Xiaoyu's Blog

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Busan & Seoul Travelogue - Part 1

It's been a while since I updated my blog! & now that I am writing, it's gonna be a super long post.
As you can see from the title, I went to South Korea last month for 2 weeks and came back on 3rd of April.
I shall cut the chase & begin my SOUTH KOREA TRAVELOGUE!!
At the end of the whole travelogue, I will post a link of our 15 days trip to Busan & Seoul itinerary in my blog so you can download and see where we went.
It also includes the directions to the destination. :D
Please do not claim the itinerary as yours and credit appropriately, as it is the efforts of the 3 of us.

Click the link to read Part 2 and Part 3.

Busan Day 1

I'm going to Busan & Seoul with my sister Pauline & another friend, Huimin.
It is sorta grad trip + celebrate my Jie's 21st (belated birthday)???

Goodbye Singapore! Hello Korea!
The flight took about 6 hours & we landed safely in Incheon Airport at 3.05pm.
We thought we could catch the 4.30pm KTX to Busan but we missed it by just a few minutes!! So the next available time slot was 6.35pm..
The staff that serve us clearly showed how stress she was... Because the customers before us apparently caused even more stress to her, this was what she did:
She sat back, rolled her eyes, took off her blazer & did a 360 degree neck spin.
When it was our turn, she was very efficient; she pressed the 'Enter' button so hard & so many times like it offended her or something
Being the nice girls we are, we thanked her sincerely and wished her a good day before we leave :D.

We ate at this Korea foodcourt in the airport, food was yummy and they sell Minimelts!!

I seldom post selfies (even in Insta) but I was feeling good hehehe
Fast forward, we were so clueless as to tap the card at the domestic airport gantry when there was another gate for us which does not require any tapping of card.
Unfortunately we cannot sit together because it was the last 3 seats left, thank God, but our cars were linked.
The journey from Seoul to Busan took about 3.5hours....
The plane took off from Singapore at 8.05am and we reached our hotel in Busan at 12am. I'll fill you in later in the post.

The journey does not stop there...
So from plane, we transit to KTX, transit to metro.
The metro is sorta like our MRT, it was not hard to reached our train station.
Here comes the hard part: finding the hotel.
We gave up Google Map because it appears that it is not in the map, so our last resort was taxi.
& mind you, the place is rather ulu, it's dark and almost every shops are closed.
The 1st taxi driver, after communicating through the walkie-talkie (I assume it's what all taxi driver has) and searching in his car's GPS, he
1. deduced that the hotel is in JEJU-DO then
2. there is no such hotel

At this point, my sister, who was the one talking to the driver, is panicking.
I also went wide-eyed, obvi.
She wanted to just check in to the nearest hotel but I decided to try another taxi driver.
He took us in, and drove us around the corner. I understood abit of Korean so he said 'found it'. But it was not assuring..
End up Pauline called her Korean friend to S.O.S and she talked to the driver. The driver also called the hotel and help us.
Seriously I can't thank her Korean friend & the taxi driver enough for their help!!!

Quite a drama/adventure on the first night of our holiday. 3 girls almost became stranded in the cold, dark streets of Busan.

We came back from the convenience store with cup ramen & the employee was a shy teenage boy.
He was playing K-Pop & my sister sang along with him HAHAHA.
Then he asked us if we were Twice's fans & she replied she's more of GOT7 fan.
He asked who is her bias & I helped her answer: JACKSON, WANG JACKSON.

First day we already had so much drama... Here's the hotel room tour:

So that's basically our first day in Busan. Lots of traveling it took up the whole day.

Busan Day 2

Even though I bathe the longest, I prepare the fastest in the morning.
We head out to SeoMyeon to have breakfast.
I still can't get used to the chilly morning in Korea...
We walked aimlessly to see where should we eat. We ended up in a small humble noodle shop opened by an Ajumma (I think all, if not most shops are opened by Ajummas).
We 3 ordered the same bowl of noodle soup.

I actually wanted Samgyetang but this offer a cheaper alternative & I'm so glad we ate there.
The soup is not too salty neither is it too bland. The noodles are very Q-Q!!
The portions are big, I left little soup & noodles whereas it seems that no matter how much Huimin eat, it doesn't seem to decrease HAHAHAHA
Another pair of customers entered the shop after us & one of them called us & (obvi) spoke in Korean but we told them we are not Korean.
We had a short chat & they left before us.
The Ajumma is also so sweet towards us :)

We then went to our 1st stop of our itinerary: Geomcheon Culture Village.
We took Subway Line 1 & alighted at Toseong Station & took bus 2-2 which takes us to the venue.
The road to the village is very steep!!
We spent a lot of time taking pictures in the same background hahaha so it's naturally we spent about 4 hours there.
The place is really huge so you just have to explore.
Bad thing: Slopes, stairs, more (steep) slopes.
Even bad thing: Cold wind blowing towards you face while you climb up.

We found a supposedly abandoned puppy by the bus stop & the 3 of us stopped & went to him.
He was shivering so badly in a cardboard box!! With a rope strapped to his neck & a pole.
I tried letting him drink the cup of water beside the box but he refused.
Poor pup must've felt the harsh weather :(
I just couldn't stare & do nothing do I just wrapped his body with my shawl.
I mean, the shawl can buy again what right, I'm sure that's what people will do.
We stayed for a long while because we just couldn't bear to live him alone.
I even thought of hugging him & carry him with us to our adventure but what Huimin said was right: you can't bring him back too.
Thankfully the owner came & the pup was so delighted to see his owner :D
Luckily we were there when the owner came if not our heart won't be put to ease ahhaha.

It is a good spot to do dating! So envious of the couples around.
A lot of nice murals to take photos or shoots ^-^.

I don't know what got into me to pick up the ladybug 
Shhh don't tell anyone
Their corn is quite sweet and very chewy!!
Clearly I'm enjoying it

  There is this photo that is the most dangerous:

Why? Because beyond this railing, you can expect suicide hahaha.
But there's a safety net ah, but that doesn't mean it's 100% safe.
I expected that village to be stamped with murals & paintings or art everywhere but we have to walk a bit to find a pretty wall or spot.

Next plan was going to Nampo-dong.
We just wanna eat their street food & we ate Ddeobokki & Man Du!
The Ddeobokki were chewy & not very spicy, the Man Du is just, mmMM!!
We then move around the see & shop a little.
We had a second round of street food because I know I'll be hungry at night.

The Man Du in Busan is soooooo yummy!!! I miss it already :( The fish cake soup broth is also so tasty!!
The long chicken stick on the right, is a must-not-miss street food!! It's bomb in your mouth

Last stop for the day was Seomyeon Underground Shopping Centre.
But we didn't spent much though.. We left early because our shoes are killing us x.x

Back in the hotel, I was the only one enjoying the Jacuzzi (Huimin why you pangseh me) but it.. felt.. so.. SHIOK!!!!!
So that's pretty much how our day 2 went :).

Busan Day 3

We woke up early in the morning because today is the most anticipated & highlight of why we came to Busan! 
We had breakfast in another hotel nearby (which is weird..) at the highest level (I thought most hotel's cafes are ground level). 
It was not like the typical Singapore hotel cafes where it's buffet & big and you see other guests, this is more like a home setting.
There were limited number of food but it was delicious!!
It felt cosy :) 
We were the only customers there & the hosts are so friendly :D

After our breakfast, we decided to cab to Busan Paragliding School from the nearest metro station.
How we know, it turns out it took us 5 cabs to enter because the 1st 4 cabbies didn't know how to go. A kind-hearted cabbie went through different ways to help us get to the destination. 
There were language barrier between us, so it was rather difficult. 
He helped to call the taxi HQ (I suppose) & the Paragliding School. So the cabbie told us to wait at a spot & he waited with us. 
Then came a man gesturing us towards him. YAAAY THANK YOU SEONSAENG-NIM!
We entered the a small office (?) & waited for the van to pick us up. 
It took us 45 minutes to reach the mountain top... 

A simulator
We each have one instructor & they tried to converse with us even though our language are broken here & there :)
The view from the top of the mountain is breathe-taking. & when I mean breathe-taking, i mean jaw-dropping.
Mother Nature is indeed wonderful, just that it wasn't invested in Singapore hahaha.

Damn it it's foggy
Okay so we got equipped with our gears and were briefed about the procedures before flight and before landing.

Huimin was suppose to fly first but the wind wasn't cooperating... Da Jie faced the opposite side and took off first. But she failed twice, falling on her butt xP.
I felt excited when her feet lifted off the ground!
Then it was my turn. When my instructor told me to run, I RAN HEAVILY.
Heavily because I am carrying a bulky bag & there was wind resistant against the parachute. 
But when I am really flying, I giggled & screamed!! It was so surreal.
The scenery, the plains, the sky, everything was so beautiful.
Unfortunately, the wind speed was about 1m/s whereas the ideal wind speed is 3m/s, so our playing time is reduced...
Nevertheless, the experience is there.
One item stroke off my bucket list!

It is HD in my phone & computer but when I upload to Youtube it became like that =_=

After we landed:

And apparently one of the licensed paraglider had his parachute stuck to a tree thrice in attempt to fly solo.
That made one of the Saudi customer chicken out. 
When we reached back to the school, the instructors treated us drinks and snacks! So nice of them!! Huimin thinks it's their way of making up to the short playing time. But it is not to their control, so it's alright :)
While on the way back to eat, I dropped my scarf. :)
I have to admit I felt really upset... Because I bought that in Hong Kong & how could I not feel that I dropped it!! 
I only realised it before we reached the next station so we immediately went back to retrieve, but to no avail. :(

One of the instructors introduced us an eatery in Jagalchi Market & so we went to find it!
We obviously look like we are finding for the place when one kind ajusshi helped us to locate it. He spoke English & seems like he's acting like a guide to 3 foreigners. 
He successfully helped us find the shop!! Thank you so much!!
I forgot the name of the shop...

Grilled eels! They were still moving!! 

Our last destination of the day is Gukje Market. We couldn't find where is it, turns out the reason for that is that BECAUSE WE ARE ALREADY IN GUKJE.
Stupid sia & it's very near Nampo-dong which we went yesterday.
We ate sooo much, even after the heavy meal.
We literally just eat & eat & eat.

& then we queued up for this stall because apparently there was a long queue & being Singaporeans..

So apparently the cast of K-Variety show Infinity Challenge came before & some other celebs
I'd say the queue was worth it! The snack was cheap too!

Then we ate again hahaha Churros for 1000 Won!! 
Crazy of us to eat ice cream on an already cold weather
We went back to the hotel quite early because the ladies were already tired & Huimin & I wanted to soak ourselves in the jacuzzi.
Then we ordered delivery with the help of the hotel receptionist! 
Just jajangmyeon & yangnyeom chicken! 

Okay it doesn't look appetizing but in real life it actually is!!
Why is everything in Korea so delicious???
There seem to be drama/adventure everyday since day 1 & I wonder what's in store for us tomorrow!

Busan Day 4

Today's first itinerary was suppose to be Changseondong Meokja Golmok, which is at Jagalchi but we already went there so we moved to our next destination - Yeojwacheon Stream, which is a cherry blossom road.
It wasn't exactly the perfect season for the cherry blossom to bloom but... there is a possibility & Da Jie wanted to go so badly.

We took an intercity bus from Sasang to Jinhae.

Apparently it is an hour half ride & not 4 hours which we read from a blog post. Scare us only.
Well, we thought we could walk to the stream but boy, were we wrong.
I must say, the cabbies are smart & sharp; they know who is in need of a cab.
Maybe because we were always stopping & looking at our phones, pointing to directions & obviously looking lost.
The taxi driver honked & we hopped onto his car & he drove us to the place. When we reached, we were disappointed that it hadn't bloom yet :(
It's about 30% bloomed? But nevertheless we still took photos hahaah

Lunch in a quaint shophouse & we had some kind of pork soup w rice. The Ajumma was so kind to teach us how to eat & all. She even asked us about our country & chatted with us :)
It was delicious, without a doubt.

Its really feels very warm and cosy

Moving on, we asked the ajumma to help us call taxi to bring us to the next cherry blossom road, Gyeonghwa Station.
She even told us to stay inside because it is very cold outside. :')
This cabbie were rather rude though, he just snatched the money from Huimin & did not give us change, which was 300W.
It may not seemed a lot but still, was it because he see us tourist then he conned us??  
Over here the wind was no joke, I froze my ass off, my butt was shivering & my teeth chattering.

Yup there was a railway track here
Yup I fell
We took the bus back but we alighted at the wrong stop. I was so confident about the stop.. No wonder Da Jie doesn't trust me... xP
So we walked & walked, relied on Google Maps & asking for directions.
It got really cold & we felt droplets of water from the sky. 
Thank God! After we bought the tickets, the girls went to the toilet while I look for the time the bus leaves, but it wasn't stated on the ticket. 
So I asked the staff & she wrote 18:30, & at that point of time it was about 18:27??
I panicked & called the girls to come out. Thank God we managed to board the bus. It departed 2 minutes after we seated.

We had dinner at a restaurant in front of our hotel. 
Their menu were quite limited but we ordered spare ribs!!
It came with a few side dishes, a big bowl of soup & a bowl of rice. The spare ribs is so delicious!! It has Ddeobokki, mushrooms, carrots, pumpkins & chives.
The sauce is rather spicy with a hint of sweetness, & I found myself scooping the sauce to my rice. For someone who cannot handle spicy food, it's shocking. 
That's how good the spare ribs are!!

Man how I wish I can eat this again...

Tonight is the last night in Busan, tomorrow we are going to Seoul.
We didn't manage to visit every destination of our itinerary such as Haeundae Beach & Gwangalli Beach. But it's okay! The weather is cold so it might be a good thing we did not head to the beach.

That's the end of our adventure in Busan!
Click here to read PART 2 :D


Anonymous said...

For your consideration.

Anonymous said...

How did you book the paragliding trip?
What is the website?
How much was the paragliding?

✍ Zenna YXY said...

HI Anonymous! I'm sorry but I couldn't find the name card that they gave me! But we got a Korean friend & she helped us pay for the fee & also to liaise with the instructors :)

My sister was the one sourcing the paragliding company but if you really wanna know how, I can ask her if you want :)

Tom said...

Great post! Love the pictures! Do check out our post on Busan Travel Itinerary as well!

Happy Travels Everyone!

Tom & Kate,

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