Aug 152011

Gwangalli beach in daytime, Busan
Gwangalli beach is Busan’s second-most popular beach (second to Haeundae). It has a distinctively more ‘city beach’ feel to it than its more-popular counterpart does. It’s a solid ‘7’ by day, but a ’10’ by night, where you can gaze at the iconic Diamond bridge, buy some fireworks, and drink to your heart’s desire.

If you go during the day, Beach umbrellas are 5,000 won. Sit at one and an attendant will come to collect. Tubes for the water are 7,000-10,000 to rent, but you should get some deposit money back at the end.
Gwangalli, by night, Busan

BY SUBWAY: Line 2 (green line) to Geumyeonsan exit 3. Do an about-face and turn right and walk down about 3 blocks to the beach (for the South side of the beach); OR Line 2 to Gwangan exit 5. Do an about-face and turn right and walk about 6 blocks down to the beach (for the North side of the beach). All other things being equal, I would recommend getting off at Geumyeonsan for a closer walk to the beach.

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Jul 092011

Front of Beached Bar, Gwangalli, BusanBeached has quickly become my new favorite expat bar in Busan. It’s got a lot going for it. The first thing that sets it apart is obviously the view. The handful of times I’ve been there over the past few weeks have all been clear days when the large windows were open, over-looking Gwangalli beach onto the Diamond Bridge. I’d imagine hanging out, having a few beers, on a cool rainy day would be nearly as nice. For being in such a beautiful location, Beached has a remarkably laid back vibe to it.

There’s a big bar with really comfortable seats to sit around, and they usually have sports playing on the television. Since it’s New Zealand owned, I’d imagine there is a lot of rugby to be watched, but it’s also a great place to catch the Lotte Giants games.

Interior of Beached Bar in Gwangalli, BusanThe menu is very reasonably priced. I’ve gotten the fish and chips a few times and been very satisfied with it. I still give the edge to Starface for my favorite fish’n’chips in Busan, but Beached is cheaper. I’ve also had the chicken and chips, which was very good as well. For those who are interested they also offer some marmite and vegemite based foods. I’ve never quite understood those, but some people seem to like them.

As for drinks, I’ve mainly stuck with the Max Draft for 3000 won a pint. They have a cooler full of Monteith’s, which I’m excited to try at some point when I’m not feeling quite so thrifty. They also make a pretty good bloody mary for those hungover Sunday afternoons.

Interior of Beached Bar in Gwangalli, BusanSo if you’re in the mood to have some drinks, eat some fish and chips, watch a game, or just relax and enjoy the view, Beached is my personal favorite option in Busan as far as expat bars are concerned. I’m a person who tends to visit expat places sparingly, but Beached has enough of a laid back feel to make me want to become a regular.


Directions:  Geumyeonsan Metro Station Exit 1.  Turn back and and make an immediate left toward the beach.  Walk to the beach road and turn left.  Beer Check is a few blocks ahead on the left.

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Apr 252011

the exterior of bong g - gwangalli beachIf you’ve ever been to Hongdae in Seoul, you probably know about Vinyl, where you get mixed drinks in vinyl plastic bags. It’s awesome, and it’s a mystery as to why something like that isn’t around more in Europe or places where it’s legal to drink in the street. Amazing.

Bong G is Gwangalli’s poor man’s answer to Vinyl. They sell “wine punch” in the plastic bags that are definitely delicious. While it’s not liquor, it’s still novel and awesome to sip a wine cooler out of a plastic bag as you’re walking down the boardwalk.

Bong G also has coffee drinks and other beverages like iced tea. Beware though – the menu is in Korean. Just say “wine punch-ee” if you can’t read it.

I would really be singing the praises of Bong G if it were open more! Since it’s gotten a little warmer, I’ve been down at Gwangalli at least twice a week. So let’s say I’ve been there eight times this month. ONLY ONCE has Bong G been open! It was on a Friday night at around 9:30. I was there the following week at the same time (a little earlier, actually) and it was closed. I’ve been there on weekend days and evenings, and it’s closed.

bong g wine cocktails in a bag!

It's a bag of wine.

So check it out, and good luck getting there when it’s open!

Directions: Pretty much in the center of Gwangalli beach, between the old Fuzzy Navel and Wa Bar (near Thursday Party). Look for the orange “Bong G” sign.

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