I have been to many beaches all over Korea, but this past week was the first time I had the chance to experience a Korean beach during its peak season of the year. Koreans may not like the sun or know how to swim very well, but they still make their way down to the beaches of Busan and they have created their own beach culture much different than the east coast back home.
If you don’t notice the high population density of Korea on an everyday basis then it will become apparent as soon as you hit the beach. Haeundae Beach, one of the most popular beaches in Busan, is transformed into a rainbow of umbrellas lined up neatly up and down the entire beach. Everyone sitting under the umbrellas is literally “blanket to blanket” to the person next to them. I have never seen anything like it and I will never complain that a beach back home is crowded because it does not even compare.
The second biggest difference is that since Koreans can’t swim (even when the water is only about 3-4 feet high) every single person on the beach has a bright yellow inner tube. The ocean is covered in yellow inner tubes. The first day I actually went in the water without one and I felt like I was going to be suffocated by the inner tubes. On the second day I made sure to grab my own, and while finding enjoyment and relaxation in bobbing around on the waves I think I was finding more enjoyment watching everyone else floating around me. The lifeguards are extremely strict as well. They patrol the beach and the water by riding jet skis back and forth to make sure no one goes past a certain point in the water.
I spent my five days in Busan mostly relaxing at the beach by day and enjoying the night life by night. I reached my quarter of a century milestone on the last day, but by that point I was exhausted from a week partying and birthday shots including a flaming one 😉
The last day at the beach was interesting because the heavy winds from the typhoon created gigantic waves. It was fun to see waves that big in real life, but I was disappointed I didn’t get to enjoy my last day soaking up some sun in the water.
My week in Busan was a fun vacation get-away and a memorable way to experience my 25th. Korean beach culture is fun, but I am ready to go to my east coast beach culture back home. Less than 2 weeks ~