Thursday, May 3, 2012

Busan, or where I saw an escaping octopus

This weekend, I went to Busan with Hye Jin (same friend I went to Gyeongju with in case anyone was confused).

Once again, I went to bed ridiculously late the night before and woke up exhausted. I attempted to sleep on the bus, which did not end up happening, which was unfortunate.

We arrived in Busan, immediately saw a Chungdahm bus (The company I work for) rented a car and headed to Haeundae beach.
I hadn't seen the ocean since I was in Seattle in December, which doesn't really count since it was raining the entire time and I didn't get to really walk along the water.

We arrived at the beach, had a random Korean man say hello to me, then wandered along the sand. We sat down for a while enjoying the sand and ocean breeze.

The weather was wonderful. About 80 degrees and sunny.

Afterwards, we headed to a baseball game. The LG Twins and the Lotte Giants. Korean baseball games are so much cooler than in the states. They get so much more into their games!! There's tons of singing, they have cheerleaders and lots of chanting.

There were a ton of Giants fans, since it was their home field, and just a small handful of Twins fans. The Giants fans had a chant all prepared, where the Twins fans would yell and then they'd yell "SHUT UP BOY!"

Also, as my friend said, Korean baseball came from America, so some things are similar. One of those things includes "OUT!" being the same word (which I read in Korean, asked my friend what it meant and she said, 'umm it means out.' The guy next to me kept yelling "THREE STRIKES YOUR OUT!"

They made paper pompons.

There are the cheerleaders.
We ate some dried fish (delicious) and dried octopus (slightly less delicious). Part 1 of food that I've never eaten before.
At one point the very fat mascots were break-dancing.
They did the wave.
The best part was definitely when every person tied orange plastic bags to their head because it's "tradition." My students told me later it's to protect their heads from foul balls, but I'm not sure taht's true.
I'm not joking when I mean everyone. Some tied them in cute bows, but for the most part they blew them up like balloons and attached them to their ears. Absolutely hilarious.

My friends team, the Giants, won. We then headed off to the next location, Gwangali beach.

They happened to be having a lantern festival, which was pretty. We walked a bit along the beach, had some American kids ask me to take their picture, then headed to dinner.

We went to a famous restaurant, which served 회, otherwise known as "sashimi" aka raw fish. Yes, I've had sushi before and it's delicious.

But, they kill this fish and then immediately serve it to you. And yet, it was quite delicious. Part 2 of food I've never eaten before.

We walked around a little bit more, then headed to our hotel.

Here is the view from our hotel. It was a bit far away from the center of town, but there was a nice view.
I laid in my bed and fell asleep immediately. The next morning Hye Jin said "you fells asleep really quickly."

The next morning was a bit cloudy, but a very comfortable temperature.

We headed to an area that is similar to the shopping area, Myeongdong, in Seoul called Nampodong.
We saw some adorable puppies.

Examples of the dried octopus we ate.

We had some breakfast (dumpling soup haha).

The area had a ton of statues, which were very cute.

We then walked up the hill to Busan Tower and went up to the top of the tower, which was quite cool.

We then headed to Jakgalchi fish market. They had a lot of different fish, some alive, some very newly dead.

(Remember this picture).

Some very large octopus.

These were mildly horrifying. They were very alive and I have no idea what they were.

Some turtles and eels, which would later be eaten.

As we were walking around, there was a bucket of octopus. One of them threw himself out of the bucket, flopped on his head then started very quickly crawling away. He was making an escape, until Hye Jin caught the attention of the seller and she caught him and put him back in the bucket.

We then headed to Taejongdae, another beach. We wandered around a bit, hiked up and looked at the ocean.

These are known as the "suicide cliffs" because a lot of people commit suicide here, apparently. Or at least they did.

They had some more fish sellers.

We then got some of the spiky red thingy (a sea squirt?) from above and ate it. It is difficult to describe what it tasted like, but it was basically like eating the ocean. It had very little taste apart from ocean. Part 3 of food I've never eaten before.

We took a boat back to the entrance of the park and headed back to the bus station.

We had this at the bus station (Ojingeo) which is some sort of fish cake, which is difficult to describe and was not delicious. Part 4 of food I've never eaten before.

We took the bus home. It was a great weekend!


  1. Fantastic pics - could be our coast - very beautiful. You are a brave(another word for slightly cuckoo) to try sea squirt. I wonder what the giant slug looking things were? I commend you for not being that adventurous.
    Thanks for the sharing - I think the orange head bags would definately build fan participation for the Mariners

  2. Oh, and I was rooting for the Octopus to make it to the sea

  3. Wendy, I was also definitely rooting for the octopus. They're so smart - and you have to give points to the little guy for at least TRYING to make a break for it. You could have befriended it, Lauren, and brought it home to you apartment, but no. I am really enjoying all of your pictures and traveling vicariously, as you know. Keep up the posts!

  4. Wow what a grand adventure for you. The plastic hats are so funny.,..not something you see everyday or at all...somehow I have a feeling Allison would enjoy that. So very glad you got to see the sights. What an amazing place. You bring it to life for all of us. Love your posting and really love your photos., As Wendy said you are certainly very brave to try all the food (not sure it is!) over there. Keep traveling!