Tag Archives: South Korea

Korea ~ Final Thoughts

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. 

Image may contain: skyscraper, sky, ocean, outdoor and water

I did a couple other typical Korean things, like late night karaoke. 

Image may contain: text

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!

A Really Nice Korean Hostel

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…

Image may contain: 2 people (for those of you not obsessed with Korean dramas, those are pictures from the Korean Drama Goblin)

For two, awesome, private, big, comfortable beds.

Image may contain: indoor

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?

Image may contain: 1 person Books and Park Bo Gum ❤ I’m amazed I left.

Korean Baseball!

After our day running errands, Jasmine and I met up with some of her fellow teachers and went to a baseball game!

Image may contain: one or more people, stadium, crowd and outdoor

It was an adventure because out of all of us I probably knew the most about baseball…but that is not saying much. We had great seats, though!

Image may contain: 4 people, including Amy Buchmeyer and Jasmine Mhlanga, people smiling, people sitting, outdoor and closeup

At the same time, it was a totally new experience because this particular baseball team had CHEERLEADERS. Or more precisely, K pop dancers because the girls finished up every inning with a K pop dance. It was thoroughly entertaining. There was also an MC who kept running around shouting things in Korean I did not understand and working the crowd up into a frenzy at every possible moment. 

Image may contain: one or more people and outdoor

Alas, the home team lost but it was marvelous fun. The crowd got REALLY into it whenever the home team was up to bat. Because most players were Korean and had three-syllables in their full name, a lot of popular chants and songs got used over and over using their names. I was singing right along by the end! However, when it came time for the other team to get up to bat, the entire stadium took a nap. I am only half-joking. The fall in energy was palpable. 

Sketchy Location but Amazing Food

You are walking down an alleyway. You see an apartment complex. You enter it.

It is very obviously an apartment complex where people live. You then walk up two flights of stairs. Still…a dingy apartment complex that looks vaguely like a college dorm.

You come to a door. A sign on it says “Open” but nothing else really gives it away as anything other than another apartment. 

But you walk inside…and wallah. A cafe/restaurant!

Image may contain: indoor

But not just any restaurant. We are talking home to some of the most amazing food I have ever eaten in my life.

Image may contain: food

Image may contain: food

My mouth waters just remembering. All washed down with delicious yuja tea.

Image may contain: drink and food

I really thought my friend was pulling my leg when she said the restaurant was located inside the building but oh! The food was so amazing it would be worth planning a trip back to Korea just to eat it!

Exploring Busan

I landed in Korea on a Thursday and spent the day exploring by myself since the friend I was visiting had to work. It was a very triumphant experience for me since I managed to navigate the airport, two separate subways, and a bus terminal without any help! (Mostly.) I mean, the subway system in Korea runs basically identically to the one here in Bangkok so it probably would have been more pathetic if I couldn’t figure it out. But I have never been known for my directional aptitude so it felt good to successfully navigate a new city. 

As it happened, navigating public transportation turned out to be the most exciting part of my day. I first went to Centum City (“The World’s Largest Department Store”) but it was closed. I then headed over to Busan’s famous International Film Festival location which, while architecturally kind of cool, is really just a giant, empty space when not hosting the film festival. 

I then meandered by the water for a bit and enjoyed the chilly air. (Such a lovely break from 97+ degree humidity here in Thailand!) 

 stumbled around for a while trying to find coffee, finally located a place and ate a delicious kimchi filled roll, and then wandered around the finally opened Centum City Mall. It was all very, very low-key and I did not take a single photo! 

I then headed to the bus terminal to catch a bus out of town to meet up with Jasmine who does not actually live in Busan. Here I almost ran into trouble. See, unlike Thailand, Korea’s bus terminal runs with beautiful efficiency. I just needed to buy a ticket and then I could use that ticket at any point during the day before the buses stopped running at 9:00 PM. I, however, did not know this and thought I accidentally bought a ticket for 9:00 PM. 

I stood there confused for about 30 seconds before a kind, old gentleman walked over and asked if I needed help. I explained my confusion and he pointed me towards the right bus. The bus left ten minutes later and I arrived with hours to spare. 

Now, I am told Busan is unique in Korea for how friendly strangers are. And I am told if I was in Seoul, I would have had a much different reception. But compared to the many indignities and frustrations I have experienced here in Bangkok over the last 5 months, that friendly man at the bus station felt like an angel from heaven. 

And in general I would say that is one reason I enjoyed my trip to Korea so much. It was not Bangkok. Everything ran so much smoother and people acted so much friendlier and I never felt like I was charged the “foreigner” price. Maybe I just needed a break from Thailand. Maybe it was just Busan. But whatever the combination, I appreciated every moment of it.