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Shopping in Haeundae


With a weak won and high taxes on flights, nothing is more welcomed to the needy shopper than the completion of the two new department stores in Centum City, Haeundae, Busan. Combined the two department stores make possibly the best shopping complex in South Korea. As with most things, when Koreans put their minds to something, they are capable of making a world class product, and in Centum city, they’ve managed just that.

The view from Shinsegae

The view from Shinsegae



The new skyscrapers that rise up around BEXCO (Busan Exhibition Corporation) and Gangwali bridge are impressive to say the least. Some of the towers rise over 60 stories, crowding the night sky.  The area around Haeundae beach has developed rapidly in a few years, and now the new expressway from Ulsan to Busan make it a 25 minute drive from Mugeodong (though also easily accessible south of Samsandong if you follow Hwy 14). The new expressway cuts through from some fantastic countryside to drop right down to the massive new department stores.


The Lotte is large, quite a bit bigger than the Ulsan location, but Lotte is not the attraction. Though both stores are located centrally, across from Bexco and right on top of the Centum City subway station, Shinsegae is the real attraction. It contains more than9 stories of shops and galleries. Right now there is an Andy Warhol exhibit.

The Shinsegae contains a skating rink, golf driving range, and a full spa, as well as a massive department store and mall. The shopping mall would easily stand shoulders with shopping locations in Hong Kong, Osaka and Tokyo, BUT, it’s right here in Busan. There are all of the luxury brands imaginable, all for the insane prices you couldn’t afford if you started kocking over Family Marts.


Across the road is BEXCO, which is constantly hosting new events, car shows, art galleries and conferences. This area is full of exciting shops and restaurants, though sometimes the distances are too far to go by foot. About 2 km away from Centum City is the APEC center, and of course, Haeundae Beach. But that will come later, when the weather begins to turn warmer.