Busan Map
Site Index
Our Travel Books
Advertising / Press

Final Set of Random Busan Pictures

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Order Kimchi Online

Candy Land Busan

We published over 2000 photos during our three months in Busan. That’s a record for our site, and a testament to what an amazing city this is. As you’ll see in our final batch of photos, Busan is strangely compelling and offers a little bit of everything, from the beautiful to the amusing, to the downright bizarre. Taking pictures here was always a blast… we’re going to miss it.

Please Like Us On Facebook

Random Couple in Love
Sneaky Sude
Centum City
Lotte Busan
Moving TO Korea
Sneaky Camp
Spin Disk Korea
Win Ice Cream
Tourists Getting Lost
Soju Fest
Going Home
Green Moped
Graffiti Pose
Street Art Busan
Spray Can Graffiti
Summer Day Busan
Taxi Art
Busan Episodes
Busan Ferry
Big Ship Busan
Busan Jeep Tour
Busan Seats
Korean Sneakers
Cleaning in Busan
Korean Beauty
Drawing Anime Busan
Korean Love
Korean Barbor Shop
Lamp Shop Korea
Soju Hof Korea
Rio in Korea
Steel Mushrooms
Water Park Busan
Weird Housing in Busan
Bexco Busan
Traffic in Busan
Korean Ice Cream
BlackOut Korea
Busan Grill
Cutting Pork Busan
Busan Restaurants
FAke Food
Korea Ho Bar
Tips For Tits
Busan At Night
Almost Free Candy
, , , , , , , ,
July 30, 2012 at 5:03 am Comments (2)

Busan’s Diamond Bridge

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Everything You Need To Know About Night Photography

The Gwangan Bridge opened in 2003, connecting the neighborhoods of Haeundae and Suyeong, and instantly became one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks. Also referred to as the Diamond Bridge, it’s a beautiful structure, especially after dusk when brought to life by colorful lights.


After a night on the town, it’s something of a tradition of ours to grab an ice cream and sit on Gwangalli Beach, to look at Korea’s second-longest suspension bridge. Sounds kind of lame, bridge-watching, but somehow it never gets old. The lights of the bridge change color and reflect beautifully in the water. When the night is pleasantly cool and you’ve just put another busy day behind you, there’s no better way to wind down.

Apart from the beach, the best spot to appreciate the bridge is from the astronomical observatory on Geumnyeonsan Mountain. A cheap taxi ride from the Geumnyeonsan Metro station will take you there, and the views from the observatory over Gwangalli Beach and Suyeong are unparalleled. It’s also a good area for hiking during the day.

I suspect that, years from now, when I think back on our time in Busan, the Diamond Bridge will be the first image that pops into my mind.

Location of the Mt. Geumnyeonsan Observatory
Hotels With Great Views in Busan

Secret City
Stargate City
Busan 2012
Samick Beach Town Busan
Star Gazing Busan
Gwangan At Night
Diamond Bridge
Blogs About Travel
Busan At Night
Korea Bridge
, , , , , , , , , , , ,
July 27, 2012 at 6:56 am Comments (5)

Learning How to Make Makgeolli

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Order Makgeolli Here

Along with soju, makgeolli (막걸리) is one of the most popular beverages in Busan. The milky-white drink is made of rice and wheat, and only slightly more alcoholic than beer. We visited a factory in the mountain village of Geumseong-dong to learn first-hand how it’s made.


It was still monsoon season, and we had to battle through torrential rains to find the makgeolli hall. Once safely inside, we were put right to work. The guy in charge of the experience didn’t speak much English, but was fluent in slave-driving, and you don’t need to converse with your slaves. Within the first minute of our arrival, he sat me down in front of a big bowl of wheat, poured a little water onto it, and motioned that I should get to kneading.

So while Jürgen walked around taking pictures, I kneaded. Ten minutes later, my hands and forearms were burning, but the wheat was still not to Master’s liking. With a frown on his face and a shake of his head, he bade me continue for another five minutes. Next, I was taught how to form the wheat into heart-sized balls and pressed them into discs. These wheat cakes would now have to dry for fifteen days.

Master had an already-dried cake ready to go, and led me to a giant pestle where he put an oar-sized mortar into my hands. I spent the next few minutes crushing the wheat into a fine powder, which we then mixed with steamed rice. Now, I packed this mixture into plastic bottles, filled each with tap water and finished them with a heaping dollop of honey. And that was it. The concoction would ferment for four days, and the result (after straining) would be makgeolli.


We were allowed to bring both the cakes and bottles home with us. He drove us back into town, where we saw the hall in which the larger wheat cakes were drying, and the clay jars of makgeolli fermenting. The shed was surprisingly rustic, considering that this is a modern industry — Geumseong-dong’s makgeolli is widely drunk throughout Busan.

Back home, we stored our makgeolli jars in the cupboard without a lid on, as per Master’s final instructions. It had begun fermenting immediately, and we watched with delight as the bubbles rose up out of the water, already busy at work producing alcohol. On Day Two, though, it was less delightful. Our apartment stunk like cheesy socks, and the mixture had attracted a host of fruit flies. After discovering a baby cockroach floating in one of the jars, we flushed the whole mess down the toilet.

Anyway, bottles of makgeolli only cost 81¢ in the supermarket, so we don’t exactly need to make it ourselves. The experience of doing so, though, was a blast. If you’d like to learn how to make makgeolli yourself, visit this website or schedule an appointment by calling 010-6532-6682. If you call, it might help if you speak Korean or have a Korean-speaker do it for you. The experience costs ₩10,000 ($9) per person.

Approx. location on our Busan Map

Korean Honey
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
July 22, 2012 at 1:41 am Comment (1)

Geoje Island and Damned Monsoon Season

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Funky Umbrellas

After having such a great time in Gyeongju, we immediately planned out our second day trip from Busan — Geoje Island. Unfortunately, this excursion was doomed to failure, thanks to the torrential rains of South Korea’s summer monsoon season.


While doing our initial research on Busan, we read that it monsoon season would be from late June to late July. But we ignored that inconvenient fact, and soon forgot it completely. Who wants to waste time thinking about monsoon season? Turns out, willful ignorance is no defense when reality comes knocking. The past few weeks have seen horrible weather; rain almost every single day. And every day, we shake our puny fists at the heavens, cursing our luck and feeling freshly outraged. It’s not fair!

So, our trip to Geoje Island wasn’t much of a success. We arrived in the evening, and ran through the rain to the first love motel we could find. The next morning, the rains were even heavier and the tour we had planned to join was cancelled. The thought of venturing out into the whipping winds and the Noah-worthy deluge was laughable. We sat at the window of a cafe for a couple hours, coming up with ever more vicious and creative ways to curse God, and then went back to Busan. Utterly defeated.

But usually, Geoje Island is worth a visit. Although it no longer fits into the days we have remaining in Busan, here’s what we would have seen.

Oedo & Haegeumgang – Oedo is a gorgeous island just off the coast of Geoje that doubles as botanic garden, with sculptures and open-air art. It’s called a “Paradise in Korea”. Haegeumgang is a smaller island made of rocks, with soaring cliffs and columns. These islands sound cool, but sipping coffee in a cafe is even cooler, so I guess we won this round.

Gujora Beach and Hakdong Pebble Beach – Gujora is home to excellent swimming, with soft sand and shallow, warm waters, and was the former site of an ancient fortress. Hakdong is 1.2 kilometers of beauty, ringed by Camellia flowers and covered in a unique kind of pebble called “Mongdol”. Sounds alright, but our café has wireless internet and we’d rather spend the day checking Facebook, anyway. So, whatever. Hey look, Jimmy just posted another picture of his kids. Beth likes War Commander. Hmm!

The Hill of Wind and Sinseondae Observatory – Found near a picturesque fishing village, this hill juts out unprotected into the East Sea, exposing visitors to the ocean winds. The observatory offers unparalleled views of the rocks set against the ocean. Sinseon means “mystical beings”; the area is said to be so unforgettable that even the supernatural come here. Pffft. I highly doubt it can compare to the doughnuts that we continue to stuff into our faces, in this incredible cafe.

Geojedo P.O.W. Camp – This former camp once housed over 170,000 North Korean and Chinese prisoners of war. Today, it’s been converted to a historic park, which recreates and describes the conditions inside the camp and lives of the prisoners who spent their days here. Must be fascinating. But we wouldn’t know. Damned monsoon.

Location of Geoje Island on our Map
The bus to Geoje leaves from the Seobu Bus Terminal, found here.

-Our Travel Tumblr

Rain Drops
Bus Seat
Korea Highway
Sad To Leave Korea
Geoje Bay
, , , , , , , , ,
July 18, 2012 at 11:41 pm Comments (4)

What Defines the City?

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Learn Korean Here

Dreaming Boy

It’s impossible to define Busan by just one trait. Is it the soaring architecture, the public artworks, the relaxed way of life, the beaches and relation to the water, or is the odd moments of eccentricity? All of these things and more are captured in this batch of photos. Each one might have been taken anywhere, but together? That’s Busan.

Find Us On Facebook

Bunny Fun Time
Colors of Busan
Spa Busan
Faces of Korea
Fast Growing Korea
Korean Reflection
Letter Building
New And Old Korea
Tiny House Busan
Spin City Korea
Fog Busan
Kids Ocean
Korean In The Rain
Korean Video Gamer
Korean Perm
Black Bean Paste Noodles
Korean Chop Sticks
Risking Your Life In Korea
Palm Tree Korea
Shop Watch Busan
Crazy Korean Drinks
Street Games Korea
Sexy Time Korea
Meat Eating Plant
Korean Wallpaper
Automated Toilet Seats
Boom Boom Korea
Yacht Busan
Bloody Religion
Korea iPad
, , , , , ,
July 15, 2012 at 11:38 pm Comments (4)

Busan Food Journal – Part Six

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Korean Cookbooks

Every region in Korea has different dishes, and we didn’t realize how much we were missing out on until visiting Gyeongju, which was our first time outside of Busan. There, we tried out two famous specialties and loved them both. Taking a culinary tour of South Korea would be a blast.

Food Journal: Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four | Part Five

Gyeongju Ssambap

We had spent the evening at Anapji Pond, and it was past nine by the time we sat down at Gyodong (a recommendation from our barista earlier in the day – location). The restaurant was closing at 9:30, which gave us about twenty minutes to plow through the 28-dish feast known as Ssambap. This is the main specialty of Gyeongju; you take a cabbage or lettuce leaf, pad it with rice, add pork and whatever other condiments you choose, wrap it up in a little ball, and throw it into your mouth. And, yes, we finished everything. [More Pics]


These little round pastries, filled with sweet red-bean paste, are found everywhere in Gyeongju. I have no idea how many the average person must eat to justify the sheer number of bakeries entirely dedicated to hwangnam-ppangs, but it must be an unhealthy number. They’re alright, but way too sweet for my palate — I couldn’t eat more than one at a time.

Shaved Ice

One of the most popular treats in Busan seems to be flavored, shaved ice. I know: weird. But people here love it, so we decided to try a bowl at A Twosome Place (a coffee chain which we mistakenly refer to as “An Awesome Place”, every time). I had been expecting something like the colorful snow-cones of my youth, where you get through the syrup in ten seconds, and are left with a bunch of flavorless ice. But here, the shavings themselves are flavored (we chose “tea”), and topped with any number of extras, from whipped cream, ice cream, chocolate and fruits to waffles and cookies. Delicious, and our bowl was more than enough for two.

Todai – Sushi Buffet

Located on the fifth floor of the Emperor Building (location), the same place I had my eyes LASIK-ed, is Todai which serves up an amazing lunchtime sushi buffet. The price of ₩20,000 ($18) per head is expensive at first blush, but considering the spread and everything that’s included, well worth it. Freshly-prepared sushi, grilled steaks, noodles, salads, desserts… the choice was never-ending. Soft drinks and coffee were included in the bill. [More Pics]

Cave Restaurant Yong Ggum

This recommendation after we had asked for something different in Busan. Yong Ggum (용꿈) translates as “Dragon Dream”, and is housed in a musty old WWII bunker (location). It’s probably better to visit when it hasn’t been raining. This is strictly a seafood restaurant and, when we went, water was dripping from the ceiling and the damp smell of fish was nauseating. The food was good, but we were happy to get back outside into the fresh air. [More Pics]

Shabu Shabu

We make at least one waeguk faux pas per meal, but were hitting well above average while eating Shabu Shabu at Chaeseondang (채선당 – location). This is Japanese Hot Pot, and looked easy enough; just swish the meat around the hot broth (the word “shabu” means “swish” in Japanese) and pop it in your mouth. But the waitress ran over to our table at least three times to scold us. Turns out that the raw egg is supposed to go into the pot at the end of the meal, and we weren’t supposed to be eating the rice out of its bowl. We forgot to cut the mushrooms, and generally made a mess of the whole meal. I had even slobbered all over myself.

While she was shaking her head and tut-tutting, I wanted to defend myself. “We don’t exactly take shabu-shabu courses in Ohio, lady!” But I don’t know how to say that in Korean, so I just sat there dolefully and took my admonishment. It was still a fun meal, and one we’ve vowed to try again. [More Pics]

Makgeolli Place in KSU

We first walked through the Culture Alley of the KSU neighborhood during the day, when it was completely quiet. At night, though, the alley comes alive with people and a surprising number of bars and restaurants. We sat down in a makgeolli bar (location) with a couple friends and enjoyed a meal of paejeon (pancake-like dishes of veggies, egg and seafood) and a bucket of the sweet-tasting drink. The rice and wheat based makgeolli looks milky, and is served by the ladle. [More Pics]

Our Travel Books

More Pics from the Gyeongju Ssambap
Munch Fest
We’ll never eat it all!
Belly Stuffer
Or… yes we will.
More Pics from the Todai Sushi Buffet
Korean Treats
More Pics from the Cave Restaurant
Soju Cave
Drip Cave
Cave Bar Busan
Dragon Dream
More Pics of Shabu Shabu
Shabu Meat
Shabu Mushrooms
Shabu Rice
Another Picture from the Makgeolli House
, , , , , , , , , , ,
July 15, 2012 at 9:33 am Comment (1)

A Trip to Gyeongju

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Budget Accommadations in Gyeongju

Gyeongju is a small city 50 miles north of Busan, known as the “Museum Without Walls” due to its incredible wealth of historic treasures. This was the capital of the powerful Silla Kingdom which ruled most of the Korean peninsula for nearly 1000 years (57 BC – 935 AD) and is without a doubt the most rewarding excursion you can make from Busan.


We took the KTX bullet train from Busan Station and arrived in Gyeongju in 28 minutes. Less than a half-hour. That’s significantly less time than it even took for us to reach the train station from our apartment. I’ve taken showers that last longer. The train cost ₩10,000 ($9) per person, and was unbelievably smooth and fast. It was mostly through tunnels, though, so you couldn’t see the countryside whipping past.

The Silla Kingdom is among the most long-lived and powerful dynasties in Asian history. They started in the Gyeongju/Busan area, and were the first to successfully unite most of the peninsula. It was a strict monarchy, with a hereditary royalty and aristocracy, and no chance of social advancement for the great majority of people. Sillans spoke Korean, wrote in Chinese characters, practiced both Confucianism and Buddhism, and battled with the Korean-speaking Goguryeo Dynasty for control of the North.

Although Gyeongju’s period of prominence lies over a thousand years in the past, the sense of history is still present in the modern-day city. The most conspicuous remnants of its rich heritage are the amazing royal tombs where kings and nobility were buried. These large, perfectly rounded hills covered in bright green grass pop up all over Gyeongju, like miniature replicas of the mountains that are always visible in the distance. There are 35 royal tombs and over 150 smaller mounds in the city itself, with many more found in the surrounding environs.

In the Daeneungwon Park, tourists have the chance to peek inside Cheonmachong, the Heavenly Horse Tomb, which is one of the most important of the burial sites. When it was excavated in 1973, over 10,000 artifacts were found inside, including a golden crown and a saddle engraved with a winged horse, which gave the tomb its name.

We had two days in Gyeongju, and had just enough time to hit most of the major highlights. Over the next couple posts, we’ll focus on this historic and gorgeous mountain city.

Location on our Korea Map

Book you Gyeongju Hotel here

, , , , , , , ,
July 10, 2012 at 11:59 pm Comment (1)

A Day at the Racetrack in Busan

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Bet On Horse Online

One of South Korea’s three horse-racing tracks is found just outside Busan, and we decided to check it out on a sunny Sunday afternoon. We knew that we’d have fun, since we have fun anywhere that gambling is involved, but the Busan Gyeongnam Racecourse Park exceeded our expectations.

Horse Race Track in Busan

To reach the racetrack, we took a free shuttle bus from the Jurye Metro Station (Green Line) and, upon arriving, were surprised by how large and how full the parking lot was. This is apparently a popular weekend activity among Busanites. The park is new, clean and well thought-out; it’s been designed as a entertainment zone for the whole family, and not just hard-core gamblers.

Koreans bet differently than Americans. In the main building, which felt more like an airport terminal than a betting hall, we waded through hundreds of people crouched down over racing papers and notebooks. The mood was quite serious — each bettor seemed to have their own formula for predicting winners, requiring advanced calculations and intense concentration. Whereas in the States you’d have people drinking, laughing and sharing tips, here it was like being in an office full of nervous physicists puzzling out some quantum mechanics problem.

Jürgen and I eschewed such careful logic, and went with the trusty old “look at the horse” method of betting… and ended 0-4 for the day. But our bets were just ₩1000 ($0.90) apiece, so no biggie. It’s safe to assume that most of the sweating Horse Physicists at the track, emboldened by foolproof calculations, make somewhat larger bets. The stairwell, we noticed, is protected by a net, to prevent any big loser from ending it all.

The racing and gambling was fun, but what really sets Busan’s racetrack apart was the family fun park called “Horstory Land”. (Obviously named by someone without a full grasp on English. I know what they were going for… “HORSE-stery”, but I couldn’t divorce my mind from the idea of children running around Whore Story Land. And why would I want to?)

There were rides and horse-themed activities, such as a Wild West theater where each kid sat in a saddle and was equipped with a gun to shoot at the screen. A giant slide with eight separate lanes so that kids could race each other down. International sections dedicated to the history of Italian, American and Mongolian whores horses. And the genius bit: betting stations conveniently spaced all about the park, so that Mom and Dad could continue betting while the brats amuse themselves.

The center of the racing track was also a part of the park, accessed via tunnel. Here, you can bike or rollerblade around a lovely pond while the horses gallop around you. After we were done betting, we sat down in a gazebo in this section of the park and watched the races from the inside out.

For particulars such as transportation and a full list of facilities at the park, check out the comprehensive article at Horse Racing in Korea. Even if you’re not a gambler, you can still have a great day at the races in Busan.

Location on our Busan Map
Our Visit To The Buenos Aires Race Track

Busan Shuttle Bus
Luck Gate
Things To do IN Busan
Human and Building
Horse Racing Statue
Race Track Busan
Betting Hall in Korea
Family Betting
Showing Off Horses
Horse Hotel
Korean Betting Slip
Korean Horse Jockey
Real Korean Cowboy
Sit and Watch
Super Exciting Horse Race
Horse Race Busan
Racing Horses
Best Food For Children
Waiting For Santa
Horse Gate
Horse Balls
Peace Horse
UK in Korea
Italian Horse House
Korean Betting Office
So Much Fun
, , , , , , , , , ,
July 8, 2012 at 2:50 am Comments (2)

The Eulsukdo Island Bird Sanctuary

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Bird Watching Gear

With a prime location where the Nakdong River empties into the East Sea, the small, sandy island of Eulsukdo has long been a paradise for migratory birds. However, our trip there couldn’t have been more poorly timed, since the birds only visit in the fall and spring. But we’ll be gone by August, and didn’t want to pass up a visit to this interesting bit of nature.


Upon arriving at the island, we toured a couple of sparkling new ecology centers. The first was dedicated to the Nakdong, the longest river in South Korea, with exhibits that underline its importance. The second center was focused on the Eulsukdo Sanctuary. Spanning two floors, with an observatory on top, this was an exhaustive collection of the various birds and animals which can be found here. Decently cool, but there were a ton of schoolkids there, and the place was sweltering hot, so our visit was very short.

Once outside, we discovered with some disappointment that most of the sanctuary was off-limits — the paths were nearly all closed for renovation, and much of the park is permanently inaccessible to tourists. It’s understandable; Eulsukdo Island has been heavily affected by human tampering. Fifty years ago, this was Asia’s most active location for migratory birds, but only a small number still visit today. Although the island is now protected, construction and land reclamation projects in the latter half of 20th century did irreversible damage to the ecosystem.

So, we walked up and down the one path we were permitted on, saw a couple swans and a crane, and called it a day. Eulsukdo is quite beautiful, but probably only worth visiting in the fall or spring, when the number of visiting birds increases dramatically.

Location on our Busan Map
Great Hotels in Busan

River Monument Korea
Stupid Bird Lamp
Water Supply Busan
High Tech Busan
Korean Paper Boat
Korean Kids
Diving Goose
Korean Birds
Birdy Egg
Modern Art Korae
Mother Nature Busan
Castle in the Sky
Nature Walk Korea
Nature Bridge
Bird Watching in Korea
Dirty Water Korea
Oh Crab
Old Goose
Korean Stork
, , , , , , , , , , , , ,
July 6, 2012 at 9:32 am Comment (1)

Busan’s Chinatown – Shanghai Street

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Book Your Cheap Flight To Korea Here

Straight across from Busan Station, a traditional Chinese-style gate welcomes you into Shanghai Street — the nexus of the city’s Chinatown. We visited this hectic and very un-Korean neighborhood during its annual celebration.

Chinatown Korea

The Chinese and Koreans have had a rocky relationship since long before the founding of either nation, but the contemporary Chinese presence in Busan only dates from 1884, when the city officially established diplomatic ties with Shanghai. A Chinese school and a consulate were established in the present-day Shanghai Street, which resulted in a number of Chinese settling here permanently.

A couple months ago, I would have never been able to tell the difference between a Chinese and Korean street, but now it was immediately clear. As soon as we passed through the Shanghai Gate, we found the street signs and restaurant names written in bewildering Chinese instead of the simple Korean characters we’ve learned to recognize. And mixed in among the Koreans wandering the neighborhood and partaking in the festivities was a noteworthy number of… Russians?!

Yes, even more so than the Chinese, it’s the Russians who now inhabit this area most prominently, particularly along a specific strip of Chinatown known as Texas Street. The name comes from the days when US soldiers used to prowl the neighborhood in search of cheap booze and cheaper sex. The Americans are now gone, and Texas Street has been thoroughly Russified, with advertisements for vodka visible among the numerous sex dens. I’m glad we were walking around the neighborhood during the day, as it can get pretty seedy and dangerous at night.

Russians on Texas Street in a Korean Chinatown. It couldn’t get much more internationally jumbled than that, unless they were all wearing lederhosen and eating burritos.

Because of the rain, we didn’t stick around the festival for long; just enough to catch the end of a musical performance, and the beginning of that ancient and revered Chinese ritual of noodle-speed-eating. This was fun, especially when one of the contestants began laughing uncontrollably, shooting noodles out her mouth and nose, all over the table. She didn’t win.

Location of the Shanghai Gate on our Map
For 91 Days Google Plus Page

Dragon Alley Busan
Chinatown Busan Festival
Street Stop
Chinese High Five
Chinese Statue
China Town Lantern
Dragon Fight
Umbrella Party
Teaching Chinese
China Juice
Chinese Fish
Steams Baskets
Tiger Dumpling
Dorky Chinese
Cute Chinese Korean
Moon Cake Lady
Sneaky Signal
Take Picture
Korean Veteran
No Arms Man Korea
Korean Beagle
Lion Face
Russion and Korean
Russians in Busan
Rainy Russain
Russian Cafe
Noodle Puking Contest
Noodle Puke
, , , , , , , , , , ,
July 2, 2012 at 12:36 am Comments (2)

« Older Posts

Final Set of Random Busan Pictures We published over 2000 photos during our three months in Busan. That's a record for our site, and a testament to what an amazing city this is. As you'll see in our final batch of photos, Busan is strangely compelling and offers a little bit of everything, from the beautiful to the amusing, to the downright bizarre. Taking pictures here was always a blast... we're going to miss it.
For 91 Days