View from the 55th Floor
So we're back in Busan in South Korea for the 9th time on what has now become an annual visit. This year we are building a stand for a client at Offshore Korea.
Over the years we've grown to love Korea. It is so different from the West but at the same time very familiar. All around are huge well-known worldwide businesses such as Samsung, LG and Hyundai which are joined by local companies such as Lotte and Shinsegae but you're never far from a Starbucks, a TGI Fridays or a Macdonald's.
The trip to Busan is long. After flights from Manchester via London to Seoul there is another leg down to Busan. In the past we've flown which means a change of airports. By the time you arrive it's more than a 24-hour journey. This year rather than fly we decided to take the KTX train which you can book from the UK. The total journey time is about the same as flying but without the stress of changing airports, queuing at check-in and going through airport security. This is Korea so it was no surprise that the trains ran exactly on time, weren't overcrowded and ran at 190mph.
This year we rented a 55th floor apartment in Marine City in the Haeundae area of Busan. This is the second time we've used the AirBnB option in Busan and it is undoubtedly the best option for a stay of 10 days. Not only is it cheaper than a hotel but you have more of the comforts of home and a place to work (if necessary).
Travelling around Busan is fairly easy but the city does have a congestion problem. The traffic keeps moving… but slowly. Taxis are cheap – a fraction of the price of the UK but there is no Uber in Busan (yet). The other option is the Busan Metro which again is a fraction of the cost of the Tube - the coverage of the city is good but some trips are long as there aren't as man interchanges as some metro systems.
The Haeundae area has a great selection of places to eat and drink so is an ideal place to stay. A few favourites are Dr Robbins (organic pizza), Ganga (Indian) and Mad for Garlic (an Italian that tastes better than it sounds).
Again we arrived just after the Busan International Film Festival and are leaving just before the Firework Festival. Maybe we'll time it better one day.
All in all a successful trip and we're already looking forward going back for Kormarine next October.