Monday, 9 June 2014

Travel in Korea: Day 2 in Busan

Warning: This is going to be a long post with lots of visuals and sharing from me about my Day 2 in Busan.

Hello guys, I am back with my travelogue on Korea. I have previously shared about my Day 1 in Busan. If you are planning to go Busan, you can click on the link about things to do and eat there! This post is on my day 2 in Busan. In the morning, we went to Gamcheon Cultural Village but I posted a separate post on it because I had too many photos to share with y'all. So.... I shall continue to share about what we did after going to the cultural village ^^

Attraction #1: Gwangbok street (Nampo-dong)

We took a cab from the cultural village to Gwangbok street. How should I describe this street? Okay, it is basically like Orchard Road in Singapore; a street with many shops (mainly chain stores).

There were a few shops which were selling really cheap clothes (from 5000 to 15000 won) and I managed to go back with a huge bag of clothes! But it is not really a smart choice for us to start from this street because we had to lug our heavy clothes around for the rest of the day. Yes, it is a pretty street to take photos too :D

While hunting for our lunch, I came across this really cool money exchange booth! It was winter when I went so the weather was quite cold but these two ahjummas were just sitting out here with this sign "money exchange". I wonder if people really go to these make-shift booths to do money exchange? [:

Food #1: Abalone porridge

Luckily for us, the receptionist at our hostel was very helpful and friendly. My friends and I wanted to try abalone porridge in Busan but we did not want to go for those big chain restaurants that could be found in Seoul so we decided to ask the hostel receptionist for recommendations! She recommended this restaurant to us which was a 15 minutes walk from our hostel at Jagalchi Fish Market. It is located in the Nampo-dong area and it was really packed during lunch! I tried to find the English name of the shop but couldn't find so if you have any idea what is the name and address of this restaurant, please drop us a comment below!

But I am quite sure that if you show the locals the store's signboard, they will be able to direct you to the place!

The menu is simple: mainly just abalone porridge or having the fried fish with rice. Initially, I felt disappointed that there were only kimchi and radish as side dishes but they went so well with the porridge that we finished almost everything that were placed on our table. Try the porridge with the seaweed!

Okay, this is the main highlight of the meal! Even before I headed to Korea, I was already very excited to try out the abalone porridge that all my friends were raving about. It was really yummy! Please try this in Busan or Jeju or Seoul or wherever you are in Korea! The abalone they use tasted really different from the can ones that we always eat in Singapore. I guess these are the real deal? Fresh abalone from the sea! Love the texture though I felt that it didn't have much taste. And I have to share with y'all that this is so much better than the chain abalone porridge restaurant that I went to in Seoul! The porridge is soooooo good! ^^

The fried fish was really good as well! My friend actually preferred the fried fish over the porridge so I guess it really depends on your personal preference? It is really crispy and the fish meat is super soft!

I think this was one of my fav meals in Busan! I will recommend that you guys include this in your schedule in Busan!

Attraction #2: Busan Tower

It was a short walk from our lunch place to Busan Tower. Since the weather was good, we decided to take a stroll around and we ended up there.

It is pretty similar to Seoul Tower. The fences were full of love locks; for people to lock down their love over here. Pretty cliche but it is something worth doing for people who are deep in love! 

My travel mates in Busan ^^
Did I mention that I love winter time? And I have this strange liking towards bare trees and cold air. Somehow, the cold makes me feel alive and gives me energy! 

Food #2: Street snacks along Nampo-dong streets 

I love street food! Well, I am a die hard fan of spicy food and starchy food so spicy rice cakes (Tteokbokki) are a must-eat everyday in Korea. I am not kidding! I really eat at least 2 portions of tteokbokki a day.

sweet street snacks
This street was full of food vendors, mostly selling the same variety of food. It is fascinating how they have different kinds of rice cakes (different shapes and cooked in different ways). I LOVE RICE CAKES!! It was my first time having the rice cake on a stick cooked in the soup broth and I love it as much as the one cooked in the spicy sauce. If only there was a shop in Singapore selling all kinds of tteokbokki, I will be so happy!

They also have different kinds of dumplings (mandu). We tried the one with meat and sweet potato noodles! Love the sauce (at the corner of the picture) that went with the mandu!

Yes, I was very confused as to what was the difference between the two pans of tteokbokki. Well, I just tried everything! I think there was a bit of difference in the texture and shape of the rice cakes.

Attraction #3: Jagalchi Fish Market

Directions to Jagalchi Fish Market :
Jagalchi Station (Busan subway line 1), Exit 10.
Turn right onto Jagalchi 3(sam)-gil Street.
Walk for 5min, then turn left to arrive at Jagalchi Market.

We were staying right at the centre of the Jagalchi Fish Market so we got to experience the market at different times of the day. You will get to see all kinds of seafood and products. I was very amazed by the huge variety of sea creatures I saw.

There were octopuses crawling about on the floor. It is quite a funny sight to see the ahjummas trying to catch them!

These fishes looked really diseased, with their bloated stomach and blood all over. Does anyone know what fish is this?

Corn sausage that looks so yummy but tasted so awful!
There are several markets that are all around the BIFF square area. Gukje Market leads to Bupyeong Market which then leads to Kkangtong Market. I am a fan of Korean dramas and so I have always wanted to try eating in these roadside tents! Finally, I got to fulfil my wish when I was in Busan. It feels really good to go into one of the tents and hide from the cold while having something hot to eat!

Look! It is like a dream come true to be able to sit inside these tents and eat my tteokboki!

super delicious meat!

Attraction #4: Book alley

The Bosu-dong Book Alley is a haven for all those who love reading. It is a narrow alley with book stores and artsy murrals. We were lucky to come upon this Book Alley by chance!

This random fried snack that we had was really yummy! Fried dough with vegetables as the filling. One of the reasons why I love Korea so much is probably the availability of yummy and interesting street snacks at every other corner.

Cafe #1: Mio Café

We were tired from the walking and decided to take a short break at a café before we continue on our journey. We were lucky to come across this cosy little café hidden towards the end of the Book Alley! The barista/owner of the café is so skilful; just look at the beautiful latte art! The books were mostly in Korean but at least the photos taken looked nicer with the books in the background.

I love window seats in cafes. Sitting by the window and looking at the world go by has the ability to make me forget whatever I have on my mind at the point in time.


Attraction #5: BIFF 

Nampo-dong, Jung-gu, Busan-si
부산 중구 비프광장로
Directions to BIFF Square:
Jagalchi Station, Line 1, Exit 7,
5min walk from the station (Walk straight and turn left)

BIFF square is mainly a area with many shops and leisure facilities and movie theatres. Most of the attractions that I mentioned in this post are pretty near to each other.

This is my favourite street snack in Busan! We happened to pass by this stall selling hotteok at BIFF square that had a very long queue and being typical tourists, we decided to queue for it! Well, to be honest, all the hotteok stalls in Busan are equally good! I tried a hotteok stall in Seoul and it was so horrible! Yes, Busan is the place for hotteok!

Food #3: Seafood Hotpot

I don't have the name of the restaurant but it's around the BIFF square area. We decided to try out this restaurant as Busan is supposed to be famous for their seafood and also because this restaurant was packed with people! It turned out to be a pretty good choice [:

It was our last (2nd) night in Busan and so cheers to a good day out! We had some soju and beer to go with our seafood pot. It felt so good to be having something hot and soupy in the cold winter season.

Look at the crazy amount of seafood! The whole pot was only around S$40. The soup was really sweet and I am sure that all seafood lovers will love this pot of goodness.

Food #4: BBQ meat

Well, after our first stop, we decided to cross over to the restaurant opposite for some BBQ meat. The BBQ in Busan is so so affordable! One portion of meat is less than S$10!

yummy steamed egg!

pork belly + marinated pork

After the BBQ, we were almost bursting out of our thick jackets and clothes. I will definitely recommend the seafood pot if you are around the area!

That's the end of my Day 2 in Busan. I really enjoyed my time in Busan and if given a chance, I will want to stay there for a longer period of time. Even though I may face problems in communicating with the locals sometimes, I feel that the locals there are very friendly and warm which really made my whole experience there very enjoyable!

I will be sharing more about my travel experience in Seoul so please stay tune to this space!

Please feel free to send us any enquiries or questions that you may have to or drop us a comment below! [:

"One day, you will find where you belong."


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