Last Saturday was my last day of “Saturday English Camp”, and I could not wait to celebrate in Busan. I barely made the bus leaving from my school (literally I ran, and gave the bus driver a sad face and he opened it back up so I could get on). 감사합니다! Unfortunately, I was in for a very long ride to Gyeongsan station, but it was a beautiful day, the bus windows were open and I had good music to listen to. 45 minutes later I got off the bus near the station. This was my first time taking the bus there, so that was something new for me too. Normally, I would have just taken the slow train to Busan, but I had to go into Daegu to meet my friend Cam at Dongdaegu Station. So my only options were to hope for a train coming soon to Dongdaegu (less that 10 minutes), or to transfer 2 city buses, and 2 subway lines. I chose to just take the one train even though it was more expensive, and it took longer. I had to wait another hour, but it was worth it I think. I got to watch Korean wrestling in the waiting area, and that was very interesting! I also ran into my friend Katleho who was also going to Busan, so I convinced her to come with me to Dongdaegu. Confused yet? I’ll make another post about all the different trains here. After this weekend, I feel like a Korail master!
So, we arrived at Dongdaegu around 3pm, and I quickly found my friend Cam and we bought our KTX tickets for Busan. It took about 45 minutes to get there, so not bad at all. Then, we grabbed a taxi to go meet some other friends that were already on the beach. I think the taxi ride took longer than the train ride. There was so much traffic! But we finally made it to Gwangalli beach around 5pm, grabbed some food and drinks at Thursday Party, and just chilled on the beach for a couple hours. It was beautiful!
Then, we decided it was probably a good idea to find a place to sleep for the night. We tried a few love motels, but they were all full. Finally we found one all the way on the other side of the beach for a decent price, but of course it wasn’t the classiest place. So, for those of you that don’t know, there are many options of places to stay for the night in Korea. One of these options is a love motel. Everywhere in Korea you will see buildings that say “Motel”. Basically these are places that Korean couples go to be alone together. Most young adults in Korea live with their families because down payments on apartments are very expensive. There was only one bed in our room, and we had four people, so the owner brought us tons of pillows and blankets so we could sleep on the floor. It was really nice of her! The room was pretty dingy though. The bathroom was in shambles, and had black mold and was just nasty. We did have an amazing beach view though:
After we all freshened up, we went down to the beach and found ourselves at an outdoor dance party. They had DJ’s on stage and everyone was dancing. The funny thing was it was all old people, and teenagers. We joined right in though, and they loved us. I kept being grabbed by them into the circle and we danced and danced for about a half hour. Then, we went to a mexican restaurant called Fuzzy Naval nearby. It was pretty much the exact same thing as the mexican restaurant here in Daegu, so not impressive and extremely overpriced. After that, we just bar/club hopped until about 4am. At some point we went over to the KSU area and spent a few hours at Blue Monkey dancing. Around 4am, we got a taxi and had him take us to McDonalds. They had just started serving breakfast so everyone was excited about that. But, I really wanted chicken nuggets, so I asked in Korean if they had any. The girl yelled back in the kitchen and then said they would make some for me. Yes! That would never happen back home! We made it back to our room around 4:45, and decided since we were up we may as well catch the sunrise on the beach. We didn’t have to wait long, although there wasn’t really a sunrise. It just got lighter and lighter, but that was okay.
After trying for awhile to go to sleep, Chris and I decided we wanted massages at a 24 hours massage place we saw during the day. We tried to go in, but they told us they were actually closed for 2 hours while they ate. Not sure if that was really the case, but it was too expensive anyway. I said we should try to find a jimjilbang, and we walked up and down the beach until we found some older men who were very helpful. Turned out they were looking for it too! So once we found it, we ended up staying there until around 7:30am. The jimjilbang experience needs it’s own post so stay tuned. We went back to the room very refreshed, and I quickly fell asleep until check out time at 11. From there, we headed to Haeundae beach, chilled, got lunch at Thursday party, and walked around the market. Before we left for the train station, we went to Busan Aquarium. I was super excited to go here (I’m an aquarium nerd!). It was really crowded, but I really enjoyed it.
After the aquarium, we grabbed a taxi back to the train station. The drive took us over an amazing bridge over the ocean. It was incredible. Cam wanted to show us Little China and Little Russia before we left, so we took a quick walk across from the train station to check out this area. It was definitely cool, and I want to go back when I have more time. It was so strange to hear so many people speaking Russian, but it was a welcome change from hearing Korean all the time. We had one group of guys stop us in the street to ask us where we were from. They also all wanted pictures with my friend Chris for some reason.
We caught a 6pm KTX back to Dongdaegu, and I barely made it on a train back to Gyeongsan. Then I took the bus back to my apartment, and quickly fell asleep at about 8pm. Amazing 24 hours in Busan! I can’t wait to go back when the weather gets warmer!
Here’s Haeundae beach: