Thursday, July 17, 2014

Ivy's Travel: Korea Trip Part 3

Day 5 (KTX train to Busan: Jagalchi Fish Market and Haeundae Beach)

The next day, we went to Busan. All hotels in Seoul allow you to keep your luggage with them when you take a trip to other cities in Seoul or the frequent place tourist visits, Jeju Island. It's thoughtful so we don't have to drag all our luggage. It's recommended to ask in advance about the keeping luggage policy to the hotel/ hostels before booking though. 

We went to Busan by KTX. Take the subway to Seoul Station, then buy the tickets there. You can also buy in advance from the website if you want, but hubs and I chose to buy direct on the spot, so we don't have to rush the timing. It depends on you, but I would recommend to do the same, purchase the ticket directly on the spot as the train schedule departs to Busan very frequent, like in 5-15 minutes will have other trains coming. Train to Busan took around 2,5 hours. Price 54,400 won = 600k rupiah per person for one way.

The train is clean, and they sell snacks on train but nothing heavy. If you want, there's several stands before the terminal where you can buy bento box. All looks yummy. You can ask them to preheat directly. We didn't buy so all I can say is it looks yummy.

More details on KTX, click here
In front of Busan KTX Station
Busan is South Korea's second largest city after Seoul, also know for it's port activities. I'm not sure why people tend to leave Busan out of their itinerary, to us, the city is so much fun. It's definitely more quiet compare to Seoul, and we saw lots of elderly here compare to Seoul. The city is much cleaner and peaceful. Some of the most popular places to go in Busan is Jagalchi fish market, Haeundae beach, Korea's largest beach, BIFF square where all the movie events held for local celebrities, Nampodong (sort of like Myeongdong), Yongdusan park and Busan tower. 

In Busan, the area mostly divided into two, the city and Haeundae. I had difficulty on deciding which part to stay as we only had one night at Busan which I regret so so much. Can't extend coz we had bought the ticket to fly to Jeju in advance. Anyway, from the city to Haeundae is not near. If you visit Busan for more than one night, then stay at both area for each night. Some insight, stay at the city if you are more into tourist attractions like Busan tower, jagalchi fish market and Nampodong. Stay at Haeundae if you are more of a beach person. 

Towerhill Hotel Busan (*4)
Address: 20, Baeksan-gil, Jung-gu. 
Price: IDR 1.300.000/ night via

We decided to stay in the city and spend the night at Towerhill hotel. The hotel is relatively new and only walking distance to Busan tower, Yongdusan park, Jagalchi fish market (a bit far) and Nampodong. In fact, Busan Tower is located only behind the hotel, walk the staircase next to the hotel and it will take you to the tower. We went to the hotel by taxi from KTX station, but later we found out the hotel was located near subway. 

The hotel was okay for a night stay. We booked the family deluxe so it was spacious with twin beds could fit up to 4 persons. There's a convenience store and coffee shop just across the hotel. I wouldn't mind to stay again at Towerhill for its fantastic location.

Directions: Jungang station

Jagalchi Fish Market 

The main reason of our visit to Busan is Jagalchi fish market. Hubs loves fish! He adores them. During his study back then in Sydney, Hubs used to work as a cook at one of the diners at Sydney fish market. His daily routine always involve fish, so for him, to pay a visit to Jagalchi fish market is highlight of the trip.

The fish market is huge! And all the sellers and visitors are mostly elderly. I hardly seen anyone our age there. Along the way near the entrance you will see a lot of fruit sellers, then you will see this huge fish sign like the picture above. It's the entrance to the market. At the front, lots of restaurants with big aquariums in front with live seafood, big fish, octopus and prawns, we can choose directly, have them cooked and eat inside the restaurant. Moving along, entering the market, hundreds of sellers and plenty of amazing seafood, the city is indeed port city.

Walking further to the sea where we could see many ships dropping off the fish, plenty of octopus and jumbo prawns. Nearby the port, there were many food hawkers selling variety of seafood. We can choose to eat indoor or outdoor. As the weather was just perfectly nice, we chose to sit outdoor and ordered the pajeon, grilled abalone, grilled prawn and mussels. Everything was so so so goood! One day, if I had the chance to go back, will surely pay second visit. Everything was super fresh, and we especially love the grilled abalone. Super delicious! 

Opening hours: 8am - 10pm
Directions: Jagalchi station (line 1) exit 10. Turn right into Jagalchi 3 (sam) gil street. Walk for 5 minutes where you would see many fruit sellers, then turn left to arrive at Jagalchi market.

Haeundae Beach - Korea's largest beach

One of the most popular tourist destination in Busan is the beach. Busan actually has two famous beach, Haeundae and Gwangalli. But as we have limited time, we chose to go to Haeundae only seeing it is the most famous beach in Busan. We took subway there. Exit the subway, we stopped for Honey toast (4800 won = 53k rupiah) at Coffine Gurunaru. I liked the one at Cafe Bene more, the bread was softer and fluffier. 

So from the subway exit, just go straight to the beach. It needs around 10 - 15 mins of walking but you won't notice it because along the way, you would see lots of shops and restaurants. 

Haeundae beach, just like the one I saw at Kimchi Chronicles. White clean sands and blue sea. Too bad we reached there almost 7pm. Though the sky is getting dark around 7.30 at Korea, still we didn't manage to capture a shot of  the clear blue sky.

Directions: Haeundae station (line 2) exit 5. Just walk straight to the beach.

Nampodong - Food and fashion street. The most popular street in Busan.

From Haeundae, we took subway to go back to hotel. Later at night, we walked to Nampodong, Busan's most popular street where shops and cafe are along the street. Look for KFC in the corner and just enter the alley. Prepare to meet lines of food hawkers and small diners and boutiques along the alley. Many food hawkers in Busan sell Hotteok (Korean pancake comes with brown sugar, chopped peanuts, honey and cinnamon). It's one of the popular street food, best served warm. The pancake is sticky and paired well with the chunky chopped peanuts. Good but not great.

We entered one small diner to try their grilled octopus, and it was soooo goood. They serve only octopus. We grilled ourselves and then wrapped it with the lettuce. The octopus was tender, perfectly marinated, freakin' good. I don't know the restaurant name as it was written in Korean, all the staffs couldn't speak english. When we paid the bill, we went straight to the cashier asking him how much, he couldn't speak english and probably no calculator was around, so he took amount of money from the cashier just to show us how much we need to pay.

This is the only symbol of the restaurant I managed to capture
Directions: Nampodong (line 1) exit 1 or 3 

Continue to Ivy's Travel: Korea Trip Part 4...

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