Yes, I left my heart in Busan. And all it took was one day. <3
As promised, here is the first of my South Korean adventure where I’ll show you the places I saw in Busan and how I got there. Sorry for the negligence as I forgot to charge my camera! *sobs* Only used my phone for these photos. But still, I hope these will make you want to include this on your itinerary ’cause I’m very happy I did! (Warning: Lengthy post ahead!)
How To Get to Busan
My day began commuting to Seoul Station. I stayed at a guesthouse near Chungmuro Station (walking distance from Myeongdong). Seoul Station was just a few stops away. I left Chungmuro at around 7am and arrived at Seoul Station at around 7:10am.
Important: If your planning to visit any places outside of Seoul. I recommend getting a Korail Pass.
What is a Korail or KR Pass?
The KORAIL PASS provides foreigners visiting Korea with an unlimited access to the Standard
Class seats of the KTX, KTX-Sancheon, Saemaeul, Mugunghwa and Nuriro trains for a fixed period of time.
To get a KORAIL PASS, you can purchase a voucher from an overseas travel agency, KORAIL website or KORAIL Travel Center and redeem it at a KORAIL station.
I decided to take the KTX train to Busan. The trip to Busan via KTX takes around 2 1/2 hours only (which is the fastest compared to the other trains available.) A normal round trip to Busan thru KTX costs about USD100. You can save 40% of it if you purchase the KR pass which costs around USD60 only for 1 day. I reserved a 1 day pass online thru their website then printed my voucher. Note that the voucher is NOT the pass yet. You will exchange it with the pass and pay for it at the Korail information kiosk in Seoul Station. Using the pass, I went straight to the KTX counter and reserved my ticket to Busan which left at around 7:40am and arrived at around 10am.
Getting around in South Korea via trains is super easy. I suggest downloading their Subway app. Using it, you can search any of the places that you wish to visit and the app will guide you on which trains to take to get to your destination. You don’t have to worry about getting lost ’cause I didn’t! Plus, many locals can understand / speak basic English.
Also, if you are travelling alone, I highly recommend renting a sim at the Incheon Airport. I purchased a 5 day unlimited data sim at Olleh for 30,000won which made my life so easy! This will help you communicate with any of your friends who’d been to Korea or your hotel who can assist you as well.
One of the reasons that made me brave enough to do this alone is my dear Korean friend, Sofiah, whom I hadn’t seen in 6 years. We were classmates in high school. She’s one of the kindest, smartest and most hard-working people I know. She planned our adventure and guided me for the day. I’m beyond grateful! *happy tears*
Our first stop was the Gamcheon Culture Village. This place alone is DAY MADE. Once you scroll down, you might find some of the spots familiar as this place has also become popular due to the number of Korean TV shows it gets featured on.
Here’s an instruction on how to get there from Busan Station: http://headstandtravels.com/directions/gamcheon-culture-village-directions/.
We are entering!
Known for its brightly painted houses, the Gamcheon Culture Village, located in Saha-gu, just might be the artsiest place in Busan. It’s like an enormous stairs of houses full of art shops, cute cafes, street murals, etc. I spazzed. Too many of my favorite things in one place!
We basically followed the path highlighted in red on the map above. It guided us to the photo zones in the village. I warn you, though. Wear sneakers here! The streets are very steep. I lost my breath a number of times due to exhaustion and the BEAUTIFUL scenery. <3
It was a very nice day. It was cold but sunny which heightened the experience!
The walk around the village was very memorable. Even here, you will find a lot of cute cafes!
FIIIISHHH. Busan is known for their fish and that means EAT ALL THE FISH CAKES!
South Korea is for couples! I wish Calel was there with me.
Can I take all of these home? I love nano blocks!
Coffee and sunshine
Le Petit Prince <3 One of the most popular photo zones here! My legs were feeling ticklish.
Photo from Sofy’s phone- in case you’re curious about his face!
I could stare at it ALL day!
Running Man was one of the many shows that filmed here!
This ajumma is problematic. I wonder why? On a serious note, when you see her, you have to go up the stairs..
..to find the best view of the village! We came from the top and went all the way down to get here!
After such an artsy morning, it was time for some Korean food! We headed to Nampo-dong. Nampo-dong is the central shopping area in Busan. From the Gamcheon Culture Village, you can get there by taking the village bus to Toseong Station. From Toseong Station, take the subway to Jagalchi. Nampo-dong is just walking distance from there.
Living in Busan is the best of both worlds. The beaches and mountains are very accessible while you’re not gonna have a problem in finding your favorite shops here either.
Cheese Tak Galbi! According to Sofy, Koreans are all about cheese these days. You definitely have to try this! It’s basically chicken, rice cakes, kimchi with lots of cheese on a grill. Love it!
Like many crowded places in South Korea, the abundance of street food is crazy around here.
Hand prints of some of the famous celebrities who attended the Busan International Film Festival
Make-up stores in every corner. All the shops that you can ever think of is right here! Bought a new pair of Nike at Folder. I love the sneaker shops here. I recommend checking ABC Mart, too. Both are also available in Myeongdong but the stocks there sell like candy.
Sofy took me to Lotte Mall to see a fountain show!
Water came out from that circle on the ceiling.
This mall has a Line Friends Cafe. Hello, Moon and Cony! You will see more of them on my next travel posts.
Pretty clothes! No time to shop, though.
Next on the list is Yongdusan Park which is also in the area. You can simply ask people around or check Google Maps on how to get there.
Busan is in the south of South Korea. It is ahead from Seoul when in comes to season transitions as Seoul is up in the north. One of the reasons why I really tried to squeeze Busan in my trip is the hope of seeing some Sakura. Luckily, I did catch some in this park! <3 Sofy said that this year, the Cherry Blossom festivities in Busan is supposed to start this 26th March and I was there last 15th.
Busan tower in Yongdusan Park
Pretty park is pretty! There was a huge flower clock which I failed to take a proper photo of. It was too big!
The perfect background. The shrines were built by Japanese people.
Allelujah! Hello, Busan Tower~
If you walk further, you will find this!
Find the Lotte Mall.
Sofy and I agreed for me to take the 8pm train so we headed to the Gwangalli Beach right after visiting Yongdusan Park. From Nampo-dong, we took the bus 1003 then got off at the Gwangalli Beach stop. The Gwangalli Beach is such a nice place to just relax and think about life while sitting on the sand with Gwangan Bridge in sight.
I took some snaps of the neighborhood to the beach. Yet again, that area is full of cute cafes and more artsy things- I am very pleased.
The flower shops here really attract me.
Across the beach.
Gwangalli Beach & Gwangan Bridge! <3 This place is so serene.
My heart is buried in this sand.
Infinite peace~ Sofy’s advice is to come here at night. Colorful lights on the bridge- I can imagine! <3
We had some Korean BBQ for dinner in the area. Before I knew it, it was time to say good bye to this dream place. *tears* Time flew fast! We walked all the way to the nearest subway station then took one of the trains that stops at Busan Station. Another option is to just take the same bus and go down at Busan Station.
Back in Busan Station, I had enough time to buy my mom and sister (who were in Seoul) some fish cakes at the Samjin Fishcake Bakery. I regret not buying 50 of these. So good!
So I took the 8pm KTX train back to Seoul Station which arrived at 10:30pm. Took the same route back to Chungmuro Station and got home safely.
All these in one day. It’s truly an unforgettable experience. It’s not just the food, the people and the sight. Busan gave me butterflies. I guess I just really like how it’s the city meets the beach. It’s quiet and less crowded. It’s everything I like in one place! Thank you, Sofy! <3
I hope this will help you find your way to the wonderful place that is Busan. Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions. Thanks for dropping by!
‘Til next time, Busan! 😉