Trip to Korea Highlights: Exploring Busan & Seoul

Thursday, November 10, 2016

South Korea has been on my list of to go places for a while now. I think the only thing that was holding me back from exploring South Korea was the food. Being someone who didn't quite fancy spicy things, I was pretty afraid of Korea (afraid is putting it lightly). However, I can safely say I've changed my mind.


I would happily go into details as to how I even decided to go and visit Korea this year, but that would be boring (I'll be making separate posts haha). So here are a few of my favourite moments from South Korea.

Busan

Busan was the first stop in our trip. As the tourist turned tour guide, it was apparently my responsibility to find the best places to go in Busan. To be honest, I think I failed but at least we got to explore a lot of interesting places, see a lot of interesting things and eat a lot of food.

We had a day and a half to explore Busan. So I tried to fit a bunch of different places into one day. Thankfully my parents are still young enough to keep up with me dragging them here and there while getting lost.




Jagalchi Market

Our very first stop was Jagalchi Fish Market. If you've never been to a fish market, then you should definitely come here to check out the fresh and still wriggling seafood. If you have been to a fish market, it is still a good place to go and see how they clean, prepare, and process the seafood. You can see a bunch of unknown fish and the like either being gutted or hung out to dry. Or you can just snap pictures of them from a distance (like me) and smile apologetically at the ajumma (aunties). 

This fish market is also where I learned to fear Korea's ajumma. hahahaha If you've ever been glared at, cursed or yelled at by one, you'd know what I mean (they didn't curse, but they did mutter rude things at us in Korean thinking we didn't understand #rood).





Gwangandaegyo Bridge & Gwangalli Bridge

A friend of mine (Nuri, thank you for your suggestion!) recommended me to go and check out Gwangandaegyo Bridge at night.You can view the bridge from Gwangalli Beach, which also has a stretch of restaurants, cafes, bars, and the like. It was actually very beautiful (if you can't tell from my picture). It was autumn when we were there and it was already pretty cold. But the strong wind made it 10x colder. So if you're gonna stroll down the beach like we did during autumn, winter or even spring, please dress warmly.


Taejongdae
Taejongdae is actually a large area where you can enjoy the breathtaking views while getting some much-needed exercise. Not gonna lie, it was absolutely tiring to hike up and down the steps. Not to mention the super strong wind. Even so, the view was definitely breathtaking and worth the effort.

There are several places you can visit at Taejongdae such as Yeongdo Lighthouse, Geumyeongsa Temple, and the Observatory. However, the most noteworthy would be the area around the Yeongdo Lighthouse.


Seoul

Seoul was our second stop and where we spent the rest of our trip. It definitely felt busier and less friendly than Busan, but there were a few great things we enjoyed in Seoul.


Nami Island 
Nami Island is definitely one of my favourite places. I love it so much. I want to come back here during every season just to see what it's like. It is beautiful in autumn and I would definitely go back here to just spend the day walking around the island (and to try the zip line). There are many paths to take and many beautiful scenic spots for you to snap pictures or just sit and chill. But what I enjoyed most are the animals. There were squirrels, rabbits and peacocks just leisurely strolling here and there. haha





Gwanghwamun & Gyeongbokgung

Ok. Gwanghwamun is ENORMOUS. You can literally spend the whole day in there just strolling through the various gardens and compounds. You can even check out the museum they have on site. It has a cafe/gift shop too, so you can fill your tummy after walking around so much. If you like to spend your time slowly exploring historical sites, then Gwanghwamun is a must go. I loved it. 





Seoul Tower

The climb up to the entrance of Seoul Tower was surprisingly steep, but we made it up slowly and headed to the observation deck. There were a lot of trees with their leaves turning yellow, orange, and red on the way up so it was very scenic and pretty.

South Korea was definitely an amazing place to visit. I'm glad I decided to visit in autumn as I had never had the chance to see the autumn leaves. I seriously wish Malaysia had four seasons now. Also, despite my previous reservations about the food, I managed to enjoy a lot of it (seriously Nuri, thank you for your recommendations). I do wish I got to speak more to the locals in Busan to learn a bit of that Busan dialect haha but every local who took a moment to speak to me were kind and that was great. I have to admit there were some things that surprised me about the country but I definitely would go back to Korea again sometime in the near future.

***

Here is a full list of the places we visited in Busan and Seoul.

Links will be added depending on when I finish writing about them.

**These are not in the order we visited.

Busan


Seoul

  • Nami Island
  • Gwanghwamun (Gyeonbokgung)
  • Myeongdong 
  • Myeongdong Cathedral
  • Insadong
  • Seoul Tower
  • Cheongyecchon Stream
  • Dongdaemun
  • Bukchon 
  • Hongik University Street
  • Namdaemun Market
  • Ssamji-gil


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