Took the KTX to Busan station from Seoul station. We bought the 3-day Korail Pass as it was considerably cheaper than buying the return tickets. Our train was at 10 AM, so we had breakfast at Seoul station since we were early.
After reaching Busan, we checked into Shin Shin Hotel at Seomyeon. We decided to stay at Seomyeon as it had a very central location and it would be convenient to travel to both the Haeundae area and the Jung-gu area. The hotel was cheap, and the room and toilet was actually pretty good!
We headed to BIFF square and Gukje market first to eat the famous 씨앗호떡, which is hoddeok with grains. I loved it so much! We walked around more, then Kenny and Lingying had more street food. It was actually my first time eating street food in a tent, because most of the time I just eat while standing up.
Then we headed to Jagalchi market as we wanted to have seafood dinner. Behind the market, there was a platform and many people were looking at the seagulls. The seagulls were really close and there was so many of them! This old man was feeding the seagulls with prawn crackers. He beckoned us forward and gave us some to feed them. We chatted with him, and he told us that he loved Singapore and has visited 3 times! We asked him to recommend us a dinner place, but he said that food at Jagalchi market was very expensive. He proposed to bring us to another restaurant. He emptied out the prawn cracker into our hands and told us he would bring us there once we finished feeding the seagulls.
We ventured and weaved thru many alleys, before reaching this famous 국밥 (rice in soup) restaurant. He was a frequent diner, so the young boss knew him. The young boss spoke English very well, and told us that he took over the business from his grandmother and mother. I was excited to try, as 국밥 is one of the famous food in Busan! It had pork in it, and the old man taught us to add a little salt, seasoning and prawn paste into it to make it taste better. He also ordered soju and made us drink with him lol.
Then, he brought us to Busan Tower and Yongdusan Park. There was a short cut, so we didn't have to walk the entire park area. It wasn't much, tbh. Maybe because we went at night. But we didn't bother to pay for the tickets up to Busan Tower.
He told us he was going to show us another popular restaurant in Busan, so we thought it was a place we could visit the next day. He then led us into the restaurant and ordered even more food! Round 2, I guess! Hahaha. It was a drinking place where people ate dishes like 쭈꾸미 (spicy mini octopus) and 빈대떡 (bean pancake). We drank soju and beer, and I think the old man was a little drunk. He invited us to his house and to noraebang, which we both politely declined hahaha. But he was sincerely a nice guy, and very genuine. We exchanged contact with him, and promised that if we visited Busan again in future, we would look for him.
We woke up early, and headed to Taejongdae first. Honestly, I did not know what to expect as I had not researched much about this place. It turned out to be the highlight of our trip! They had the danubi tram service, which I highly encourage everyone to take, as it will make your life a lot easier. The entire route of Taejongdae is extremely long, and the only people who walk are the ajumma hikers. We got off at the first stop which was a temple that was rather deserted. We walked to the next station, which was an observatory. Then, we boarded the train again to the lighthouse station.
The lighthouse station is the absolute highlight! The cliffs surrounding the lighthouse was amazingly beautiful. We spent a lot of time climbing the cliffs to get good photos. Please wear a good pair of shoes with a strong grip, or else you might slip and fall into either the valley or the ocean and die a terrible death. The view was amazing and its a really good spot to take photos!
We were super tired after we climbed around the rocks and the many flights of stairs at the lighthouse, so we took the tram back to the terminal station.
Then, we headed to Gamcheon Mural Village! We bought a map as we wanted to visit all the stamping posts and get the post card. However, it was already close to 5pm when we went, and most shops were getting ready to close. The route is a circle as well, but the end of the circle did not seem to join. The many fishes along the way are actually guiding you along the route! As we went on a weekend, it was slightly crowded at the more beautiful murals as people would queue to take a photo. However the queue was quite bearable even in the winter cold.
At night, we went to Gwangalli bridge to catch the light show. Personally, I felt that it was not worth our time as it was quite boring. The light effects were quite simple and there was no music. People were setting off smaller fireworks along the beach, which they bought from the vendors walking around. There was also a busker, which helped to make it a little more interesting. We left before the show ended.
We only had 2 places left on our itinerary. So first, we headed to Yonggungsa temple, which was a Buddhist temple located along the seaside cliff. As read from many blogs and also by checking the map, we realised that the bus stop is a distance away from the temple. So we decided to just take a cab from the subway station. I finally bathed the Buddha again, which I last did 10 years ago in primary school. People were also standing on the rocky cliff, but the rocks at Taejongdae is way nicer!
We took a cab to Shinsaegae Centum City, and visited Spaland! It is considered a high class jimjilbang, and costs ₩18,000 for 4 hours on weekends. For foreigners, they would give you a guide that details the steps to enjoying the spa.
First we soaked our feet at the outdoor foot spa, which is part of the common area. Then, we went back to the gender segregated area that contained the spa and the bathing area. I love soaking in the hot spas and was pleasantly surprised that they had outdoor tubs too :) It was similar to an onsen as you had to go into the tubs naked. The bathing area is open as well, so there are no individual cubicles. Same for the area where you dry yourself up and slather on moisturiser and dry your hair.
Then, we went to the common area where all the sauna rooms were located at! There were many rooms and even though it was a Sunday, we were still able to enter the small rooms. The floors of the sauna rooms were so hot, we were trying to walk really quickly, hahaha. The steam room was actually open and that was where people were eating the smoked eggs and drinking sikhye, which we did as well :D We wanted to mimic what we saw on Korean shows and tried to crack the egg against our heads, but failed. We spent exactly 4 hours in Spaland, which is actually sufficient even though it seems short as compared to normal jimjilbang where you can stay the entire day.