While I’m familiar with Korean pop culture and have always loved Korean food, I’ve never been to the Land of the Morning Calm until three weeks ago when Korea Tourism Organisation in partnership with Philippine Airlines flew me and nine other ladies to South Korea for a few days of ladies bonding over beauty & good food!
Sharing with you all what happened during our two day stay in Busan. While it has become famous for the movie Train To Busan, the city is the second largest in South Korea. It is also a large port known for its beaches, mountains and temples.
This tropical girl is super afraid of the cold. And if you notice on my OOTDs I mostly like to layer even Manila has a 30˚c weather! Here’s what I wore straight from Manila airport to Busan. Wore a light fabric co-ords so I transitioned to the cold and bundled up a bit with a coat and beanie.
We arrived around 7 in the evening just in time for dinner. Checked in at Lotte Hotel Busan, we went around searching for a place to eat. As a tourist, I will always be in awe of the local scene of the country I visit. The girls & I all decided to try the street food for our first meal in Busan. It was literally just around the corner of our hotel. You know those tents we often see in K Dramas? Yep. That’s where we had dinner.Lost in translation. The challenge whenever you travel elsewhere is the language barrier. We had a hard time figuring out how to order yet for some reason we managed naman! Hahahaha.
GAMCHEON CULTURE VILLAGE
203, Gamnae 2-ro, Saha-gu, Busan
Gamcheon Culture Villiage is formed by houses built in staircase-fashion on the foothills of a coastal mountain, earning this village the nickname of “Machu Picchu of Busan.” The many alleys cutting through this community are vibrantly decorated with murals and sculptures created by the residents.
Aside from it being a picturesque area there are also small shops, cafes, restaurants, small museums and workshops around the village. We only had an hour to explore Gamcheon so here’s a photo diary of what we saw while we roamed around the village.
The work represents the alley which is the communication channel of the residents. The unconstrained movement of the fishes makes this enchanting living space full of vitality.
Our Town Gamcheon” by Jin Yeongseop
The houses that seem similar at a glance but are actually different remind us of unity within the diversity found among mankind.
A visualisation of Jeong Jiyong’s poem Nostalgia. A change in form shows the past times, the present and the time to come.
The little prince who left his home planet and came to Gamcheon Village (also know as Gamcheon Taegeuk Village) after a long journey with the fennec fox from Earth. They are looking down at the village, while sitting on a parapet and taking a break in the middle of their journey.
Love locks overlooking the village. You can buy a lock and leave it on the rail while at the same time get a great view of the village.The staircase of books leading to Cheon Deok Su’s Well. The well is significant to the village after experiencing a long period of drought. Cheon Deok Su was very persistent & dug a well for the villagers.
Interesting food stalls surround the village. Too bad thought that only a few were open when we visited early in the morning. An interesting snack which we haven’t figure out the name of! Hahahaha. Watch na lang Say Tioco’s Busan trip vlog since she bought one to try! 🙂
Sinchang-dong 4-ga, Jung-gu, Busan
Following the Korean War, refugees who fled to Busan set up stalls in order to make a living, and this was the beginning of the Gukje Market (gukje meaning “international” in Korean). The Gukje Market is one of Korea’s largest markets; each alleyway is crowded with stalls, and it connects to Bupyeong Market, Kkangtong Market, and other smaller markets. The market stocks such a wide variety of goods, that you can find almost everything you need right here.
A place to shop whether it’s food, souvenirs, skin care or apparel! They have everything here.I was so tempted to buy these Korean chocolates!Super cute rement sets I found in one of the cute gift shop stores.
YEGA BOSSAMSorry wasn’t able to get the exact address of this restaurant. I forgot if this was somewhere in Gukje Market or if we went somewhere near. Anyway, Bossam is a pork dish in Korea that comes with a few side dishes to enjoy!
Love, love, love Korean food!
Purple sticky rice is so good!Bibimbap for Sarah who doesn’t eat pork.Liked it although it was already cold when it was served to us.
All smiles and ready to dig in!After a hearty lunch, we went straight to Shinsegae to explore it before experiencing Korean Jjimjilbang at Spa Land.
SHISEGAE CENTUM CITY
35 Centumnam-daero, U-dong, Haeundae, Busan, South Korea
Shinsegea holds the Guiness World Record as the world’s largest department store! Two hours going around is not enough! The mall also has Kidzania, Duty Free among other stores.
Say, Melissa, Jeline, me, Ava, Tricia, Crissey, Sarah, Kisty and Ida.
35, Centumnam-daero, Haeundae-gu, Busan
Spa Land, equipped with all the benefits of a traditional Korean spa, is located in ‘Shinsegae Centum City’ in Haeundae, Busan. Spa Land consists of 22 spas fed by two different kinds of all-natural spring water pumped up from 1000m underground, 13 distinctively themed ‘Jjimjil-bangs’ and saunas, and an open-air foot spa.
The 1st floor houses the Korean traditional ‘Jjimjil-bang’ and traditional saunas from all over the world. Visitor favorites include a radiant heat-based ‘Roman Sauna,’ which recreates the ancient roman bath using modern technology, and the traditional ‘Finnish Sauna,’ which is an all-natural, Finnish-style sauna said to keep you healthy during the freezing winter months.
Entertainment Zone on the second floor provides a range of beautification programs, a PC room, a restaurant, and a conference room. Spa Land is a refreshing place for relaxing with your friends and family.
First time to experience Korean Jjimjilbang–a public bathhouse where there’s hot tubs, saunas, showers, ice rooms and even entertainment rooms. Wasn’t able to take photos of the facilities but you can check out 2worldwanderers.com blog instead.
I was kinda shookt (did I use the term right?) upon entering seeing how comfortable Koreans are walking around inside the spa naked heehee. Spa Land is so huge and has areas separated by gender but there are common areas for everyone to use naman. If you’re a fan of relaxation this is a MUST TRY when in Busan!
I didn’t bring my phone with me thankfully Trica brought heres and was able to take some shots while we were inside.Tricia, Jeline, Ava & I.Foot spa time!
Say, Melissa, Ida, Ava, Jeline, Tricia & I all smiles after that relaxing session.
The topmost floor of Spaland is an entertainment area where you can just watch your favorite show while relaxing on a LazyBoy chair. You can also order snacks while you’re at it! Ava & I all smiles after catching Gong Yoo on screen. Heehee.
Ended our second day in Busan with a hearty seafood meal. One thing you shouldn’t miss when you’re in Busan is to eat seafood! You’re assured that the city offers fresh seafood since it’s a port area.Seafood pot perfect to cap off a cold day in Busan.
Added this claypot rice because rice is life! Hahaha.That lobster!
52, Dongbaek-ro, Haeundae-gu, Busan
Our final stop on our second day in Busan was Bay 101. It has a lovely view of Busan’s bustling cityscape and it’s bay. It has a match club, a gallery, a coffee shop, restaurants and pub. Did you know the apartments in Haeundae-gu area are some of the most expensive/luxurious ones in Busan? I guess it’s because it’s such a prime space.
Our transit from Busan to Seoul as well as the activities we did in Seoul will be up in separate posts because I have so many photos and side stories to share!
Thank again Korea Tourism Organisation and Philippine Airlines for this trip. 🙂