Ever heard of Busan?
Well neither did I until my sister told us it is a must-see destination. She came to South Korea about 3 years ago to participate in The Talk Program (English-speaking students who teach Koreans how to speak,read, and write English). I encourage anyone interested in visiting Korea to check it out at http://www.talk.go.kr//talk/talk/talk_intro/intro.jsp
Back to Busan…it’s Korea’s largest port city filled with endless excitement and pleasant surprises.
After a 6 hour bus ride (35,000 Won or $35) from Kyongju, we made it!!!! This city is beautiful in every way possible. We debated what we should do with our luggage since we weren’t staying the night. My sister remembered that at the train stations there are lockers. Good thing because we could not have carried those puppies everywhere! Now, the difficult part. How do we use a locker. Directions? Can’t read them…any of us. Coins? We had a few. Ways to hold this stuff? Non-existant. So, we creepishly watched others put the money at a central machine and then punch in a locker number. We copied them and then a locker popped open! Yipeee! Its the little things that can make my day brighter hehe We shoved our belongings into two locker and paid W2,000 for each large locker. I carried a small bag for the keys and my wallet. I do want to mention that inside bus terminals they have food courts, snack places, and medicine shops. WARNING: medicine shops are a bit dangerous because no prescription is necessary so be wary of anything you put into your body. My sister was sore from the climb and wanted something to help her body recover. She purchased some medicine that they said would make her soreness go away. However, this backfired I’ll share more later.
So we headed to the Busan Subway :) We picked up a map of Busan at the bus terminal. On the subway, which accepts T-Money (insert mini squeal of happiness),However, you won’t be able to reload the card. If you don’t want to purchase a new subway card in Busan, make sure to reload your T-money before heading there. Also, subway hours are roughly 5am to midnight. We studiously examined the map. We chose to travel along Line 2 (2호선) (subway lines) since we only had one whole day to explore. We began at Haedong Yonggungsa Temple (해동 용궁사). It is situated on the coast of the north-eastern portion of Busan. This temple offers the rare find of a temple along the shore line.
Then we bowed to pay respects to our ancestors and my parents (Love/Miss them!)
The view was breathtaking.
On our way out there were statues of the animals that represent your horoscope.
Next, we stopped by International Market in Nampondong (Gukje Market) and the Busan tower. The market is fun just to browse through there are so many different kinds of food, little quirky shops with towels, tea cups, and everything else you could imagine. I am a lover of theok (pounded rice or rice cake as some people call it). It is chewy, faint rice flavor, and covered/stuffed/yumminess! We found suk theok, sukk aka mugwort powder, very nutritious, is grinded and mixed with the rice and then covered with yellow toasted soy bean powder. Wow thinking about it this sounds gross..how can it be so delicious though!? hehe oh gosh I began by sharing some with my brother and sister, but they found marinaded fried chicken, crispy green onion pancakes, so I put the rice cake in my bag (which I secretly ate by myself while we were walking towards the Busan Tower hehe ). After so random turning/pointing/map turning we made it to The Busan Tower, located inside Yongdusan Park, remains one of the best spots to see the whole city – water and land – in a sweeping 360 degree view. While not as tall as the Seoul Tower, I liked the view from Busan better – and less pollution meaning less haze. At 120 meters tall (about 394 feet), it’s Busan’s most obvious and well-known landmark, and is located inside a fully-fledged park.
Also, in the heart of the park there was an outdoor performance, including traditional mask dance and folk songs, which are held until autumn for locals and tourists. Men at the park playing baduk,
here are 181 black stones and 180 white stones. Black plays first.
The two opponents play alternatively, one move each time. A move consists of placing a stone on an empty intersection.
Once placed on the board, stones don’t move (other than getting captured and eliminated from the board). It was cool to see people playing this game in real life because I had only browsed by channels at home on my grandparent’s Korean television!
It was wonderful to watch and take pictures. Honestly, there isn’t too much to do so we took pictures and then went on The ’40-step Culture & Tourism Theme Street.’ A 450m-street which starts from the Jungang-dong branch office of KB Bank and runs to the 40-step stairway of the ’40-step Cultural Center’ and continues on to the Palseong Tour. The time-honored 40-step stairway embodies the joys and sorrows of refugees and those displaced by the Korean War. It was sad to see some of the statues and stories, but a nice reminder to cherish those who fought for freedom and peace. We picked up some snacks along the way our next stop! Let me introduce some of the best finds anywhere in Korea….Fish Cake (think fish sausage) haha yummy! then melon ice cream; for those lactose intolerant (including me) this kind of water/sugar based cold treat doesn’t upset my stomach yipee! & the triangle bap (rice) its seaweed on outside with a line of tuna or kimchi in the rice SUPER yummy fast food found in any grocery or convenience store also, you must follow the unwrapping directions or you will have a mess in your hands haha learn by experience ;)
This is where we went next and it was the first time our brother had searched/led/found independently a place! Yipee! It is definitely hard to search for some place without asking others or getting lost haha After walking so much we took a trip to Haeundae Beach (해운대 해수욕장) to soak in the night life! :)
My sister wrote something, but I can’t remember what it was..</3Those little people up there are my sister and I :) The lights on the bridge light up at night. It was beautiful!
After a nice stroll, we saw a bunch of people screaming, jumping up and down, and cameras flashing…what could it be…
Just a Par-TAY so we dance, shouted, and left haha
to go to THIS PLACE :) Yummy in my tummy. It was abolone, sausage, uncured bacon, and cheese with rice cakes all on the bbq! Super jjang (cool)! After dinner, we picked up our things from the lockers and took the KTX home to grandmas! KTX (Korean Train Express) is the fastest way to travel. Although, it is more expensive than the bus. However, the medicine my sister took earlier (mentioned above) kicked in and were destroying her kidneys. So we wanted to get her home fast!
So long Busan!
Next stop @ Seoul Station…and buses stopped running :X So, we took a taxi.
To DO: Go to Busan and try some rice cakes! ;)