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Sunday, August 09, 2009

Day 37: Gyeongju - Busan

It was amazing that we didn't experience any back pain with such a thin mattress. In fact, we felt that it straightened our spine. Hubby told me that next time he wanted to sleep in an ondol room again. :D

We woke up so early that even the owner had not up yet. After waking him up and paid for our room, we walked to the train station to catch our 8.40 am train to Busan. It was a 3-hour journey from Gyeongju with a transfer at Dongdaegu.

Busan Station

After arriving at Busan Station, we walked to our motel which was just next to the station.

Toyoko Inn
It is a Japanese chain motel, which was just opened last year. Well I guess if it's owned by a Japanese, the standard should be pretty high.

Cool building

Lobby with free internet

The not so good thing about this motel is the check-in and check-out time which is at 4pm and 10 am respectively. So since we arrived early, we left our luggage with them.

Next, had a quick lunch of seafood ramen at the train station food court.

Nurimaru APEC House at Dongbaek Island
I couldn't trust the guide book anymore, it was specified as a 10 min walk from the subway but actually it was at least 20 minutes or more. Luckily the weather was cloudy and windy.

It was not so much of the APEC House that I wanted to see, but the view from there was amazing. Totally worth all the sweat hehe...

Nurimaru APEC House

The lighthouse

A not so clear Gwangan bridge.

I love how the waves smashed the rocks.

Haeundae beach from afar

Suspension bridge to Haeundae beach.

Cut across the forest.

Mermaid sitting on the rock.

Getting nearer to Haeundae beach.

Haeundae beach
This is the most popular beach in South Korea, which is like Gold Coast to Australia. But the crowd here is crazy, only a picture could describe this.

The most crowded beach I've ever seen!!

Haedong Yonggungsa Temple
Later, we took a twenty minutes ride bus from the beach to this temple. It is a Buddhist temple that built on top of the cliff.

Souvenir kiosks lined up from the entrance to the temple.

Dragon, one of the chinese zodiac.

You could see that his belly is very popular with visitors. :)

Haedong Yonggungsa temple

The stone lanterns

Took a break while enjoying the scenery.

Gwangalli beach
We spent our evening at the beach. I think Gwangalli beach is a lot nicer than Haeundae. It has a great view of Gwangan bridge, less crowded and commands amazing view at night.

Not many beach could claim a great view like this.


This is before the real beach guard came and chased us away. :P


Fantastic light up of the bridge. Does it resemble San Francisco Golden Gate bridge?

The night is alive.

We had a BBQ dinner at one of the restaurants along the beach. The food was excellent, the view was great and it didn't come with an expensive price tag. What's more to ask? :D

Seafood pancake

Marinated pork

After dinner, we saw the moon came out from its hiding place. Another great photo opportunity. :)

On the way back to motel, we stopped at Seomyeon to check out the food alley. It was only 10pm but already so quiet when we reached there.

Soemyeon food alley

Toyoko Inn
I loved it the moment I opened the door to our room. It was modern, clean and compact. If I get to travel around Japan, I would sure book from them. We paid 58,500 won for double A room including breakfast. Great value!

They provide pyjamas!

We had a wonderful day at Busan, everything near the water looks great! :)


ZellyJhaze said...

Hi Irene! I'm so happy to have stumbled upon your blog while surfing about Seoul for our trip next month. Got even more pleased upon learning that you're staying at the same hotel.

We're already planning our itinerary and frankly, it's mostly based on the places and restaurants you've featured :) Sadly don't think we can pack them all in in just 5 days. Guess we'd just have to come back for more.

Can I just say that I love your blog? Your comments are not too lengthy yet very informative and your photos speak for themselves -- you take very good photos, by the way :) We even thought of getting the same camera. Question though, hope you don't mind. Do you do any post-processing before posting them? It's just that the colors are so rich and vivid, it's amazing!

Anyway, really enjoy your blog. I'll make sure to say hi in case I bump into you at the lobby :)

Irene said...

Hi ZellyJhaze,
I'm glad that the information is useful for your trip planning.

Yes I did post processing on some photos, but not much. Just fyi, using dark background helps to bring out the photos. :)

Please call me if you see me around at Fraser.

Your comments really made my day. :)

Linda said...

Hi Irene, Thks for all ur info on Seoul & Busan. I am going over to Busan then Seoul next tue 25 Aug. I have taken down all ur info given, really looking forward to it;)
Oh, btw do u need anything in Singapore? I can bring it to u, if u want.

Irene said...

Hi Linda,
Thanks for the kind offer. I think I could still manage without stuff from Singapore hehehe...

By the way, I hope you don't mind if I'm asking for a favor. I'm collecting fridge magnets from all the cities I visited and I missed out Busan magnet :( I had already seen one at the souvenir shop on the 1st floor of Nurimaru APEc House but didn't buy it. And then I couldn't find it anywhere else in Busan. They only have general Korean fridge magnet, but the one at Nurimaru has the view of Busan city and the word 'Busan' on it. When I did manage to go back there on the last day, it's closed for the day. It's really frustrating.

So, if only you go and visit the Nurimaru, could you help me get one? I could meet you in Seoul and pay you back. Which hotel are you staying at? I'm at Fraser Suites Insadong.

I'm a bit embarassed to ask this but I guess I'm just desperate. :P

Hope you enjoy your trip here.


Linda said...

Hi Irene, sure no problem, will get it for u if I'm going there.
I am staying in Namsan Guesthouse in Myeongdong but I will be going to Insa-dong also, maybe I can meet u there. Do u have a no. I can call?

Irene said...

could you give me your email? i'll write to you. thanks a lot! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi, i am so glad to have bumped into you blog with all the beautiful pictures in it. we are going to korea on september. i was wondering how did you go to Haedong Yonggungsa Temple from Haeundae Beach and how long did the trip take? thank you so much for your reply in advance---athena0108

Irene said...

Hi Athena,
We took bus 181 from the bus stop near the Haeundae subway station. The journey is about 30 min.


LiJEin said...

Hi irene!

Im so happy tt i chanced upon your blog!It has all the places which i want to visit! Could you please advice on the route?
From apec house --> suspension bridge --> heundae bridge --> Haedong youngoongsa temple --> Gwangali beach. And is gwangali beach near any subway? Would really appreciate your help!! =)
Oh and have you gotten the magnet you want, if not, i may be able to help! - lijein (singapore)
You can also email me at

Irene said...

Hi Li Jein,
Thanks for offer, I would be very grateful if you could help me get one :D

From APEC House, you walk further away from the building and you will see a lots of wooden stairs that goes down near the water. Just follow that path and then you'll reach the suspension bridge. Keep on walking and you will see the Haeundae Beach. From the beach, you have to walk quite a bit, probably 15 minutes to the subway to catch the bus 181. The bus will stop on the main road but you have to walk in to reach the temple. And then from the temple take the bus 181 back to Haeundae station and then take the subway to Gwangali beach. From the Gwangalli subway it's about 5-10 minutes walk to the beach.

There will be lots of walking involved, if you want to cover all these places in one day, start early.

Have fun in Korea!

LiJEin said...

Thanks for the prompt reply irene!! Will you email me your details so that i can pass you the magnet? I can't confirm that i'll be going to the apec house but i'll try my best to add it into the itinerary! I'll be in seoul after busan =)Btw, is gwangan bridge far from the gwangali bridge? hear from u soon!
Excited about korea!!