Busan, South Korea (2 of 2)

Ok! Now, for the second half of my visit to Busan! The first half is here!

The morning of December 30th, we visited a noodle shop in the area… and I’m writing this so long after the fact that I forgot where it was ahh!! But they specialized in naengmyeonm which are long, thin, handmade noodles, that at this restaurant were made of buckwheat. We had to cut them a few times, but not too many apparently, or else it would shorten our lives! My dish was a lot less spicy than Justin’s which had red paste all over it!!

 

 

Then, we took a long bus ride to our hostel which was in the Haeundae Beach area, where we met up with Dawn and her visiting friend Grace and took it easy!

 

View from the bus!

That night though, we walked around our area in search of dinner… The area was really beautiful at night and very lively!

Street full of food stalls!

 

Aaaaaand we found a Korean barbecue place! :D Dawn was awesome and ordered in Korean for us, and manned the grill! First off, we had all these little dishes called banchan, which seems to be common in Korean meals. The main focus of the meal though, was BEEF! I am not sure what kind it was, ground beef I believe? But first the grill was warmed up, after which the waitress spread the meat out for us, and placed two mushrooms on each side. Then, she came back after a bit and started to flip all the meat and pat it down again. After a bit, it was ready to be eaten!!

 

Once the meat was ready, we took lettuce or sesame leaves and stuffed them with our choices of sauces, onions, garlic, sprouts, and of course, the beef! There may have been a few other types of fillings in there that I forgot or misnamed, my apologies! But using the lettuce or sesame leaf, we would wrap them up and eat them like little burritos. :) Super delicious, but a little messy!!

Me trying to fill my lettuce leaf…

After dinner, we walked around and headed off to find dessert, which came in the form of strawberry and cheesecake shaved ice. :) Delicious! We even walked along the dark beach for a bit, and took in the city lights.

The next morning, we headed out to the Busan Gamcheon Culture Village, which is a neighborhood built into the mountainside, resulting in steep streets, twisting alleys, and beautiful views. A poorer living district, the neighborhood received government money to spruce it up.  I am not sure how much it changed, as I am unable to find previous pictures (or maybe not as much changed as I though!) but the area now has a lot of visual art displays and hidden secrets that tourists can find if they just spend some time wandering through the streets. This may have been one of my favorite areas of Busan (maybe even South Korea!).

 We had to take a few buses to get there. Our last bus was a very short and small bus that was able to handle the sharp turns and small alleys that brought us to the top of the mountain where, we began our journey through the houses.

First, we had lunch in a very cute little restaurant looking over the city! The owners didn’t speak English, but were very kind. And look at that view!

Then, our adventure began! The day was really beautiful and clear! We were lucky! The sun was hitting the houses so nicely, and throwing sharp contrast between the shadows and the vibrant colors of the roofs and walls. It was a bit tiring to walk up all those stairs and shuffle down slopes, but we made it all the way around to the other side! Here are some of the things we saw on our way:

Grace, Dawn, and I!
Kitty friends sleeping. :)

The House of Light is a visual art display consisting of three rooms.  The plaque read the following:

 This work visualizes how the life changes according to the space and shows the changing colors of light in three parts. It also describes the life of ourselves who live and create relationship among the coming and going people. The attic at the end is a private place to obtain the light of dream and hope.

 It was interesting… You can see for yourself here!

Next, we found another art installation, this time consisting of white walls and sliding panels, and the invitation to write your message there. We each wrote something!

And we continued to find interesting surprises!

Dawn on a manual elliptical type thing in an exercising/health spot.
The view!
A cute little spot we found with a cafe to sit down and rest your weary feet.
There were a lot of things happening here! Murals, a wishing well, painted steps…
This wall installation is a collection of Korean letters, which make up the language of Hangul!
Me with the cultural village in the background!
A funny art installation made up of pants walking up a hill, carrying potted plants inside. Grace was telling Dawn to stand at the head of the line and walk along with them. :P
Cool wall mural!
Just another street on our way back!

We spent our entire day there, and at the end, we decided to have some dinner… which turned out to be SO spicy that we had to order some separate appetizers for me to eat haha. We got to eat with Dawn’s friends in Fulbright, who were a fun group! :) We talked a bit about differences between Japan and Korea and what it was like teaching abroad.

After dinner, we went out to a local bar to count down until midnight, which was interesting! New Year’s 2015, I spent in Quebec City with my friends Shan and Juli, and this New Year’s was in Busan with Justin and Dawn… I guess I will have to plan to switch it up again for New Year’s 2017!

Watching the countdown on the TV!

 

The really beautiful part about New Year’s in Busan though, was that we were able to head to the beach right before sunrise, join the masses, and watch the sun rise for the first time over the ocean! In freezing cold weather! :) It was a lot of fun, and the crowd made it kind of cozy!

 

Our group! Blurry because my phone is terrible. :(
People were lighting up red paper lanterns and letting them float into the morning sky, which was really beautiful!

We tried to light some sparklers on the beach that I had brought over from Japan, but they ended up being a little lack-luster. :( Maybe because of the wind!

Picture by Justin!
If you look closely, you can see some heads bobbing out of the ocean there. Those were swimmers who jumped into the ocean and did a little loop in the frigid waters! They were wearing full body suits to keep warm!

We went back to our hotel room to sleep for a bit, after which we woke up and headed to Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, which is a temple built into the hilly coast of northern Busan. It is a Buddhist Temple.  It was very crowded with people making New Year’s wishes, and is apparently also a popular spot for people to come watch the sun rise!

The Chinese zodiac animals all lined up. Many people were taking pictures with the monkey statue, as 2016 is the year of the monkey!
I was born in the year of the horse, so I took a picture with my zodiac animal.
Me with the ocean in the background!
I wasn’t sure which part was which, but the colors on the buildings and gates were beautiful.
This path of stone lanterns apparently has 108 steps, but it was blocked off due to construction!
A view of the temple from the other side. You can see the construction scaffolding a bit, but otherwise it was a beautiful sight!
We rested here for a while and enjoyed the sound of the sea and people talking around us.

We headed back after enjoying the temple for a bit, and ran off to grab lunch, and then head to the train station!

And that was my time in Busan! Next stop was Seoul. :) We took the Korean the KTX (Korea Train Express) from Busan to Seoul and in a few short hours we were there! I really liked Busan, even though it was very cold when we went. There were quite a few spots that I didn’t get to see, and I would like to go back one day! It was a lot of fun and I bet it has an awesome summer vibe. I would definitely recommend it! :)

 Next post will be about my time in Seoul!

A

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