Sunday, December 7, 2014

Exploring Buan

What? Accommodations in Buan
Where? Laven Heim Hotel,
Buan, Jeollabukdo
Buan-eup, Dongjung 1-gil, 17-la
063.583.1555
When? Year-round
How Much? ₩ 40,000/night
How do I get there? From Seoul Station

Buan: it's more of a budget traveler's Busan, but it certainly has its own charm. Located on the coast of Northern Jeolla province, Buan and its surrounding beaches are the perfect getaway for those in need of some beachside rest and relaxation.

For a mere 5,400 won I traveled by bus to Buan from the Gunsan terminal in just over an hour. From the terminal, go straight and a decent selection of love motels crop up within five minutes of walking. I stayed at the Laven Heim Motel, an adorable Bavarian-themed set-up with rooms for 40,000 a night. 

If you're interested in fresh produce, Buan looks like one giant outdoor market. Vendors display rows of fruits, vegetables and every kind of fish imaginable, from sea cucumbers to manta rays. If you can handle the smell it's worth a quick look.

The main stretch of Buan is quite similar to most small cities in Korea. It boasts the usual town staples like Dasarang, Lotteria, Paris Baguette and a scaled-down version of Lotte Mart, but there didn't appear to be much else.

Buan's labyrinth of vendor stalls, located directly next to the bus terminal.

Although the town of Buan is not particularly exciting, it's a good home base for getting to and from Gyeokpo and Byeonson Beach. For 3,800, a bus will go straight to Gyeokpo beach, where you can stroll through the seemingly infinite amount of seafood restaurants or set up camp on the sandy shores. In early June the weather was perfect; the water was chilly at first but bearable. One thing to keep an eye out for: creepy, beetle-like insects that scurry in hordes across the rocks further up the beach. On the plus side, they scatter when humans approach.

The last bus back to Buan from Gyeokpo Beach leaves at 7:10 p.m. making it a perfect low-key day trip. 

A quieter part of Gyeokpo Beach over Memorial Day weekend.


For more information on Gyeokpo Beach, including bus times, visit the Korea Tourism Organization's website here.



Brianne Beets

Brianne has written for various publications since 2005. After university she worked a string of non-journalism-related jobs, including working as an auto parts delivery driver, food festival event planner and a casino employee before moving to South Korea in the fall of 2013. She currently works as an English teacher at a Hagwon near Korea’s west coast. Read more.


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