Busan, South Korea’s second largest city, is the peninsula’s crowning joy of culture, art and energy. Spared from Northern capture during the Korean War, this bustling metropolis is one of the few places in Korea left with traditional architecture, which when contrasted with contemporary buildings provides a playground for some striking shots. Walk through the city with these perfect Instagram photos.
Like its sister-city Seoul, Busan boasts plenty of modern high rises (i.e. the We’ve the Zenith complex). However, there’s a palpable authenticity to Busan that Seoul can’t seem to muster.
In Busan, alongside seemingly unstoppable advances towards modernity, is an equally strong resurgence for the authentically Korean.
Gamcheon Cultural Village nods artistically to Busan’s past. Once a haven for Korean War refugees, this old-school neighborhood, blanketed in quirky murals and cotton-candy colored buildings, has remained standing despite the push towards modernity.
The symphony of traditional, historic, and even old Korea bubbling out of Busan, is unlike anywhere else on the peninsula. Take famed, long-standing Jagalchi fish market, the largest seafood market in Korea – beneath its shiny, new facility, is a maze of stalls and squirming sea creatures.
In a country that’s arguably become obsessed with forgetting yesteryear, Busan’s subtle homage to the past is a breath of fresh air.
Busan marks an extraordinary merging of profound history and contemporary cultural life.