Koreabridge Forums


Best place to live in Busan?

 Transferred from: http://www.koreabridge.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=3233

What's the best place to live in Busan, when you consider these factors:

1. subway access
2. shopping
3. close to the beach
4. clean air
5. relatively flat (no climbing mountains everywhere to get around)

Anyone got any experience in this area?
Pretty much any area has subway access, I'd say the most important factor there is the location of your apartment within the area. I mean within Dayeon for example, I could be really close to the subway or 15-20 minutes walk away. 

I'm cheap so I did most of my shopping in Nampo-Dong. Do you really need to live close to shopping areas? I'd say that's as much a detriment as an asset, as it would make spending money too easy. Kyungsung-Pukyong area is pretty good for shopping too. 

Gwangali is a nice beach and from most places in Busan it's a slightly shorter ride to get there. It's also just 5 stops away from Haeundae. 

For clean air I'd suggest someplace in the north of the city closest to the mountains, like Nopo-dong, but then you'd be much further away from some of the areas you seem most interested in visiting. But PNU would be close by. Nopo Dong seemed like the nice place whenever I visited, compared to my own neighborhood. Family at home turned up their noses when they saw photos of my own neighborhood here. 

As for mountains being in the way, I've never ever come across a situation in which I had to scale some pesky mountain inconveniently in my path to get someplace. And if there was, I'd just use the subway.
The obvious place for you to live would be Haeundae, Heundae New Town or Dalmaji Hill (all very close to each other). There are also tons of hakkwons and thus tons of jobs down that way too.
mods...can we sticky this thread. This question has been asked SOOO many times.
Igs, if you or anyone else has time, it'd be good maybe to link to the other threads where this conversation has taken place. I'll start.

How is Dongnae?
Good thread

English Teaching in Busan, Where to work? Where to live?
Where is Dalmaj hill?

Also, can anyone recommend any good, cheap restaurants in the Haeundae/Jungdong/Jangsan areas that aren't just kimbap or bokkeombap? I'm getting over-carbohydrated by all the rice I've been eating lately.
Hey all! I'm new to this forum and will be new to Korea/Busan. I just have a simple question. Which area would you suggest to live: Namcheon or Naengjeong? I realize Namcheon is closer to the beach and Naengjeong is a bit closer to Seomyon. 
matt sid
Namcheon. Being a student area there is so much more in terms of bars and restaurants, as well as some of the more popular foreigner hang outs in Busan and if you want to go to Seomyeon, for the shopping, it's only 10-15 minutes in a taxi.

Much appreciated, Matt sid.
I'll consider this info when making my final decision. I guess my bigger issue now is the job position in Namcheon has longer hours than the position in Naengjeong. Hmm....decisions, decisions...
That said it's not going to make that huge a difference. The city is incredibly easy to get around, the subway is efficient and that cabs are dirt cheap. I'm not actually sure where Naengjeong is, but from Seomyon you're looking at a $5-$6 cab ride to Namcheon. IMO it's far more important to take the better job, especially when the choice of location involves such a small distance.
Dalmaji is in Haeundae. If you are at Haeundae Beach, the Westin Chosun is at one end and there is a hill at the other end. That hill is Dalmaji Hill.

Go to Tacos al Pueblo, formerly known as Taco Chili Chili. There is a thread in teh Food and Eats forum about it and how to get there. Best food in teh city if you ask me. Other than that, there's not a whole lot of cheap options in Haeundae.
It's funny how for so many people coming to Busan, "the beach" seems to be a major factor in deciding where to live and work.

The sad fact is that the beaches in Busan are pointless. By Korean law, swimming is only allowed while lifeguards are on duty, and lifeguards are on duty for a whopping 4 weeks a year.

Considering the weather, it makes sense, because the only consistently good weather happens for just the time between late july-early august. The beggining of summer is rain filled, and the rest of the year is just too cold. Also, ironically, the huge mayority of Busan people don't know how to actually swim. (In my 7 years here, I've had to pull out 3 kids, 2 ajumas, and a drunk ajjoshi that were about to drown)

So, those 4 weeks, you can expect a wonderful time of beach enjoyment? wrong. Busan beaches are as crowded as a New Dehli bus during rush hour. Everyone in the country seems to think Haeundae and Gwangan are the only two beaches in the nation. There is basically room for you to sit on the sand or stand in the water. no room for swimming, laying out in the sun, or playing a game of volleball for more than 20 minutes before you get kicked out by other people wanting to play.

Basically, the best beaches in korea, the ones where you will actually be able to enjoy a beach afternoon, are those outside of the city. So it doesn't matter where you work or live.
Points well taken, Ewok 
Seriously, they shouldn't be.

For two months of the year July/August Haeundae is best avoided, the rest of the time it is practically devoid of people and a lovely place, the waters warm enough for swimming six months of the year and if you have a wetsuit you can get in the water all 12 months although Jan - March will be pretty cold.
Exactly. Its just nice to be near the water and be able to walk on the beach, even if you can't or don't want to swim. I swam once at Haundae (not in designated swimming season) and it was so nasty I'll never go back in. The water is quite polluted and just made me feel "icky." That being said, I still love looking at my window at the water and being within a 5000 taxi ride of 3 beaches.
The madness that is Haeundae Beach was not nearly as frustrating 6 years ago when they didn't foist you with umbrellas.

Since they've littered the beach every summer with them, it's way too crowded and noisy to be of any use. Gwangali beach is much more picturesque and a lot lower-key.

I've always said I would have loved to live in PNU because it's what became my favourite home away from home, but I used to live in Yeonsan-Dong and it was a nice location to get just about anywhere else in the city in a minimum amount of time.

Namcheon is equally good, just not my favourite.
I totally understand..I come from Colorado so I have never been anywhere near the beach as far as living goes, so I would love to live right next to it if possible. I live about 35 mins from Busan I a moving in the city this summer!! yahooo!! That and I love walking on the beach at dusk, it is so peaceful. Wherever you decide to live just keep in mind the kind of places you like. I would rather travel to the shopping areas (that way i don't shop all the time) wink.gif instead of travel to the beach and live in the shopping areas. Just different for all. Just don't make a snap decision about your home. Think it through is my advice smile.gif
I hear that! God I cannot wait to move there. I just love sitting on the beach and listening to the amazing sounds nature can create. I have a sound machine at home in the US (packed away of course) but it reminds me of my sound machine and the stress just melts away. I am sure the umbrella season is the least pleasant, but I can get over a bunch of red umbrellas. Look at the bright side, at least they are informed about skin cancer that's more than I can say about the sunworshiping Americans. One of my guilty pleasures smile.gif 

Oh by the way does anyone know where I can get a sound machine or a dream machine (it has the sounds of nature ie. rainforest, beach, rain, thunderstorm....?? I would just love one!
To my original post, I just wanted to thank everyone for their helpful advice. In the end, I chose job satisfaction (read: higher salary-since saving some serious money is a must) over location. I've decided to take the position located near Naengjeong/Gaegeum area. I'm sure it will just make those ocassional trips to the beach that much more enjoyable. Anyhow, again...thanks. I'll be arriving in Korea in a few short weeks. Can't wait!
For a totally unheard-of recommendation (and probably WAY premature, since I've only been here two weeks) is for Sajikdong in Dongnae-gu? Where the hell is that, you ask? I'm right around the corner from the soccer and baseball stadiums. There's a mountain with trails in my back yard, a decent street market right outside my door, decent restaurants everywhere, a Homeplus with the movie theatre not far away, lots of bars (no expat places though, it seems), several subway stops on Line 3 very close by (meaning access to PNU and the beaches). It's also relatively quiet and clean. I'd rather not have the bars I'm drinking at till 4 be right outside my door. Despite this description, it's not a suburb, since I hate those.

My main reason for adding this is that, when I was first reading up on Busan before coming here, it seemed that everyone was saying to live in PNU or Haeundae. You're not screwed if you live elsewhere! There's probably no real reason to come to this part of Dongnae except for baseball or soccer, but it ain't a bad place to live. That being said, if there's a season for giant sewer rats invading or feces coursing down the mountainside, I'll be happy to eat my words smile.gif.
There are many other good places to live in Busan it just depends on what you want. Those that just say PNU or Haeundae might have limited knowledge about Busan or want to hang out in foreigner bars.

There are some other nice areas like Namcheon-dong/Daeyeon-dong, Daeshin-dong, Dadaepo if you like a quiet beach area, Dongnae, Ganseo-gu if you want a quiet life near the river, but close to the city.

I personally have no desire to live in either PNU or Haeundae.
re : Vietman,
a quick comment about your criteria on :
>1. subway access
>2. shopping
>3. close to the beach
>4. clean air
>5. relatively flat (no climbing mountains everywhere to get around)

1.Pusan has sort-of an equally simple layout of SubWay Routes
(imagine a tilted "H" or that Nabisco Logo)
unless you are stuck in the relatively poor S.West.region .

2.Pusan ain't THE shopping mecca in Korea
so head up to the CapitaL of SeouL instead .
beaucoup more selections AND mucho cheaper rolleyes.gif 

3.yep, da Beach is what Pusan is about
so stick to this IF you can, job-wise AND monetarily dry.gif 

Pusan has clean air compared to more stuffy MetroPoLis up North
(stiLL talkin'about South Korea, folks)

5.the Korean PenninsuLa itself is a mountainous region
but most areas within walkin distance to subways in Pusan are pretty lean
with the exception of DalMadHi Hills (next to HaeUnDae Beach)
where especially the French L-o-v-e to live ~
(I believe it's called Joie-de-Vivre)
having said the above, here R MY choices(not in order of preference) :
(ready ?)

SeoMyon /OR/ YeonSanDong (centraL subway hubs)
- if U have part-time jobs ALL-around da city,

BuKyung & KyungSung Univ.(campus street)
- if U gotta p-a-r-t-y aLL night Long ~

KwangAnRi /OR/ HaeUnDae Beach
(former for cafe-row and latter for tourist restos)
- if U can spare the time AND money wink.gif
Yes,it's the best place to live in Busan,i lpve there! 
Sajik! I concur with everything that you just said. I live in Minam, just north of Sajik. Minam itself seems to be a bit of a dive, but I'm close enough to everything else that it's all good. I can walk to PNU in under 40 minutes... it's less than 5 bucks to take a cab to Seomyeon, and maybe 10 to get down to Haeundae. It's central enough that I can go a number of places without dropping 20 each way. Everything that I need is close by... yet I'm far enough from the busy areas that it's nice and quiet.

All of that said, I imagine that Sajik is nicer than Minam.
If this thread is still active, I have a query: 

What are the different neighborhoods (do's? gu's? dong's?) of Pusan like? 

I have job offers in the following places: Dongnae, Haeundae, Seodaeshin, Nampo, and Daeyon. My ideal location in the city would be an area with many foreigners (so that I have more people to meet), easy access to the metro (a good, central station would be nice too), things to do in the area (tea and coffee shops, cool things to do, bars and resteraunts... you know, the usual). 

Okay, so, let's open the floodgates on the accumulated collective experience here... 


Thanks in advance, everybody.
Sorry. I should say, instead of Haeundae, that I have a position available in Allak.
i have to confess, beach is a killer factor. and if you a looking for nightlife you want to be close to somyon, pnu or pukjong dae. maybe nampodong but i dont think so. on the other side its nearly impossible to be not close to one of these. 

but on the other side im living in the dongseo dorm, sadly its not public but the view from the dongseo over the river and over to gimhae ist kick ass. the dusk is in my opinion the best in busan. even better thatn from tae jon dae. 
sadly the dorm is only for exchange students wink.gif 

but anyway i would recomend to go one day before dusk to the dongseo uni. just go to naengjong, take a taxi go always more up and then right when you see the green hall (house with a green roof) you have the best place to observe a beautifull dusk. 

oh im sorry im babbeling..... on the topic: yes beach is a important factor but what i want to say is that there are many places with beautifull views smile.gif
Marco Polo
If you like listening to Bruce Springsteen and admiring an industrial lunar landscape from atop your hagwon roof, then Sinpyeong is the place for you. To top off the working class mystique, there is a very sweet bowling tucked right against the Nakdong River Highway. 

Sarcasm aside, Dadaepo Beach is half an hour away which is almost always uncrowded and the sand is so soft you could ski on it. Morundae, the adjoining forested promontory is also a fantastic retreat if you like drinking beers while playing chess and perfecting the art of doing nothing.

If this gets boring, a surprising number of buses can transport you all over the city from Sinpyeong, without necessating the sometimes asymmetric paths of the train (say, getting from Hadan to Seomyeon via Line 1). I say asymmetric, for the mountain ranges and valleys truly do dictate their course (and geography is rarely neatly cut). Highways and roads have ways to surpass these difficulties to a degree; not to mention it's more fun to see where you're going (in a bus) than to fall asleep in the stale heat and monotony of the subway.

Anyway...yeah the beach.

The beach is sweet but there are mountains everywhere too. I'm in Deokcheon which is probably one of the furthest Dongs away from everything but a cab ride home is still pretty cheap. If you want to party at Expat bars get close to the Seomyeon/PNU area. They're spread between all of those subway stops. I would prefer to be over there but I still have a view of mountains and a river from my huge apartment (relatively, my friend is in Sasang and his is place is like a closet).
One of the sky scrapers in haeundae-gu is the best place to live in busan.
Camelia is too old, The#Adelis is too small inside, Golden Suites and Trump World Marine are too ugly.
Hyundai Benecity must be the best place to live. That's why I live there.
Hey there guys and girls,
My name is Dane , in 24 years old and i'm from Australia. I've been living in Japan for the past 2 years and basically just surfing as much as possible. At the start of the year i came to korea/ busan for about a month and just checked out what busan has to offer point wise, from the look of it there are mabey a couple of point setups but mostly its just beachies!?
i am off to the philippies in july but will stopping off in korea for a week on my way back to japan, arriving on the 12th of aug. Its typhoos season then so i am hoping that i will time it right and get some waves.

Anyway i was hoping that I could meet up with someone who has local knowledge of the breaks , And i thought we might be able to have a surf together.

i will probably have a couple of boards with me (unless i break them in phillos) so as long as you know what your doing i don't mind giving you a lend if you don't have a board.

anyways thanks for reading.
Yongho-dong is nice
It's close to Haeundae, Kyungsung, PNU...
I live in the LG Metrocity apartment building complex 
It's a clean neighborhood and it's quiet
For sailors, there is only one place to live in all of Korea. Haeundae, or someplace near by. The biggest and best marina is located there not too far from the beach. You can also get involved with the only club made for expats, BESA.
If you're a typical douche bag then Haeundae is the place for you. It's like a little bubble full of alcoholic foreigners with low horizons. That said, Haeundae can be great when the weather is bad and not many people are out acting like jack @sses. 

If you like to get outdoors and do something everyday before or after work, want to take language classes, need shopping, and still want a little bit of the foreign pub crawling douche bag scene but not as abrasive and as Haeundae then The PNU area is pretty good. Everything is close to a subway or bus. The furthest south part of the orange line is pretty far away though. There are tons of great areas in Busan. I just named the worst (Haeundae) and the best (PNU) of the typical places for teachers to live. If you don't care about being a little more removed, but still an easy sub ride away, Beomosa is a really pretty area with some good style.
true Haeundae does have some redeeming values if you're a sailer, windsurfer, ect.
I lived in Pusan from 82-83.........sure miss it there!
I remember there was a place out around Haeundae beach called Samik Land---a block of apartment buildings maybe 6 stories tall. It's where all the rich people lived and they even had hot running water in each apartment ohmy.gif 
Here's a picture taken from around the Commodore hotel area back then and the kinds of houses most people lived in. Dong Dae shin dong area if I remember correctly.