BUSAN ― Busan has often been associated with its popular fish market Jagalchi Market and the rows of stalls offering fresh sashimi. But South Korea’s second-largest city is also enhancing its glamorous image, defined by upscale high-rise developments and luxury hotels.
Marine City is changing Busan’s landscape with high-rise developments and affluent districts being established on the southern coast of the city. According to a recent local news report, about 50-60 percent of Busan’s wealthy are flocking to Marine City.
|Marine City viewed from the Busan Yachting Center. (Korea Tourism Organization)|
What draws visitors’ attention to the district is the magnificent night view created by a cluster of high-rise buildings and their reflections on the sea together with the beautiful Gwangan Bridge.
Adjacent to Haeundae Beach, the upscale district is close to Busan’s biggest commercial area of Shinsegae Centum City and Busan Exhibition and Convention Center.
Just two subway stations away, one can find Shinsegae Centum City, the biggest shopping complex in the world. The shopping mall is not only home to hundreds of luxury fashion houses and popular brands, but also offers a variety of entertainment options with a bookstore, sports facilities such as an ice rink and golf range, movie theaters and a spa treatment facility.
Marine City is also dotted with high-end stores, restaurants and coffee shops, rather than the seafood markets, sashimi stalls and street vendors that the port city is more commonly associated with.
Amid franchise shops run by conglomerates in the district, local bakery chain OPS retains the history and culture of Busan. The fifth store of the Busan-based bakery chain, which was founded in 1989, is located in the Camellia Haute building that is within a walking distance of Marine City. The bakery has a variety of breads ― from European whole wheat bread to the red bean bread loved by Koreans.
Some of its signature breaincludeare a cream puff pastry Choux Crme, apple pie and a soft cake named “Hagwon-jeon,” meaning the bread that students eat before going to private learning institutes hagwon.
“We make our bread through multiple rising stages and using top quality ingredients. Our customers consist of foreigners looking for a taste of home and Koreans who are fans of our bread,” said Lee Hong-ah, manager of the Camellia Haute branch.
“French engineers working in the ship building industry in Geojedo Island are some of our regular customers. They order French bread by phone,” she said.
Towards Haeundae Beach, the small walkway of Dalmaji-gil Road is a destination for cultural experiences. The road that stretches from the Haeundae Beach to Wausan Mountain to Songjoeng Beach has art galleries, coffee shops and a few sashimi restaurants.
Named the “moon-viewing” road in 1983, the street is known as a great spot for watching the full moon, as well as sun set and sun rise.
While the hillside is now dominated by franchise coffee shops such as Twosome Place and the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, one can see people lining up in front of local eateries.
The road leads visitors to the small port of Cheongsanpo, famous for its lighthouse with excellent views.
By Lee Woo-young (firstname.lastname@example.org