BUSAN: 9 THINGS TO DO IN 24 HOURS (SAMPLE ITINERARY)
I have yet to pop my k-drama cherry but according to my friends who are big fans, a lot of scenes are shot in these tent restaurants...they're also open 'til late so if you get to Busan in the evening, these are one of the best places to catch a good meal.
So that's number 1 on our list
Imitate your fave K-Drama scene at a traditional Pojangmacha
Plus points, for the really delicious food. TTYH, it's one of the best meals I had while visiting South Korea.
|pojangmacha in busan|
|And no we didn't know what we were ordering half the time, we just kept pointing at stuff and had to rely mostly on our broken Krenglish (thanks Google translate) but that just adds to the charm and fun of it all. Also, don't worry about ordering "the wrong thing". Everything we had was delicious.|
If you're looking to sample homemade Korean cooking, then this is the way to go.
HOW TO GET THERE?
On foot, these tents were all over the side streets near our hotel in Busan (Lotte Hotel)
|pojangmacha food in busan|
9:30am - 11:30am
GAMCHEON CULTURE VILLAGE
Have breakfast at the hotel or a convenience store nearby then hop on a train and head to the charming hillside village called Gamcheon Culture Village which is also know as the Machu Picchu of Busan due to the colorful houses that line the mountainside.
|gamcheon culture village|
Gamcheon is littered with tons of murals, fat cats, quaint coffee shops and mini museums (more in my next post). Most of the shops open at around 10:30-11am but heading here early allows you to walk around peacefully and explore the many side streets before the influx of tourists.
More about Gamcheon Culture Village HERE
More about Gamcheon Culture Village HERE
|busan rain drop cake|
While at Gamcheon, make sure to try these delicious RAIN DROP CAKES and other traditional Korean Street Food.
There's also a lot of souvenir shops and boutiques that are quite reasonably priced.
|miniature soju keychain|
AND lastly, head to Gamcheon early to stock up on content. The entire place is instagrammable. You won't run out of interesting corners and pretty backgrounds to take pictures of and with. It gets more challenging when the crowds start to come in which is why I suggest doing this before the shops start to open for the day.
12:00 - 2:30 pm
Head to nearby Gukje Market for lunch and some shopping!
The word Gukje means international in Korean and that's just what you'll find here at one of Korea's largest markets.
From local to international brands, food, clothes, sought after SKINCARE brands etc, you'll find it here.
Also, from personal experience, you'll have a better chance of copping rare items here than in Seoul. It's also much cheaper than in the Philippines. Triple black Adidas NMD's while only set you back about P10,000 as compared to up to 25k here from resellers.
There's also a really big and adorable Kakao Friends store with a coffee shop that sells the cutest character macarons.
|kakao friends store busan|
3:00pm - 4:00pm
Visit the World's Largest Department Store: Shinsegae
This place is HUGE, with wings spread across each side. They have it all. From luxury brands such as Chanel to outlet deals from Adidas.
A must visit for the serious shopper. WEAR comfortable shoes.
The surrounding area is also very pretty and picturesque with its tree lined streets and mountain views...
4:00pm - 7:00pm
Aside from Gamcheon, this is another MUST VISIT in Busan. Located within Shinsegae is Spa Land. A perfect end to a tiring day of sightseeing and shopping.
Jjimjilbang is a gender-segregated public bathhouse in Korea, furnished with hot tubs, showers, Korean traditional kiln saunas and massage tables. Jjimjil is derived from the words meaning heating. In other areas of the building or on other floors there are unisex areas, usually with a snack bar, ondol-heated floor for lounging and sleeping, wide-screen TVs, exercise rooms, ice rooms, heated salt rooms, PC bang, noraebang, and sleeping quarters with bunk beds or sleeping mats. Many of the sleeping rooms have themes or elements to them. Usually jjimjilbangs will have various rooms with temperatures to suit guests' preferred relaxing temperatures. The walls are decorated with woods, minerals, crystals, stones, and metals to make the ambient mood and smell more natural. The elements used have traditional Korean medicinal purposes in the rooms. - wikipedia
|spa land shinsegae|
No visit to Korea is complete without an authentic Jjimjilbang experience and Spa Land is the best place to have it!
Despite being extremely luxurious and state of the art, a visit to Spa Land will only cost you ₩12,000 (around P500-P600). That's good for 4 hours (the maximum allowed stay) and all the facilities inside.
I don't have much photos cause we weren't allowed to take our cameras with us but you can refer to this article for more info and photos of the different saunas, rooms and facilities they offer.
|spa land busa|
Have a traditional dinner or have some fine Seafood
Being a coastal town and port area, Busan is widely known for its fresh seafood so it'd be a shame not to try it.
We had dinner at Hwangje Jamsooham which specializes in Premium Seafood Steamboat dishes like the one in the photo above.
It's similar to shabu shabu without the meat. It's loaded with fresh lobster, abalone, scallops, shellfish, tofu skin, octopus etc.
Really delicious and fresh seafood (that it's still sweet and firm) in a casual dining setting.
|fresh seafood restaurant in busan|
Or if you prefer to have meat, tons of side dishes and Bibimbap, you can also try having dinner at Yega Bossom which is more of a traditional Korean restaurant...meaning the kind we're used to.
THE BAY 101
After dinner, head to The Bay 101 and take a walk along the river to enjoy the city lights. Take a cup of coffee with you to warm yourself against those cold Korean nights.
|the bay 101|
The train TO or FROM BUSAN
It was such a treat to be in the same train and station where the movie was shot! Plus getting to say you're on a Train to Busan is enough reason in itself to travel the 3 hours from Seoul to get here.
|busan train station|
While we're on the topic of trains. A ride to Busan from Seoul or Seoul to Busan on KTX will only cost you around ₩50,000 (roughly P2,300).
I honestly think it's worth the side trip and experience considering it only takes 3 hours anyway on a very comfortable train.
You can sleep and rest in transit or if you're like me, enjoy the landscape change right before your eyes.
Korea has some of the most charming countrysides I've ever seen:
(shot this from the train while en route to seoul)
|south korea countryside|