As some of you may know this last weekend (May 23-26) was Memorial Day weekend in the United States. It was NOT, however, Memorial Day weekend in Korea. Therefore, I did not get the 26th off, but I did skip out of work two hours early (which was a WAY bigger deal than it should have been) on Friday, May 23rd to head down to Busan (when Koreans say it it sounds more like “Pusan”). Busan is the second largest city in Korea, is in the southwest region of the country, and is the closest city to Japan. You can actually see Japan from the beaches of Busan on a clear day,which, while I was down there, it was not. Busan is a top tourist area because it has two very famous beaches, Haeundae and Gwangalli.
To get to Busan the fastest thing to do for me was to take the KTX (high speed train) from Suwon. It takes about 2.5 hours to get to Busan from Suwon. The KTX, on average, travels at about 290 kilometers per hour, which is 180 miles per hour. I left Suwon at 5:30pm and got to Busan Station at 8pm (gotta love that Korean punctuality!). The ride was comfortable and I got to see some Korean countryside that you don’t get to see a lot of in the city. I was really surprised at the amount of mountains! I know Korea is mountainous, but after the first hour it seemed like we were going through more tunnels through mountains than we were actually outside.
Once I got to Busan Station it was another hour by the city metro to get to where Steve and his friends were staying near Haeundae Beach. Once I met up with them we went to several bars. The more famous bars we went to were “Thursday Party” and “Fuzzy Navel”. Both bars were ok, nothing too special, but with nice atmosphere. We also went in to some of the “Blue Tents” which is an entire street filled with little blue tent stands where people sell live seafood to you. I didn’t try anything (partly because I’m not a huge seafood fan and it was also expensive!), but one of Steve’s friends, Peter, tried sea urchin which looked…ok. Still not my thing. After talking to some locals about the best clubs we went to “247” Club which cost $15 to get in to (I was not super thrilled about that). The club was ok, not great and not worth the $15 in my opinion, but still a fun night.
On Saturday we went down to the beach for a short walk and to eat some dumplings for a late breakfast.