This is Busan:
I decided at the last minute to take a trip there this weekend. Seth and I caught the KTX (awesome!) at 3:57pm, and we were on the beach before 6pm. Living in a country the size of Kentucky can have some major advantages.
I can’t say enough good things about the KTX. It’s fast, easy, and relatively cheap. We showed up at Dong-Daegu Station a at 3:15, and we were speeding toward Busan less than an hour later. Unlike the subway, KTX economy cars are fitted with comfortable seats and are quite relaxing. The train was so smooth that I didn’t even realize that we were moving until a shadow swept across my window as we passed a building.
We made a brief stop in Ulsan, and we were on our way again. The entire trip, including the stop in Ulsan, took about 50 minutes. Like in Daegu, the KTX station in Busan was very nice – clean and open with high ceilings. We walked out the main exit and found ourselves in a small park where we found hundreds of people enjoying the weather.
From the KTX station, we caught a cab to the beach. We knew immediately that Busan was different from Daegu – the cab driver spoke to us and made an effort to understand what we were trying to communicate. Hell, he even took us where we wanted to go. The trip took about 25 minutes, so we had to split a whopping $16 cab fare. We stepped out of the taxi and walked directly onto the beach.
For the first time in months, I didn’t feel like I was in Asia. Between the masses of foreigners on the beach, and the hillsides covered in buildings, it felt a bit like we were transported onto a Mediterranean beach.
After spending a few minutes on the beach, Seth and I checked into hostels and got cleaned up. Seth got the last bed at the hostel in which all of our friends stayed, so I walked across the street and checked into a different one. Fortunately, Indy House had plenty of room. It was also quite nice. Indy (the proprietor) keeps the place very clean. It felt more like a ritzy summer camp than a hostel.
We all went out to dinner at a nearby beach called 광안리 (Gwangalli). Dinner was aggressively mediocre (buffet), but the view from our table overlooking the beach made it all worthwhile. After dinner, we walked back out onto the beach and enjoyed the weather and the full moon.
We spent the rest of the night bar-hopping. I had to cut out early as I was incredibly tired. I jumped in a cab before 1am. I found out that next morning that I missed out on a lot more fun. But that was OK, because I was awake and alive the next morning to enjoy the beach one last time before heading home to Daegu.
Until next time.