Postcards From Busan

I would have to say my short stay in Busan was one of the highlights of my trip in Korea! Busan is the second largest city in South Korea and has a totally different vibe than Seoul. I took the bullet train to Busan from Seoul and it took about two hours. I spent most of the train ride looking outside and enjoying the different landscapes as time passed. Busan is unique in its own way because there is a different dialect and I would say it's more chill compared to Seoul. With only one full day in Busan I tried to make the most out of it by starting the day early. Below are my recommendations on what to do when in Busan, enjoy!                   

Jagalchi Fish Market is a tourist trap but also an interesting experience if it's your first time visiting Busan. I wanted to know what the buzz was all about because family and friends told me there's a variety of fresh seafood that you can have cooked in front of you. I arrived around 9am or so and was surprised at how many vendors there were outside and inside the market. I wanted to eat sashimi, but I wasn't confident enough to haggle and figure out what was a reasonable price for it. Typically, people go buy fish and then have it prepared as sashimi or cooked, but I heard there were additional fees such as the cooking charge or seating charge. I became overwhelmed with people coming up to me and telling me to come look at their selection and go into their restaurant that I went straight to the second floor. I found a restaurant based on google reviews called Kidari Sashimi (키다리 횟집), but Jacky's Seafood is also a popular restaurant located on the second floor. The restaurant already had a set menu and didn't have any extra charges so we ordered seafood soup since my sister wanted soup. The soup tasted fresh and came with a variety of side dishes. One thing I love about Korea are all the side dishes that come with the entree - yum! The market stalls outside you can find a variety of dried snacks and food that you can take back with you, I bought a couple of dried seaweed and filefish to take back home.

Gamcheon Culture Village was on top of my list, but sadly I was only there for about an hour before it turned dark. I would bring comfortable shoes since you'll be climbing up and down and be prepared to spend some time here, but the view is worth it. A lot of cool cafes, souvenir shops, and photo ops. I would give yourself at least 3 hours if you want to find the photo spots as it's all in different spots around the village. I went after closing time so the visitor's center wasn't open and I didn't have a guide map so it was a bit difficult finding things. I found the village charming and picturesque, but one tip I would like to give is to be respectful since these are people's homes. The twirling stairs and thoughtful touches such as the colorful book stairs and the Little Prince and Fox statues are the highlights of this place. Don't be afraid to get lost in this magical village. This village was freshly repainted and given artistic touches in 2009 to attract tourism as it once was a slum in the mountainside. It is now nicknamed the "Machu Picchu of Busan" and one of the major tourist spots, highly recommend stopping by here!

Ok this market was my favorite market in Korea! I lost track of time here that I didn't get to do more sightseeing, but it was worth it. Best place to get a lot of your shopping done here so I would be prepared to bring enough cash and get ready to haggle. I would have to say the highlight of my Busan trip was Gukje Market! It was amazing to see so many vendors and to just explore the different shops, it truly is a one stop shop. You can literally find anything you need plus more. There are also plenty of places to stop by and grab street food and rest along the way. I found prices for the same things in Seoul a bit cheaper in Busan. I bought snacks to bring back home for my parents and found apron dresses I've been waiting to get my hands on. Sadly, I didn't have much luggage space so I only bought things I could fit back in my carry on. I enjoyed just people watching as I think Gukje Market is one of the authentic experiences in Korea where you can be a part of the culture and shop like the locals do. 

So many cool and different streets in Busan and Arirang Street was no different. Perfect place to go shopping and grab street food! A lot more choices for clothes and accessories that was similar to my taste than Gukje Market. I found the lowest prices for socks and cute dog clothes that I were eyeing back in Seoul. Socks were only 500 won, so about 45 cents for a pair! One tip I would suggest is to go to multiple shops to compare prices as some may be cheaper than others. Usually the shops further in provide discounts as they don't get as much business than the ones closer to the streets.

There are endless cafes in Korea and they typically offer the same menu, but each cafe had their own unique vibe. Jeonpo Cafe Street in Busan is a hipsters paradise with cafes, restaurants, and shops lined up. Coffee can get pretty expensive and can at least be the same price as a meal, the priciest coffee I had was about 7,000 won. Considering how cheap food is in Korea I thought coffee would be relatively cheap, but there are some coffee stalls that sell americanos for about 1,500 won. One thing I noticed was there there's a difference in price for take out and with or without ice. Cafes generally open around 10:30am at the earliest, but close around midnight. The current popular coffee drink in Korea is cold brew with a thick cream on the top, it has a perfect balance of bitter and sweet. FM Coffee House in Busan sells this drink and it's their most popular drink, it called "tomorrow". Some cafes I would recommend are  On a Season, Cafe Lovesome, and FM Coffee. There's also a cute lifestyle shop called Object.                                                                                                                                                     
Other suggestions:
-Haeundae Beach
-Bosu-dong Book Street
-Oryukdo Sykwalk
-Igidae Coastal Walk
-Gwangalli Beach
-Haedong Yonggunsa Temple
-Amnam Park Coastal Walk
-Songdo Beach
-Yeongdodaegyo Bridge

Love, Sharon

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