Quite Literally the Train to Busan (No Zombie Apocalypse Here)

Programs for this blog post

Arts + Sciences

Authored By:

Kristie S.

As they all say, if you are going to go to Busan and you do not have a car, you have to take the Train to Busan! 

(PSA: Sadly, there were no zombies or Gong Yoo on our train.)

As you may have figured from that opening, I was able to go to Busan recently. Despite the lack of zombies, this trip was one to remember, partially because of how much we were able to pack into the few days we were there. This trip was decided last minute, with less than a week to decide what to do. One person brought up the idea of Busan (Thank you, Kendrick), and soon enough, we all kicked off to planning it out. With 14 people going (yes, you saw that right), finding accommodations was extremely difficult, especially since it was only 5 of us planning this out. We decided the best use of our money was to split into 2 airbnb's that, finding out when we got there, were in the same building. It took us 4 hours in Emart, well into 1 am for us to finalize our plans on where we were going to stay and how we were going down to Busan. 

For the trip, we were going down from Thursday night to Monday morning. Long weekend trips work perfectly for me since I have no classes on Fridays and online classes on Mondays. It's that exact reason why I was able to do Busan and in the future, Japan. So, the majority of everyone was getting to Busan on Thursday night with some exceptions. Since I was one of the two who booked one of the Airbnb's, it made sense that I got down there earlier so we could make sure everything was okay with the place. Once again, our trustful Trip.com was how we booked our train tickets and the ride down was around 3 hours. There were 5 of us traveling down together and the journey was enjoyable and restful considering all of us fell asleep. But the views we saw were gorgeous and it was wonderful being able to see different parts of South Korea that were outside of Seoul. We were staying in Haeundae, which has one of the main beaches but unlike Seoul, everything is far from each other. But we lucked out with Airbnb because we were right on the beach which came in handy during our time there. 

A photo of the author at one of the many photos spots in gamcheon cultural village

On our first full day in Busan, we planned to go to the famed Gamcheon Cultural Village. Nicknamed the "Machu Picchu of Busan", the village is formed by houses built in a staircase-like fashion. Many of the houses have blue roofs that show such a pretty picture against the harbor. This was my second time here since I had come to Korea originally in 2019. Still, I was in awe of this beautiful place and getting to see the different stores were fascinating. The story of the Little Prince is popular here and there were many stores and murals dedicated to it. There are also murals dedicated to BTS and Jungkook and Jimin who are from Busan, showcasing the pride the city holds for them. We took many beautiful photos and had a great time there. I even got to buy some enamel pins to put on my bag, I have quite the collection now. After the village and lunch, we went exploring the many seafood markets in Busan. Considering the city is the second largest in the country and the port city, many come here to try the different types of seafood offered. Personally, I do not like or eat seafood and walking around all of the fish actually made me feel nauseous. But, it was interesting to see all the different delicies here. But one thing that was told to us before we went was to not try any of the seafood from the markets because many had gotten food poisoning from it. So, if you go and try, I recommend you to eat with caution. But enjoy this picture of majority of us at the pier after going through the markets!

Group photo!

The next day, we all split off into smaller groups because we different things we wanted to do. My friend, Laura, and I had found this beautiful cafe that was on top of a hotel. We could see the entirety of Haeundae and the beach as well. While the food was okay, the views made up for it and we were able to have such a relaxing time there. Afterwards, I was able to explore Haeundae Market which while it did have seafood, it also had alot of cute stores that were fun to check out. There were alot of food stalls that made the area smell so good. Afterwards, I met my friends on the beach as they had been tanning and building sandcastles. The beaches, while available to the public, were actually not truly opened because it was considered the offseason. It is not recommended for people to be in the water because there are no lifeguards active at the time. But that didn't mean you couldn't dip your feet into the water. However, the highlight of the trip was to be later that night. When we were originally on our way to our airbnb that first night, our uber was explaining that it was possible to buy tickets to go out on a yacht. That had us all excited so we planned to do that saturday night. In fact, it was so worth it. While we tried to get the whole group, we were only able to do 10 people that night and the rest of the group went on Sunday night. Getting to be on the boat was amazing and a bonding experience for us as we just relaxed listening to the music and feeling the ocean breeze on us. It was so much fun and a memory that will remain the highlight of my trip to Busan. (We also figured that since we were on a boat, we had to recreate the Titanic scene).

Yes, we did recreate the titanic scene while on a little yatch

For the rest of the trip, it was restful and enjoyable. I got to go to a jimjilbang 찜질방 (a korean spa), which was quite an experience for me. But also one that made me feel quite confident in my body. To be honest, this trip was one of personal growth because it helped me realize that I am capable of planning trips and made me feel confident regarding my solo trip to Japan in the future. That, even in such a big group, it is okay to take moments to yourself, to just reflect about where you are and how the experience is impacting you. I say thank you to my friends who went with me on this trip because this was so enjoyable. In fact, this was the biggest trip I had gone on with just friends and I am so glad I got the chance to. I hope you all look forward to my future blogs such as my Japan trip and my concert experiences in Korea!