Becky and Scott do Korea – Part 1 Daegu and Busan
I’m really sorry for the super lateness of this post and my general lack of posting. I’ve been so busy with volunteering, extra-curricular opportunities and fostering ANOTHER beagle (but more about that later!), I’ve not had any time to write on here. At last the first semester is over and I have no classes to keep me occupied so here goes.
In May my friends Becky and Scott flew in to Korea for two weeks of sightseeing and yummy food shaped fun with us and our friends.
After a mammoth flight and a four hour train journey a very tired Scott and Becky arrived in Daegu. I met them at the train station and escorted them back to my flat which would be their base for a few days. That evening Scott, Becky, Ash and I met up for the first of what would be many Korean barbecues. It was, of course, a hit!
Friday night fun in Daegu
We were at school on Friday and Becky and Scott needed their rest so in the evening we went out with some friends for food. However, after facing an extremely busy restaurant we decided to wait for a while in a bar in the same block on the top floor and got stuck in the lift for 30 minutes! It was quite distressing towards the end, with friends passing a straw through for us to drink water, but we were finally freed and given a free drink each and some complimentary snacks by the bar! Fortunately we managed to get seats in our desired restaurant, then went to Gogo Bar to drink lots of lethal cocktails in a bag, sang our hearts out at Noraebang and went home about 2am after a kebab! These pictures speak for themselves (and our state).
Hungover in Busan
We were supposed to get a 7:30am train to Busan on the Saturday morning, but were all feeling very delicate from the night before so rearranged our tickets for a more reasonable 10am. We headed straight to Haeundae beach. It was roasting so we walked in the freezing surf before deciding that we needed hair of the dog and sat nursing a beer. We waited for our friend Claire who was coming to meet us, then went to a traditional restaurant in the market behind the beach for a huge and very tasty, huge and reasonably priced lunch.
We spent the afternoon taking a wander up Dalmaji Hill which sits above Haeundae beach and offers amazing views of the coast, with giant sky scrapers jutting out into the sea. It’s a nice easy stroll and the road actually leads around to another quieter beach which would be a nice hike.
In the evening we caught the subway over to Gwangalli beach to see the famous Gwangalli bridge, eat and stay in a jimjilbang close by called Gwangan Haesu World so that Scott, Becky and Claire could have their first overnight Korean jimjilbang experience!
Everyone was totally exhausted by this point and ready for bed but first we had to use the gender separated public baths. It’s always a strange experience being naked in front of friends (and lots of Koreans) for the first time but Becky took it in her stride! Unfortunately the sleeping area was SOOOOOO HOT and stuffy we didn’t manage to get a great night’s sleep, although we did realise in the morning that it had a gorgeous view of the bridge.
A Sunday packed to the seams
We had lots planned on Sunday and our first stop was a small very retro fairground close by, where the rides overlooked the sea. It was very old-school but a nice experience.
Afterwards we caught a a taxi to Yongugsa temple, which is near to Songjeong beach about 30 minutes away. This temple is unique in Korea because usually they are found in the mountains, but Yongungsa (the water temple) sits on the rocks next to the ocean. It was really busy but very scenic and pretty, even more so because there were hundreds (if not thousands) of brightly coloured lanterns hung around in preparation for Buddha’s birthday the following week.
Ash had to leave early to collect Betty from her pet sitter’s and Claire was going to join him, however the traffic coming back from the temple was total gridlock. They had to hop off our bus and race for the subway, but still missed their train!
Becky, Scott and I had decided to stay a little longer to visit Jagalchi fish market and Nampo Dong international market. We spent an extra couple of hours feeling sorry for the poor fish in the market but happy that a place like this was thriving, then wandering around the many tiny congested alleys of the market before catching a train back to Daegu. We were totally shattered but satisfied after an action-packed weekend.
The following week we went to Seoul! I’ll try to get a post about that up in the next couple of days. Thanks to Becky and Scott for letting me nab their pictures!