The Perfect Weekend in Busan | Water Sports at Gwangalli Beach

*NOTE: Scroll down for a list of Water Sports at Gwangalli Beach

Since we’ve moved to Busan, most weekends have been spent getting heavily inebriated (sorry mom) and spending an obscene amount of money on pre-drinks, cabbies, drinks, more drinks, late night munchies and more cabbies. Busan happens to be a great place to go out – multiple areas with tons of different bars, restaurants and clubs – and it seemed only right to spend the weekends drinking our lives away after 5 stressful days of work. The weekend is what we look forward to and the weekend always passes us by so quickly. Mainly because we spend 62% of it hungover in bed the day after a night out.

For the past month, the boyfriend and I have been trying to do something other than just getting shmammered at a bar. The Springtime weather has been beautiful and once the summer heat hits us, we won’t be able to do too many outdoorsy things without a high risk of having a heat stroke. Or you know, just drowning in a pool of our own sweat. It’s that bad here, I kid you not.

So anyway, it is officially beach season in Busan. Nate and I have a slight obsession with the beach and spent the majority of our time on three different beaches this weekend. On Friday, we got off work early (which was a miracle itself) and then ventured to the beach just north of us for a BBQ. Haeundae Beach (where we live) is relatively crowded and we were pretty sure we’d get kicked off if we tried to start a fire, seeing as how you’re not even allowed to pitch a tent during the daytime. We arrived at Songjeong Beach right at sunset (which is unfortunately not very visible in Busan…I miss living on a west coast) and spent the evening BBQing chicken kebabs and mini burgers, lighting sparklers and dodgy roman candles that exploded in my hand, listening to music, drinking, and chatting in good company around our campfire. It definitely beat drinking at a bar. Especially because nobody will kick me out or judge me when I pass out at midnight.

The rest of the weekend was more or less as awesome: I dragged Nate and our co-worker, Farel, to a beach yoga class at Gwangali Beach, which is the beach just south of us with a killer view of Gwangan Bridge. (If you live in Busan, join the Busan Yoga & Meditation Facebook Group for tons of different classes/events.) We were recommended to a super cute hipster-y brunch place with delicious food (Cafe Ean – scroll down for details). I bought the most awesome whale-shaped, Gangnam-Style-singing, light-up bubble gun and spread joy throughout Busan via bubbles in everyone’s faces. We drank home made mojitos on the beach (thanks Nathaniel!). Had a lovely co-worker dinner at our favorite tapas and sangria restaurant and then called it an early night. Sometimes movies at home beats a night out.

On Sunday, Nate and I went kayaking at Gwangali beach (scroll down for details) in the absolutely perfect 72 degree weather. Brunched again (I know, brunch twice in one weekend – who do we think we are?). And then ended the weekend by spending all of my Teacher’s Day gift certificates (and then some) shopping at the “biggest shopping center in the world” (Shinsegae at Centum City).

Kayaking at Gwangali Beach

Overall, an amazing weekend not getting shmammered at bars (just at the beach instead). I won’t pretend that “drinking all weekend” is such a “bad idea” especially for a kindergarten teacher because let’s be honest – it’s sometimes necessary. But sometimes you can change it up a bit and drink at other places. Like the beach. Because it’s awesome. And yeah, you can go do other “sober stuff” like yoga and kayaking and all that too.

Cheers to many more spectacular weekends 🙂



Water Sports at Gwangalli Beach:

At the very south end of Gwangali Beach is the “Ocean Leports Center” where you can rent tons of different water sports equipment. You can go kayaking, wind surfing, surfing, wake boarding, water skiing and stand up paddle boarding. You can also go on a “cruise yacht”, “motor boat”, “jet boat”, “rafting boat” and “banana boat”. Here’s a brochure with prices listed (although I don’t think they’re set in stone because the guy working there was willing to give us a deal):

Gwangalli Ocean Leports Center

And a summary/rough translation of it:

Cruise Yacht
12 people max
Private rental: 300,000 per person per hour
1 of the public: 30,000 during the week/40,000 at night time — the guy working there explained that it’s a “public yacht” so you can sign up to go in it with however many people and they’ll stick you in a group with random people to fill it up (30,000 won each)

Wind Surfing
1 person: 40,000 won (Storm: 70,000 won – I’m not positive what “storm” means, that’s just what it translated to. Maybe when the surf is really good it’s more expensive?)

Dinghy Yacht
1 person: 40,000 won (Storm: 70,000 won)

1 person: 40,000 won (Storm: 70,000 won)

Jet Boat
1 person: 25,000 won

1 person: 20,000 won/2 people: 30,000 won/3 people: 40,000 won
*They have singles, doubles and triple kayaks available. I’m not sure what the price variation is but when I went, we rented one double kayak for 25,000 won for 2 hours

Banana Boat
1 person: 15,000 won

Rafting boat
1(3 hours): 40,000 won

1 person: 20,000 won

1 person: 15,000 won

Stand Up Paddle Boarding (featured on a separate brochure)
30,000 won (Basic education included) for 3 hours

Comprehensive Package Discounts (the first few lines of the middle bottom section – I got lazy and couldn’t be bothered translating the rest, sawwy)
Motorboat + Banana Boat + Surfing + (Kayak or Rafting): 400,000 won
Motorboat + Banana Boat + Surfing: 300,000 won

The people working there are super nice and helpful. Their English is also relatively good. Since there are so many different sports available, it does get a little crowded. We called it a day (okay, I called it a day) after an hour and a half because there were so many jet skiers (not sure where those are available) and boats cruising around.

Cafe Ean:

This AWESOME cafe is just south of the Geumnyeonsan metro stop (which is one stop south of Gwangan) on the south end of Gwangalli Beach. If you’re walking south down one of the main roads, Gwangan-ro, from the Geumnyeonsan or Gwangan metro, you’ll see a Citi Bank on the left. Turn right on that street (going away from the beach) and it’s just one block up on the right. Go there, you won’t regret it.



  1. Thanks for the pics and great words. I really want to do this next time I’m in Busan!


  2. I’ve only been to Busan once since moving to Korea almost 3 yrs ago! I really need to get back. Your pictures from kayaking are awesome. I love that one under the bridge. Where in California are you from? I’m a fellow California girl as well 🙂 There’s tons of us here!


  3. So excited about this post… mostly for the restaurant recommendations! I can’t wait to try Cafe Ean. I also want to know more about this tapas place! Also, if you have any other restaurant recommendations, please let me know. I’m always looking for great restaurants in Busan. Unfortunately, a lot of the information on Busan Haps is outdated.


  4. Those kayaking pictures were great! My coworker went kayaking two weeks ago and had an awesome time, that’s now firmly on my list of things to do before I leave the country. Thanks for the info!

    Do you think you’ll be doing that often this summer?


  5. Haha, it sounds like you’re fitting into the Busan life perfectly. 😉


  6. It really does sound like the perfect weekend. I need some beach yoga and watersports in my life. Maybe not in Beijing…


  7. Do you need to have a cert to kayak?


    1. Nope 🙂 Just show up and pay!


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