EXPLORE: BUSAN, SOUTH KOREA

Busan is the home of fresh seafood, beaches, and mountains. And it has been getting quite a lot of publicity from the Korean movie, Train To Busan. As you know, I am a huge fan of all things Korean. So it only seems natural for me to explore beyond Seoul. I got an AirAsia flight (for the first time in my life) and flew for 6 hours from Kuala Lumpur to Busan, having my legs crammed between two tiny seats and being woken up at 5am because apparently, that’s an acceptable time to have nasi lemak for breakfast. Seriously.

Nampodong (남포동) and Jagalchi Market (자갈치 시장)

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When in Korea, one must drink Korean milk because Malaysian milk is rubbish. Nampodong is crowded but minus the insanity of Myeongdong in Seoul. And if you’re hungry, you are more than welcome to stuff your face silly with Korean street-food. Ever wanted to be in your own Korean drama, eating ddeokbokki? Well, now’s your chance. HAHAHA!

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Jagalchi is super wet so I don’t recommend you going there with your fashion-forward outfit. I mean if you don’t mind twisting your ankles in heels for the sake of looking pretty then be my guest. To be honest, I’m terrible in heels anyway.

Busan Tower and Samgyeopsal (삼겹살)

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Didn’t go up Busan Tower because I’ve been up Namsan Tower in Seoul during my 2014 trip. Just like Namsan Tower, Busan Tower is also located on top of a hill. To get to the entrance, you have the option to walk up or to take the escalators. The view is not as breathtaking as Seoul but people seem to have a fascination with views so I reckon it draws its own crowd.

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You can’t go wrong with Korean BBQ in Korea. Can we just please, look at that gorgeous samgyeopsal (삼겹살) – so shiny and crispy at the edges. For those of you who don’t understand Korean, samgyeopsal basically means “three layer meat”. Pork belly generally has 3 layers of meat with fat in between. And at the end of your BBQ session, you can usually opt for fried rice. This place serves doshirak (도시락) kimchi fried rice. Really good stuff!

Gamcheon Culture Village (감천문화마을)

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Did a small little tour at Gamcheon Village because the twins – Seo Eun and Seo Jun – from Return of Superman, shot an episode here. It’s like I’m a creepy stalker, I know. But it was still a nice place to visit despite the fact that there actually wasn’t that many murals. High expectations lead to disappointment. HAHA! I went really early at 9am because I had plans to spend the rest of the day out of Busan but it was a good two hours spent that ended with Melona ice-cream. Been eating it for years! Best. Ice-cream. Ever.

Haedong Yonggungsa Temple(해동 용궁사) and Jjajangmyeon (짜장면)

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Again, another place where the Return of Superman was shot. Sarang and Chu Sung Hoon were here. Sorry for the spam of variety show locations – it’s in my nature. After all, I spent a good two hours at SBS during my last trip. So anyway, the jjajangmyeon that I had near the temple is very different from the ones that you usually see in dramas and other Korean shows because this one was made with seafood. It was nice to begin with but after a while, it got a bit cloying. Best to share but I think the regular jjajangmyeon recipe is better.

Gwangan Bridge (광안대교) and Marine City

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Late night walks on the beach accompanied by pretty lights. Probably one of my favourite nights in Busan. Gwangan Bridge is near the beach and surrounded by skyscrapers. An interesting combination of views but so beautiful! I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Eomuk (어묵), Taejongdae (태종대) and Jokbal (족발)

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Spent my last day in Busan exploring the less touristy areas. Can I just say that Busan’s fishcakes are so amazing, I don’t think I can ever look at average Malaysian fishcakes the same again. I kid you not, there was one fishcake-stuffed pepper and it was the bomb-diggity. I also explored Taejongdae, which used to be a theme park – now converted into a recreational park. Did a one hour hike and then had samgyetang (삼계탕) – ginseng chicken – for lunch before packing some jokbal (족발) – pork trotters – for dinner. Yum, please!

I also did a whole load of other things like visit Haeundae Beach – but didn’t spend too long there because it’s still cold out. But I have to say that one of my highlights was buying a movie ticket using a vending machine! Korea is so futuristic! When are we going to have something as cool as that?

Overall, Busan is great for a short trip away from Seoul. And maybe you can take a Train To Busan and pretend to be in an apocalyptic zombie world.

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