Regarded one of the eight scenic wonders in Korea, Haeundae Beach is perhaps the most popular beach in the country. Stretching over about 2 kilometers of Busan coastline, this gently curved beach attracts more than 1 million visitors per day during peak seasons. This is also the only beach resort here that includes hot springs.
It officially opens during summer season, from July 1 until August 31, with an average water temperature of 22.6 degrees Celsius. The name Haeundae is derived from the scholar and poet Choi Chi Won, who lived during Silla Dynasty (57 BC- 935 AD). Based on a historical account, enticed by the view of the beach, he even built a pavilion close by.
Taken from the term ‘haeun’ which means ‘Sea and Clouds’, a piece of Choi’s stone carving engraved on a rock still exists near Haeundae Beach. Originally known for its hot springs, the wide strip of white sand around Haeundae has become very popular in Korea, particularly during summer vacation where the entire area is packed with beachgoers and sun worshippers. Even during autumn season, many people still flock here doing kite flying, looking for seashells or walking along the boardwalk. Hotels and accommodations make an excellent business for birthdays and weddings while some have casinos for guests.
Looking around Haeundae Beach, you can discover several places of interests such as Dongbaek Island, Yachting Center, Cheongsapo, Haeundae Spa, Busan Aquarium and Dalmaji Hill. While not really an island, it is believed that Dongbaek Island used to be separated from Haeundae, but through the years, a sand bridge was naturally formed. Dongbaek means ‘camellia trees’ in Korean, which is apparently evident inside the park. On top of the hill in Dongbaek Park is the statue of Choi Chi Won and the stone carving with the word ‘Hae Un Dae’. Other than that, a statue of bronze mermaid can be found that represents the heart-breaking love story of the princess of Topaz. The park is located at the south part of Haeundae and consists of a circular path, ideal for short walks while the rocky shoreline is also worth to visit.
The marina of the Yachting Center is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, and has a capacity of over 1300 berths. On the other hand, Cheongsapo is a small fishing village in Haeundae known for picturesque scenery as well as fresh fish caught nearby. Many people come here to sample various seafood dishes as well as enjoy its scenic beauty. Another interesting spot for promoting beauty and health is the Haeundae Spa Center. With its therapeutic hot spring water, it is popular for its curative properties, providing good remedy for blood circulation, diabetes, skin problems and respiratory tract disease. With a water temperature ranging from 40 to 62 degrees Celsius, the salinity of the water is high, which can make the skin feel softer after bathing. Just within throwing distance from the beach is the Busan Aquarium, which is very popular among tourists. It boasts 35,000 species in 40 themed aquariums. On the east of Haeundae Beach is Dalmaji Hill that has a beautiful path, which meanders between Haeundae and Songjeong Beach. You can easily reach the beach of Haeundae via subway Line 2 (exit Haeundae Station) or via City Bus No. 139, 140 or 240.