Korea’s finest fireworks
Every year, tens of thousands of people crowd onto Gwangalli Beach to watch an array of colors explode across the sky. It’s not only the most spectacular display of fireworks in Korea; it is surely one of the best in all of Asia. Last year, 80,000 fireworks were lit in over 50 minutes — that’s 2.7 bursts of color per second. Organizers say 2012’s event will be even bigger.
This year’s Busan Fireworks Festival falls on Oct. 26 and 27. The first day will feature a K-pop concert at Busan Asiad Main Stadium. Fans of TVXQ, IU, Rissang, Jung In and DJ DOC will want to arrive well before it starts at 7 p.m.
The weekend’s main event, the fireworks show, takes place on Oct. 27 at 8 p.m. Again, if you don’t want to be staring at the back of someone’s head all evening, it would be wise to choose your spot hours in advance.
Organizers are jumping on the Psy bandwagon (who isn’t?), describing this year’s festival — the 8th since it was founded for the APEC Summit meeting in 2005 — as “Busan Style.”
Spectators will get what they asked for: fewer small fireworks and more big ones; the entire show will be brighter, bigger, louder and longer. It will be capped off with “The President” — which will be a phenomenal blast 400 meters in diameter.
The theme is “Fall in Love With Busan,” but organizers are also pitching this as the ideal place to propose to your girlfriend.
The 1.4 km-long Gwangalli Beach is famous for its fine sand. Popular activities here include preparing raw fish dishes caught by local fishermen, heading to the nearby Olympic Yacht Rental, water-skiing, jet skiing and windsurfing.
A parade will be held before the fireworks show. Busan citizens and performers from all around the country will march down Gwangalli Beach Rd.
There is no admission fee. The UN Peace Festival will be held on Oct. 25. The Busan Fireworks Festival falls on Oct. 26 and 27.
To Gwangalli Beach: From Busan Station, take city bus Nos. 41, 42, 140, 239, 240, 139 and get off at Gwanganlli Beach.
To Busan: Take a KTX train from Seoul Station (Subway Line Nos. 1, 4). Arrive at Busan Station in 2 hours and 40 minutes. For an adventure take the 5 hour-and-20 minute Mugunghwa train (equipped with a dining car).