Thursday, December 12, 2013

Busan Fireworks Festival

If you are ever in Korea during October, you MUST add The Busan Fireworks Festival to your list. I'm not exaggerating at all when I say:


But even setting the teenage girl twitter lingo aside, it was hands-down the best fireworks show I've ever seen. For realizies. It might even be my most favorite Korea memory thus far. It's THAT GOOD. Go. No excuses. Get there.

This year, it took place on October 26. It's always the last weekend of October. We tried to go last year, but it got rained out and postponed to the Sunday and unfortunately everyone in my group had to work on Monday morning, so we couldn't stay an extra night. This single event might have contributed to my decision to stay in Korea longer than one year... just kidding, but it certainly was worth it!

The fireworks actually launch on Saturday night over Gwangan Bridge and the spectators view them from Gwangalli Beach. There is typically a concert on Friday night with some big K-Pop star, but I didn't pay attention to that this year.

Because it's a very popular event and the beach for spectators isn't that huge, I was nervous about the crowds. I'd heard reports from previous years that the beach would be insanely crowded, putting a damper on the entire experience. I absolutely believed them, cause I've been to some concerts in Korea that were CRAZY MEGA CROWDED to the point of death. That's not the kind of viewing experience I wanted for a fireworks show, no matter how incredible they would be.

To my surprise and relief, the beaches were managed really well this year!! Before the weekend, I'd tried to figure out an alternative viewing location but there aren't a lot of options, so to the beach we went. Some friends got to the beach around 4 and saved spots; my group arrived a little before 5 and the beach was already crowded but not unbearable. They actually closed access to the beach before 7, which was brilliant!! They'd stamp your hand if you had to run to the port-a-potties or leave the beach to grab some food, then they'd check for your stamp to allow you back on the beach. I was impressed! Maybe it's cause I expected the worst, but I've definitely experienced worse crowds many times over. This was very reasonable for such a popular event!

The fireworks were scheduled for 8 pm, so we had some time to kill. I brought cards and we chatted and goofed around waiting for the show to start.

We grabbed a bottle of wine and snacks and settled in for the evening. We also saw vendors walking up and down the beach selling food. What a set up! The weather was beautiful and clear all day, thank God, and the temperature dropped a lot once the sun went down. Perfect for October. We got to bundle up and snuggle ^^

AND THEN IT BEGAN. I'll let the pictures and video clips speak for themselves, but there's no way to capture the full experience. Mesmerizing. Part of me wishes I'd taken 100 more photos, but I don't really care... I was too wrapped up in the beauty and enormity of the spectacular. 

Video clips! 

Whoa. Right? 

Take a deep breath. 

Whoa. Yeah. 


Since it was the weekend before Halloween, and I was super excited about it being almost Halloween, we costume-headbanded-up and went for a drink after the show to let the subways clear out a little. We found a pub with a great view of the bridge and Halloween decorations to boot! It was a good night!! 

OH last thing -- this manikin was dressed as a passed-out-homeless-Superman in the subway!! The cardboard sign says something like, "The Busan police are so good, I don't have anything to do" -- LOLOLOLOL! 

All-in-all, we had a blast! THE FIREWORKS, Y'ALL. I can't recommend them enough. Plus, the beach was well-managed, comfortable and not too crowded. AND THE FIREWORKS. I can't wait for next year!!!!! Oh, Busan, I love you dearly!

**My apologies that this post took nearly 2 months to get out. I had a bit of trouble getting the photos off my phone after the iOS 7 update. Not to mention, November flew at the speed of light! HOLY MOLY Christmas in in 2 weeks!!!! WHAT?!??!!? YAY! 

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