Gwangalli (pronounced Gwah-nuh-lee) Beach is awesome. I'll just say that plain and simple.
We've spent a few days down on the Gwangalli beach since coming to South Korea. Only once to actually swim. There is a lot to see and do on Gwangalli beach and yet it is not overwhelming.
The first trip we took to the beautiful beach I (Shane) was still sunburnt, crispy and painfully sunburnt. I kept having to adjust my shirt the whole day to make sure to keep my shoulders covered up. We got off the subway at the Geumyeonsan stop and tried to make our across the giant street. It took a while to find a cross walk, and it took a few blocks as well. We spent some time looking at the many bridal stores that line the street as well as traditional Korean garment shops that sell Hanbok's. The color of the smooth silk looked immaculate.
We found a side street that led to another back street with a scooter shop on it that came to an alleyway with a small Buddhist monastery hidden behind the cement walls that entrapped us on our path. Soon we could see The Diamond Bridge and a sliver of blue sea water. Before we could get there we strolled past a bar called The Miller Palace. It looks extremely out of place with romanesque columns and an all-black exterior. We had a good chuckle about that.
We stepped onto the beach just 20 steps later. The sea air in Korea doesn't smell like anywhere else. Like it barely smells like the sea, just very fresh. The water there was very blue, like the blue you only see in pictures, and we live here.
We walked down to one side of the beach and back to the other. (keep in mind, this is about a 2/3 mile long beach) We ran into the opening weekend of the Busan Biennial. Many Korean artists displayed public works of art around the theme of evolution. Lots of creatures and some other ephemeral pieces set the scene and inspired me.
One week later, we returned to the scene of the blue water and stretching suspension bridge. This time we had to make a quick stop and purchase a set of speakers that we bought from a Canadian who would be leaving Busan soon. They came with us to the beach, and they were heavy. In south Korea, you really don't have to worry about people stealing stuff, so we just left our bag and our new speakers there and ran into the water. There is very soft sand at the beach, and its a lot less busy than Haeundae beach.
When we were out in the water, we met a couple of guys from Calgary who gave us an awesome tip, "Go to Breeze Burns." Breeze Burns is an awesome little burger shop. Rose had a classic hamburger and I had an awesome Veggie Burger with BBQ sauce. We came back to the Beach after lunch, swam around for another hour, and took off for further adventures that day.
Our third trip to Gwangalli was less adventurous and more of a wander-fest. We walked up and down "Cafe Street (and/or) Theme Street. " It is literally a street filled with almost nothing but coffee shops and quaint Korean restaurants. It's nice. We looked over the artwork again and took many pictures.
We went on the beach and relaxed in the sand. We relaxed in the sunlight. Rose read, I sunbathed and listened to music. I actually have a tan, its quite a revelation.
All in all, its a beautiful place that has a plethora of relaxing activities, and it has to be one of my favorite spots in this adopted city of ours.