Friday, September 09, 2016

A Day in Busan

One of the first things we did in Busan was teach this Korean
 할머니 (grandmother) the purpose of a selfie-stick. 
I almost called this post, "Busan, Round 2" but I thought this title was more accurate since my friend and I were only in Busan for a day--not even 24 hours if you want to be more exact. We landed at 10 in the morning and were gone just after 9 the next day.

We bought the tickets last week on a whim and then planned out a rough itinerary the night before thanks to a quick google search. Both of us were keen to see anything and we knew would have fun because we were travelling together. Still, I did not expect our day to be so full and so... productive. I think that's the only word for it.

So, here are a couple more things that you can do in Busan. (Click for what I talked about last time)
Meeting up with Changho to start our adventure!
Markets: 국제시장 & 부평깡통시장!
Like many airports, Gimhae is not in central Busan and it takes a while to get into the city. So, we decided to head to Gukje Market (국제시장) first--arriving just in time to explore a bit and grab some food. If you have the time, it's a lot of fun perusing what you can get at a Korean market.
Welcome to the visual chaos at the threshold.
From food to clothes to odds and ends, there are all sorts of things available. Some joke that you can get everything except for a husband or wife at some of the big markets around the country. Plus, you can find some delicious food to munch on while you explore (like Hoddeok/호뗙 a sweet fried rice cake, sorta, and ddeokbboki/떡뽁이 spicy rice cakes). We weren't as hungry as we thought we might be so we didn't actually eat a lot at the market and soon moved on.
Get your ddeokbboki/떡뽁이and extras here! 
That's a lot of
ice cream...
Nampo (남포) & Yongdusan Park (용두산 공원)
Who doesn't want a picture with a giant
pikachu doll?
Changho said that the market was for "older" people (and it's true we saw a lot of middle aged women and older buying things for their homes and such), so he urged us onward to the "young" area. If you've been to Seoul, think Hongdae/Shinchon (홍대/신촌). There were a lot of restaurants and bars as well as the necessary cute knickknack shops. Naturally, we explored a couple.

Our exploration led to the foot of an escalator leading up to Yongdusan. Yes, an escalator. It went up to the park but then you had to walk back down the stairs. ㅎㅎ. You can pay to go up the tower on the top of the mountain (very small mountain, I should qualify ㅋㅋㅋㅋ) and I think it was under 10,000 KRW, but as we were there in the middle of the day and it was cloudy, we decided not to. Night scapes are sometimes better from city towers. It was a relaxing space and we saw many ahjussis (아저씨) sleeping on benches. There was also an outdoor platform that looked like it was for concerts. Très cute.
Riding up the escalator because we can.  
At the top of the mountain.
Dala 100% Chocolate: Bingsu 
Address: 부산광역시 부산진구 전포대로209번길 18
*We were near Seomyeon station (서면역), but I don't know if that was the closest subway station*
In the hot humid weather, nothing is better than enjoying a delicious, cold, bingsu with friends. Especially when there is a giant dinosaur egg sitting on top.
bingsu bingsu bingsu
If you don't know what a Bingsu is, it is a shaved ice dessert, so similar in some ways to ice cream. I think typically they are made with flakes of condensed milk, but you can also find them made with ice. Usually a scoop of ice cream is added on top along with other toppings depending on your flavour of choice.

I'm not really a fan of chocolate and ice cream things--I just find they are too rich for me--but this treat was too cool to not try at least once. They cave you a small meat tenderizer (yeah... weird... but still) that you used like a hammer to bash the dino egg. Inside was a... a secret. You could order all sorts of other chocolaty treats if you didn't feel like bingsu. Choices for everyone!

Haeundae* (해운대)
Let's go to the beach!
Walking along the beach feels so nice!
Beach season is "officially" closed, but there were still a few people out swimming in the water. In the heat, I wished I had brought a swimsuit for a dip, too. Wading felt so good! But you had to be careful where you stepped. There were a number of jellyfish washed up onto the sand. I don't much about jellyfish, but I didn't want to get hurt by mistake--even though I really wanted to touch one.
Diana playing in the sand. 
Centum City, Spaland (신세계 스파랜드)
And last, but not least... Diana's favourite part of our trip: Spaland. This Jjimjilbang (찜질방) is located inside a mall. There is a discounted price if you go after 8pm, so we ate dinner and killed some time before going in. Some of us could easily have spent a full day here... sleeping. ㅋㅋㅋㅋ.
Wearing my lamb ears!

After you pay, they give you a wrist band and you then use this to monitor your tab inside the spa (so food and spa treatments). There were multiple sauna rooms ranging in temperatures. My friend said he saw a negative one, but the coldest I saw was 14 degrees. The hottest was in the 60s. I don't really like hot rooms, so I didn't try any, but both Diana and Changho explored a few. I enjoyed the footbath area as well as the really comfortable chairs in the lounge room. (They also have a room for sleeping).

And then of course, there are also the baths. Various temperatures are again available and there are also numerous shower and wash stations. They even provide some soap and shampoo if you didn't bring your own!

We stayed until almost midnight (when they close) and then made our way across the city to beds. Well... I went to bed. Diana had slept at Spaland and had energy to spare. I did not. ㅎㅎ

Definitely a good day in Busan and I hope to go back for more adventures in the future!

Love and Hugs.

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