As well as having a healthy array of charms immediately noticeable and close to hand, Busan & Korea as a whole also has some lesser discovered awesomeness. There are still a whole heap of activities available in Korea that have not yet bridged the gap and become accessible to the international community. One of the more recent activities to bridge this gap is SCUBA diving.
Mention SCUBA diving to most people in the area and they look at you as if you are in some way deranged. The issue here is not the lack of diving potential but more the fact that this activity is vastly unknown.
The truth is that diving has been around in Korea for a long time. The traditional “Sea Women” or Haeneo have been harvesting the ocean for decades and since SCUBA equipment has become more accessible, many Koreans have taken up the sport. However, due to the language barrier this has so far remained almost exclusively Korean.
If you talk to expats living in the area you will find many that have “got their PADI” while visiting Thailand or the Philippines and many more that have SCUBA on their bucket list. And as a traveller or someone that lives in a foreign country, they already demonstrate the interest in exploration and adventure that SCUBA diving offers so it makes sense that in a country that is 3 quarters surrounded by the ocean, there has to be some way of getting wet.
So what is diving in Korea really like? Around the Korean coast you can find colourful soft coral, shipwrecks, artificial reefs, underwater statues of the Virgin Mary and a Buddha in a cave. It is possible to see colourful reef fish, octopus, squid, seahorses, cuttlefish, all the things you normally see wriggling around in a bucket outside a Jagalchi eatery and lots lots more. The diving in Korea is versatile enough to offer perfect environments for people taking their first steps in to the underwater world as well as more challenging deeper dives for the more advanced levels. So with that said, in truth Korean waters do not offer the kind of versatility of life and visibility and certainly the temperature of other SE Asian countries like the Philippines or Thailand but there is way more than enough here to make it a fun activity in its own right.
And it has become a popular pastime for the 100 or so members of the expat SCUBA club Busan SCUBA, which has now been running for almost 2 years. Busan SCUBA runs dive trips both nationally & internationally, and through Busan-based Sea World Dive Center, they offer PADI courses taught in English as well as Korean from beginner levels right up to professional grades. As well as organising overnight dive trips to remote areas of Korea where the group stays in a minbak and cooks up a BBQ after the dive while enjoying a few beers, Busan SCUBA also organises social events within the city to help really make a club type feel.
So if you have any interest in SCUBA in Korea or further afield why not contact Drew on:
Tel – 010.4410.1978
Email – email@example.com
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/BusanScuba
Website – http://www.busanscuba.co.kr