Monthly Archives: July 2014

BIFF, Gukje Market & Squid

November 8th, 2013

From Gamjeong Elementary School, I took a bus back to Toseong-dong station and decided to stop by at Gukje Market. There’s a souvenir shop that I wanted to see there. So I followed the direction to BIFF Square. It was a busy market street and so lively. 20131108_153934 It’s interesting to see how these 4 letters word – SALE – always works to gather interested ladies, no matter where it is.

20131108_155238I walked up and down the market alleys, but I couldn’t find that store. In the end, I spent my afternoon at the market. I couldn’t help myself but laugh at my own antics because in my hometown, I never went to the market….hehehe….

20131108_162208 20131108_162428 CIMG1898 CIMG1899CIMG1900 CIMG1901 CIMG1902I bought this snack at the market. I don’t know it’s name. It was made from flour and it’s hot. It’s only KRW 1000. I bought it because it looked warm and the elderly couple who sold it put snapshots from TV shows showing celebrities eating eating that snack at their stall.CIMG1904 CIMG1903While eating that snack, I continued exploring the market. There were lots of interesting stores, especially the ones in the alleys.CIMG1905 CIMG1906 CIMG1908 CIMG1909I was amazed to see this shoe-cleaning & repair stand. It reminded me the one that I saw in Seoul. It’s nice to see traditional business like this one was still exist in a big city such as Busan & Seoul.CIMG1907It was getting dark and I decided to go back. On my way to the subway station, I saw this cute cat. At first, I thought it was a doll because it didn’t move.CIMG1910 CIMG1911

This funny sign wearing glasses looked like it’s having a ball conversing with the pretty doll ^_^CIMG1912 CIMG1913

The stores around BIFF (Busan International Film Festival) square had movie-themed art installations for decorations.

CIMG1914 CIMG1915  CIMG1917 CIMG1916CIMG1918At the end of BIFF square avenue, there’s Busan Lotte Town. This was one of the tallest building in the world but hem….somehow….I didn’t look up high enough to realized how tall it was.

In the lobby area, there’s this awesome water and light show:CIMG1920

I went to the food court here and decided to buy this squid (or was it cuttlefish?) filled with fried rice for dinner (KRW 6000).20131108_182622On my way back to Mr Kim’s house, I stopped by at the coffee shop to buy a glass of hot tea and bought a plastic of oranges from the street vendor in front of the coffee shop. When I arrived at Mr Kim’s house, he told me that a package from Jeju came. It’s the Osulloc Tea. Oh, btw, both Lotte shopping malls that I visited in Busan this day had Osulloc tea outlets. Wkwkwkwkw…..I was amazed when I saw the outlet but it was fun remembering how this silly experience made my trip to Jeju all the more memorable.20131108_202540That day, I ended my journey with eating oranges with Mr Kim in his living room while watching Korean drama on the TV.









Busan’s Santorini

November 8th, 2013

I left the hostel at around 12 PM. There were several restaurants around the area of the hostel, but somehow, they didn’t look interesting for lunch. So, I went ahead to the subway station and took one to Toseong-dong Station. My destination that afternoon was the Busan’s Santorini.

There’s a small village near a port in Busan that was transformed to look like Santorini in Greece. Somehow, this village has two names. On Busan Tourist Map, it was called Gamcheon Culture Village but in Visit Korea website, it’s called Taegeukdo Village. I wonder why does it has two names?

I had to change the train lane at Seomyeon Station. While I was walking to the lane to Toseong-dong Station, I saw this replica of Trevi fountain.20131108_123105When I saw it, I thought, wow, people in Busan didn’t have to go far to Rome to see this fountain. Hehehe.

The fountain was in front of the gate to Lotte Department Store.

I went inside the mall, looking for lunch at the food court and decided to eat this yummy tonkatsu (KRW 8000). One thing that was free in every food courts that I went to in Korea was water. You could drink all that you want for free.20131108_125217After lunch, I continued my journey to Toseong-do Station. Following the instruction from Mr Kim, I exited from exit #6 at that station. From there, I went to the bus stop in front of Busan Cancer Center and took bus no 2 or 2-2. I forgot which one that I took but the bus was small and it was packed.

I was supposed to get off at Gamcheon Elementary School bus stop, but I got off before that. The village was located on a hill. As soon as I saw the sign to the village, I got off at the nearest bus stop.

The only way to explore the village was by walking. Prepare a good pair of shoes, a bottle of water and fit body….hehehe…because you’ll have to walk up and down the stairs.

By standard definition, I was considered lost but …oh boy….I felt lucky….because I was rewarded with this view of the village:Busan_SantoriniIMG_8002 IMG_8001After taking my fill of the great view, I began my uphill walk. Phew.IMG_8003

A few minutes later, I finally arrived at the village gate and I couldn’t stop clicking my camera. Here and there, you’ll see cute things decorating the village.IMG_8005 IMG_8006 IMG_8007 IMG_8008 IMG_8009IMG_8010IMG_8012IMG_8013I decided to explore this small alley and in the distance, I heard an Italian song was played through the loud speaker in the village. Wkwkwkwk…I couldn’t help but laugh because it really made me feel that I was in a village somewhere in Italy instead of Korea.IMG_8014 IMG_8015

Then, when I was enjoying the Italian song and the view of the other side of the village, I heard several laughter from behind a wall. I took a peek and saw 3 grandmothers sitting on the floor, playing Go Stop (Korean traditional card game). Wkwkwkwwk….so they took me back to reality, that I was in Busan after all. IMG_8016IMG_8019IMG_8020IMG_8021IMG_8022 IMG_8023IMG_8024IMG_8025

Whoever designed the art installations in the village, they must had a sense of humor, such as this sleepy receptionist at the Community Center…..bwahahahaha…..IMG_8026IMG_8027 IMG_8028

I walked around the village for 1.5 hours and I had lots of fun there. The way back to the elementary school was an uphill. I probably burnt half of the tonkatsu that I had for lunch just by walking around this village.IMG_8029IMG_8031  IMG_8032 IMG_8034 20131108_145618 20131108_145716 20131108_145842 20131108_150053 20131108_150249 20131108_150300IMG_8035 IMG_8036 IMG_8037 IMG_8038 IMG_8039   IMG_8043 IMG_804420131108_15035820131108_150651

Kim’s House in Busan

Nov 8th, 2013

The flight from Jeju to Gimhae Airport in Busan was less than 1 hour. Maybe it’s only around 40 minutes. When we landed in Busan, we used buses to the terminal….but…it was for a very short distance. Only about 20 m. We arrived in less than 2 min…kekeke.

Outside the domestic arrival gate, I couldn’t find the sign to metro or subway. I asked the information desk and I was told to go outside and cross the road. I did that and across the domestic terminal was the light rail transit building. I thought it was for those who wish to transit or to go to other terminal. It’s actually the train to the subway station. What an unusual name. kekeke.20131108_10263020131108_10264220131108_102706I bought the one way ticket to Sassang station. The ticket was actually a token that looked like coin. The cost was KRW 1700. I put 1000 bill to the machine but it was rejected, maybe because it’s too crumpled. Luckily I have other bills. It was a short journey from the airport to Sassang station.   20131108_103613 20131108_103824From Sasang Station, I continued my journey to Daeyeon Station. This was the Metro ticket:20131108_105338

Exiting from Daeyeon Station, I walked to find Kim’s House in Busan. This was the map that I got from the hostel operator.Busan-kims house

I took the exit 3 because there’s an elevator to the street level there. Outside the station, it took me awhile to decipher the map. I saw the Two-some-place coffee shop and the CU mini market across the street. I crossed the street and then walked slowly, while looking for the Hana Mart.

Even with the super easy map to follow, I still lost my way. I walked pass the mart and the Tom n Toms Coffee looking for the street to Kim’s House. After awhile, I realized that I walked too far, I went back and finally saw the Hana Mart sign and finally arrived in front of a house with brown gate door. I saw the pink sign of Kim’s House so I knew that I arrived at the right place and pressed the bell.

A man came out of the house. He looked 30-ish and about 170 cm tall. Maybe taller. His body was a bit skinny and he wore a shirt with training pants. If I’m not mistaken, I heard him called himself Mr Kim.

He helped me carry my luggage into the house. His house had a homey feeling. The floor was covered in carpet and it was warm. There was no sofa in the living room. There’s a big window with the view of the small garden at the front of the house. There’s a table next to the window and several seating pad. He took me to the table and then he opened Busan map on the table.

Mr Kim asked me if it was my first time in Busan and when I said yes, he explained the places in Busan, while showing the pictures of those places on his cellphone. He wrote the subway exit and the bus numbers to get to that places on the map.

Then, he showed me the room that I would be staying for the next 3 nights. It was on the second floor. There was a tiny bathroom, a dorm room with 3 bunk beds and a private room. On the first floor, there was a bigger bathroom, a kitchen and two rooms.

Mr Kim and his wife used one of the rooms on the first floor. They lived there and opened their house for guests. They did a very good job on keeping the house clean and homey.

After the house tour, we finished our financial transactions.I paid USD 12.71 for deposit via Hostelword and paid KRW 40,500 in cash to Mr Kim. At first, I was going to stay in the with my friends, but when they canceled the trip, I contacted Mr Kim via email and asked if it was possible to change. I was prepared to pay the full amount for the private room (KRW 121,500) so I was surprised when he said that I only need to pay KRW 40,500. Yippie….

Then, he lent me his Bee Card, it’s a smart card that can be used for shopping and transportation. Wow. I was touched by this. The Kim’s really opened their house and their hearts to make travelers feel welcomed in Busan. Their warmth made me believe that I would had a great time in Busan.

Link to Kim’s House in Busan:

Hostelworld: Kim’s House

Facebook: Kim’s House

Earphone, Patch & Jjigae

November 8th 2013

I woke up at 6 AM. The room was empty when I went to sleep at 9 PM but sometimes during the night the other girls came. All of the beds were occupied.

I left the hostel at 7 AM and took a cab to airport. It was only 10 min drive. On the way, the taxi driver asked something in Korean. I told him that I’m going to Busan from the airport, hoping that he’d dropped me off at the domestic terminal. kekeke.

When we arrived at the domestic terminal, the meter showed KRW 4100. I gave KRW 5000 bill and the ahjussi gave me KRW 1000 so I gave him KRW 300 as tips.

I went to check-in. The boarding time was 8.45 AM. I still had 1.5 hours. So I went upstairs to the 4th floor, to restaurants area. I made a stop at the pharmacy and bought a motion sickness patch for my friend. That patch was called Kimite. We saw Korean celebrities used this patch behind their ears to prevent motion sickness.20131108_072649 20131108_072710After that, I found a food hall at the end of the hall. It has kimchi jjige with pork. yummy.

I ordered that at the cashier. It was 7000 won, I gave a 10k bill. The cashier gave me a digital numbering device showing my queuing number and the food stall name but she didn’t gave me the KRW 3k. I thought, maybe the money would be given with the food.20131108_072835 20131108_072828I sat near the food stall and waited for the device to beep. About 5 min later, the food was ready. I gave the device to the lady at the food stall and then I took the tray with food but there’s no money. Anyway, I enjoyed the food. It’s spicy. My tears came out while I was eating…kekeke.20131108_073007I  looked around and saw the water dispenser with glasses. Next to it was a rack for dirty dishes. People put away their dirty dishes to the rack after eating. There’s a stall with return sign. Oh, maybe I would get the money there. I couldn’t finish the jjige. it was too spicy.

Then, I put away the dirty dishes on the rack and refilled my water bottle from the dispenser. After that, I walked to the return stall but it was for returning the dirty dishes. So I finally went to the cashier again, asking about the return money and she apologize for forgetting to return it. kekeke…it’s ok eonni.

It was 8.05 AM. I went downstairs to 3rd floor to the departure area.

There were two queuing lines. one for Korean citizens, the other for foreigners. It’s because foreigners could come to Jeju without visa. So they had to obtain a permit to travel to other places in Korea.

The officer checked my passport and visa there. After that, the security check. It took a while because a girl was wearing money belt and forgot to take it off before passing the security gate. Then a boy after her, had some coins in his pockets. jeez.

After that, I went to the gate area. The gate no 1 was at the end of the hallway. I went to sit near the toilet entrance. When I sat, I saw a green teddy bear was left on the chair. The chain on the teddy was broken. Poor it for losing its owner, so I took it with me after seeing that no one was looking for it the boarding was on time.

When I put the teddy inside my bag, I realized that something was missing. It was my earphone. I used it when I watched a video from my phone the night before and I put it on a box near the bed. It was dark when I left the room and I didn’t check the box again.

Hu….hu…hu….I left Jeju with a bad taste for losing things there…..maybe next time I’ll be luckier…..maybe…..bye-bye Jeju.

The Jeju Chocolate Deals

Nov 7th, 2013

It was around 12.30 PM when I finally said goodbye to the peak. I stopped by at the rest room and then looked around the souvenirs shops around the area. I finally decided to buy chocolates with Jeju Oranges filling for my friends back at home. Jeju Oranges was one of the delicacies in Korean. Back in the old days, only King or high ranking officials could have a taste of them.

I bought the chocolate with the price of KRW 10k per box. I bought 4 boxes and got a box of blueberry chocolate for free. Each box had 30 pieces of chocolate.

Then, I went to another souvenir store. In that store, you could get 4 boxes of chocolate @ 15 pieces with the price of KRW 10k. Hem….I felt….darn….hahahaha…..anyway….it was for souvenirs.

Then, I went looking for abalone porridge (Jeonbokjuk – 전복죽). People said that the yummiest one was sold at Sehwa-ri, the one that was eaten by the female divers in that village.  But I was hungry and it took time to go back to Sehwa-ri. So I walked around and finally found a restaurant. The restaurant looked famous because it displayed the name of one of the national TV stations and lots of famous peoples’ signatures on its premise.20131107_133116I went inside and ordered the porridge. It was KRW 15k, more than my meal budget but hey….when you’re on holiday, it’s time to relax and enjoy it. 20131107_125715The porridge portion was big. I made a conclusion that when you’re eating in a restaurant in Korea, it’s expected that you’re eating out with other people. They don’t design a meal to be eaten alone.

The taste was fabulous.

I took time to finished it and looked around the restaurant. Next to my table, there was a grandpa, also eating alone. He had a portion of seafood soup that looked so red and spicy but he ate it with gusto making it looked yummy. Another table across from mine, there was a family of 5 or 6 adults. They ordered lots of food such as grilled fish, the porridge, seafood pancake (Haemul Pajeon) and soju. Whoa…what a feast!

After I succeed in finishing the porridge, I took a walk around the area to get a full shot of the peak. It wasn’t the ideal time to take the shot but I only had 1 day to spend there. So, here’s the best one:IMG_7985After that, I wanted to take a walk on Olle route 2. There were signs along the beach but the path suddenly disappeared and it was led to a wide road. I decided to go back to the bus stop near the harbor where I got off this morning.

There were interesting sights on the way back to the harbor. Birds that reminded me of the cheeky thieves in Australia. Horses and a group of old men watching them.IMG_7986 IMG_7987 IMG_7988 IMG_7989 IMG_7990 IMG_7992 IMG_7993 IMG_7994 IMG_7995 IMG_7996 IMG_7997 IMG_7998At a bus stop near the Seongsan Ilchulbong, I saw a girl asking several grandmothers there in English while none of them understood her. I asked her, what did she want to know. She asked me how to get back to Jungmun resort. As I remembered, the place was on the other side of the island. So I told her that she could take a bus to Seogwipo-si and then from there, she should asked around on how to get the the resort.

Then she asked me from which bus station that she should take the bus and I told her to cross the street. I completely forgot that the vehicles here ran on the other side of the road from the ones in my country. At the bus stop across the street, she asked another people and they told her to cross the street again. As she was crossing the street, the bus to Seogwipo-ri arrived and she got on that bus. Phew. I wished she arrived at the resort safely.

I was amazed to see a solo female traveler like her. One that could go to a country without having enough information and had the courage to ask around when she couldn’t speak the local language.

Then, I went to cross the street and waiting for the bus to Jeju city. Unlike the bus stop across the street that had a roof and glass walls, this one, there was only a sign post saying bus stop. The sun was shining happily that afternoon while I was dying to rest my feet from the long walk I had that day. And the bus didn’t came sooner. I waited there for almost 1 hour. T_T

At first, I wanted to stop by at the Sehwa-ri museum but it was already 3 PM. So, when the bus finally came, I decided to go back to the hostel. I paid the fee, KRW 3,000 to the bus driver and sat down and fell asleep almost right away.

At 4.20 PM, the bus arrived at the Jeju Intercity terminal. I went back to the hostel and rest.

Btw, when I was resting and writing, I noticed that the hostel sold the chocolate too. With the price KRW 10k for 4 boxes. Kekekekeke…..what a deal for the Jeju Chocolates!