Seoul or Busan

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Justinelabonne
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Joined: 04/13/2010 - 19:43
Seoul or Busan

HI,

Was wondering if I could get the opinion of a few of you who have been to both Seoul and Busan.
My boyfriend and I are moving over to teach English and are trying very hard to come to a decision of either living in Seoul or Busan,
We are both used to living by the sea but also want somewhere that is 'happening' and fun. We arnt in to clubbing but a a fairly decent nightlife would be great. We are more into live bands. We also love being around nature.
Will we be bored in Busan? Will Seoul be too busy for us?
Any opinions will be great.

Andrew
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Joined: 08/14/2009 - 08:07
You'll probably be bored in

You'll probably be bored in Busan if you're really looking for a lot of live music and night life.  Seoul gets most of the good music, especially internationaly touring bands.  Both cities have good access to nature.  Busan is a little more laid back than Seoul, but Seoul is heads and tails over Busan in terms of ammenities.

John Venerikson
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Joined: 08/13/2009 - 12:36
Busan/Seoul

I totally disagree with Andrew. I think Busan is the place to be. If you are sued tothe sae you will not like Seoul and the sea of conrete there. It is so busy, but not in a good way. I have lived in both places and love Busna so much more. Where you live here is important, though. If you are in Hadan or an area like that you may not like it. If you have any questions, send me an email. I will be more than happy to help.

 

As for Busan, there are many bars for foreigners that get decent club bands. If a big band does coem to korea, it is Seoul but you can take a trip there. Much better than living there. Busan has great hiking, many beaches and a good community. Coming with your partner, i think Busan is the best place to be. You can visit elsde where. My wife and I love it here. Just my opinion. Good luck and again, if you have any questions, dont hesitate to email me. Cheers!

anonymous
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Joined: 03/05/2015 - 09:55
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mattsid
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Joined: 09/15/2009 - 15:13
Busan hands down

I think one of Busans greatest assets is the really tight knit and active ex pat community and because of that it has a really thriving social scene going on at any one of the 4 'centers' in Busan (namely Haeundae, PNU, KyungSung uni and Seomyeon) all of which are easily accessible to each other. And over the last few years the increase in bars in these areas has been huge as has the amount of bars and restaurants selling international, non Korean food, which used to be one of Seouls strong points, but not so much now. In  fact one of Seoul's original foreign bars / restaurants,  Geckos, is opening up in Busan next month.

Regarding the OPs other post about bands, the truth is hardly any major bands come to Korea, let alone Busan (with a few exceptions). The bands I listed out on the other post are all the bands that have played or will play in Korea so far this year. And as another poster pointed out Seoul is just a 3 hour, cheap, train ride away if somebody you do like comes. Thats what I do if any shows, bands or exhibitions come to Korea and I go to Seoul about once or twice a year to do so, which goes to prove what slim pickings there are.

Saying that, both Busan and Seoul have a thriving ex-pat and Korean band scene where somebody will be playing somewhere every weekend.

As another poster pointed out the beaches are superb, point proven by half of Seoul coming to Busan for 2 weeks in August! And the warm weather lasts for nearly half the year so you get plenty of use out of them.

Finally, another poster pointed out that Seoul has more amenities, and granted, it does. But, the majority of people teaching in Seoul live way way out in the superbs and don't venture in to the center of Seoul that much where they are all situated. Busan may have less of these amenities, but the ones we do have are right on most peoples doorsteps when we need them.

If you do pick Busan over Seoul, post on here potential areas you maybe working in and people will be able to tell you where the best place is to go.

I think in terms of fairness though I should add a final caveat that the majority of people posting on this forum are from Busan, so some of the replies may be bias towards Busan. But that's because it's so great to live here!

But, if you decide on Seoul enjoy your stay and see you in the summer!

 

Angel
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Joined: 08/16/2009 - 11:51
Tight Knit - r u a comedian?

"I think one of Busans greatest assets is the really tight knit and active ex pat community and because of that it has a really thriving social scene"- I beg to differ on the tighknit part.Tightly wound maybe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I get the feeling they'll be bored out of their minds here.

Angel
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Joined: 08/16/2009 - 11:51
Japan

How about going to Japan instead.Or even Timbuktu.

Chilln
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Joined: 03/25/2010 - 15:49
 Visit Seoul for a week, Live

 Visit Seoul for a week, Live in Busan. Busan is just an amazing city. Plenty of nightlife and entertainment, but also much more variety. Anybody who gets bored by Busan must be pretty damn hard to impress. Busan is happening, fun and has tons of beaches. The air is cleaner, and if you do need a break from all the crazyness, the mountains and their nature abound. 

I'm really glad my girlfriend and I moved to Busan instead of Seoul.

John Venerikson
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Joined: 08/13/2009 - 12:36
Busan

 Busan does have a tight expat community. There are many places to go and meet people. With a city of 4 million, and us expats living in the main areas mostly, it is easy to meet people and not be bored because it is too small.

The weather is also better here. Seoul gets -15 in the winter and its fiar share of snow. We do not in Busan-nor does it get that cold.

Plus someone else pointed out many in Seoul live outside of the city and that is true. Taking the subway in everytime and then a taxi home gets to be a bit much. I spent a fortune getting home every weekend when i lived up there.

Again, if you have any questions about where to live in Busan or contract questions and so on let me know. It can be a long year if you end up in the wrong place with the wrong job. I have lived here for many years now and know my way around (Married to a Korean woman). Cheers!

crudler
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Joined: 04/03/2010 - 14:28
I lived in Seoul for a few

I lived in Seoul for a few months, and I lived near Seoul for about six months.  I've lived in Busan for a total of almost six years.

Unless you want to go out a see a different band or hit a different club every night, there's plenty to do in Busan.  I don't have enough energy to do all the things that you -can- do here.  And, as already noted, weather is better, air is cleaner, nature is closer, and the sea is nearby.

kam1nsk1
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Joined: 03/25/2010 - 10:32
 My tuppenceworth - I came to

 My tuppenceworth - I came to Busan with Epik, and I think it's amazing.

The nightlife is great, there is tons of nightlife and I think unless you come from a huge city like London, NY etc then you will not find it too small. It has a big bustle-y city feel without being too much as I gather Seoul can feel like.

I don't know a single teacher who came here out of 50 or so that feels they made the wrong decision, and there are some proper party animals here (you know who you are!).

If you want just a big city then Seoul. If you want a big cityish amount of options with the benefits of beaches and mountains, it's Busan all the way.

pieceofmeat
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Joined: 04/08/2009 - 10:25
Busan! Busan! Busan!

Busan! Busan! Busan!

Justinelabonne
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Joined: 04/13/2010 - 19:43
Thanks!

Thanks everyone for such great and not cynical advise! I appreciate is so much.

Next question though,

Where in Busan should we look for jobs?

 

Thanks!

rebeccalozen
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Joined: 08/06/2009 - 22:05
Busan or Seoul

I think that when it comes to western amenities, Seoul definitely has more of those. Like shopping and restaurants and such. I think that Busan is starting to get on board to the whole catering to foreigners idea. I've been here about 2.5 years and I can tell you that Busan has changed in the time that I've been here. It's become much more foreign-friendly. Between Seoul and Busan, I'd choose Busan anyday of the week. It's been said before, and I concur....Busan is the city in which to live, Seoul is the city to visit.  Busan has so much to offer. I find that even though I've been here for some time now, I still haven't seen everything that Busan has to offer. There's plenty to do and see here and the beach makes it worth the while especially in the spring and fall when the foreigners stake a claim to the beachfront in Haeundae and play football, volleyball and other sports on the beach. It;s still warm enough for us to do that. Seoul is too cold for half of the year and the other half is stifling. Busan has a good temperature climate throughout the year. So to answer your question....Busan. Choose Busan. Look for a job in Haeundae, Seomyeon, Jangsan, PNU, or Kyungsung areas. Those are the "happening" areas of Busan. 

Best of luck to you!

Harpoinseoul
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Joined: 08/19/2009 - 20:08
Re: Busan or Seoul

I came to Korea 13 years ago. Back then my vote would be for Seoul by a mile. Today, it would be Seoul by a nose. Busan has come a long way. It's much less xenophobic than it was a decade ago. The people are much more laid back and the foreign community is much tighter as well. The weather and beaches rock! The mountains are pretty cool, as well. The nightlife has improved quite a bit.

But I would still vote for Seoul. Many more restaurants and grocery shopping that cater to Westerners. One big thing for me is the wide roads and the extensive bicycle paths around the Han River and other parts of the city. Busan was never bombed during the war, and therefore many of the roads are terribly narrow, and the sidewalks are few. I always have a nagging fear that I'll get hit by a car. That is the nose that I speak about. I'll take the colder, slightly smoggy weather if I can get around in a safer way. BTW, the air pollution in Seoul has improved over the last 4 years or so. (The day Hillary Clinton visited Seoul was the clearest day in 13 years!) The Seoul Subway/bus system is amazing and one can get around quite easily.

 I love living in Itaewon 2 Dong. We're close to Namsan Park (beautiful hiking!!!!) and Downtown Itaewon is a 12 min. walk. Seoul is more uptight and stressful. There is a real cut-throat "he with the most toys at the end wins" attitude.

Though having said that, the beaches in Busan rock! It's a more relaxing environment. I think the Mental Hygene is much better down there. Pleasant Winters. I like the Maritime/Vancouver like vibe. It's just the lack of sidewalks that scares me. (That counts for a lot.)

 

In any event, that's my take on things.

 

lapiccolina.4
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Joined: 02/04/2010 - 00:23
Re: Seoul or Busan

I also think a lot has to do with where you're from back home.  I lived in Los Angeles for many years so to me, Seoul was just like that in a lot of good and bad ways.  It was VERY busy, lots of traffic, crowds, etc.  But you meet a lot of different people from all over the world.  There is more variety of food (if you're vegetarian it's probably a little easier to eat there) and yes more variety in the night life.  It really comes down to what your priorities are  food, nightlife, beach, etc.

However, I came to experience things a little bit more different than home.

I chose Busan because 1. You can't beat the beach.  Being close, having BBQs, lounging around with a cocktail, walking around wtih friends, playing volleyball. It really is great. 

2.  It's very busy but not TOO annoyingly busy.  You don't see nearly the same amount of Foreigners in Busan as in Seoul, but like someone said above, the many who are here, have a great expat community going. 

3.  I love visiting Seoul but then I love coming back home to Busan where it's a bit more calm, the people are more laid back, and you still get some of the major benefits of Seoul at the same time. 

AND Busan isn't as big as Seoul...it's a lot easier to get around here. The subway is easy, taxi's are cheap, and nothing is that far away.  Some locations are better than others (in terms of nightlife, food options, etc) but the school itself can make or break all of it.  I live on the outskirts of the city... a little farther from everything but i still can get there in a good amount of time.  My school is amazing.  I hear a lot of people complain about their school when it's in the center...especially bigger chains.  Basically you just have to ask a lot of questions to the school, talk to the other foreigners there, and that will ultimately be the best part about your location.  But fyi... Haeundae, Gwangalli, Kyungsun University, Seomyeon, and Pusan National University Areas are usually the 'happening places' in Busan.