Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Busan Newbie

This last weekend I was lucky enough to get time to spend with some of my family. Darren, Joan and the kids: Alivia, Claire and Adam are on a whirlwind tour of Korea and China; I was able to meet them for the weekend in Busan, one of many stops on their jam packed vacation.They weren't scheduled to get into Busan until Saturday evening but I wanted to make the most of the weekend so I got up early and caught a train to Busan.  I looked into a few different ideas for the day and since the weather was pretty nice when I got there I decided to start with Yongdusan park (Dragon's head mountain) and Busan tower.  It seemed pretty close to the train station so I decided to walk....

I had one goal for the day - find some Paejeon [바전] which is kind of like a pancake made from eggs, flour, green onion and various other ingredients. I found mine in the Mokja Golmok "let's eat alley" of Seomyeon [서면]. Basically a big area with a bunch of vendors like the lovely lady above who made my lunch - Pajeon with squid. Nom nom, and all for the bargin of 1,500 won ($1.50)

I read a few different blog posts about this place and got some vague directions - subway line 2, exit 7 and bus 181.  I accomplished the above but soon realized I didn't really know where to get off the bus.  Here's where my smart phone, Hangul reading abilities and keen observation skills kicked into high gear (along with a little luck).  Google maps gave me a good idea of where to get off the bus and I tried the best I could to read the bus route and listen to the announcements (but to be honest they all sounded the same) then I spotted a girl with a nice Nikon SLR camera - she had to be going to the temple. New plan: follow that girl. I get off the bus and look around, there was the girl with the camera and her (what I assumed to be) boyfriend, along with four other Korean girls who looked about my age.  To be honest we all looked lost at  this point, I turned to the girls and asked if they were going to the temple - (luck on my side) they all spoke some English and told me to follow them. After a few U-turns and asking for directions we figured it out, and I was no longer traveling alone :)

나래 (na rae),  소래(su rae) and I infront of the Golden dharma 

By the time we finished touring the temple I had to catch a bus back and to the hotel to meet the family,  I got there in (what I thought) was perfect timing and was glad to see a couch in the lobby where I could wait - my legs were ready for a rest.  While waiting I discovered an email from my cousins Alivia sent around 4 o'clock - I must not have had reception at the temple. She was letting me know they had missed their train and would be late. No problem for me I was fine resting on the couch people watching - I felt bad for them, second day in Korea and already travel problems. 

I think I've given you enough of a novel so my Busan adventure will have "to be continued", plus my bed is calling my name. 


1 comment:

  1. Every single picture was AWESOME. Learning about Korea through your eyes and your eloquent words is liking reading a book you just can't put down!!! I look forward to each and every posting. THANK YOU!