1 Aug 2014

Busan Weekend: Haeun-day(해운대)

TRAIN RIDES I LOVE TRAIN RIDES! Godknowswhy but taking a long train ride has been in my bucket list for a long while. Our nice Seoul apartment host helped us keep our overweight luggages for the weekend and off we went to Seoul Station to board the KTX bound for Busan at a whopping 7:00 am. Props to all three of us managing to wake up so early!

The journey to Busan was around 2.5 hrs long and by the time we reached Haeundae Station where we were residing for the weekend, it was already almost lunch time. 

Our accommodation experience in Busan was unpleasant. We did book the apartment through Airbnb and we thought this apartment had the best location and the host looked pretty motherly. But throughout the entire trip, she never replied to any of my questions pertaining to the apartment and check-in timings. Worse still, she was late in picking us up and we were stranded with so many pieces of luggages at Haeundae Station waiting underneath the hot summer sun getting grilled there for a good 20 mins. There is no reason why she should be late as I've already informed her 10 mins before our arrival at the station.

She drove pretty dangerously back to the apartment and there was a huge crack on her windscreen (that she did not replace). Okay the next thing that happened was a nightmare. The tourists residing in the apartment that we booked hasn't checked out yet and they were nowhere to be seen. Hence, she offered us another unit that was facing DIRECTLY a construction site where we could see the faces of the construction workers so clearly right outside our window. If we could see their faces, it means they could also see ours' too right? The corridor at our level had a foul rotting trash stench, and it was so dimly lit it seemed pretty iffy to stay for a long duration, especially so for a group of young girls.

The apartment was so-so, but the staircase leading up to the loft unit was so steep all three of us had trouble climbing it. Tall girl Ming ended up sleeping on the couch instead.

Complains aside, after settling down in our apartment we headed to Centum City for lunch at Lotteria, then to Spaland for a long afternoon of sauna-hopping. There were no photos taken, I mean who takes pictures in Saunas when your phones might overheat. It was pretty worth it, 15,000 won for 4 hours and the facilities are pretty luxurious! If you do not mind showering naked along with many other aunties.... there are shower facilities, traditional Japanese onsen style. 

I'm honestly not a fan of having cold food for proper meals... We had naengmyeon, bibim naengmyeon and mandoo for dinner that day. Naengmyeon (냉면) is buckwheat noodles served cold, something like the Japanese soba noodles. Bibim Naengmyeon (비빔냉면) is the same dish served with a spam of hot pepper sauce. Mandoo (만두) is the Korean version of gyozas. Naengmyeon is actually Busan's speciality other than fresh seafood, so we decided to have it for one of our meals and HONESTLY the hot bakuteh-like broth served in the teapot was my saviour for that night as I kept dipping my noodles into that. Naengmyeon is everywhere to be found in Busan but the best would be Chuncheon Naengmyeon! Go google it and make sure you do not go to the wrong one (we went to the fake one).

As we stayed in the vicinity of Haeundae, we had the luxury of being within walking distance to the beach! The evening breeze was amazing and we had lots of fun running away from waves, freezing after a while as the water was too cold, watching people get dunked into the sea, e.t.c. I did not have much fun as dumb girl here wore boots AND STOCKINGS to a beach so, no playing of water.... But I did go back to Haeundae to play when I went there with my mum again in June and one side of my slipper was swept away by the waves hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha and my mum got so panicky looking at me trying to retrieve my poor slipper. 

Do remember to check out this roadside cocktail bar while you are at Haeundae! It is located on the left side of the strip if you are facing Haeundae beach. The names of the cocktails are pretty whatwereyouthinkingatthatmomentwhenyougavethename like "Sex on the peach", "Pineapple Thank You", "Grape See You Again", BUT DO NOT LET THAT HOLD YOU BACK FROM TRYING HIS MIXES. THEY ARE REALLY GOOD. And sex on the peach really turned out to look like the colour gradient on a real peach... hmm pretty impressive mixing skills ain't it?

I think the best part of my apartment in Busan was the convenience store downstairs. They sold EVERYTHING. From yummy kimchi to eat as a banchan (side dish) with your cup noodle ramyeon, to iPhone 4S cables. Wow, I was so impressed. And check out these adorable delatte packagings below


Will be updating more on my Busan Weekend but meanwhile, I'm busily settling what to move to hall so it's like I'm splitting myself up into two running back and forth between NTU and home. Wow. FIVE MORE POSTS TILL I FINISH UP MY #3GIRLSTAKESEOUL VACAYCAY

Thank you so much readers for bearing with my irregular postings and following me through on this whole journey! :)

Stay hipsterrrific,
Ming Rui