A Year in Seoul - video by Maddy

Monday, October 19, 2009

Busan - Future Home?

After deciding to stay the night in Busan, we asked William for some advice on what to do. He recommended an inexpensive motel in Gwangalli Beach and gave us the phone number so our taxi driver could get directions. It turned out to be an adorable place with a view of the beach and at $40 bucks a night for all three of us, we were happy.

Gwangalli was supposed to have a decent nightlife, and though it was a Sunday, it was also a holiday weekend so we wanted to check it out. We took a stroll along the beach and admired a gorgeous bridge lit up in technicolor against the dark sea and sky. The bridge is just part of the reason why they call Busan "the San Francisco of Korea." After, we checked out the numerous cafes lining the shore and chose one to have dinner at.

We were only half way through dinner when the requisite group of crazy British boys invited us to check out a local bar. We headed over after we'd finished eating and had a few beers outside. All of a sudden a Korean man who had been observing us quite shamelessly handed me a pair of sunglasses and showed me his phone. It was open to a Korean-English dictionary and said "paying back a kindness; saying thank you." I was a bit confused but understood that he was trying to give the sunglasses as a gift (I later learned you got them free when you bought five Heinekens...). He introduced himself to our group as Kevin after we invited him outside to join us. He then proceeded to buy the six of us several rounds of beer.

Later on, Kevin asked us if we wanted to go to "a wine party." If the words "wine" and "party" are used in the same sentence, I am automatically in, so we followed him to the top floor of his hotel, where he rented out a noraebang. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this term, a noraebang is a Korean karaoke room. They are EVERYWHERE in this country and an absolute favorite of Koreans to end a night of drinking. Basically you rent a room, play music, act a fool, eat, and drink. I had never been to one because I hate singing in public, but in the interest of culture, spontaneity, and crazy fun, I figured it was time.

The room was huge, and featured a large screen and a huge table with about twenty chairs surrounding it. It seemed more like a board room than a party, but that quickly changed when Kevin started ordering bottles of wine, beers, and huge fruit and cheese platters. We started the music and shortly after the singing, dancing and tambourine playing commenced. The best part of all, however, had to be when Kevin started singing Korean slow jams.

We stumbled out into the street at about 4 am and the three of us passed out on our beautiful circular bed. In the morning we had coffee and sat on the beach. The weather was still warm enough for bathing suits, although too cold to swim in my opinion.

After lunch it was time to head back to Seoul, but I had really enjoyed Busan's laid back atmosphere. Seoul has so much to offer, but I seriously miss living by the ocean. The mild weather and beach bum lifestyle in Busan might be enough to have me considering a move next year. Thoughts??


  1. I bet you're going to Busan again... Seems like a nice place to stay..

  2. Oh my Busan doesn't quite have the same ring to it - but it is a gorgeous city with plenty to do. I've been meaning to head back there once my schedule allows. Bear in mind that weather conditions are somewhat different between the two cities.