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The Perfect Korean Hike

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Hiking Gear

We’ve done a lot of hiking and hill-walking during our time in Busan, but until our trip out to Hoedong Lake, we hadn’t actually experienced a truly Korean day of hiking. This was the last big excursion we’d be undertaking in Busan, and we couldn’t have hoped for a more authentic day out.

Korea-Hike-Tour

When our friend Seong Yeop invited us to check out the Hoedong Lake with his father, we immediately said “yes”. But within seconds of beginning the hike, I knew we were in trouble. This wasn’t going to be the lackadaisical, relaxed stroll we normally indulge in, frequently interrupted by photo stops and water breaks. Nope, Sean’s dad had darted out in front, and was setting an insane pace which Jürgen and I had a hard time matching. He was completely geared up and taking no prisoners.

Through the woods we marched, and along the beautiful lake. Used for drinking water, it’s off limits to swimmers and fishermen, and colored a dark green which reflects the woods. Halfway through the hike, we came upon a small restaurant and sat down for a break. Plates of pajeon and dotori muk muchim (acorn jelly salad) were set in front of us, along with two bottles of makgeolli. After the strenuous hiking, the makgeolli hit hard, and I was visibly wobbly when I stood up, much to the amusement of Mr. Lee.

But we felt replenished after the break and, as Seong Yeop promised, the makgeolli buzz wore off quickly. Soon enough we were hiking up a seemingly endless hill for a view over the lake. Gorgeous, and by this point I was starting to get into the rhythm of the speed-walking. The rest of the trip went by in a flash, but I think we must have done about ten kilometers, all told.

After getting back into the car, we drove to a restaurant where we were treated to ginseng wine out of little cups the size of thimbles, and delicious bowls of chicken soup. The chicken was incredibly tender and fell off the bone at the slightest touch from our chopsticks. Wonderfully nourishing and strangely refreshing on a hot summer day, this is apparently a popular thing to eat after a day of hiking. I was completely full upon finishing, but had to make room for dessert at the final stop of the day: an awesome cafe specializing in patbingsu, or ice shavings topped with red beans.

Our day out with Seong Yeop and his dad was one of the highlights of our entire three months in Busan. I guess you haven’t gone hiking in Korea until you’ve gone hiking with Koreans! We had a blast, and it’s a perfect final memory from our time in the city. Thanks guys!

Location of Hoedong Lake on our Map

Travel Insurance

Mass Hiking in Busan
Group Fun In Korea
Hoedong-Lake-Busan
Shade in Busan
Take-a-Rest-in-Korea
Beautiful-Korea
Green Bush
Hiking-in-Busan
Korean-Hiking-Trail
This-Way-Hiking
Hiking-Makgeolli
Hiking-Rest
Korean Bamboo Forrest
Korean-Beer
Korean-Cemetery
Hiking-Uphill
Forrest-Painting-Korea
Perfect-Hike
Hardcore-Hiking
Big-Lake-Busan
Korean-Water-Plant
Korean-Hoola-Girl
Korean-Chest-Nut
Weird-Korean-Fruit
Nature-Art
Nature-Busan
Korean-Summer-Chicken-Soup
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July 30, 2012 at 9:53 am Comments (6)

Brave the Crowds of Haeundae Beach

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Sexy Swimwear

South Korea’s most popular beach is Haeundae, found on the northeastern end of the city. Famous across the country as a place to see and be seen, Haeundae explodes into life during the summer when the entire beach is covered in both parasols and people who are less interested in swimming than looking good.

Umbrellas-Busan

Unfortunately, this has been a very wet summer, and there haven’t been a lot of weekends conducive to beach time. But the clouds momentarily lifted on one Saturday afternoon, and we went to check out the scene. Haeundae has the world record for most number of parasols on a beach (yes, there’s a “record” for that), and the atmosphere is claustrophobic and chaotic.

We walked up and down the sand — the water was awfully cold (perhaps we’ve been weakened by summers on the southern coast of Spain), so we had to content ourselves with people-watching. Luckily, the people-watching is excellent. There are girls walking around on the sand with high heels, guys carrying fluffy dogs with dyed-red ears, groups of foreigners playing volleyball and thousands of parasols, almost all occupied. Haeundae is a hot-spot for the wealthy youth of Seoul, who come to Busan in droves for the weekend.

There is some structure to the chaos of Haeundae. You can rent the umbrellas at automatic machines, as well as big yellow inner tubes for the water. If you get hungry while sunbathing, just pick up the phone — pizza companies will deliver to the beach. And despite the rigid organization, there are less rules here than at many beaches; you can drink, play ball, and bring dogs.

It’s not exactly the kind of beach experience we normally go for, but clearly appeals to a lot of people. A day on Haeundae is perhaps not relaxing, but it’s certainly entertaining.

Location on our Busan Map
Travel Insurance

Summer Busan
Crazy Beach In Korea
Family Mark Korea
arasol-World-Record-Busan
Beach Drink
Life Guard Busan
Korean Hunk
Beaches Korea
Haeundae-Beach
Little Stonkers
Sniffing Water
Whale Watching in Busan
Waving To Japan
Sommer Busan
Things To Do In Busan
Lost in Sand
Toe Cleaning
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July 17, 2012 at 9:02 am Comments (2)

Haeundae’s Sand Festival

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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
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June 6, 2012 at 8:10 am Comment (1)
The Perfect Korean Hike We've done a lot of hiking and hill-walking during our time in Busan, but until our trip out to Hoedong Lake, we hadn't actually experienced a truly Korean day of hiking. This was the last big excursion we'd be undertaking in Busan, and we couldn't have hoped for a more authentic day out.
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