Busan Fireworks Festival

All of these amazing photos were taken by my good friend Ian. You can find more of his beautiful work here.
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This was my third time going to see the fireworks in Gwangali and just like the other two years they were unbelievably impressive. This festival is the one that I tell every new person in Korea not to miss. There are hundreds of festivals in Korea throughout the year but this is easily the most unique one that I have visited.Growing up in Ireland we saw some fireworks but they would usually last about 10 minutes and were pretty standard so the first year that I visited the fireworks festival I had no idea what was about to happen.

The fireworks show is an impressive 45 minutes long with different themes throughout, they are also synchronized perfectly with music. Every time that you think that they can’t get better…they do

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At one stage the entire sky was just filled with fireworks and I just had to stand there in awe realising that I will probably never see fireworks like this again in my life. It was quite a sobering moment.

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Now, to the one thing that I dislike about the festival…the crowds. Because it is such a great display there are usually nearly a million people on and around the beach. That’s not a figure that I’m making up and considering that Ireland’s entire population is about 4 million this figure blows my mind.

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The first year that we went was tough because we spent the entire time getting pushed and shoved. The second year we decided to go extra early and got there before the crowds. We secured a place on the beach and waited around for 7 hours until the show started. Yes this was a long time to wait but we were lucky as entry to the beach was controlled so it didn’t get too crazy and we had a front row view to the fireworks.

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This year it was our friend Michelle’s birthday and she had organised for us to have dinner in a restaurant on the beach. The cost of the dinner also included viewing the fireworks from their rooftop. We managed to skip all of the crowds by doing this and it was a fun way to watch the fireworks (there was still about 100 people on the rooftop!)

michelle

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I also heard that this year for the first time there was a section of the beach closed off especially for foreigners. They even had seating set up there too.

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So whatever you do, if you are ever in Korea in October go and see the fireworks!!

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