Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Busan Fireworks Festival – Day 9 in South Korea

Welcoming the New Year with a new post. Hoping you had a very nice NY celebration yourself, and with or without any new year resolution, I hope this year, we exert more “-ER”s in what we do and aim to achieve, hardER, bettER, fastER and strongER!

This post is a continuation from our Busan tour with our Couchsurfing host and is also bit connected with New Year’s celebration as I will be featuring the fireworks display at the Busan Fireworks Festival 2012.

The fireworks show was originally planned to be held last October 27 but due to the heavy rain that day, it was postponed and re-scheduled the next day. The entire festival lasted for two days, the first day, Oct 26, featured a free concert with famous K-Pop artists - TVXQ and IU to name a few. The fireworks display is held at the Gwanggali Beach and has attracted not just Koreans, but lots of foreigners as well. Just like us, there were some tourists who visited Busan on the 26-28th to experience this festival and it also has been a tradition to the people of Busan ever since it started last 2005. The event is free for all – meaning no admission fee ;) More reasons to experience this famous festival.

gwangan bridge
Gwangan Bridge at dusk

As soon as we arrived at a good spot near the fishing market near the Gwanggali beach, our host has bought some good sashimi that we can enjoy while waiting for the fireworks to start by 8PM. There were certainly lots of people that went to see the display that day – it was crowded but fun to see lots of drunken ahjummas and ahjussis having a fun picnic with their friends. This sashimi you can also buy FRESH in the market.

busan sashimi

While waiting for the fireworks to start, I took the opportunity to take pictures of the Gwangan Bridge, which is also widely known as the “Diamond Bridge.” I could have taken a better picture as I was sitting at an off angle but I got lazy as there were lots of people looking for any viewing spot – and hey, I didn’t want to lose mine so I didn’t move one inch off my seat.

bridge diamond

bridge busan

“Fall in Love With Busan” was the theme of this year’s fireworks display, and the organizers are also pitching this as the ideal place to propose to your girlfriend. Not bad.

busan fireworks

busan fireworks korea

It was definitely my first time to take pictures of fireworks, but I was armed with a tripod, that should do it. Of course, I’m no pro, but for beginners on firework photography – a tripod is a must, especially for those people who have a hard time taking a steady picture (yes, I am included in this club)!

busan fireworks festival

Some more newbie tips on taking pictures of fireworks that I learned during the process:
•    make sure you have a good focus on the subject
•    set a long exposure – but make sure not to overexpose
•    check if you on the correct lens to bring (depending on how and where you shoot but either telephoto or wide angle – both with zoom please, prime would be a bit tricky to use)
•    a shutter remote would be nice though the one that I brought did not work
•    and lastly, just shoot and shoot. You can crop your shot afterwards anyway so if there are some distractions inside the picture, you can remove it later.

busan fireworks
this could have been a good shot, IF that guy just removed his head out of my picture!
There only a few good shots that I was able to take from my set, maybe only half of my shots were good or okay, but it was absolutely good learning experience and I am excited to take more pictures of fireworks here in Manila!

fireworks festival

fireworks busan festival


Directions to Gwangalli Beach: From Busan Station, take city bus Nos. 41, 42, 140, 239, 240, 139 and get off at Gwanganlli Beach.

bridge korea

The festival will certainly make you sing Katy Perry’s ‘Fireworks’... or not. (Coz baby, you’re a firework!) Excuse the lame pun, but kidding aside, I was really satisfied with how this day turned out. I can picture myself smiling the whole time, thanks to our host, I can say I was able to experience the life in Busan. :)

Day 1: Gangwon-do
Chuncheon and Nami Island

Day 2: Gangwon-do
Mt.Seorak (Seoraksan)

Day 3: Gyeonggi-do
Yongin and Food Tour

Day 4: Gyeonggi-do
Suwon: Hwaseong Fortress, Korean Folk Village

Day 5: Gyeonggi-do

Day 6: Gyeongju
Food Tour

Day 7: Gyeongju
Seokguram Grotto

Bulguksa Temple

Cheomseongdae and Anapji Pond

Day 8: Busan
Railway Train in Korea

Day 9: Busan
Igidae Coast

Busan Fireworks Festival

Day 10: Busan
Haedong Yonggungsa Temple

Flying with Jeju Air

Day 11: Jeju (E)
Food Tour- Altang

Dragon Rock

Jusangjeolli Cliff

Teddy Bear Museum

The Seaes Resort

Day 12: Jeju (W)
Sunrise Peak


Trick Art

Folk Village

Sangamburi Crater, Mt.Halla

Manjanggul Cave, Maze Park


Day 13: Seoul
Flying with T'way Airlines

Couchsurfing in Korea

Day 14: Seoul
Palaces and Bukchon Village

Day 15&16: Seoul
Myeongdong and Ewha University

N Seoul Tower

Booking Flights
via T'way Airlines

Travel Report for South Korea
16 days travel itinerary and tips

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