Four of us booked a midnight flight (AirAsia RM750 per person return trip) from KL to Busan (6 hours) on 31 October 2014. We couldn't sleep much on the flight. Arrived at Gimhae International Airport at 8.30am (Korea time). After we got our luggage, we headed to the Light Rail Transit to get to Ssanyang station and change line 1 to Seomyeon station, where our hostel, Blue Backpackers Hostel was located. We come out of the subway greeted by drizzling rain. We stood in front of the Lotte Department Store to check the map for the location of our hostel.
Our hostel was very warm and cozy with the staff friendly and helpful. The staff showed us on the map on where to go for our lunch and street food. During the whole Korea trip, the haddeok (Korea pancake) that was the best that we tasted was the stall located next to the Lotte Department Store. Very yummy and others that we tried couldn't beat that one. For our lunch, we walked along the streets in Seomyeon and decided to tried the BBQ beef ribs in one of the restaurants. After that, also in Seomyeon area, we eaten Jajangmyeon, some street foods and also snacks in the convenient store. We found the JaJangmyeon shop by chance actually. I downloaded a photo of the Jajangmyeon shop from some blog i read in the internet and we were looking for the shop in the area stated in the blog. I asked a lady standing in front of a shop of the directions and it happened to be the same shop that she was working for and ushered us in. Still in doubt, I went over across the street and saw the signboard similar to the photo that I had downloaded. Talk about coincidence...
With a full stomach, it's time to do some walking. We then took bus no.90 to Beomeosa Temple. It was still drizzling when we reached there and this weather actually make the scenery more stunning with misty clouds shrouded above the trees at the hills there.
At night, it was dinner at a small family restaurant nearby the bus station. There was only one aunty who cooked, served us our meal and cleared our table. The menu was translated into English by the aunty's child. How do we know that is because at the bottom of the menu, there was a message thanking us for visiting his / her mother's restaurant.
GamCheong village was on our next day itinerary. We took a taxi which dropped us at right in front of the village entrance. I got an English map at the information counter for 2000 won. It is interesting to follow the map and get all the stamps from each station as I wouldn't have seen the different and interesting places if I didn't insist on getting every stamps from the different stamp counters all around the village. We took a slow walk and saw a lot of interesting architecture and arts displayed on the walls and buildings of the villages. Really really have to slow down or you'll miss some path which could lead to the viewing path or down to the villages below. That day, I have to ask a few people there before I could even find the stairs leading to the places that I wanted to go. The stairs were so steep and small. Even the entrance to some of the stairs were small and could easily be overlooked. All along the main pathway, we bought street foods and there were also some food which were given free. Along the way, we bumped into a group of Malaysians which was quite a relief after speaking broken Koreans languages or sign languages to the people there most of the day. They were getting ready to leave the village after a cup of tea in the community center there. We chatted and they recommended we go to the SpaLand at Centum City which in the end we didn't due to time contraints. We left Gamcheong village around 1pm and we took a taxi to TaeJongDae Resort Park which is about 30 minutes away.
There were a lot of restaurants in the area in front of TaejongDae entrance. We dropped by in one of the restaurant for our lunch.
Inside the TaeJongDae Park, we took the Danubi train (2000 won per person), and went around the park. After getting off at the same drop off point, we walked to the first station nearby to enjoy the scenery of the seaview.
As the sky was getting darker, we didn't have enough time to walk to the next few stations. Got back to the entrance where we took another taxi to Yongdusan Park. Here, there are a lot of shopping stores and food stores. Somewhere in the middle of the street, we took a escalator up to the top which leads to Yongdusan Park and Busan Tower. The night view there was great, an overview of Busan. Got back down to the food street below and chose to eat in one of the restaurants which served Samgyetang, ginseng chicken soup, one of their famous foods.
It's delicious too, could not ask for a more satisfying dinner after a tiring day. Took the subway back to our hostel after that. So much food that we wanted to try and although we were still full from the last meal, we still pack some pork knuckles for our supper. Nearby our hostel, there was a famous restaurant selling pork knuckles which were always full of people and queue. Got some other snacks and drinks from a convenient store and voila...another full supper eaten at our hostel's dining area which we have all to ourselves. I couldnt' resist opening a cup of maggi cup noodle which was left in the basket of free food from previous customers. yumyum.
We spend our third day having breakfast of grilled fish at Jagalchi market and snacks at BIFF Square. There were a lot of handprints of famous stars (mostly Korean and some international ones) on the walkway at BIFF. After a walk there, we dropped by Angel-In-Us Coffee (a franchise which you'll see in many places in Korea claimed to be selling the world best coffee) for a cup of coffee.
Later of the day, we took the Korean airlines to go to Jeju island. Once we reached the airport of Jeju, we headed to the rent-a-car counters available just before the exit door. As all the English language GPS has finished, we got no other choice but to take the Korean language GPS. We don't understand Korean but we somehow managed to know enough to use the GPS and find our way around Jeju island. 3 days of renting a car costed us about 182000 won excluding the gas. There's a bus from the airport that took us to the rental car office where we got our car and then finding our way to Yeha Terminal guesthouse. It was a left hand driving and totally different from driving on the right. Once we reached the hostel, we checked in, and got back out to the Black Pork Street for our dinner. It was very very windy that night and we were shivering walking outside the streets.
Second day in Jeju island. We went to the Jeju Arts centre which was still closed as we were too early. Still, we walk around the open area there before visiting the Jeju Loveland next to it. Entrance fees to Jeju Loveland costed 25000 won per person. It covers a large area with a lot of scupltures depicting the various forms of sex activity, some exhibition hall and a souvenirs shop.
CheongJeYeon Falls was next. Beware that there will be a lot of stairs and walking to visit all the three waterfalls there. I'll skip this next time. Entrance fees to CHeongJeYeon was 22000 won. We had lunch there before heading to JuSeongJeolli Cliff. We parked near the Seaes Hotel and Resort and walked along the sea heading to JuSeongJeolli Cliff. It's a very nice walk along that place.
JuSeongJeolli Cliff entrance fees costed 2000 won. After the visit to the cliff, we headed back to the Seaes Resort and enjoyed some snacks and hot drinks facing the ocean and a fantastic view of the setting sun. We left when it got dark and try our luck to see if the Glass Castle was open. When we reached there, it was just about to closed. No luck there. Went back to our hostel and walked to a restaurant nearby for our dinner.
Third day in Jeju island. First on our itinerary was the Jeju Stone Park.
I've never even thought of visiting this place but once you are inside, you wouldn't want to leave. the scenery there was so breathtakingly beautiful and the place so vast, I feel very comfortable just sitting there. Entrance fees costed 5000 won.
Next we went to Samgamburi Crater, entrance fees 6000 won and Seongsan Ilchubong, 2000 won. Seongsan Ichulbong involved about an hour of ascending the stairs (depending on your fitness level). It's one of the world heritage site and it definitely live up to it.
At night, we went to the restaurants near the port for some fresh seafood dinner.
Day four in Jeju island. We went to the Eorimok hiking trail at Mount Hallasan and tried out the trail for about one hour before turning back.
Stopped by in the middle of somewhere for our lunch and headed to the Hyopjae Beach. Enjoyed our cup noodles bought from a convenience store facing the crystal clear sea.
We drove along the cliff road until it's time to return our rented car. At night we took a cab to the Dong Mun shopping street.
The early next morning, we departed from Jeju island back to Busan. We stayed at the Popcorn hostel in Haeundae area. The worst hostel among that I've stayed in the week in Korea. They don't have maps of Haeundae, their computer is not functioning, the bathroom door lock was not working and they don't even understand what I meant when I requested for an earlier breakfast the next day.
Anyway, luckily I managed to find a map that I borrowed from my friend. We walked around the area nearby searching for something to eat and we found this nice BBQ Korean house. After a full stomach, we walked to the bus stop to catch a bus to the Yonggungsa Temple. Took bus no.181 and reached the stop for the temple about 20 minutes later.
The Younggungsa Temple is situated on a cliff facing the sea. After walking around the temple and eating the street snacks they sold there, we took the bus back to Haeundae and went to the beach.
At night we took the subway to the world's largest department store, the Shinsegae Department Store. It's definitely a large department store and as the things they sold there is so expensive, we didn't linger for too long. We went back to Haeundae Market for our dinner before calling it a night.
Last day, we took a cab to the airport, stuck in the morning rush traffic jam for a while but managed to witness an amazing sunrise among the buildings in Busan. We also done some last minute shopping in the airport. It's much cheaper than to buy in outside of the airport.
Back home to Malaysia around 4pm.