care to stop at the right station! The last train from Boseong to Gwangju leaves Boseong at 6:30 pm, but you really only need 3-4 hours to see the whole plantation so the 6:30 pm train is perfect if you arrive at noon.

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Source: Google Maps

After a quick rest in Gwangju, my friend and I headed to Busan (부산) via bus. There is no KTX that runs across Korea from Gwangju to Busan so bus was our only option. When arriving in Busan, be sure to arrive at the correct bus terminal. There is one bus terminal which is far from the city center, Busan Express terminal (부산고속버스터미널), and one that is close to the city center, Busan Dongbu Gyeongnam Intercity Bus Terminal (부산 동부 경남 시외버스 터미널). We arrived at the bus station far from the city center and still had to take the subway a far distance to get to our hostel. However, it was not all for naught because the far bus station is actually very close to Beomosa Temple (범어사). If you take the subway line 1 to Beomosa Station (범어사역) and walk up the street between exit 5 and 7, you will reach a bus station with bus 90 which will take you to the temple.

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Rated as the #1 place you should visit in Busan by Trip Advisor, Beomosa Temple was very high up on hill. However, when I went there, it was rainy so I felt like I could not enjoy the temple to its full extent. The temple is a great place to hike though, and you can see many natives trekking towards the hiking trails. If you have a short amount of time in Busan, I think you can leave this temple out because of its far distance away from everything else.

However, one temple you should not miss is Haedong Yonnggunsa Temple (해동용궁사). Located on a cliff overlooking the water, this temple has a breath taking view and many Instagram worthy spots. I would say if you went to Busan and did not visit here, you would have majorly missed out. We were there one week before Buddha’s birthday, so the temple was decorated in an array of rainbow lanterns which gave a festive atmosphere.  From Haeundae Station (해운대역) take exit 7 and ride bus 181 or 100 to a bus stop which is about a 10-15 minute walk from the temple. It takes around 40 minutes, but it is well worth it.

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If temples do not interest you, then maybe a trip to Jagalchi Fish Market (자갈치시장) will give you something to talk about. There are rows of vendors lined up with various types of fish that will be sure to either disgust you or make you curious like me! I love strange foods, and growing up in Florida, I am used to fresh fish so seeing the squirming fish did not shock me. However, it was really interesting to see some animals that I have never seen before and how the vendors are amused when you find something strange.


After three days of intense travel, it was finally time to make our way back to Seoul. From Busan, you can take the KTX to Seoul which takes a little more than three hours. We were really unlucky this time around, and we had to stand the whole way from Busan to Seoul because there were not any unreserved seats.

We had one more event on our list before heading back to our dorms, and we arrived in time to witness the Seoul Lotus Lantern Festival (서울연등축제). Hoping directly off the KTX at Seoul Station (서울역), we rode the subway to station Jong-no 3-ga (종로3가) and grabbed a spot on the side of the rode to see the lanterns go by. It was a very beautiful event full of massive floats lit with lanterns.

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I was very surprised by the end of this trip that I could still use my legs. While I saw many things this weekend, I really recommend to not do it this way because I was pretty much dead by the end of it.  Hopefully, you will plan a little better and be able to really take your time because Boseong and Busan are definitely worth while trips!


Article by Catherine from the U.S.A.


  1. Beautiful!

  2. joninmariegargoles says:

    Awesome Post!!!

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