Summer Vacation Part 4

If I were to choose to live in a big city in Korea, I think I would pick Busan. While it’s the second largest city in the country, it has much more of a laid back feel than Seoul. I particularly love its proximity to the sea. David and I spent three days there on our summer vacation and once again, a large chunk of our time was spent at the beach. It rained so much over the course of our two week adventure, so we took advantage of any chance we had to soak up the sun.

We stayed at a guesthouse in the district of Haeundae, which is located in the southeastern part of the city and known for its nightlife and beautiful beach of the same name. A lot of places are more expensive in this area, especially during “beach season”, but we found a really good deal on a private room at Pobi Guesthouse. Upon arriving, we were pleasantly surprised to found out that it wasn’t exactly a private room, but an entire apartment in a building around the corner from the guesthouse! I believe we were the first people they rented it to, as they said it had just be renovated. In addition to being across the street from the beach, it was cute, spotless and had a kitchen and washer. It was definitely an upgrade from the Gangneung beach motel, to say the least.

My friend Astrid, who was my roommate during my ten day orientation when I first arrived in Korea, lives in Busan and happily showed us a good time. After spending our first full day at Haeundae Beach with her and her friends, we went out for a delicious Korean barbecue for dinner, followed by a tour Gwangalli Beach at night. The next day we ate juicy burgers for lunch (I was craving Western food, something you can’t get in my rural town) and then went to Jagalchi Fish Market and Busan Tower. To end it, we enjoyed a very generous amount of makgeoli, which is a type of alcohol made from rice.

There is so much more to see in Busan, I’m sure. It’s located about three hours by train from my town, so I look forward to going back again soon to see more of what the city has to offer.

Haeundae Beach

Haeundae Beach

Haeundae Beach

Haeundae is probably the most popular beach in Korea during the summer, so you don’t go here to escape the crowds. We certainly enjoyed it on this sunny day, however.

A panorama of Haeundae. Photo by David.

A panorama of Haeundae. (Photo by David)

David picked up a few tubes. We couldn't resist the fun we were seeing people have in the water.

David picked up a few tubes. We couldn’t resist the fun we were seeing people have in the water.

Why not build a sand castle?

Why not build a sand castle?

The water wasn't as cold as I expected it to be. It was quite refreshing.

The water wasn’t as cold as I expected it to be. It was quite refreshing.

As we sat admiring our work, we decided it definitely wasn't the best sand castle ever built. People kept stopping to take photos of it, however, giving us the thumbs up. I guess if was a fine day's work after all.

As we sat admiring our work, we decided it definitely wasn’t the best sand castle ever built. People kept stopping to take photos, however, giving us the thumbs up. I guess it was a fine day’s work after all.

This little girl really wanted to destroy our sand castle. It was adorable.

This little girl really wanted to destroy our sand castle. It was adorable.

We had some good laughs playing games on the beach with Astrid and her friends. I'm pretty sure this game is meant for six-year-olds, but we proved that adults can have fun playing it too.

We had some good laughs playing games on the beach with Astrid and her friends. I’m pretty sure this game is meant for six-year-olds, but we proved that adults can have fun playing it too.

The beach was almost empty by sunset.

The beach was almost empty by sunset.

View of Busan and Nampo Port from Busan Tower.

View of Busan and Nampo Port from Busan Tower.

Another view from Busan Tower. So many buildings!

Another view from Busan Tower. So many buildings!

There are so many cheesy photo ops in Korea. This one is at Busan Tower, with confessions of love locked to the fence in the background.

There are so many cheesy photo ops in Korea. This one is at Busan Tower, with confessions of love locked to the fence behind us.

Nampo Port

Nampo Port

The Jagalchi Fish Market is huge! The rows and rows of stalls seemed to go on forever.

The Jagalchi Fish Market is huge! The rows and rows of stalls seemed to go on forever.

So many tentacles. They look a bit crowded, don't you think?

So many tentacles. They look a bit crowded, don’t you think?

Look at the size of those prawns!

Look at the size of those prawns!

Shellfish, anyone?

Shellfish, anyone?

There were many things at this market I could not identify.

There were many things at this market I could not identify.

There is a huge dining area in the market as well where you can enjoy the freshly caught fish either cooked or raw.

There is a huge dining area in the market as well where you can enjoy the freshly caught fish either cooked or raw.

I think this guy is trying to escape.

I think this guy is trying to escape.

More fish.

More fish.

Is it just me, or is that lobster giant?

Is it just me, or is that lobster giant?

Astrid, David and I outside Jagalchi Market at Nampo Port.

Astrid, David and I outside Jagalchi Market at Nampo Port.

Astrid took us to her favorite place for flavored makgeoli (Korean alcohol made from rice). I believe this was taken while consuming our third pitcher.

Astrid took us to her favorite place for flavored makgeoli (Korean alcohol made from rice). I believe this was taken while consuming our third pitcher.

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Panorama of Gwangalli Beach and the Gwangan Bridge. (Photo by David)

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