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Tuesday 14 April 2015

An Insight of Busan And My Korean Air Adventure Part 2 (PUS-GMP)

Welcome to my Korean Air's Boeing 737-900 Return Trip!

This is a continuation of my part 1. In this section, I did an insight of Busan and some useful tips and the usual trip report, hopefully, you find the information useful.

An Insight of Busan

I would definitely recommend this city to anyone who is thinking of coming. Just do it, its worth the visit. I may have stayed there for only a couple of days, it wasn't enough to explore the best of Busan. However, I managed to visit a few tourists places, so it wasn't just a flying trip. I have to return there to complete my tour. Meanwhile, do enjoy the photos. 

From the arrival hall to the hotel

Busan has two buildings: Domestic and International and they are about less than a kilometre apart. The domestic terminal isn't very big so it wasn't difficult to find your way around.

To get to the city, the best way to get there is to first take the monorail to Sasang station and change for the Metro line to other places, all depends on where you are living. The troublesome part is I can't use the T-money card on the monorail, had to buy a one-way ticket for it but for the metro, you can use the T-money card. 

For this case, my hotel was near Seomyeon Station so I took the light rail from the airport station to Sasang and changed for line 2 to Seomyeon, it was quite convenient.

It was raining when I arrived and didn't stop until the end of the day.

The light rail station was just right outside of the airport, you can't miss it. 

I paid 1300 Korean Won for the one-way ticket to Sasang Station.

The hotel was located in this exciting part of town, it reminds me of Taipei's Ximending. 

There it is, my stay for a couple of nights. I was drenched when I reached there, fortunately, I didn't fall sick. 

The nice hotel manager allowed me to check out the rooms, to choose between the Korean or Western Style room. I went with the former, wanted to sample the Korean style. 

I paid about U.S$50 per night and it was worth it. Good location and facilities. 

This was the Western-style room, looks decent but I can get this elsewhere. 

Had a couple hours of rest before I ventured out in the evening. 

The nightlife of Busan!

I settled dinner at a decent looking restaurant and I had this for dinner and yes I managed to finish them all! 

The chicken wings were spicy but excellent. I washed it down with Pepsi - bad choice, I should have a beer instead.

Some photos were taken during my tour around this beautiful city.

Seomyeon neighbourhood district

The photo was taken at Dongbaeseom Island

The weather before was bad, luckily it was good on my free day.

A typical Korean shop in Busan.

I stopped by at Mark Coffee Roasting for a delicious cup of Ethiopia Momora Natural Coffee from a Korean aviation enthusiast! 

After that, I stopped by a cafe to enjoy this burger before making my way back to the hotel for a short rest.

The streets near my hotel. 

Had this delicious noodle soup for dinner, cost me only 4500 Won. 

Korean Chocolate dessert! 

On the day of departure 

Time certainly passed fast! I picked the 4 pm flight so that I didn't have to rush to the airport, I went out in the morning to enjoy lunch before making my way to the train station with my luggage reluctantly to the airport.

Taking the light rail from Sadang Station to Gimhae International Airport stop.

Welcome to Gimhae Airport! For this trip there, I wasn't very keen on leaving, this tells you everything!

Heading to the domestic terminal. 

Whether that day was much better. 

The Arrival Hall

Departure Hall

Like the other Korean Airports, Free WiFi is available over here.

The interior of Gimhae Domestic terminal

I headed to the Korean Air counter to do the check-in, the staff was friendly and within minutes, I received my boarding pass. She wasn't sure about my passport stuff, went to ask her supervisor and when she came back, keyed in some stuff then handed my boarding pass and passport to me. 

My Boarding Pass 

After checking-in, I went to the food court on the 2nd level to grab lunch.

Located on the 2nd level, domestic terminal, a good variety of local dishes. 

Had the beef soup - so delicious! (8000 Won) 

Once that was done, I had around 2 hours left. I decided to head over to the International terminal to have a look.

To get to the international terminal, go to the arrival hall

Take a little stroll, it takes around 10 minutes to get there.

Lovely weather for walking, it wasn't cold at that time.

This terminal seems quite new as you can see here it is not completely finished.

Time to explore the International terminal.

Interior looks different from the domestic. 

The terminal is not big. This is the departure hall.

This is the arrival hall

After that, I headed back to the domestic terminal as it was about an hour and a half before departure, I decided to hang out at airside. 

This is how Busan's domestic airside looks like. It is quite small. Free WiFi is available and the connection is pretty good.

This was where I was departing, a gate on its own at the other end. 

Jeju Air flight departed before mine.

Once the crowd was gone, it was my turn to wait. Looking at the weather, it should be a better day for flying.

My Flight Route: PUS-GMP 

Looking at flightradar24, HL7727 was taking me back to GMP. The aircraft was coming in from Jeju. 

My ride: HL7727 

Photo credit to respective airliners.net photographers

Date: 20th March 2015
Airline: Korean Air 
Flight: KE1118
Route: PUS-GMP
Aircraft: Boeing 737-900
Registration: HL7727
Date of delivery: 31st August 2004
Configuration: C8Y180
Engines: 2 X CFM56-7B24
Line number: 1536
Gate: 17 
Seat: 34A 
Load: 90% 
Duration: 40 mins 
FL: 260 
Time for departure: 1630 
Boarding: 1630 
Push back: 1648 
Take off: 1653
The actual time of arrival: 1733
Schedule time of arrival: 1725
Departure runway: 18R
Arrival runway 14R

The gate was filled with waiting passengers waiting for the arrival of the aircraft, it came not very long before the scheduled departure time which means late departure. True enough, boarding only started at the scheduled departure time and this time around, the flight was quite full, mostly businessmen and women heading back. 

Once I stepped onto the aircraft, I was greeted warmly by the waiting crew and one of them took my ticket to have a look and spoke something in Korean which I guess she was telling me the direction to my seat. 

The arrival of my aircraft! 

Almost there and why did that Korean passenger turn around? Hmmm...

I didn't take many cabin shots this time around since the cabin is similar to HL7717. 

The Economy Class Cabin

I was very lucky, if I picked the seat behind, I would have gotten a windowless seat! Be warned: Seat 34A (Windowless), 34F has window though.

This is my window seat, just in front of the 35A. 

Looks pretty tight, right?

My leg confirms it but it is bearable for a short flight. 

Sitting at the front this time and there is a reason for it. 

Time to say goodbye to the Boeing 737-900!

The reason is I can get an engine-and-wing view shot.

The seats were quite comfortable. 

My Flight experience

There was no reason given for the delay but that wasn't a problem since the aircraft managed to arrive less than 10 minutes after the scheduled arrival time. This time around, my flight was more enjoyable mainly because of the good flying condition. The cabin crew were just as friendly as the crew on my previous flight, I was disappointed at all. 

The aircraft pushed back once everyone was on board. Engines were started and we were soon on our way to Seoul Gimpo. It was a relatively smooth flight, just some bumps along the way but the seat belt sign was off for most of the cruising part. The cabin crew came around to serve us beverages, the same as the other airlines. 

It was eventful for the rest of the flight and we landed just a few minutes after scheduled arrival time and we were at the gate not long after. No issue at all, it just that my time at Busan went passed too quickly for my liking. That's a good thing I suppose whenever one goes on a holiday, you are supposed to be enjoying yourself. 

I had Coke this time

Window shot photos 

From take-off to landing at Gimpo. 

Unfortunately, the sun was facing the aircraft. This is the angle I want, to photograph the scenery with the wing and engine in it. 

Off to Gimpo! 

Goodbye, Busan! I'll be back. 

Weather was much better for flying that day, just some small bumps.

Not long after, we started our descend. 

This was my first time arriving in Gimpo in daylight. 

We touched down smoothly and this concludes my short trip to Busan.

I saw the Korean Air's Boeing 777-200ER Sky team livery from a distance, can you spot it?

Almost there, taking photos of the airport exterior is legal, just don't take any photos of the military base if you pass by it. 

We parked at Gate 9, the same gate I departed from. 

My rating

Airline's website: 8/10 
Busan On Ground Service: 7/10
Busan Airport Experience: 7/10 
In-flight service: 8/10 
Seat comfort: 6/10
Cabin interior: 9/10
Cleanliness: 10/10 
Punctuality: 7/10
Aircraft condition: 10/10
Overall rating: 74/90

My thoughts on Busan

My first trip to Busan has definitely struck an impression on me. Spending only 3 days and 2 nights there was not enough. I fell in love when I stepped out of the station, heading to the hotel despite the rain. There is a mixture of Seoul, Taipei and Tokyo feeling to it while walking down the streets, admiring the scenery around me. Thankfully, the weather was much better the following day and had a good time exploring the other part of the city. I highly recommend Dongbaeseom Island. While you are there, you should drop by Haeundae Beach, it is worth it - beautiful is the word. I get lots of inspiration from these places, giving me new ideas and solutions for current problems while lying down on the beautiful beach. 


Korean Air has certainly proven itself to be serious in the airline industry. The locals focus a lot on service and I can see that clearly on the crew's performance. All of them so far (On my 4 flights with this airline) have been professional and outstanding in my eyes. I won't worry a bit when flying with this airline, as it has gained my trust and confidence. Among all the airlines in the Skyteam, this airline is probably one of the best, along with KLM. I hope that the flight crew can warn passengers and cabin crew of possible rough ride (GMP-PUS flight) so that they can be mentality prepared and avoid any potential injuries after all safety should be the top of the priority. I had comments about the 'Nut Rage' incident and I can tell you that has nothing to do with the rest of the staff working for this airline and besides she has gotten her punishment, so let this matter rest. 

Thank you for reading!

Click here for part 1. 


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