You’ll recognise Korean business etiquette if you’ve worked in China or Japan. Punctuality, conservative dress and respect for rank remain the golden rules. If an issue comes up a little way down the line expect it to be raised, and solved, informally. Drinking and dining with potential partners is normal. Busan, located on the South Korean coast, has a more laid-back atmosphere than fast-paced capital Seoul.
No surprises that there are plenty of international chains to chose from in South Korea’s second-largest city, including the likes of the beachside Westin Chosun (www.echosunhotel.com), which is five minutes from the Busan Exhibition and Convention Center (BEXCO) and 30 minutes from downtown Busan. Other good options are the Paradise Hotel (www.busanparadisehotel.co.kr), a member of Leading Hotels of the World, and the Lotte Hotel (www.lottehotelbusan.com) in central Busan.
The aforementioned Westin Chosun’s Kuromatsu restaurant comes with a recommendation from the South Korean tourist office, no less, with its sushi bar, banquet buffet and excellent seafood all proving popular. Another good option is the Opera House (www.opera-house.co.kr) in Hauendae which, despite its name, is all about fine dining rather than dramatic stage productions.
Korean Air flies from London Heathrow to Seoul Incheon with numerous onward connections to Busan Gimhae International Airport. The national carrier also has direct flights between Busan and Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Manila and several destinations in Japan. Other options include Asiana Airlines via Seoul, Lufthansa via Munich, Cathay Pacific via Hong Kong and JAL via Tokyo.
The Busan-Gimhae Light Rail Transit connects to the city’s Seobu Intercity bus terminal and the metro system (at two different locations). By road, limousine buses and regular city buses operate to central Busan and take around 40 minutes, while relatively cheap taxis are also available.
Busan and South Korea are nine hours ahead of GMT. The currency is the South Korean Wan. See: www.busancvb.org for more information on visiting Busan.
One of Busan’s biggest draws for visitors are its sandy beaches – such as Gwangalli, Haeundae and Songjeong – but more cultural attractions include the Beomeo-sa and Yonggung-sa temples and Geumjeong Fortress.
“For business meetings and presentations, it is very important and advisable to have a formal introduction to any person or company with whom you want to do business. The exchange of business cards is a formal affair and plays a very important role in an introduction”
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