Bringing the Mother around Korea (Day 1) [Busan]

Monday, 10 October 2016

So the mum came to visit me again 3rd year in a row, but this time she came in the Summer, to celebrate her birthday here with me instead of me heading back to Singapore. As if the heat in Singapore isn't enough, I invited my mum to come to Korea to experience the sweltering heat in Korea. The thing about Singapore is that, due to the heat and the humidity, Singapore has evolved to combat that by having many buildings near each other (or maybe it's the lack of space), with lots of air-conditioning and shades so that people wouldn't feel too much of the heat. In South Korea, however, especially if you're traveling to other parts of the country, there are hardly places like Singapore or Seoul with lots of shade and indoor areas, which meant more perspiring.

Picked my mum up at the airport at an ungodly hour of 7:30am, which meant waking up and leaving the house by 5:45am. Had breakfast at Paris Baguette since it was the only thing opened at the airport and then J took the rice dumplings and fried noodles (frozen) back home to freeze while mum and I went to Seoul Station to catch the KTX (bullet train) to Busan for our first location of the trip! It was my first time taking Korea's bullet train as well so I wasn't sure what to expect. Or rather, it was my first time taking any bullet train.

Took a whole 4.5 hours to reach Busan and we were greeted with sweltering heat and a scorching sun on our backs. But nevertheless, we pressed on to find the train station and took the train to our lodging in downtown Seomyeon (서면) where it is known to be Busan's Myeongdong or Hongdae street. Honestly, it really did look like it.

And since I was in Busan, I would always call on a friend who lives in Busan: Than. It also just so happened that Sitiphone (Laos friend) was in Busan as well and they were going to have lunch in Seomyeon so we decided to meet up and have lunch together. What a weird coincidence but thanks to them we managed to have a good lunch without too much walking around deciding.

Looks like Hongdae


After lunch the mumsie and I continued on our itinerary to the most famous beach in all of Korea, Haeundae. It's really the most famous one to go to during the Summer because apparently people from all over the world travel to Busan just for the beach. Maybe it's because I'm Singaporean and we're surrounded by beaches that I wasn't all too mesmerized or amazed.

Take the Busan Metro and get out at Haeundae Station exit 3

The beach was really lively and there were lots of people and events being held everywhere. The sun was out, it was sunny but the beach was breezy enough that it was tolerable. The sky was clear and it was a really beautiful day to be out at the beach, no doubt. There were many people sunbathing, some were just sitting under the parasols, and the rest were just playing in the water. 

Next up we headed to the Sea Life Aquarium that's located right next to the beach, and it's known to be one of the bigger ones available. Back in the day this aquarium used to be one of the more popular places but now it is slowly turning into one of those attractions that nobody goes to, much like Singapore's Underwater World. I guess I can't really blame them, since people are losing interest in things like these when there's the internet and many other things to do. However, if you have the time, please do go down to the aquarium, it was really quite an experience and they're doing their best to make themselves relevant. See pictures to find out.

Here's the address in case:
266, Haeundaehaebyeon-ro, Haeundae-gu, Busan
It's located next to Haeundae so go the same way to get to the beach


There were also glass floors which you could see through to the creatures under (Sharks too)

There was also a glassboat ride (which you have to pay for) and it's roughly around 15 minutes bobbing around the area where you can see sharks, manta rays, sting rays and all sorts of other marine life. What I heard was that the sharks are one of the predatory species and are also well fed so they would not go for humans should you fall in. 

There were many interesting animals and even jellyfish. They do their best to add lighting and effects within the aquarium to make it come to life and to make all the displays seem more exciting to interact with. Also with the recent release of Finding Dory, they have rearranged some of their exhibits to fit the theme of Nemo and Dory, which was pretty cute.

Came out of the aquarium feeling really tired from all the walking and we were wondering where else to go. Wanted to try out Busan's Spa Land which was a really high end bath house basically, and we took a train down there. Turned out to be really expensive and my mum wasn't really keen on trying it out. Of course, I have never been one who is into bath houses and I felt the same way. We went on to have some 'decadent' food, as my mum would put it, but because she was on holiday she agreed (good for me).

Finally got to try Johnny Rockets!! Their garlic burger was simply amazing and I really really enjoyed dinner. Didn't want to get shakes since they cost a bomb and so I satiated my western craving with the burger, fries and some coke. Honestly, women don't really eat a lot so I always end up eating their portion anyway, so there wasn't a need to order more.

Headed back to the hotel thereafter for a good night's rest in preparation for the next day's itinerary: Heading to Busan Gamcheon Village. Which basically translated to walking up hill, walking down hill and a whole lot more of walking through the different markets.

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