We've just returned back to Seoul after spending a couple of days in Pusan, South Korea. Pusan is the second largest city in this country and it's a very popular vacation area for Koreans because of their many beautiful, sandy beaches.
The drive to and from Pusan was fairly smooth (about five hours each direction) and Haeyoung (HJ's brother) did a fantastic job of getting us there & back safely and chauffeuring us around. We arrived in Pusan after 11:00pm on Friday and checked into our room at the Riviera Hotel Haeundae, located just a couple of blocks from Haeundae Beach.
I was up with the sun on Saturday morning so I decided to take a short walk around the district where our hotel was situated before meeting the others for breakfast. In no time flat, I was standing at the edge of Haeundae Beach before the beach was even open for the day. The vast expanse of umbrellas stretched on a far as the eye could see (although the fog rolling in prevented my eyes from seeing that far in the first place)! Doubling back to the hotel, I stumbled upon the Haeundae Market, which was really just beginning to come to life this early in the morning. When the girls and I walked through here in the afternoon, we were treated to an interesting sight - an elderly Korean woman skinning live eels...
After breakfast, we visited Hae Dong Yong Gung Temple in another region of Pusan. This coastal temple offers spectacular views - it's no wonder Buddha's sporting such a big smile!
Just before lunch, we stopped by the Tsushima Island Viewpoint for some panoramic views of the city. While we couldn't really make out Tsushima Island through the fog (which is typical), the short trip up a couple hundred steps to see some of Pusan's beaches and buildings was well worth it.
After lunch, we headed to Haeundae Beach for a much needed ocean swim. The cold water and crashing waves helped us to completely forget about the oppressive heat and humidity for a few hours. This was the first time Rachel and Abby have ever swam in an ocean and they loved the sticky saltiness of the water!
After dark, we drove across town to the Gwangalli Hoe District for a sushi dinner. This is the world's largest hoe district. In a hoe district, the main floor of some of the large warehouses are filled with tanks filled with a wide variety of fresh fish. Hungry patrons explore the contents of the these tanks and when they purchase their fresh fish, they're told which floor to visit to have their catch prepared for eating. Fascinating. The restaurant we dined in served three types of fish but we have no idea what they were as HJ didn't know the English names for any of the species.
After dinner, we walked along the beach for a few minutes and found a coffee shop for a sweet treat. The big, new bridge in Pusan looked spectacular all lit up at night and the beach was bustling with activity, including a live band...
We had an early start today so that we could explore the Jagalchi Fish Market before heading back to Seoul. I'm so glad we had the opportunity to see Jagalchi first hand as it's an impressive glimpse of how many people in this city make their living. Cleaning fish, drying fish and preserving fish are full time jobs and these folks can barely afford the time to sell their catch to patrons in the market. From baby octopus to unrecognizable crustaceans, Jagalchi has it all.
Now that we're back from Pusan, we're down to our last few days in Seoul and our Asian Adventure is drawing to a close. But, don't worry, we'll still pack a lot in to the dwindling days of our holiday and you'll find out all about it here!
Thanks for reading,