Hello guys! Finally I decided to write this post. It's almost a month from my trip, so I'm sorry for the delay.. I just don't have any energy to spare for a allnighter and always decided to go to bed early every time. (⌣_⌣..) My Korea trip post will be divided by 3; Busan, Nami-Petit Prince-Seoul part 1, and Seoul part 2.
Before I already post some information about the preparation, so on three post, I won't write about preparation tips. It will be about the place, how to get there, the ticket price, and maybe my personal opinion. ^^
I went to Korea for 11 days and 11 night. I arrived at Incheon Airport around midnight, so I spent my first night at Girasol Guest House near Incheon. It was a clean room, with two twin bed that was arrange like a hotel. The owner, Mr. Lee, was a nice and kind one. He provide the pick-up service from Airport since it was close to his place. If you have any similiar situation as mine, you can check his place and contact him via airbnb.
As for the second day, I went to Busan. I was supposed to take the first KTX to Busan from Incheon Airport, but due to some mistake, I had to delay my schedule, so instead of the first one, I have to take the 12pm-ish one. I was supposed to go to two place, Haeundae Beach and Seomyeon Street, but because of the delay, I could only go to Haeundae Beach.
But that's not the interesting part. This incident took place in the KTX from Incheon to Busan.
For your information, I decided to go to Korea without proper language ability since I can only understand just a bit of Korean vocabulary, thanks to Korean drama and the reality show I keep on watching,
and of course my friends who keep teasing me in Korean and sometimes talk in Korean. It was only natural to be confused of what they're saying.
So I was travelling alone, without the ability to speak nor understanding Korean, and there were these group of Auntie who want to go to Ulsan. I didn't speak anything since in Japan, it was uncommon to speak to stranger in public transportation. After a minute or so, one of the auntie who sat beside me ask me a question I didn't understand, so I can only said, "Sorry, I can't speak Korean" and they ignore me for like 10 minutes. After that there was an announcement that I have to change train in Seoul Station, but I didn't understand what the announcement was about until the auntie asked me about my destination. It's not like they're good at english, but they only said the basic "where you're going?" and I said, "Busan."
They asked me if I understand the announcement and I said no, and they actually said that we have to change train and to follow them. I was confused at first because I didn't know where they're going, so after a help from Google Translate
yeah I don't have any good korean dictionary, so what can I do...., I asked them where they're going in Korean. Thanks God they only answered in one word, "Ulsan". haha... We didn't talk much, but atleast we said goodbye when we reached Ulsan. I never expected to get help like this from strangers, but I guess I'm always being protected by God.
Even at the Busan station, I couldn't find the metro entrance so I asked the police for help, and they actually helped me carry my big luggage. I was glad I asked the police about it... ^^ So then I went to my hotel, and with some difficulties, I finally found it. It was a good 10 minutes from the station, and the road is not as good as in Japan, so I was kinda upset. I was tired and pretty much behind the schedule, but it was gone when I finally put the luggage in my room. After resting a bit, I went to Haeundae beach (only 10 minutes from the guest house so I kinda happy).
Anyway, Haeundae is a bit far from Busan Station, so if you prefer a nearer one, you can always check the nearest station and the line. As for me, the guest house was pretty good and clean, and the owner is always present at breakfast time so I can ask for direction and recommended place. If you want to check it out, check here.
Back to the beach talk, it was not that nice actually, just your usual beach. Why I decided to go there was because I'm a fan of 2D1N and want to take some picture of the mermaid statue where my favorite
ex-member had to take picture with it on mermaid costume (o ³ )o ~♡ for my favorite ex-member, Kim Joo Hyuk.
After taking some picture, I went around the area and found a nice spot to take picture of the night view of Haeundae.
It was freezing after sunset, even though it's already late March when I go there. I thought it wouldn't be that cold, so I only wore a sweater and spring coat. I regretted not bringing my winter jacket. Please check the weather before you go and always ask yourself if you're more a hot or cold type or person.
After a good night walk, I decided to have my first dinner at a local street between Haeundae beach and my hotel. I really wanted to try the raw octopus (sannakji) - I know about it from 2D1N - so I walked around before I decided to enter one restaurant. It was good if you're able to eat raw food like sashimi, but if you're not, I advice you not to try this. I didn't take proper picture of it since I was busy taking video while trying to talk to the restaurant owner, but if you follow me on Snapchat, you might take a glimpse of the food appearance.
They were really kind as to keep asking me about where I come from, when they knew I'm not Korean
sorry people, for my abstract face, but I can guarantee you that I'm Indonesian with chinese blood. The ahjussi from a table behind me also join the conversation sometimes, and even give me a bit of unagi he ordered, saying that I didn't order that and I have to try it. It was really nice of them.. With a full stomach, I went back to the hotel and meet my first friends of the trip.
The third day was a tiring-but-nice day. I changed some of my schedule to make sure I don't have to spend my money on train and bus transportation. So the first destination was Yonggungsa Temple. I only need to take bus to get there. Do note that bus in Busan don't take cash as payment. I need to buy T-money in nearest convinient store before I can take the bus. From where I get off, I need to walk 5 minutes more to get into the temple entrance. It was a beautiful place, too bad it was under maintenance when I came.
And the temple has this place where you have to throw a coin and make it enter the basket in the first row. It means your luck is good or something like that. I couldn't really understand the meaning of it other than wasting coins for fun. But anyway, after standing there watching people throwing coins for a while, I realized that Sarang was there with Choo Sung Hoon when they visited Korea. Well, yeah, I'm not a big fan of Korean drama, but I really love Return of Superman and 2D1N (⌣_⌣..) so please forgive me if I mention them a lot in my post.
After Yonggungsa, I went to Gamcheon Cultural Village, you should be familiar with this as 2D1N had been there before. On the way I met two tourist from Indonesia, so we spent time together in Gamcheon. Once again, I felt really grateful that I met them just before I went to Gamcheon. OK I'm selfish, but you will know why I said that when you go to Gamcheon by yourself, without tripod. So, with their help, I could present you some pictures of Gamcheon. \(≧∇≦)/ horraaayy~!!
I remembered very well that in 2D1N, they have to collect stamp that was placed in several place in Gamcheon. I challange myself to get all of them and get two postcard for my youngest sister as she likes to collect postcard. I was pretty happy to collect all the stamps while I can reminisce the episode of 2D1N
yeah i was kinda weird with this obsession of mine.
After the stamp collecting challange, I basically covered the area. It was pretty late so I decided to go to the next destination, Amnam Park. There was nothing there, just a park on a cliff. It was pretty, but not much too see. And the fact that it was pretty far from Gamcheon and to Gwangbokdong Fashion Street, it was not that worthed to visit.
So what left is the last destination, Gwangbokdong Fashion Street. I was supposed to go to the food street too, but I get lost (everyday I get lost in Korea), so I just go to the fashion street. In my opinion, it was my favorite shopping place for make-up, better than Myeongdong. After a long day, I finally went back to the guest house. I need to rest early as I had to get up early, check out, and go back to Busan station. My adventure in Busan was ended in the forth day.
I planned to go to Seomyeon street and Choryang Ibagu-gil & Sanbok Road, but it was all a mess. I didn't want to mess up my schedule in Seoul, so I couldn't go there. I was relaxing at Dunkin Donut instead before taking off to Seoul. I should have stay for another night in Busan. I thought the tourist attraction wouldn't be so far away from each other, and the fact that the direction information I got from Visit Korea has some mistake. Instead of making it easier for the tourist, some of the information actually making it more difficult to reach, or just simply a false information. I think they should update the information soon. I couldn't count on how many mistake they put on the website, but I was wasting time because of that. It better to just ask people around, and don't forget, "Always look above you".
Being in Japan for a year and half, I couldn't help myself to compare both country. As far back to Spring 2012, where I first make my personal trip to Japan, I could find the information from Japan Guide pretty clear and accurate. Back then my sister and I could only depend on that website, and Trip Advisor for recommended restaurant, important information such as JR Pass, and hotel. So I was expecting the Visit Korea website should be as accurate as the one in Japan, specially with all the Korean Booming and so on... Korea has became one of the top country to visit, so I expect more from the official website.
Anyway, that was the part one and hopefully I will be back soon with the second part of my Korean Trip. Three of them will be long as I want to share my personal opinion and interesting stories, so please be patient with me.
photos are taken with Sony alpha 5000 and iPhone 5s
photographers: me (if there's no myself in the picture), and another tourist I asked for help
, by Anastasia Goenawan