I Left My Heart In Busan

by farrah

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

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At Seoul Station

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.

(source: http://www.letskorail.com/ebizbf/EbizBfKrPassAbout.do)

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/.

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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

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It was a very nice day. It was cold but sunny which heightened the experience!

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The walk around the village was very memorable. Even here, you will find a lot of cute cafes!

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FIIIISHHH. Busan is known for their fish and that means EAT ALL THE FISH CAKES!

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Santorini vibes!

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South Korea is for couples! I wish Calel was there with me.

TOys

Can I take all of these home? I love nano blocks!

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Coffee and sunshine

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Le Petit Prince <3 One of the most popular photo zones here! My legs were feeling ticklish.

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Photo from Sofy’s phone- in case you’re curious about his face!

Then there’s…

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I could stare at it ALL day!

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Running Man was one of the many shows that filmed here!

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This ajumma is problematic. I wonder why? On a serious note, when you see her, you have to go up the stairs..

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..to find the best view of the village! We came from the top and went all the way down to get here!

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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.

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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!

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Like many crowded places in South Korea, the abundance of street food is crazy around here.

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Hand prints of some of the famous celebrities who attended the Busan International Film Festival

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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.

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Sofy took me to Lotte Mall to see a fountain show!

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Water came out from that circle on the ceiling.

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This mall has a Line Friends Cafe. Hello, Moon and Cony! You will see more of them on my next travel posts.

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Pretty clothes! No time to shop, though.

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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.

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Busan tower in Yongdusan Park

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Pretty park is pretty! There was a huge flower clock which I failed to take a proper photo of. It was too big!

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The perfect background. The shrines were built by Japanese people.

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 Matchy-matchy! <3

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Allelujah! Hello, Busan Tower~

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If you walk further, you will find this!

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Ta-dahh!

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Find the Lotte Mall.

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Saranghae! <3

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.

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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.

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Across the beach.

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Gwangalli Beach & Gwangan Bridge! <3 This place is so serene.

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My heart is buried in this sand.

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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! 😉

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38 comments

Jasmine Laurente March 27, 2016 - 2:13 pm

Thank you for this blog post~! ❤ It feels like I’m also in Busan with you haha~ Will wait for your other blog posts about your stay in Korea! 😀 PS. You’re so cute! ^__^

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Farrah March 28, 2016 - 9:01 am

Hi Jasmine! Glad you enjoyed it! <3 Can't wait to show you other places!

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Maxine March 31, 2016 - 2:59 pm

I really love your photos!! can’t wait to see more of your blog posts about Korea :–)

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Farrah March 31, 2016 - 4:36 pm

I’m happy you enjoyed this, Maxine! Can’t wait to show you! <3

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mickmick April 3, 2016 - 12:42 am

nice photos. i’m really loving anything korean these past few days! can’t wait to check your other blog posts about your it. happiness, indeed! 🙂

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Farrah April 3, 2016 - 12:53 am

Yay! Thanks Mickmick! 😉

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mickmick April 3, 2016 - 12:45 am

nice photos. i’m really loving anything korean these past few days! can’t wait to check your other blog posts about it. happiness, indeed! 🙂

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Charlene April 3, 2016 - 2:47 pm

Hi there!!

Wouls you mind to share which hotel/place did you stayed during your trip to busan?

Thank you!!

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Farrah April 4, 2016 - 9:35 am

Hi! I didn’t stay in Busan! Took a 1 day round-trip 😉

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jen April 10, 2016 - 12:33 pm

WOah Daebak… Your blog gave me more reasons to visit Korea… Yepeuda indeed

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Farrah April 11, 2016 - 8:44 am

Thanks Jen! 🙂 Hope you can visit Korea soon!

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AREX April 16, 2016 - 9:24 am

Wow, so impressive writing about traveling to Busan in Korea! Especially, ‘Korail pass’ was so good choice. Many foreigners just know ‘Seoul area’ for traveling. As you know, Korail pass is ‘KTX'(high-speed train) pass, you can take all KTX line whatever and whenever you want. Just one way ticket price is pretty much expensive, but with pass, you can save your ticket money. Busan is one of nice city in Korea, and I recommend other cities like Singyeongju, Dongdaeju, Jeonju etc. You can go to these cities with KTX. If you want to make a reservation for Korail pass, please visit this hompage ‘http://www.letskorail.com/ebizbf/EbizBfKrPassAbout.do’. And also you can purchase this pass directly at travel center, ICN(airport). Credit card payment is only available. Thank you.

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Farrah April 16, 2016 - 9:29 am

Thank you! I seriously want to explore the whole of South Korea! If I only had the luxury to do it!

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Joyce May 5, 2016 - 10:00 am

Hi Farrah,

I’m going Korea next week and will be taking the KTX to Busan (will be there for 3D2N). I read online and bought the 3-day pass with KR Pass but I’m not sure if it’s a round-trip or a one-way trip? Any idea? Hope to receive your reply soon, thanks!!

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Farrah May 5, 2016 - 10:15 am

Hi Joyce! It’s unlimited use of KTX trains for 3 days! You can even do round-trips everyday! Hahaha! Make sure that you leave early ’cause you have to exchange that voucher at the Korail Information Desk then that’s the only time you can book your train to Busan. Excited for you!

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Karla May 23, 2016 - 5:15 pm

Wieee I really like your photos! Kyeopta~ Cant wait to see your next post! hwaiting unnie!

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Farrah May 24, 2016 - 9:26 am

Gamsa, Karla! <3 Stay tuned!! 🙂

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Aejay Mallari October 13, 2016 - 11:01 am

Why are the images not showing up? huhuhu ?

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Farrah October 14, 2016 - 9:16 am

It should :O It shows on mine? *.*

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Karen Cee October 14, 2016 - 8:46 am

I always follow your blog and Tricia G’s. What camera do you use? All your photos look so charming!!!! ?

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Farrah October 14, 2016 - 9:18 am

Aww yay! Thank you! <3 I still use my very old Olympus EPL5 🙂 But used my phone only for this post! Hehe!

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Gillian Dale October 14, 2016 - 8:46 am

Aw… I wish I have known about your blog when I went to Korea last April. I went to Busan on May 5 I think. Just went beach bumming there and yeah, I spent 100usd for the train. ??? I’ll do this when I get back there on April 2017. Thanks a lot!!! :*

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Farrah October 14, 2016 - 9:19 am

Aww! Yeah! It’s a huge difference, no? *.* Yes! Busan is so pretty! I also can’t wait to go back <3

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Jennifer October 14, 2016 - 10:23 am

I suddenly missed Busan ? I recommend Jukseong Church, Haedong YongGu Temple, Cheongsapo, Moontan road and Igidae (if you’re into trekking), and Busan Citizen’s park~♡ next time you visit. Busan aquarium and Haeundae also. they’re more on walking haha :3 and other shopping heaven is 서면~ !!

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Farrah October 24, 2016 - 3:16 pm

Thanks for the recommendations 😀

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Krizia October 14, 2016 - 2:28 pm

What camera do you use, as well as filter in the photos above? I enjoyed looking at your pictures and reading your travelling blog. 🙂

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Farrah October 17, 2016 - 10:27 am

Hi! I used my phone and different filters from VSCO. 🙂

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Renz ✌?️ October 15, 2016 - 12:47 am

Hi! I do love this blog about Busan! My friends and I were really interested in going there! So yah, thanks for sharing your experience!
PS. I like your Fashion sense! ☺️

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Farrah October 17, 2016 - 10:29 am

Sure! Thanks for dropping by! 😀

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Marie Ariane October 19, 2016 - 8:35 am

thank you for this post, this will make our trip to Busan easier.

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Farrah October 20, 2016 - 4:06 pm

You’re very welcome 😀

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Danee October 24, 2016 - 7:58 pm

Hi :))

I am going to Busan on March 2017 and i’ve been finding ways to get a discount for the Korail tickets! Thank you for this blog. I just want to clarify something.

So i just have to reserve a ticket in the Korail website and I automatically get the discount?

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Farrah October 25, 2016 - 1:18 pm

Hi Danee! It’s not a discount. It’s more of a special rate offered to foreigners. You may purchase the voucher on their website then exchange it with your Korail pass anytime at the Korail kiosk. You will then use the pass to get your ticket! 🙂

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Jiufen, Shifen and Yeliu Geopark | Happiness, etc. January 16, 2017 - 3:45 pm

[…] You cannot leave Taiwan without seeing the rock formations at the Yehliu Geopark. It’s something really different from the tourist spots that we’re used to when travelling to Asian countries. Being here was a very refreshing experience! I guess it was the fact that we were by the sea while it was drizzling a bit. We’re all used to going to the beach on sunny weather. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with going there when it’s not. I did that once here. […]

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Tiffany February 18, 2017 - 5:35 am

My husband, baby and I are visiting Busan soon from the states. We will be leaving from Seoul. In fact, we are only staying for 3 nights. You mentioned KTX being a little cheaper if you get the day pass. Since we will be there for 4 days in total. Would you recommend us getting a 5 day pass? I heard that we would need to get our seats assigned in advance. We will return to Incheon airport from Busan by KTX. Therefore, figuring this KTX thing out is vital for us. Do you also suggest us getting the wifi egg? Or just a SIM card like you mentioned? Much appreciation for all of your advice. We’d really appreciate it especially travelling with a baby.

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Farrah February 18, 2017 - 7:02 am

Hi Tiffany! If you’re going to be in Busan for all 3 nights, I suggest getting a regular KTX ticket on the way to Busan and back to Seoul since it would be much cheaper. 🙂 I suggest getting a pocket wifi if it’s gonna be two of you (you and your husband) who will be using it.

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Min Seo (Miracle) June 7, 2017 - 2:15 pm

Woah~ I didn’t know that Busan is THAT pretty! ???

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Farrah June 8, 2017 - 2:48 pm

Me, too! <3

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