While living on the Korean peninsula for the better part of a year, many moons were spent in Seoul, Suwon, and surrounding cities making (and forgetting) memories with some of my best friends. Visiting the capital city was a weekly endeavor and by the time I left I was navigating the metro system and backstreets with like a professional. I don’t regret anything about my time in Korea but if I could have another go at it, I would have spent more than a few days in the Land of the Morning Calm’s second city: Busan.
Not wanting to pop smoke without spending at least a weekend in the southeastern port city, the crew and I purchased tickets on Korea’s famed KTX and settled in for the hour-ish ride (in backwards facing seats no less). Stations are of course crowded but offer plenty opportunities to grab pics.
The ride was what I expected a high-speed train to be: smooth, quiet, and service oriented. Of course Wifi-enabled us screen gazers to check email, post tweets, and do it for tha Vine but you’re missing out if you decide to keep your head down. The countryside is strikingly beautiful and quite the contrast to the vertical metropolis of Seoul. After arriving at Busan Station, we set course for the world famous Jagalchi Fish Market.
JAGALCHI FISH MARKET
One has to have boots on the ground here to truly experience Jagalchi Fish Market. For one, it’s huge! Locals and tourists alike crowd the narrow aisles and outside markets to purchase the freshest seafood on the peninsula. I typically avoid seafood like James Harden avoids playing defense but the energy surrounding this joint was through the roof. The aroma of the ocean’s treasures permeates your nostrils and the damp air is a welcome relief to the summer heat and humidity Korea is known for. Some foreigners we met came to Busan just to visit the market. That says it all…
Of course, what’s a trip to Busan without showing your face at the peninsula’s famed Haeundae Beach? The sand seemed to stretch for miles and the colors of the umbrella lines pop when the sun shines its light down. The setting for 2009 disaster flick ‘Tidal Wave,’ the waters this time were calm, drinks cold, and the food fresh. The locals we encountered went out of their way to break bread and share their culture with a bunch of yanks and the memories will last a lifetime…
By the time we made moves to Busan Tower, the temperature had reached 98234235 degrees and my clothes were soaked with the regret of not bringing an extra shirt. Towering (boom!) roughly 200ish feet above terra firma, Busan Tower offers panoramic views of the bustling port below and provides guests the opportunities to tour an exhibition hall and purchase trinkets to lose in future junk drawers. Shaded areas were scarce in the park below but you couldn’t beat the view offered at the top of the tower.