My only trip so far to South-Korea was in 2014, back when I hadn’t even started high school. I went with my family to Busan, the country’s second-largest city. It turned out to be a port city surrounded by rugged mountain ranges, consisting of a beachy urban paradise, hidden temples, and a particular love for seafood. It was great!
1) Sea Life Busan Aquarium 2) Jalgachi Fish Market 3) Busan’s Skyscrapers
It was a big city, with looming skyscrapers and thousands of people everywhere. I remember we went to a mall, the biggest mall in the world actually, and got lost. I got seaweed for breakfast one morning – and did not like it. I went to Haeundae beach to get a tan, but got yelled at because I should lie in the shade under my parasol, (however, if you really want to soak up some sun while at the beach, you can rent a yellow tube there and go float the water.)
1) Food in Busan 2) Haedong Yonggungsa, the “Water Temple” 3) Jalgachi Fish Market
We saw beautiful temples, such as the water temple known as Haedong Yonggungsa and the Beomeosa Buddhist Temple. We could look out into the sea late at night, while strolling the beach promenade, and roughly see the shapes of some of the Japanese islands. We ate amazing food – and sometimes totally failed to order the right food, ending in a giant bowl of soup containing what looked like octopus once.
Oh, and we visited the most awesome fish market, called the Jalgachi Fish Market! Which was a whole new experience in itself by the way… who knew grannies could be that aggressive? They sold an amazing array of fresh seafood though. Everything from fish to squids, to sea creatures with slithering tentacles… it was impressive.
All above: Jalgachi Fish Market
All in all, it was a fairly interesting trip. I would love to go back, and this time, perhaps go to Seoul and experience that too. However, you will definitely find the big-city vibe in Busan as well. Busan is a coastal metropolis worth every penny you spend while visiting, and if you come by, you will not regret it. As Lonely Planet describes it; Busan is one of the great unheralded cities in Asia. Brimming with cobalt oceans, verdant mountains and delectable fare, it’s a city full of surprises!
Definitely worth a visit.
1) Beomeosa Temple 2) View of the city, source 3) Beomeosa Temple