Busan for Buddha’s Birthday

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What a whirlwind of a weekend! It seems like we had been planning for and looking forward to this 4 day break ever since we first arrived in Korea back in late August and I can now say that it was all worth it.

This was my first trip to Busan, South Korea’s second largest city, and as I expected I loved it! My friends and I flew with Air Busan, and for only a little more than the cost of the fast train, I would say the security in having our transportation booked for this extremely busy national holiday was completely worth it. The flight was possibly the easiest of my entire life and I would recommend Air Busan to anyone! We also stayed at a fantastic hostel, Wow Guesthouse, that I would also highly recommend- the price, comfort, and location were all the tops.

The main attraction in Busan for foreigners is definitely Haeundae Beach and what a beach it is. The beach scene was an interesting mix of Korean families and foreigners in all sorts of attire ranging from full suits to speedos–I’ll let you guess who was wearing what.

Here are the top 10 highlights from the beach:

1. A korean girl walking her white ferret on a leash. REAL and DISTURBING.

2. TOO many young Korean couples taking full photo shoots of themselves and each other with tripods and DSLRs…don’t even get me started on the selfies.

3. A Koreans vs. White dudes sand soccer game- complete with beer bellies, well only one team had them. Again, you guess which one.

4. A white guy in a purple polo and khaki shorts doing yoga in the middle of a crowd of families flying kites. Downward dog should be avoided if it means your gut is going to fall out of your polo.

5. A white guy strutting in the sand like a bird and tormenting the pigeons- which I support, because pigeons are heinous.

6. A korean child screaming in terror as an Indian man emerged from underwater- My guess is she’d probably never seen someone with skin darker than milk before.

7. Drunk foreigner bozos terrorizing the beach at 9am on Children’s day–Go back to your hostel and get some manners.

8. Doing some beach burpees and making friends with Koreans in the process. “Excuse me, but, what are you doing?”

9. Being asked to join in with some young Korean buskers on a soulful ESL version of R Kelly’s “I believe I can fly”

10.  Beach fireworks. Just, fireworks.

Other than the beach, my favorite part of the trip was my solo visit to Haedong Yongungsa Temple. Since it was Buddha’s Birthday, there was a massive crowd of people making the migration to pay homage and see the impressive lantern display. My friends told me to take a cab, but it was easy to get to Yongungsa Temple by bus from Haeundae Subway Station Exit 7, I took the 181 bus to the Yongungsa Stop. Depending on traffic,  it will take about 30 minutes for only 1200 Korean Won on a T-money card.

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