Huge golden Buddha sitting in Busan's Yonggungsa Temple

Travelling with Rail-Ro: Busan

Time for some updates!

Oh snap, it’s been a while. Who would’ve thought coming back home would be so stressful! Anyway, we stopped in Yeosu after we took a romantic ride in the cable car and ordered some fried chicken in our motel. Let’s pick it up straight where we left off and talk about Busan:

Traveling to Busan was the most tiring part of the trip so far. We had to change trains after an hour and traveling without seat reservation to one of the more important cities in South-Korea meant changing seats every few minutes. Luckily for us we bought a bag sealer designed for chips and other things in aluminium or plastic bags right before the trip so we could seal some air inside plastic bags to make some cushions. Minjae is the crafty part of our relationship so she went ahead and made some pillows which made the trip far more enjoyable.

Busan, here we are!

After about 3 or 4 hours in a very crowded train, we finally arrived in Busan, Korea’s hub to the world. (striclty industrially speaking and maybe a bit hub-ish if you consider Japanese tourists. “Hub to the world” just sounded so cool so I had to say that. I have no actual factual information to prove that. Please don’t lynch me.) Being hungry after the long-ish train ride, we decided to get some meals for energy in a traditional Busan-ese restaurant. Those were absolutely fantastic by the way! I had some traditional Korean soup without intestines, since I’m not too keen on boiled lungs, livers, kidneys, guts and stomachs. Minjae on the other hand went for a soup with finely sliced pig entrails, which was better than I imagined.

A traditional Korean soup in Busan
The soup in question. Nothing beats a DELICIOUS Korean soup after a long train ride.

We didn’t want to spend our whole stay in Korea’s second largest city in a single traditional restaurant near the trains station though, so we brought our bags to the hotel. After a quick shower and a short nap we collected our things and officially started our Busan sightseeing adventure!

Books as far as the eye can see:

Our first destination was Busan’s famous Bosu-dong Book Street, which, as far as I understood it, was mainly formed during the Korean War. People were in dire need of some money and sold their books to survive. This kinda kept on going until the place achieved fame for being the best place to find cheap and expensive, used and new books in various languages. (*cough* mainly Korean *cough*)

It’s definitely worth a visit, just because it totally looks like a place out of a fantasy novel with books piled into huge towers and shelves that seem to be more of an obstacle to the small and old shopkeepers than they are a sorting mechanism to the sheer amount of books that can be found here.

I wondered what they’ll do if I ask for a book at the bottom of a pile?

A book store with many books in Busan's Bosu Dong Book Street
One of the first shops we came across while wandering through the Bosudong Book Street in the heart of Busan. You can find ANY kind of book here, if you just search well enough.
Mountains of books in a store in Busan's Bosu Dong Book Street
So many piles of books. How do the shopkeepers find anything here? I don’t want to be the guy responsible for the logistics of this place.

Dinner, Night Markets and a tower on a hill.

The sun was setting over cloudy and rainy Busan and it was time to get some dinner in a preferably dry spot. We found a super cute small pub and had some Takoyaki, beer and french fries. Nearby was also Busan’s famous night-market, where South Korean Night-Owls can enjoy delicious street-food until late at night. It was a good opportunity to eat some fishcakes, which Busan is incredibly famous for. They’re filled with various things like molten cheese, chewy ricecakes, pulled crab meat or vegetables and slathered in ketchup, mustard sauce or mayonnaise. If you’re a food-person and love fishcakes then Busan is a city you should definitely visit.

Japanese Takoyaki in a restaurant in the heart of Busan
I actually really really love Takoyaki. I have no idea why I never had it while I was in Japan and I regret not having tried it there. This one was fantastic as well though and I totally recommend the place! It’s super tiny but amazingly cute. Just bring some cash money because their card reader has some issues I think.
fishcakes bought from street vendor in Busan, SK
Super delicious fishcakes on Busan’s night-market!

From Busan’s Night Market you had a nice view of Busan Tower and ollowers of my journeys might know my fetish for observation towers, airplanes and food already – to those it won’t be of any surprise that our next stop was Busan Tower, where we were greeted with a super nice view over the harbor metropolis in South-South Korea. Needless to say, it was also kinda romantic. Although I wish I would’ve known Minjae already when I visited Nagoya Tower. Oh well! Now I have a reason to go there again 🙂

Busan Tower at night as seen from below.
This is Busan Tower. Koreans also love giving their things convenient names. I want to use this opportunity to remind everyone of Kiba Park’s famous big bridge called “Big Bridge in Kiba Park“. Sadly the images we took from inside the observation platform all the way upstairs all turned out to be not so great. Damn night photography, why must you be so difficult! Someone teach me how to take pictures at night ;_;

Anyway, it was getting late and the last day of our trip was coming closer and closer. On our way home to the hotel, we bought some cheap Ddeokkbokki midnight-snack and microwaveable rice and called it a night.

A temple north of Busan

About an hour away from Busan lies Yonggungsa, arguably Busan’s most famous temple hidden in a bay at the sea. I already loved Yeosu’s Hyangiram, which was also quite close to the ocean, so this was the perfect destination for our last day in Busan. Walking up to the temple, you can smell the smell of incense from quite far away. Considering Yonggungsa is a really popular destination in South Korea, you shouldn’t expect a quiet stay during your time here though. The huge golden Buddha and beautiful buildings do make up for the noise though!

Busan Yonggungsa Temple as seen from the ocean.
This is Busan’s famous Yonggungsa temple and definitely worth a visit if you happen to find yourself around Busan. It’s quite big and just outside you can find lots of delicious restaurants and street food vendors.
Coin throwing blessing in Yonggungsa Temple
Here you can throw a coin and see if you can land it in one of the small pots. If you do manage to hit that spot, you’ll get a blessing. I hit it with a coin but it jumped out, so maybe I get a quarter blessing or something 🙁
Street food sold near Busan's Yonggungsa temple.
Those are some of the street food vendors you can find right in front of the temple entrance and after leaving. I recommend eating some stuff there, as it’s cheap, hot and delicious! :^)

To finish the day off, we went to a beautiful seafood restaurant a bit south of Yonggungsa. I think pictures explain the beautiful atmosphere of that place far better than my uneducated words, so just check it out right here with some more food pictures:

Six different flavors of delicious filled fishcakes in Busan.
This is what Busan is famous for! Fillings from top left to bottom right: Sweetpotato, Curry, Mashed potatoes, Cheese, Shrimps, Mandu

I hope you enjoyed following us on our short Rail-Ro trip! See you soon for more South Korea updates and a trip to northern Germany 🙂

xoxo

Robin

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