For me, one of the best things about living in Busan is its whole collection of beaches. There are 5 in total. There's Haeundae which is the epicentre of tourism, with fancy bars surrounding it and holiday makers lying under their parasols while music and performances go on along the boardwalk. There's Gwangalli with it's bridge that glows over the water at night. Songjon which is a lot quieter with good hikes and walks leaving to and from it. Songdo is set up at the moment like a mini water park, with diving boards into the ocean. Then there's Dadaepo, so far down that it's really peaceful there, the view is amazing and the water is warm.
Having tried all of the beaches in Busan, on my day off last Thursday, we decided to venture further north and try one of the two less well known beaches that happens to be very close to Busan in Ilgwang.
It took us about an hour and a half to get there. From Haeundae we took a bus to Ilgwang, and on the way back we caught the 180 which terminated in the middle of nowhere, which also happened to be the first stop for 1001 which goes right to my door, perfect!
There wasn't even a wisp of cloud in the sky as we turned up in the early afternoon. I'd read that the beach had shallow water so lots of families went there, and we seemed to be the only foreigners there. There were still a few parasols but nothing like at the main beaches in Busan, it was easy to find a spot where we could enjoy the sun, run quickly into the sea and was far enough away from everyone to catch a beach nap.
I really enjoyed watching couples frolic in the sea in their coupling life jackets, and before we headed back for the bus in the early evening, we went for a wander down the boardwalk and found a really peaceful spot under the walkway where some people were fishing and others had set up tents and were having BBQs. It really did feel like a beach that was completely out of the city, which was a nice break.
Sadly my camera ran out of battery before I had the chance to take many pictures, but with lazing on the beach and the travel time, I managed to start and finish The Boy In the Striped Pyjamas. Has anyone else ever read it? What did you think? So so sad.
In conclusion, the positives about Ilgwang are that it's quieter than Haeundae and Gwangalli, the water was a lot cleaner than most of Busan's beaches, there seemed to be lots of water sports going on and good places to have BBQs and go fishing. On the downside, it takes a long time to get there from the centre of Busan, and if it's a quieter beach that you're looking for then Songjon, Songdo or Dadaepo could save you some travel time, meaning more time splashing in the sea.