This week I got to check something off my Korea Bucket List, and that was taking a trip to Busan! Busan is the second-largest city in South Korea after Seoul. It is the cultural, educational, and economic center of southeastern Korea, with its port being the ninth busiest port in the world! Growing up in California, I have been lucky enough to always live five minutes away from the ocean. Even after I moved from Humboldt County to Santa Barbara for college, I stayed on the coast, so it has been a bit strange not being able to see the ocean every day. That was one of the biggest reasons that I was so excited to take a trip to the southeastern coast of South Korea! On the way there, my friends and I took a six-hour train ride across South Korea, which allowed us to see a vast amount of the country. Once we arrived at Busan Station, we took a three-minute walk to our Airbnb; talk about convenience! For the next four nights, we had the opportunity to explore this new part of the country. Here are some of the highlights from my trip.
Going to the Bupyeong Kkangtong Night Market was an incredible experience that I hadn’t had yet. At exactly 7 pm, dozens of people rolled out their mobile food carts and began setting up. The delicious smells that started to arise at this time were indescribable, and I had never eaten as much as I did that night. I had pork belly kimbap, strawberry tanghulu, nut hotteok, spicy stir-fry noodles, and so much more! Seeing how these marketers worked was truly an amazing experience because they cooked everything right in front of you.
The next day we went to Museum Dah. This was the first museum that I had been to in South Korea, and it is unlike any museum that I have ever visited. This museum was filled with different multimedia pieces of work. With electronic screens covering the walls and floors, it created terrific visuals.
What stood out to me on day three was exploring Gamcheon Village and going on the sky cable car. Gamcheon Village was like a maze with all of the interconnected alleyways that take you up and down the steep hills in which the village is located. It reminded me a bit of San Fransisco with the bright, colorful houses and the sweat-inducing hills that had to be climbed. I also went on a cable car for the first time! The bottom of the car was made of glass so I could look down and see the ocean underneath my feet, which was a bit scary at first but also really fun.
One of my favorite moments of the entire trip was going to Gwangalli beach and watching the sunset. The ocean has always been something that calms me because it feels like home, so seeing it again brought me a kind of relief that I didn’t know I needed. My friends and I were also lucky because there just so happened to be a firework show on this night, which only made the entire experience that much more special.
*Day 1-Strawberry Tanghulu
*Day 2-Museum Dah