Monday, January 30, 2017

Train to Busan

Studying abroad would not feel complete if I didn't get the opportunity to travel outside of Seoul, which is why I decided to take a weekend trip to Busan. Luckily, we had Fridays off, which meant we had 3 day weekends to ourselves to do whatever we want. Planning an itinerary was difficult at first because we had so many places we wanted to visit, yet so little time to explore Busan to its fullest.

Below are some of the spots we visited:
  • Nampo-dong
  • Jagalchi Market
  • Haeundae Beach
  • Busan Film Festival
  • Gukje/Mokja Alley
  • Shinsegae Mall
  • Lotte Department Store
Gentle Monster display (Busan branch only)
Hoddeok Stand in BIFF
The area we stayed at (Nampo-dong area) was relatively nice and not that different from Seoul. We were walkable distance from the shopping district. I was able to pick up a few clothing items from the road shops, and loved how the prices were slightly lower than they were in Seoul for similar pieces. Snagging a cute floral dress, a t-shirt and skirt for just 20,000 won? What a steal!

The food markets are also located close to Nampo--Busan Film Festival (BIFF) area in particular is filled with many street food stands whether you are there in the morning or at night. Trying the nuts and sugar filled hoddeok is a must when you are at BIFF. Fishcakes and seafood are also well known in Busan. The food courts of both Lotte and Shinsegae department stores are worth visiting if you are into exploring more food options in an indoor spot. There are drinks, desserts, bakeries, and various cuisines.
Bibimdangmyeon from Gukje Alley
Fish Cake Store

Lotte Mall's Busan branch is also unique because of its indoor water fountain and its specially designed outdoor garden and rooftop.

 For dinner, we went to Jagalchi Market for fresh seafood.

The next morning, we took a bus from our airbnb to Haeundae Beach. The bus ride was roughly 45 minutes from the Nampo neighborhood.

Twinning with our matching dresses from Nampo street stores~

 Some other spots I have been to in the past that are worth visiting:
  • Gamcheon Village
  • Busan Tower
  • Taejongdae

Gamcheon Village is worth a visit, but do keep in mind that you will spend a few hours here just trying to navigate through the colorful houses. However, it is really nice once you get to the top of the neighborhood, where you can watch the sunset. Many of the houses are decorated with cute murals, great for a quick photo session!

The Busan Tower is similar to the Namsan Tower back in Seoul. Instead of a cable car, there is a long escalator that brings you up to the base of the tower. It's worth a visit to see the city from above at night, and there is a souvenir shop where you can purchase goods or postcards, and even mail it out there! (They provide stamps!) On the otherhand, Taejongdae is a scenic spot that's perfect for overseeing the ocean and taking in the beauty of nature.

Extra spots I didn't get visit:
  • Dadaepo Sunset Fountain of Dreams
  • Gwangan Bridge (Rainbow Bridge)

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