Five reasons to visit Busan this fall

Five reasons to visit Busan this fall
The opening ceremony of the 2013 Busan International Film Festival is held at Busan Cinema Center.

Busan, Korea's second-largest city, nestled on the fascinating southern coast, has various attractions that beckon tourists all year round. They range from beautiful beaches and fresh local seafood to ultraconvenient mega shopping centers.

But if you happen to be a big fan of movies, fine art or computer games, or just want to explore the city's charms on a crisp, sunny day, fall is the best time to visit Busan.

Here are the reasons why:

Busan International Film Festival

In Busan, the arrival of fall means that it's time to roll out the red carpet.

Stars, big-name directors and their screaming fans will all be here for Asia's biggest and most prestigious film festival ― the Busan International Film Festival.

This year's BIFF will kick off on Oct. 2, with a glitzy red-carpet opening ceremony to be hosted by Japanese actor Ken Watanabe and Korean actress Moon So-ri.

During its event-packed 10-day run through Oct. 11, a total of 314 movies from 79 countries will be screened at various venues, including the city's signature Busan Cinema Center, Centum City and Haeundae Beach.

"This year, we discovered a variety of films from various countries to clearly differentiate (BIFF) from other film festivals," Lee Yong-kwan, the festival director, said during a news conference held in Seoul.

In conjunction with BIFF, the Asian Film Market, Asian Project Market and various conferences and forums on the film industry will be held, attracting movie-business insiders from all over the world. For more information, visit

Busan Fireworks Festival

A jaw-dropping spectacle of colour, light and grandiose music will take place over the night sky of Busan on Oct. 24-25, as the annual Busan Fireworks Festival returns for its 10th run.

The highlight of the two-day event is, without a doubt, the grand fireworks show on the evening of Oct. 25, which will overwhelm Gwangalli Beach, with some 1.5 million spectators expected to gather at various parts of the city for a better and fuller view of the extravaganza.

Nearly 85,000 fireworks will be set off, creating magnificent images including the famed "Niagara Falls," fireworks which cascading like a waterfall from a 1-kilometer section of the 7.4 km-long Gwangan Grand Bridge, and the magical flight of the phoenix.

The festival, which was started in 2005 to celebrate the APEC Summit in the city, will this year celebrate the International Telecommunication Union Plenipotentiary Conference, a major gathering of policymakers, experts and businesspeople in the field of communication and information technology that will open in the city on Oct. 20.

For more information on the festival, visit its official website:

ITU conference

Arguably the most important event in the global ICT industry, the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference will be held at BEXCO for three weeks from Oct. 20 through Nov. 7.

It is expected to bring together some 3,000 government officials, corporate executives and nongovernmental organisation workers to discuss and standardize a variety of pending technology issues related to cybersecurity, digital disparity and radio frequency allocations.

Participants will include some 150 minister level officials from 193 economies in the ITU, which is considered the United Nations of information and communication technology.

For the general public as well as industry people, it is an opportunity to get a glimpse into the future of ICT technology. On the sidelines of the ITU sessions, various events are planned such as the World IT Show, the Mobile 360 and a global industry summit on fifth-generation mobile communication. For details, visit

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