Korea's second largest city, Pusan, has been a bustling east-coast port for centuries. Today, the city is well-loved by Koreans and tourists alike for its seafood and beaches. We visited Pusan with our friend Shawn for a long getaway weekend and saw even more that the city has to offer.

If the small pictures on this page appear blurry or low-quality to you, that's because Rob over-compressed them in an attempt to make the page load quickly. Click on these small images, though, and you'll see that the large versions are much, much nicer, so please don't be afraid to check them out. After you do, use the "back" button on your browser to return to this page.

Our first stop was Kumgang Park, a hilly area housing the remains of a Choseon-dynasty fortress built in the 1700s. Here are Shawn and Cheris after a cable car ride and a brief hike up the hill.
This is one of the old fortress gates with a section of the wall.
At the base of the hill was a park with some small temples and other historical monuments. On the way towards them, Cheris snapped this shot of some friendly pigeons.
Cheris and Rob posed on the rocks near the entrance to a Korean "tomb-of-the-unknown-soldier"-type monument...
...and here's Shawn with the tomb itself.

Then we headed uptown to Beomeosa, another superb Buddhist temple circa 678. Here's Rob (proving once again that he just ain't a photogenic guy) with a cool stone wise man in a garden near the temple.
Shawn looked considerably better as he posed with the pagoda that the stone wise men adorned.
Cheris was terrified by an intimidating painting outside the temple gates...
...and this statue inside the gates was pretty scary too. Grrrr.
Check this one out. Beautiful etching on the gong, nice carving on the frame, and a fire extinguisher for bizarre contrast.
Shots of the dimly-lit temple interiors are always tricky. This one is decent, though it makes Shawn look like he's seen a ghost or somehow frozen to death on a hot spring day (sorry, Shawn).
Nice lantern, no? It's over 1000 years old. The monks light these outside the temples on holidays or after someone dies.

That night, we visited the Pusan tower, where we were treated to fantastic views of the city and the sea just after sunset--but it was too dark to take photos, so you won't see any here.

On Sunday, after a tough night in a fleabag motel with a drunken, screaming maniac roving the halls, we headed to Taejongdae, a beautiful park on a mini-peninsula jutting out into the East Sea (aka the Sea of Japan). We took a relaxing boat ride around the coast and enjoyed gazing at the typically rocky Korean coastline.

Amazingly, there are no pictures here of Pusan's famous beaches. Why not? Well, we heard that they were really crowded and just plain old toursity beaches. Plus, when we were considering heading over there as a last stop on Sunday, it started to rain. No matter. Maybe next time.

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