Travel

Busan, South Korea Travel Guide

Busan sits on the southeastern coastline of the Korean Peninsula. It is a 2 ½ hour train ride from Seoul and a short flight from Tokyo and Beijing. South Korea‘s second largest city and largest port spread out along Yeongnam Region Coastline. From the dockyards to the Jagalchi Fish Market to the shellfish, Busan has for long been linked to the ocean.

Busan has continued to evolve into a place where Koreans can peer into the future, reflect on the past, and let their hair down. While the port underpins the economic vitality of Busan, it is the beaches in the city which continues to draw travelers from different parts of Asia. Here are the top must-see attractions in Busan, South Korea.

Haeundae Beach
Haeundae Beach is Busan’s star attraction and South Korea’s best-loved and biggest beachside hangout. Nearby is the Dal Maji Hill which provides an outlook for coffee lovers and wandering poets will adore. Also in Haeundae is the APEC House where Pacific and Asian leaders enjoyed some of the most celebrated views of Busan during a summit in 2005.

Gwangalli Beach
The ever-changing coastline of Busan offers activities and scenery to match every mood. The Gwangalli Beach offers total relaxation and you can enjoy the views to Diamond Ridge laid back vibes as well as the gentle waters.

Cheongsapo
For those looking for adventure, you can join a charter at Chrongsapo – a fishing village or take in the spectacular views of the Oryukdo Islands by stepping onto the skywalk at the Yongho-Dong Peninsula.

Gijang
If you are looking for enlightenment, go to Gijang to make a wish at the Temple of Haedong Yonggunsa. It is one of the few Korea Buddhist temples built by the ocean.

Taejongdae Park
Head to the Taejongdae Park by crossing the historic Yeongdodaegyo Bridge. According to legends, it was at these cliffs, gods, and goddesses once relaxed and the King of Silla spent some of his leisure time. Taejongdae Park is the ideal place to slip into a slower state of mind.

Dadaepo Beach
Continue the meditative mood at Dadaepo Beach. The kids can run free or you can let your mind wander on this beach. At the mouth of the longest river in South Korea, the sea mists and endless sands blur the lines between the earth and heaven.

Yongdusan Park
While Busan has been shaped continually by the sea, it is also a city defined by its mountains. Ride the escalator to the Yongdusan Park summit and share the views with the statue of Admiral Yi Sun Sin – a sixteenth-century naval hero. Take a 20 minutes hike to the nearby Mt. Cheonma to the observation platform which allows you to see this dynamic city as it spreads out before you.

Geumgang Park
Geumgang Park is home to the highest peak in Busan. Join the locals who hike here every weekend, exploring the walls and forest trails of Geumgang Fortress. You will also find the Beomeosa Temple here.

UN Memorial Cemetery
Busan was under siege in 1950. Visit the gravesites of thousands of troops who formed a perimeter around Busan to fight off North Korean soldiers at the UN Memorial Cemetery. After centuries of protecting its gates and decades of toil and hardship, Busan has come into its own. Today, this rollicking port town is a bridge that connects the past and future into something special.

Travel

Baton Rouge, Louisiana Travel Guide

Baton Rouge lies in southeast Louisiana along the Mississippi banks. Louisiana’s capital is famous for its laid back southern charm, cultural fusion, and sports-mad universities.

From the days when the boundary between native tribes was marked with a red stick to its administration by Spain, Britain, and France transformation has been built into this city’s DNA. Here are the top must-see attractions in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Downtown Baton Rouge
You will find artworks on the walkways and streets here in a permanent and temporary installations combination. At the Shaw Centre for Arts, the contemporary culture scene continues. It is a dramatic symbol of the revitalization of Baton Rouge. This center includes the LSU Museum of Art and the Manship Theater.

Old State Capitol
The Old State Capitol symbolizes prestige and was once the seat of power. Mark Twain describes this place as a “whitewashed castle” but you can make up your mind when you see this neo-gothic landmark. It was at a time used as a prison and during the civil war housed a garrison. Tour the mansion of the Governor of Louisiana which is believed to have been built using the White House template. The Art déco state capitol building symbolizes a new era in this state’s politics and power.

Spanish Town
Louisiana has a complex blend of Nature American African and European history, making it one of the most diverse cultural traditions in the world. Spanish Town is widely known for the Mardi gras parade that happens yearly. Some familiar symbols of this parade are cut out pink flamingos and eclectic costumes.

Capitol Park Museum
Baton Rouge was for many years the world’s blue capital and this spark still fires in the city’s belly. Learn more about some of Louisiana’s greats such as Sharkey Bonano and Louis Armstrong at this museum.

Magnolia Mound
Baton Rouge from the beginning was a plantation country and many of the mansions in the area have been preserved. Magnolia Mound was one of the city’s earliest antebellum homes. Walk through the grounds to peer into the lives of the privileged and those whom fortune didn’t shine.

Arsenal Park/Arsenal Museum
This complex was once a massive storehouse if the military and played a crucial role during the Confederate war as it helped to keep the reserves gun powder dry.

USS Kidd & Veterans Memorial
Baton Rouge owes much of its success to the Mississippi whose waters flows through the psyche, songs, and stories of the nation. The USS Kidd & Veterans Memorial is a World War Two destroyer. It was the only United States Warship allowed to sail under the crossbones and skull. In 1945, it was struck by a Japanese Kamikaze plane killing over 30 of her crew. She has been restored fully and now offers an intimate window into the history of the navy.

Travel

Helsinki, Finland Travel Guide

Compact, clean, cultured, and cool, the Finnish capital of Helsinki is a charming city to explore. As one of the most sparsely populated cities in Europe, the pace here is unhurried and relaxed and the locals are friendly and welcoming. It is surrounded by the sea on three sides and it boasts of a blend of wonderful architecture. It’s easy to see why Helsinki is often regarded as one of the most livable cities in the world. Here are the top must see attractions in Helsinki, Finland.

Senate Square

The focal point of Helsinki is Senate Square and it is bounded by majestic neoclassical buildings. The square is dominated by the city’s most impressive landmark. The Lutheran cathedral features pristine white with green and gold domes. On a clear day, the cathedral absolutely gleams. Just a stone’s throw away is Helsinki’s other cathedral the Russian Orthodox Uspenski cathedral. With its copper roofs and onion domes, the Uspentski is one of the most visible reminders of Russian rule over Finland which lasted for 108 years until 1917.

Rock Church

Helsinki is also home to another remarkable religious building. The church is Helsinki’s modern architectural masterpiece. Inside the church is circular with a ring of glass allowing natural light to beam in thanks to its rough exposed walls. The acoustics in here are perfect making it a popular venue for concerts.

Sibelius Monument

Another of Helsinki’s more unusual landmarks is the Sibelius Monument. It is a tribute to Finland’s greatest composer Jean Sibelius. Located in the serene Sibelius Park, this huge sculpture consists of 527 steel tubes. Visit the park on a breezy day and you may be lucky enough to hear the sound of the wind blowing through the tubes. It is a fitting tribute to a man who composed seven magnificent symphonies.

Helsinki Waterfront

With Helsinki almost entirely surrounded by the sea, a boat ride out into its archipelago is a charming way to experience some of Finland’s finest scenery. Gently cruising the crystal-clear waters of the Baltic, you will pass stunning little islands and some enviable secluded villas. Back at Helsinki waterfront a bustling open-air market awaits. It’s a fabulous place to browse for colorful handicrafts and souvenirs or even have a bite to eat delicious breads and pastries, summer berries, and the freshest of fish. The open-air market has some mouth-watering temptations with a charming atmosphere, a beautiful setting, and a wealth of sights. Helsinki is a delightful city to explore.