Well, I’m back.
I guess I should take a moment to explain the hiatus. The first week and a half of this month, my mother and sister paid me a visit. That began on May 1st, the same date the hiatus commenced. That explains the first two weeks, but last week, I was too busy, lazy, and in need of rest to summon the energy to post. But the entire staff is back to work now here at The Seoul of Wit. The interns enjoyed the time off, but it’s nose to the grindstone again.
So what have I been doing the past month? Uh…a lot. The week and a half my family was here was a juggernaut of tourism and food. We did so much, I’m not even going to try to sum it all up, and even if I did, some of the things we experienced have been covered on these pages before.
We did, however, do something that was entirely new to me. We went to Busan.
Now, before you freak out, they spell Busan with a “P” on this map. Hey, they also spell Jeju Island with a “Ch”! Why am I using this map, again? Oh right, because they label the sea between Korea and Japan as the “East Sea” and not “The Sea of Japan.” I once projected a map in class that labeled them the other way around. I was promptly told to find a different map.
Anyway, we went to Busan! This was a big deal for me. Besides my trip to Japan, I haven’t really been outside of Seoul. I mean, I’ve been outside the city limits plenty of times, but not very far. Here are some facts you might find interesting about Busan:
-With a population of a tad over 3.5 million, it’s the 2nd largest city in South Korea.
-Busan hosted the 2002 Asian Games and is making a bid to hold the 2020 Olympic Games.
-I prefer to spell Busan with a “B”, as opposed to the sometimes used “P”.
In Busan, we stayed at the Westin Chosun – a hotel on the famous (to Koreans) Haeundae beach. That’s me on the bed up above there. The hotel came highly recommended, and it lived up to expectations, but perhaps the most exciting thing for me was that the shower had a curtain and a tub! The sweet life…
There’s our hotel putting a nice exclamation on the end of the beach.
And there’s the rest of the beach. Our hotel would be just out of the left side of the frame in this picture. It was too cold to go swimming in the sea while we were there, but the weather was perfect.
We were only in Busan for the weekend, so we didn’t get to see everything we wanted to, but we did go to one of Busan’s biggest Buddhist temples: Beomeosa.
Busan was great. It definitely has a different feel to it than Seoul does. Seoul is a little grittier than Busan – not dirtier, but with more character. Busan was sleeker – it had a more modern feel in many ways. I would go back.
I’ll finish with one of the great things about staying on the beach: fresh seafood.
Along the beach, there was a big section of tented restaurants like this one. Walk in, pick the animal you’d like to eat, and they prepare it right there for you. Did we try it? No! We were full – geez.