The port city of Busan that became wildly popular and recognized for the iconic movie Train to Busan has since then become one of the most visited places in South Korea. For my trip there I decided to take an airplane to the city as opposed to the popular train route, which not only is a trendy method but it also is a scenic journey that displays the beauty of the entire country. The breezy and beautiful city is known for its charming people, cute small towns, scenic beaches, fresh seafood, and much more. I have to say during my short two-day trip there, I definitely experienced Busan's culture and the very rich environment that it has to offer. It was a drastic difference from the so-called "빨리! 빨리!" culture of Seoul that somehow makes you feel the intense hustle and bustle of the environment as well as the prim/polished state that Seoul constantly seems to be in. Busan however, immediately gave off a relaxed, laid-back, comforting, and approachable feeling that could serve as a perfect getaway from the fast-paced city life of Seoul.
Upon arrival, we checked into our hotel that was right next to the Haeundae Beach and sat nicely next to the main street of shopping, street food, cafes, street vendors, fish markets, and more. Immediately we and my friend chose one of the many seafood restaurants that served a Busan staple, grilled clams. It was on my bucket lists to eat seafood for the majority of my trip and the grilled clams were the perfect way to kickstart that goal. We got one of their set menus that included dozens of enormous grilled clams and seafood ramen for after the grilling. It was in the top three best meals I have had since coming to South Korea. It truly tasted so fresh and was immensely better just knowing that we were right next to the beach and could feel the ocean breeze. Naturally, after our delicious clam lunch, we went straight to Haeundae Beach upon arriving I was amazed at how many people were swimming in the water. A majority of the beachgoers were playing in floaties, swimming, and being playful with their friends. It was a great sight to see while taking in the amazing view and feeling the cool water on my feet. At this moment I was astonished that in a matter of an hour flight I was at the beachside frolicking in the cool ocean water. I was once again reminded that South Korea has so much to offer in such a small country and that there are a myriad of endless things to do. The more places I visit and the more actives I participate in, I not only come to realize diverse perspectives of the communities I immerse myself in but also what those areas have to be cherished.
That night we had seafood for dinner but on the menu was "hweh" or :회", which is the Korean take on raw fish. We ended up at a restaurant right next to one of the fish markets in Gwangalli Beach, which is known for the night view of the Gwangan Bridge and the lively shopping/restaurant strip. Once again at this quant family-owned restaurant I was reminded of how beautiful and cherishing this trip is; I was eating delicious fresh Korean hweh for the first time while looking at a breath-taking view of the beach, bridge, and all the people enjoying their time with me. After dinner we wandered around the area for a bit and ended up grabbing some dessert and refreshments to sit on the beach and bask in the delightful view. My friend and I sat on the beach for hours talking, people watching, making memories, and dipping our feet in the water. That night ended in the middle of the night at this woman's street food stall. Ended our fulfilled day at this humble stall and it could not have been a better closure to our day.