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Explore Busan

india Updated: Mar 17, 2010 01:23 IST
Highlight Story

A t times just because we don’t know about a particular place, we end up stalling our plans and miss on seeing some of the amazing places in the world. But wouldn’t knowing the place from a local person’s view would help us make the right decision.

Billy Cooper is a native teaching English to third and fourth graders in South Korea. He lives in Busan and gives an insight into the city.

You give your age as 23 in America but 24 or 25 in Korea. What’s that about?
You’re always one year older in Korea because they start numbering your years at the time you’re born. A newborn starts at age 0 in America but is considered 1 in Korea. They also use a lunar calendar.

Where is Busan located?
It’s the second-biggest city in South Korea, with a population of about 3.8 million. It’s in the southeast, right on the ocean and close to Japan.

Is there much for tourists to see and do in the city?
The Beomeosa Buddhist temple in Busan is very famous. There are also some good hiking places. Visit Hurshimchung, which is a huge spa. It has natural hot springs, pools, saunas steam rooms, and a restaurant.

Busan wasn’t a battleground during the Korean War. Is there much of old Korea around?
Korea is an interesting mix of old and contemporary. The country has advanced rapidly and is technologically amazing. But there are also a lot of old-style houses surrounded by big buildings.

In Korea, the heating pipes run under the floor. When you turn on the heater, the floor warms up. People here don’t normally sleep in beds; they sleep on the warmed floor on padding.

What is Korean food like?
Koreans like Korean food. One will miss — Italian, Mexican and Chinese.