Busan Map
Site Index
Contact
Random
Our Travel Books
Advertising / Press

Get Your Puppy Fix in Jangsan

Give Your Dog a Stylish Home – Get Up to 30% Off Dog Houses

It’s been five months since Jürgen and I lost our French Bulldog to cancer. We’ve been able to distract ourselves with travel, but every once in awhile (and especially after seeing a French Bulldog on the streets), I’ll feel that empty pang of sadness, and start wishing I had a dog again. Luckily, there’s a place in Busan where I can go to purge myself of such silly whims.

Puppy Cafe in Busan

Across the street from Exit 3 of the Jangsan Metro, there’s a pet store. On the bottom floor, it’s just your normal shop selling puppies and pet supplies. But upstairs, chaos reigns. This is the Puppy Cafe, where about twenty dogs of every species, age and size are running around, vying for human attention, wrestling with each other, pissing, barking and generally acting insane.

On entering the cafe, we were greeted by a deafening chorus of barks. “NEW HUMANS!” Of course, it was the biggest dogs who wanted to jump on us; a golden lab who needed to lick our faces (“I must!”) and a heavy black lab that almost knocked me down. Over the noise, the waiter (attendant? nanny?) asked us for the ₩8000 ($7.20) entry fee, then prepared a free coffee while we acquainted ourselves with the gang.

Let’s see, there was Stinky, Stanky, Stupid and Stonky. We sat down on chairs and pet whatever dog forced his way between our legs. The big ones were more successful in this, particularly the black lab who got to know my crotch on a rather intimate basis. One nasty little white dog in a coat decided to try adopting me, and sat at my feet shivering and snarling at anyone else who got too close. I didn’t really want to cuddle with her, but felt bad shooing away something so rotten and alone.

We moved into a separate area for the smallest dogs, and I found my favorite of the day: a snow-white Pekingese, so soft, cuddly and pliable. He had no problem with me picking him up, and immediately settled into a comfortable position on my lap. Jürgen welcomed a little pinscher onto his lap — two Korean girls who were there petting poodles told us that the pinscher was, and I quote, a “whore”.

The cafe was a blast; the dogs were cute, funny and friendly, and we had a great time playing with them, although we did stink like hell when we left. I’m surprised that more doggie stores don’t offer a place for people to sit and play with their dogs. Especially in a city like Busan, where apartments are small and schedules are hectic, dogs are a luxury that don’t fit into most people’s lives. A place like this, where you can come and get your puppy fix, seems like a no-brainer. And I’m sure the dogs love it.

Location on our Busan Map
-Please Like Us On Facebook

Stonken Cute
Korean Boss
Let-Me-Be-Your-Valentine
Dog Cafe Busan
Happy Dogs
Korean Husky
Let ME IN
Poodle Fuck
Rotten Dog
I want Treats
Doggy Pictures
Korean CAt

, , , , , , , , , , ,
June 20, 2012 at 9:37 am Comments (5)

The Busan Aquarium

Set Up Your Own Aquarium

Busan’s aquarium is one of the largest in South Korea. With a unique location underneath Haeundae Beach, and a vast array of marine life in tanks which hold over three million liters of water, it’s little wonder that the aquarium is considered one of the city’s top experiences.

Busan Travel Guide

More than the sharks, penguins, otters or jellyfish, there’s one wild species which stands out in the aquarium: the Human Child. This unpredictable creature travels in schools of up to thirty, and emits high-pitched squeals to communicate with others in its pack. Though harmless in appearance, this animal can be dangerous; using its diminutive stature, it will often hide itself near your legs. Should you unwittingly kick it, the creature will unleash its hideous sonic cry.

When we visited, there were at least nine separate groups of toddlers in the aquarium. Very cute, but they seriously hindered our appreciation of the exhibits. I mean, I’m not going to shove the three-year-old away so that I can gawk at the soft-backed turtle. (I might nudge her, though). And we could forget entirely about the special shows, such as the shark- or penguin-feeding.

Children aside, the aquarium was cool. Not as large as I’d expected, but there was a lot to see on its two floors. The tanks were made of spotless acrylic glass, perfectly-lit, and easy to see into. The exhibits were well-maintained, the water was clean, and there was plenty of information in English. The massive main tank is reached through a glass tunnel, and holds giant sharks, beluga whales, and a variety of fish which apparently don’t taste good to sharks.

Our favorite exhibit was the jellyfish room, with a huge collection of them held in colorfully-lit tanks. I’d never heard of the Upside-Down Jellyfish, before. Other favorites included the giant octopus, the sea horses and a section called “Dangerous Fish of the Ocean”.

At ₩19,000 ($17.10), the aquarium isn’t exactly a bargain, but for anyone with an interest in the marine, it offers an interesting and well-designed experience.

Location on our Busan Map
-For 91 Days in the News

Busan-Aquarium
Busan-Tourism
Hammer Shark
Boss
Making Friends in Busan
Penguin Fart
Snake Turtle
Super Cute Turtle
Sneaky
Disc Frisk
Fine Art Photos
Aquarium-COOL
Under Water Disco
Flippy Fish
Korean Show
Fish-Dora-Finding-Nemo
Nemo
Parrot Fish
LOL fish
Eating Blowfish
Dotted Fish
Dangerous Fish
Me and My Friends
Piranha
Zebra
Hungry For Human
Shark Attack
Clown Fish
I love clown fish!
Fake
Children Horror
Korean Punks

, , , , , , , , , , , ,
June 17, 2012 at 5:16 am Comment (1)

The Dadaepo Sunset Fountain of Dreams

Home Fountain Show

I’m not sure which is more audacious — billing yourself as the “world’s best and biggest fountain”, or calling yourself the Fountain of Dreams. Big words, Dadaepo, and you’ve set the bar high. Would your musical show of color and water be the “magnificent and dynamic banquet of light” which your website promises us? We expect no less!

Busan Blog

Actually, the show was pretty good. I’m not saying it was life-changing or anything, or that I was whispering under my breath, “Finally I have found the fountain of my dreams“, but I was reasonably entertained. And one can’t expect much more from colorfully-lit water splashing to the beats of Andrea Bocelli.

Around the huge, circular fountain, 60-meters in diameter, all the seats were packed full. Mostly, it was families with young kids, like the group seated next to us. The mom was pestering her son to practice his English on us, which was fine with me, since he kept giving us his potato chips for another instructive exchange of “thank you”, “you’re welcome”.

Before the show began, we had a chance to check out Dadaepo Beach: a beautiful stretch of sand overlooking a peninsular park. This section of town, on the far southwest of the city limits, is a lot more popular and interesting than I had figured during the interminable train ride here, and we promised to return.

Location on our Busan Map
-Download our Travel Books Here

Busan 2012
Dreams Sunset Fountain Busan
Dreamy Colors
Club Busan
Busan Reflection
Fun In Korea
Korea Travel Books
Fountain Busan
Busan Fountain
Springbrunnen Busan
Sightseeing Busan
Psycho Run
Run For Your Life
Valentines-Day-in-Korea
Tron Korea
Super Wet Korea

, , , , , ,
June 14, 2012 at 9:20 am Comments (4)

Beomeosa Temple

Never miss one of our posts again by subscribing to our RSS via email

Established in the year 678, Beomeosa is probably the most important Buddhist temple in Busan. And with its location in the foothills of Mt. Geumjeongsan, it’s certainly among the most beautiful. Entering the complex is like stepping into another world, one more sacred and peaceful.

Beomeosa-Temple-Busan

A famous monk by the name of Uisang founded Beomeosa during the Silla Dynasty, and in its apex during the Goryeo period (918–1392) the temple was home to over a thousand brothers. The name Beomeosa means something like “Nirvana Fish Temple”; a legend states that near this spot, a golden fish had descended from heaven on a five-colored cloud.

Throughout its history, Beomeosa has been famed for its fighting monks, who helped fend off Japanese invaders in the 1500s. Fleeing in defeat, the Japanese managed to destroy the temple, but Beomeosa was eventually rebuilt and would become a center for monkish resistance during the 35-year Japanese occupation of Korea (1910-1945). The fighting monks practiced a secret martial arts style based on Zen called Seonmudo; the LA Times profiled a Beomeosan monk who’s ruffled a few feathers by trying to popularize the style outside of the temple walls.

Our visit to Beomeosa started with a quick tour through the temple museum. With old portraits, scrolls and ancient printing blocks, the Seongdo Museum has an interesting collection of relics, but we were eager to get into the temple itself, and only spent a few minutes looking around.

Korean-Buddism-Fresco

Beomeosa has a rich history, but is a living place of worship — a fact underlined as much by the pristine state of its buildings, as by the number of people filling its prayer halls. Everything was freshly painted or undergoing renovation, and we were astounded to be in a 1300-year-old temple which, from a few angles, might have been built a few months ago.

My favorite hall was San Ryoung Gak (the Hall of the Mountain Spirit) dedicated to the god who protects Mt. Geumjeongsan. It looks older and is set higher on the hill than the other halls, and is distinguished by the fact that it has nothing to do with Buddhism, but is a nod to local pagan beliefs. Inside, there’s a painting of the god alongside a tiger.

The various halls and structures, such as a three-story pagoda, stone lantern and bell tower, are impressive. But the best of Beomeosa is its gorgeous mountain scenery and the views over the valley below. It’s no surprise that the temple has won fame as a center for foreign students. A huge section of Beomeosa is dedicated to “Temple Stays”, which allow tourists and the curious to experience what life at a Buddhist temple is all about.

Location on our Busan Map
-Our Travel Books!

Beomeosa-Temple
Busan 2012
Busan Wood Carving Art
Art
Busan Detail
Busan Wall
Korea-Travel-Guide
Ding Dong
Crashed Dragon
Korea Art
Fallas en Corea
Hard Working Monk
Korean-Giant-Stamp-Press
San-Ryoung-Gak
Korean Stone Stories
Written in Stone
Korean-Crane-Painting
Buddhist-Gold-Fish-Busan
Pond Busan
Korean-Buddha-Statue
Beomeosa-Monk
Studying-Buddhism
Korean Lady
Praying in Korea
Buddhism-Secrets
Buddhist Tower
Ginkgo-Tree-Korea
Busan Temple Stay
Korean Power Tourist
Korea Temple Stay
Leaving The Temple

, , , , , , , , , ,
June 7, 2012 at 7:04 am Comments (0)

Haeundae’s Sand Festival

Great Hotels in Busan

The beginning of the summer has hit Busan, and the city seems to be celebrating with a raft of festivals. There’s the International Car Show, a River Sports Festival, an International Dance Festival, a Port Festival, and a Traditional Folk Festival… and this all in the first week of June! We felt a little guilty skipping out on all of them, so decided to check out the Sand Festival at Haeundae Beach.

Sand Art

It was one of the first sunny weekend days of summer, and the beach was packed with people. Not too many of them were there for the Sand Festival, though, and it quickly became apparent why. Where we had expected huge statues made of sand, the sculptures weren’t much more than “paintings” in the sand, carved out of big mounds.

Some of them were quite well done, but we weren’t too impressed and quickly abandoned the festival to spend an extra hour laying on the beach. But we got some great photos worth sharing, and the atmosphere on the beach was a lot of fun… even if we can classify the Sand Festival itself as “skippable”.

Eat Your Kimchi

Sand Festival Busan 2012
Beach Tents
Beach Condo Busan
Sand Castle Busan
Samurai Korea
Sandkasten
Sand Queen
Sand Temple
Sand Warrior
Sargent Frog Korea
Korean Astronaut
Screaming Baby Sand
Sand Artist
Beach Dream
Fun In The Sand
Going-To-The-Beach-is-FUN
Haeundae-Beach
K-Drama F4
Korea Swimming
Big Balls
Little Stonkers

, , , , , , , , , , ,
June 6, 2012 at 8:10 am Comment (1)

A Ferry to the Oryukdo Islands

Korean Folklore

We first spotted the Oryukdo Islands toward the end of our hike down the coast of Igidae Park. A string of rocky and uninhabited landmasses, these islands are the most notable feature along Busan’s coastline. In order to get a better look, we took an evening ferry trip which looped around them.

Busan Islands

The ferry left from the Mipo terminal at Haeundae Beach, and cost ₩19,500 ($17.55) apiece. A little expensive for the hour-long round trip, but the views of Haeundae, Gwangalli Beach and the Diamond Bridge were worth it.

For the fishermen and merchants approaching Busan from the sea, the Oryukdo Islands have always been the city’s symbol. The profile of the five (or six) islands is certainly memorable. The name “oryukdo” comes from the fact that, depending upon the tide, there appear to be either five (o) or six (yuk) islands (do). Except for the furthest in the chain, on which a lighthouse has been built, the islands are completely barren. Nothing much could be built on these craggy hills of rock.

The evening ferry runs approximately once an hour from Mipo and more frequently during the weekends. We left at 17:10, but could have delayed our journey by an hour in order to see the sun set behind the city.

The Oryukdo Islands on our Busan Map
Catch the boat from here
-For 91 Days on Facebook (please make our day and like us)

Korea Schiff
Fishing in Busan
Korean Birds
Busan Skyline
Gwangan Bridge
Police Boat Busan
High Speed Ferry Busan
Busan
Korea Korea
Oryukdo-Islands
Busan Stairs
Busan Blog
Busan Harbor
Korean Air
Sunset Busan

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,
May 30, 2012 at 9:36 am Comments (0)

Haedong Yonggungsa Temple

For 91 Days Travel Books

Haedong Yonggungsa (해동용궁사) is unique among Busan’s Buddhist temples in that it lies not in the mountains, but on the seafront. It was founded in 1376, during the Goryeo Dynasty, and completely destroyed during the Japanese invasions. Though the current construction only dates from the 1970s, the temple is a beautiful and much-beloved center of worship. In fact, I can’t imagine it being any more popular.

Haedong Yonggungsa Temple

Of course, we were visiting on the day before Buddha’s birthday, when legions of the faithful had shown up. This was definitely the only time in my life I’ve waited in a 45-minute line to enter a temple or church. But it was a sunny morning, and the queue gave us time to take in the beauty of the temple from afar. Haedong Yonggungsa looks out over the sea, with tall dagobas erected on the rock above, and has as its centerpiece a three-story pagoda protected by four lions. Inside the pagoda are bone relics brought to Korea by a Sri Lankan monk… a neat connection to our previous home.

According to the temple’s website, its motto is “At least one of your wishes will be answered here through your heartful prayers.” That’s hopeful, and at least more optimistic than the Christian slogans I grew up with like, “Repent, ye sinner”. The Buddhist Goddess of Mercy, thought to reside in the sea, is the main deity at Haedong Yonggungsa. Apparently, she’s appeared to people here, and saying her name over and over will result in good fortune.

It was a little hard to appreciate all the details of the temple, due to the celebrations underway. Lanterns were strung up everywhere, hiding from view anything higher than a couple meters, including a statue of the mercy goddess. And man, do Koreans love taking photographs. You couldn’t move an inch without accidentally intruding in someone else’s frame. It was a little amusing to hear Jürgen — who never stops taking pictures — complain about other people doing the same.

Location on our Busan Map
-Travel Insurance Worldwide

Fear Korea
Korean Monkey
Year-of-the-in-Korea
Elephant Boy Korea
Dragon Street Light
Buddha Tower
Lantern Base
Busan Temple Work
Gate Temple
Visit Busan
Busan 2012
Korea Dagobas
Picture Manicas
Photo Shooting in Korea
Korean Couple
Trapped Dragon
Lantern Festival in Busan
Luck Turtle
Holy Turtle
Lantern Reflection
Lucky Pigs
Blue Shirt Lantern
Buddhist Monk Hangout
Hidden Buddha
FAT BUDDHA
Golden Buddha
Wrapped Buddha
Super Cute Buddha
Buddha Tower
Buddha Babies
Buddha Baby Tree
Buddha Garden
Rich Buddha
Stone Lantern Korea
Buddha Well
Korea
Korean Festival
Korean Contrast
Busan Festivals
Temple Roof
Lotus Lantern
FFFUUUUUUUUUUU
Busan Blog
Flights To Korea Deal
, , , , , , , , , , , ,
May 28, 2012 at 5:47 am Comment (1)

The United Nations Memorial Cemetery

Korea History Books

Hands down the most somber place we’ve visited thus far in Busan, the United Nations Memorial Cemetery pays tribute to the international brigade of soldiers who died defending the Republic of Korea against the forces of communism. Sixteen nations are represented here, and the cemetery is a melancholy reminder of the costs of war.

Cemetery-UN-Busan

Despite the cemetery’s gloom, it’s a sublimely beautiful place, with perfectly manicured lawns and niwaki-shaped junipers lining the walkways. The graves themselves are laid out in a highly regimented fashion, grouped together by nation. It’s not hard to imagine platoons of soldiers lined up in their place, awaiting a final set of orders.

In the US, the Korean War is among the least heralded of conflicts. It’s the one almost always skipped over in history class, and is often referred to as “The Forgotten War”. Even at the time, most Americans didn’t understand the reasons behind the fighting, and many just tuned it out. Too complicated, too remote to think about… much like our engagement in Afghanistan is today. But the cost to the USA was considerable. As the UN moved to protect Korea against the sudden Soviet-backed incursion, America provided 88% of the international troops and suffered a severe number of casualties.

I was struck dumb as went by the Wall of Remembrance, where the names of the foreign soldiers who lost their lives are etched. 36,492 American names are found here, alphabetically by state. The sheer amount of space it takes to record that number of names is astonishing. Walking along the wall and reading out some of the names, I felt myself growing ashamed; I was squarely among those who don’t know much of anything about the Korean War. And that was something I swore to change.

Location on our Busan Map

Busan-Modern-Architecture
Busan 2012
Busan Blog
Art Busan
Nibaki Trees
KT Phone Booth
Modern Art Korea
Sightseeing in Busan
United Nations Korea
Un Cemetery Busan
Canada War Korea
Daunt Water Ways
Korea News
Police State
United-Kingdom-Soldiers-Busan
Name-of-Fallen-Soldiers-Korea
Fallen Turks
Fling
Korean Swans
Ducks Busan
UN-Soldiers-Korea
Rules in Korea

, , , , , , , , , ,
May 13, 2012 at 3:15 am Comments (0)