Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Busan, At Last

(Dated 7.29-31.2016)

I thought that my second attempt to go to Busan would end at that: an attempt. As I was on my way to the airport Friday after work, I got the first message that my flight was delayed about an hour. Something to do with a congested runway, I think. That hour turned into 2.5, but my plane did take off and I made it at last to the seaside city.

What a weekend. Very little sleep (in part due to surprise adventures and misinformation) and too many mosquito bites later (seriously. over 35 on my right leg alone. I am so itchy!), I returned tired but happy to Jeju. Here are two of the highlights of my weekend. With a one more typical tourist things, and one a little less tourist-y. Ha.

Starting with the latter: My Night Hike of Busan
This was partly unexpected due to missing information. I was told we were going on a night hike by my host so I expected a late night, but what I didn't know was that it was a hike to see the sunrise. Oops. I generally don't do all nighters. Sleep and I have a somewhat jealous relationship. We can't stand being apart for too long, but well, I suppose waiting for the sunrise is a good reason.
From a hidden beach at around 00:30.
We started in Nampo-dong (남포동) and headed toward the water, walking along the coast when we could as we headed east. Out trail eventually led to Bongraesan (봉래산) which was the most strenuous climb on our hike and the tallest peak out of the three on our route.
From the top of Bongraesan at around 3:00.
The sky beginning to change colour as we waited for the sunrise. It was really humid/hazy... 5:20.
We slowly made our way along the mountain range, south to the smallest peak which also had the best view of the sunrise. It was a little cloudy, but it was still stunning. I was well beyond tired, and we still had to get down, but I was definitely happy that I said yes to the hike.
At last we saw the sun break through the cloud cover, 5:50.
Next, Gamcheon Cultural Village (감천문화마을)
This village is one of the more famous tourist spots of Busan. It's a whole neighbourhood that used to be a real eyesore in the city and was known for being really poor. Then, sometime in the later half of the 1900s, people started painting the buildings and from there it became a work of art. Now people come from all over to see how this poor community changed into something beautiful. I don't know how the residence feel about that, but it is somewhat cool to walk around. There are a number of cool things to look at and there are some awesome lookouts, too.
My first view of the village. Can you find the building shaped like a mug?
After walking around, I came to this lookout toward the sea and couldn't resist a picture!
I paid a couple thousand won to get a stamp booklet and map. It takes you through the village with some information about key areas and some of the artworks. You can also collect 16 stamps and get 2 postcards. As I love maps and finding things, this was right up my alley.
Canadian fish must swim together. It took me a while to find this little guy.
I didn't really have a huge agenda for that Saturday afternoon and I really enjoyed slowly exploring the village during the afternoon. The village is a tourist spot for a reason and I think it is definitely worth a visit. I think it's really amazing how the people came together to turn something rundown into something people really want to visit and explore.

All in all, I loved my first trip to Busan and hopefully when I'm next there I'll be able to see more cool things and awesome people.

Onto the next adventure, I suppose. =P

Love and Hugs.