Korea Diary | Weekend Getaway in Busan (Day 27, Part 1)
It would have been a wasted opportunity if we spent 50 days in Korea but never explored outside of Seoul on our own. On an impromptu weekend, Bestie C, our UK friend, and I took a trip to the South of Korea to visit the city of Busan.
We had only decided to go that particular weekend during the week of. There was a last minute scurry to purchase Korail KTX tickets online and secure a place to stay. The round trip price from Seoul Station to Busan Station was ₩57,700. I would recommend pre-ordering the tickets to save the stress of trying to figure it out at the train station. The KTX online site was available in English and was a smooth process overall. The train ride wasn't bad either, it only took a little over 2 hours to get from Seoul to Busan.
Since we were going into an unfamiliar territory, my criteria while searching for accommodations were:
- proximity to public transport station
- location in comparison to major destinations of interest.
Even though we were traveling as a trio, we weren't too particular on the size. Luckily I was able to come across a rather nice and new looking studio on AirBnB. It was pretty affordable since it was newly listed. I wouldn't typically pick a place that didn't have any reviews but decided to take the chance anyways. The sweet points of our new home for the weekend:
- only a few minutes walk from the Busan KTX train station
- subway station was right around the corner from the apartment building
Both those reason allowed us to save on taxi and transport money to get there. We also avoided any potential dialect/language barriers upon immediate arrival in Busan.
Once we settled in, our #1 stop was to the Jagalchi Market 자갈치시장. If one were to Google top places to visit in Busan, this market is usually a top suggestion. The area has many shops selling seafood and other groceries to locals and tourists. If you visit the multi-story building labeled Jagalchi Market, you could browse & purchase from the many vendors on the first floor, then have your seafood prepared for you on the second floor.
This market was a really neat place to explore. There were so many different types of fish and sea critters that I don't normally get to see, even with all the Chinatowns in NYC. But unless you really want the experience OR have a fluent Korean friend along with you, I would recommend to save your ₩₩₩ to eat other foods at Busan.
Our small loot of 1 fish, 3 scallops, 3 abalones, 3 clams, and 3 frozen shrimp came up to ₩50,000. The cooking and preparation fee was an additional ₩25,000. It was refreshing to eat (mostly) fresh seafood, don't get me wrong. I also got to try raw fish which I don't typically eat. However, we could have had many many more meals for that ₩75,000. To my memory, prices of the seafood weren't really written anywhere and you either have to trust the sellers or try your best to haggle no matter the price.
Shortly after reaching the indoor fish market, heavy rainfall swept through Busan. It was pretty unrelentless for most of the day. But we continued to venture outdoors anyways to make the most of our short stay.