Happy chuseok! Chuseok is korea’s thanksgiving holiday and that means a three day study week. It was quite a sight on Wednesday to see students carrying their barang barang to class, and some leaving class halfway to catch their trains. There was certainly an air of urgency for the holidays to arrive. We all had plans. Some were headed to Seoul, some to gwangju, I was headed to Busan.
It was an impromptu trip really. An American I’m in a class with jio-ed me, together with a bunch of Taiwanese. Four days in busan, eating and shopping. Yes? Yes. As a plus, none of my professors gave us homework, so chuseok was truly a long weekend to enjoy!
So on Thursday, I caught the 5.30am train to busan. Catching the early train wasn’t a choice. Book your tickets early friends, Chuseok is a hot hot period for travel. And three hours later, I was in beautiful Busan.
Our bnb was 3 minutes from Gwangalli beach, the less popular but as beautiful sister of Haeundae beach. From gwangalli beach, you get the sight of Gwangan bridge. The beach is also less crowded and the restaurants near it are less touristy.
Busan is known for its seafood and so we tried a variety of seafood meals that couldnt be found in Daejeon: 낙지볶음, a spicy octopus dish, seafood pancake and codfish soup. We also explored the markets, where vendors sold street foods like tteokboki, odeng, and a Busan-only specialty: Ssi-at Hotteok, a seeds and brown sugar filled fried doughnut 😍.
Busan is also a great place to shop. There’s Seomyeon and Nampo, which are Busan’s version of myeongdong. For more atas goods, there is Centum City Station, home to two huge department stores: Shinsaegae and Lotte Department. Within Centum City is also Spaland, a huge popular public bath.
Now, what I love most about Busan is its character. Busan is a city with a distinct look. The streets are dense with low-rise buildings, characterised by their open green-colored roofs. There is a distinct air not found in other cities such as Seoul and Daejeon while walking through small alleys, where public sidewalks don’t exist and cars and pedestrians are forced to coexist on the tarmac. There are few main roads and often, the easiest path is one cutting through small alleys and residential housing. Thus, Busan feels homely and alive, a lived in place where the presence of people is evident. To see the whole vastness of the city, go up to Busan tower, where we went to watch the sunset and the city lights awaken.