On Thursday, 23 March we arrived in Busan and we went our separate ways to do different tours. Alex to the United Nations Memorial Cemetery, and I went to the Bokcheon Museum. We both visited the Busan Museum and the Lotte Department Store.
It is the largest port city in South Korea and the world’s fifth largest seaport. With a population about the same size as Sydney, Busan can trace its history back as far as the Palaeolithic Age.
The city was about 35 minutes’ drive from the port and there were many blocks of apartments along the way. My first stop was the Bokcheon Museum which was an interesting mix of archaeological relics, paintings and ceramics and outside we saw actual tombs that have been discovered dating back to the 6th century.
The Busan Museum was much larger with several exhibition halls and focused on the history and culture of Busan. Everyone agreed we didn’t have enough time there, but it was a good introduction to this country’s history.
Alex’s tour centred around the visit to the U.N. Memorial Cemetery. The 35-acre Park contains the bodies of 11,000 soldiers from the 16 countries who died during the Korean War and the soldiers dispatched from the 53rd Division of the Korea Army have been guarding the Main Gate and the East Gate since 1 August, 2007.
Finally, the Lotte Department Store. On the 13th floor, there is a very large observation deck to view the harbour and the city which gave quite an impressive view of the large port. I didn’t think so much of the Lotte Department Store – prices are high and nothing that we could not buy at home.
There is a lot more to Busan – a world class aquarium and beautiful beaches; unfortunately, no time to see them in the time we had available but the visit to the cemetery was the goal for today to take some photos for the RSL back home.