Thursday, October 25, 2012

Busan – Part 1

My friends and I decided to go to Busan, a city in the far tip of the Korean peninsula, before it got too cold! We first made our way to Seoul Station, the absolute hub for metro traffic in Seoul! It’s a gigantic station. (remember to click the pictures to see them bigger!)

There are idols on huge billboards here. We thought it was funny that TOP from Big Bang was saying “Hola” (we really wanted to hear his deep voice speak Spanish!) 

Anyway, after Kristen and I met up with Marissa and her boyfriend (who came to see her off…what a great guy!), we headed to the KTX loading center in the station.

For those who don’t know, KTX is Korea’s version of the bullet train. It got us from Seoul to Busan in a little under 3 hours. The inside was pretty standard, nothing too special.

The train started perfectly on time, it was great. And then we were on our way to Busan!

None of us had ever been (including Marissa, who’s been teaching here), but we were incredibly eager!
The view on the way there was beautiful. We got lucky and caught the sunset! There were lots of farmlands, mountains, and clusters of cities and towns the whole way there.

Finally we arrived at Busan after a while!

As soon as you walked out of the station the air felt fresher. You could tell the ocean was close by. It was so amazing to get a big, deep breath and feel the breeze from the water! Right out of the station, they had a huge welcoming statue/fountain.

Really cool. Lots of people ask me if it’s identical to Seoul. No, Busan isn’t identical in size or style…it’s a very big place, but it’s not as crowded or stacked as Seoul is. It also had a different feel from Seoul…it’s hard to describe, but it seemed more calm and laid back in Busan, which I really loved.

As you can tell by the pictures, high rises aren’t completely swarming the entire area. We walked for just a little bit and found our motel (just a street away from the ocean!) and settled in for the night. For anyone interested in going, we stayed at Big Apple Motel. The rooms were really great!

They had a hilariously effective way of draining the water from the bathtub/shower and sink, but it wasn’t a big deal. We actually loved it, it was so funny. Aside from that, everything was wonderfully clean.  (also, the room comes with a huge tv and a computer with internet. No wifi.) We headed out to find a bite to eat and ended up at one of the few open places, a Chicken and Beer place.

The chicken was delicious, and we skipped on the beer. We then headed back to just chill out in our room and eat some snacks we picked up at the GS25. Then we woke up at around 7am the next morning to hop on a bus and go to a jimjilbang (찜질). I’d wanted to go to one for quite some time now but had never had the chance. These are public bathhouses with a bunch of other sauna styled rooms. Since one of my friends wasn’t really comfortable going to the public bath section, we settled on the saunas instead!

It was so much fun! They had an oxygen room (extremely peaceful…I almost fell asleep!), an ice room, which was my favorite one. It was probably around 34degrees Fahrenheit in there, but it felt awesome.
There were two hot rooms, one that wasn’t that bad and one that felt like hell. It was terrible, but also awesome. You started sweating the instant you walked inside. I couldn’t take pictures of the inside of them, use of phones wasn’t allowed and it was too dark to take pictures anyway.

We had an awesome time at the jimjilbang, and we left at around noon. We still had a ton left to do that day! After our time there we went next door to the trick eye museum. It was so fun! I won’t put a ton of pictures up, just a few. It’s a fun, interactive photo place~

The inside is just a bunch of different places to take pictures with the trick paintings or setups!

And after we spent a while here, we headed back to our motel to get some lunch and then go to Haeundae beach.  Here are some photos of the area we were in while we were walking to the subway station~

I’ll stop this entry here because it’s getting a bit long. (also because it’s 12:31am and I have a presentation tomorrow morinng!) Please stay tuned for part 2 entry of my Busan trip!

1 comment:

  1. I love these pics of you all with the trick paintings - thanks for sharing your adventures Kaia! xoxo