If you get the chance to go to Busan, South Korea, do so.
Those are my final thoughts.
But seriously, I am very glad I went. South Korea met my high expectations and proved a delightful, beautiful place to visit.
I did a couple other typical Korean things, like late night karaoke.
Jasmine and I also went to a sauna. (So many naked ladies O.O)
It was fun. It was silly. It was all my little K drama fantasies rolled into one. I definitively want to go back someday! I thoroughly enjoyed my trip.
In unrelated news, Happy Birthday to my Dad!
Taejongdae is ‘a natural park of Busan, South Korea with magnificent cliffs facing the open sea on the southernmost tip of island of Yeongdo-gu.’
It was stunning.
(It was a little windy!)
As you might notice by how late this post is winging its way to your inbox, I’m all caught up on my pre-written posts! But I’m not quite finished with Korea so I plan to spend a few more days wrapping Korea up, then wrapping up my final days in Thailand, and then catching you up on life back stateside! So much catching up to do! I’ve missed you all!
I’ve had some weird hostel experiences in my day. No, really. There was that one time in Bath England where I thought I was going to get mugged and that other time in Slovakia where the guy above me was French and refused to wear pant. Crazy times.
Thankfully, K 79 Guesthouse in Busan, South Korea was nothing but delightful! I highly recommend the place. For one, amazing decorations…
(for those of you not obsessed with Korean dramas, those are pictures from the Korean Drama Goblin)
For two, awesome, private, big, comfortable beds.
For three, they spoke decent English and provided helpful directions, tips for places to visit, and maps of the area.
For four, no naked Frenchmen.
For five…did I mention they knew how to decorate?
Books and Park Bo Gum ❤ I’m amazed I left.
Smiles, comments, giggles. Cars slowing down and middle age women beaming in our direction. That is how Korea responded to Jasmine and I donning hanboks, the traditional Korean clothing.
I felt like a princess.
For $9, this wonderful little store let you rent a traditional Korean outfit (or non-traditional sailor suit, depending on your fancy) and wander around Gamcheon Culture Village for an hour. They help pin you in and then do your hair for no extra cost!
The store carried a multitude of fabrics, colors, and sizes aimed at both men and women. (But mostly women.)
And if that wasn’t perfect enough for me, there was an entire stairwell BOOK THEMED.
The entire village is designed for photo shoots. I think Jasmine and I could handily illustrate an entire book of fairy tales just with the pictures we took. I give you:
Beauty and the Beast
The Fisherman and His Wife (you can’t really tell but that is a fish)
The Frog Princess
The Princess Who Never Smiled
Rapunzel (if you squint I look like I’m in a tower. Sort of. Not really.)
Gamcheon Culture Village – “a picturesque attraction featuring a village of colorful houses, painted murals, shops & cafes.”
Most importantly….I got to wear traditional Korean clothing! (More pics tomorrow!)
“Does Korea have a higher life expectancy than Thailand?” I asked Jasmine.
She obviously did not know because that isn’t one of those random facts you remember. But everywhere we went in Korea, I was amazed by the number of elderly people traveling with us. It took a bit for Jasmine to figure out what was throwing me off, but then she explained…at certain times, the elderly ride the subway system for free! And since we took the subway everywhere, we inevitably went with them.
I felt quite pleased taking the subway system because I could navigate it with little problem. There was one thing, however, that I did throw me off: Korean subways have the weirdest signs.
I don’t really know what they’re warning against except that sniffing strangers and having flames shoot out of your head top the list as generally frowned upon.
Somewhere more photographic evidence exists, but I only took the two pictures on my phone and Jasmine isn’t handing any over!
The conversation went something like this:
Jasmine: “We could do a theme cafe. Like, a cat cafe or a dog cafe. There is also a raccoon cafe.”
Me: “Raccoons? It is a cafe with raccoons?”
Jasmine: “Yep, you can pet them and play with them and stuff.”
Me: “That sounds like a horrible idea. We obviously have to do it!”
And so we did. You drink the coffee before playing with the raccoons, but otherwise it is pretty much free rein.
Turns out, raccoons are spoiled brats.
I was petting one and it climbed on me and stole my hair clip. It then hid in a corner and gnawed on it. I won’t lie, I was all for letting it choke and die on the thing, but Jasmine took sympathy and tried to steal the hair clip back.
In thanks, it bit her.
It also managed to finish consuming my hair clip without choking.
It was one of those experiences I’m glad I did because now I can say I played with raccoons but also it took my ambivalent dislike for raccoons and turned it into loathing. Not sure that is what the cafe was going for.