Busan Shore Excursions: Temples, Tea, and Towers

As part of an Asia cruise itinerary, the port city formerly known as Pusan offers cruise passengers a bustling metropolis, magnificent mountain-set temples, and a world of tasty street food, all of which can be experienced on Busan shore excursions.

Get to know the city and its most important sites, past and present, on Busan shore excursions. First, stop at a beautiful park that houses the United Nations Memorial Cemetery where UN soldiers from 16 countries and aides from five countries were killed during the Korean War.

Visit the Beomeosa Temple, founded by Great Monk Uisang in 678. It’s set atop the Geumjeong Mountain just outside a wisteria grove. The temple’s name translates as “fish from heaven,” and your guide will happily recount the story of its origin. Journey to a temple set on a large rock above the East Sea, where you can hear sutra chanting at Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, considered to the be the county’s most beautiful temple, founded in 1376. See a Buddhist temple that contains no statues of Buddha, but instead holds relics including a bone from his skull as well as a robe and begging bowl. 

Among the not-to-be-missed Asia shore excursions Busan, South Korea offers are those that offer magnificent views of the seas and sky at the Oryukdo Skywalk. See the waves roll in right under your feet as you walk a horseshoe-shaped glass walkway out to the intersection of the East and South Seas. The view north to Haeundae Beach is spectacular, as is the view of Busan’s high-rise towers on the return walk. For another heightened view of Busan, tour the upscale Lotte Department Store Gwangbok. Housed in a 108-story skyscraper, it has an observatory with amazing views of the city. 

Get a different perspective on shopping while on a cruise to Busan by wandering through the always busy and exciting Gukje Market, the city’s largest market that began during the early days of the Korean War as a way for refugees to buy and sell goods. See an incredible array of foods, household goods, toys, appliances, and souvenirs as you wander through the covered market and down streets of merchandise-laden stalls that lead to other smaller markets. Sample street food, like hotteok (pancake), seaweed rice rolls, and Korean street toast. Travel to the shore area to Jagalchi Fish Market, the city’s largest, where most of the fishmongers are women.

Busan shore excursions offer a chance for some quiet, serene time as you learn about Korean traditions and customs during a traditional floor-set Korean tea ceremony. Sip native teas as you receive instruction on the correct process for brewing green tea.

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