My boyfriend and I were just offered two couples positions in Busan and need to decide where to go, either Saha or Gimhae- Newtown. We are still here in the states so we would love to hear what you guys have to say about either place!
I would need more information about what you want to do with your free time and such. I am a middle-aged family man and see little difference between the two locations.
Gimhae is connected to Busan by an excellent rail line so it is not far from the bigger city. The parts of Gimhae I have seen are beautiful.
Saha is a pleasant place and I live there now, but there is nothing compelling or thrilling about it. There don't seem to be many English-speaking foreigners around and I go to other districts to buy specialty western food.
Where is it exactly in Saha . SAha is a wide area .
Both areas of Busan are quite old, though Gimhae is much farther out from the more central, and popular areas of Busan. You're looking at an hour at least to get to places like Haeundae, Gwangan, and even Seomyeon. So it doesn't really matter where, specifically, you are in either area...they're both lacking in great, foreigner-friendly places and are a very far cry from the beaches and nightlife that the majority of the expat community tends to enjoy.
I've known a few people living out in those areas who wished they were on the opposite end of the city. I also know someone who outright hated living there.
We lived in Hadan, a part of Saha, for six months and there really isn't much out there, though our last trip through Saha/Sinpyeong revealed that they're really building that area into something a bit more modern and appealing. So lots of the buildings there are getting upgrades and facelifts and what have you...and there have been a plethora of newer, more modern apartments that were built in the last 5 years. Do not settle for an older apartment in those areas, as they tend to be rather crappy.
I think it also greatly depends on how diligent you will be in making the long commute to the better parts of the city.
All in all, I can't say that I'd enjoy living in either area again. After living in the Kyungsung and Haeundae areas, we've been kind of spoiled. Maybe there are people out there who know of some hidden gems that Saha and Gimhae have to offer that aren't common knowledge...but I can't even begin to imagine what they'd be.
Also, beware! Employers/recruiters know full well that those areas aren't very popular at all, and they tend to have a hard time drawing in foreigners who have their sights set on areas like Seomyeon, Gwangan, Haeundae, Jangsan, etc.
They will tell you ANYTHING and EVERYTHING to get you thinking that there is every reason to live in those areas just so they can fill the positions...or they might not even tell you anything at all (happened to us).
In regards to being a long way from everything you need to put it in perspecitve. In terms of the actual land area of the city Busan is absolutely tiny and has amazing infrastrucutre to get you anywhere. Personally I love the convenience of being able to get from my house to any where I'd want to go in this city in under 20 minutes but even from Saha or Gimhae you'll be able to get anywhere in less than an hour on the subway or 20-40 minutes in a cab (probably $15 to $25). If you compare that to a similarly populpous western city like Sydney or Toronto it's not really bad at all.
work agents refer to saha even if its dadapo . Whats exact location of the job ?
My husband and I just moved to the Saha area and we love it. We're in Dadaepo. We were in Seoul on our first contract but somehow ended up signing a contract in Dadaepo the second time around. The scenery is beautiful, and yeah its far away from Hauendae but theres enough around for us to do. We can be in Nampo dong in less than 45 mins, go hiking, walk down to the beach, and theres enough amentities around (places to eat, cheap pizza shops, western chains like Baskin Robbins and Pizza Hut, stores, etc) to satisfy. I like Hauendae but I also like being somewhere where I'm not in a sea of other foreigners the way it was in Seoul and it's easy enough to make it to all the other parts of the city on the weekend when you're exploring. I dont really know anything about Gimhae but I think it's also pretty far out as other posters mentioned. Check out the group on facebook http://www.facebook.com/groups/154086454645691/ if you're still considering Saha. Feel free to PM me for any info as well if you like.
A friend lived in Kimhae for a year and liked it a lot. If the 'social' scene ain't your thing, I hear it's a nice place to live and has some great countryside around it. Although there is a foreign owned bar (by an Indian guy I think) there.
Saha Gu also has some nice scenic areas around it especially the bird sanctuary, some good mountains and Dadaepo beach. And Song Do island isn't that far as well, which has a nice beach and is way less busy in peak seasons.
Also Dong-A university is in Saha so plenty of cheap restaurants. Don't know about the westerner scene, but there will be plenty of bars.