Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Busan: Sand Festival & Colourful houses

My last day in the best hostel ever (Seoul Base Camp) arrived. I woke up, did my packing and headed for my last plate of free waffles and coffee along with James, a guy who was in the same room as me on one of the bunk beds.

However, James is not your average guy. He turned out to be a person who I had unexpected connections with! Based on looks alone, he looked like he had Irish roots of some sort and so I started chatting with him. Not only did I find out that, yes, he has family in Ireland but his sister, Julia, was studying in Trinity College…in Trinity College Singers (the society I’m most active in), and was a person that I actually personally knew.

The coincidence was just SO UNEXPECTED. An American guy with Irish roots who meets a Malaysian girl with Chinese roots who goes to the same university as his sister, in Korea, in the same hostel, in the same dorm room. It goes to show you that the world is much smaller than we think. We said our good byes and I lugged my freaking heavy luggage to Seoul Station, hopped on the KTX train to Busan and enjoyed a lunch box!

The minute I arrived in Busan I deposited my rather large luggage and backpack into one of their security short-term lockers for 4000 won! I was worried they wouldn't fit but thankfully it did with even space to spare. I hopped into the bus and headed straight to Haeundae Beach 해운대 because of their annual Sand Festival 모래축제 which was happening for the entire weekend (I purposefully made it just in time for the final day)

The sand sculptures were really not to be messed with as they were absolutely massive with such intricate detail. I walked around by myself and spotted another solo tourist, Marcel, and we just got chatting for an hour or two.

Hayeong 하영 then arrived right after her class ended and we dipped our feet into the icy cool sea screaming like the little children we were.

We got peckish and went over to a nearby restaurant for some pork spine stew 감자탕 kamjatang which was absolutely delicious as it warmed you from the inside out.

After stuffing our faces we went back to the beach for some live entertainment! These guys were the first on the scene in one of their designated busking zones신나브로 shinnaburo who were pretty decent. We then finished off the night with some spicy seafood kimchi pancake 해물김치전 haemul kimchi jeon and headed back to Busan station to get my luggage and had a crazy session of karaoke with Taewoo 태우 오빠 and some of his friends

The next day, a new friend, Jinsu 진수 오빠 together with Taewoo went out for breakfast at an ungodly hour (for my body which is slowly breaking down from the lack of sleep and continuous activities I've had since exams ended a couple of weeks ago).

Jinsu was really kind and treated us all to delicious pork stew with rice 돼지곡밥 dwaeji gukbab! Was a really nice way to start the morning with a bowl of warmth,

I then headed by myself to Gamcheon Culture Village 감천문화마을 Gamcheon Munhwa Maeul which happens to be my favourite place in Busan due to it's colourful and artistic nature.

 I didn't actually take a bus to the village itself. Instead, I opted for the steep ass walk from Toseong Station 토성역 all the way to the very top. At the time the sun was also shining absolutely down on me causing the most wonderful feeling of heat and humidity right after a nice shower (which was obviously wasted). So I ended up chilling in one of the cafes just outside one of it's entrances for a good hour sipping on an iced latte. However, in the end it was worth it thanks to the beautiful little village.

They were even selling the dolls that were the 'girlfriends' of the two main male actors in Descendents of the Sun 태양의 후예 - good marketing right there.

Along with an adorable assortment of socks going for 1000 won each.

As the heat was absolutely sweltering, I treated myself to a beautiful cone of soft green tea ice cream which was fantabulous!

At the top of the village!

For some added fun, I got a henna tattoo done and had an all you can eat Korean BBQ dinner which only cost 10,000 won (under 10 euros).

Next up: Taejongdae 태종대

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