This past week of work was pretty easy considering we had a desk warming day for all of Monday, Tuesday and Thursday we only had two 40 minute classes of kindergartners, Wednesday was a holiday for voting (Josh and I hosted a pasta party to thank all the other teachers for having us over for dinner/welcome home party for the head teacher who just came back from a week stay in the hospital) and Friday was the memorial day holiday.
Friday morning we headed into Busan with 2 other teachers and met up with 2 Korean friends to explore Busan in the day time.
Our day in Busan started with meeting our Korean friends at Home Plus (kind of like a cross between Costco and Walmart- they have food, home goods, clothing and pretty much anything else you can think of). We started the day off eating an early lunch and I finally managed to order my favorite-bibim naeng myun!! It was ok, I ordered it from a cafeteria in Home Plus so it wasn’t a specialty noodle shop but overall I was impressed and thought it was good. Josh ordered food from Lotteria which he enjoyed. I really wish we had a Home Plus in Changnyeong as it would make shopping so much easier but unfortunately our small town only has locally owned grocery stores.
After Home Plus we took the most crowded bus ever (the bus itself was oddly built, it only had 1 seat on each side until the very back of the bus where there were about 2-3 seats on each side… the bus at its fullest was probably carrying over 40 people- needless to say many people were standing and being jerked around in the Memorial weekend traffic). 40 minutes later we arrived at the Yonggung Temple stop where it was a short walk to Yonggung Temple. Before arriving at the temple we stopped off at a small cafe and refreshed ourselves with tea and coffee.
Yonggung Temple was beautiful, it was close to the water and you could see the ocean from most places at the temple. Of course it was crowded because of the holiday weekend but nonetheless it was quite enjoyable and the ocean breeze was lovely. We all ended up hanging out on the rocks by the ocean for a while and enjoyed the amazing weather and what can only be described as a sea-doo gang that came close to the rocks and caused a commotion by spraying each other with water.
Before catching a couple taxis to our next destination we stopped by same cafe and had some pot bing su (shaved ice with various toppings that usually include red beans, fruit and sometimes ice cream).
HAEUNDAE SAND FESTIVAL
After our time at the temple we split up and took taxis to Haeundae Beach where the Sand Festival was taking place. First we had to stop and get some lunch….Quiznos anyone? During the Sand Festival various artists make large sand sculptures and there are booths set up on the beach with various vendors selling different types of goods. The sculptures were very well made and so intricate despite their large size….but I’ll admit probably the most exciting thing about the festival was when some of us climbed a huge sand castle (well over 30 feet tall) where we were able to see the entire beach from the top.
CHECKING IN TO THE LOVE MOTEL
After the Haeundae Sand Festival we headed to our love motel (B & W Hotel or BMW Hotel, the name was interchangeable) and freshened up before we headed into Downtown Busan for some dinner. With love motels the price of the room tends to be much cheaper and you get what I call a love care package with the reservation. In this instance our love care package included a razor, q tips, cotton pads, minty massage gel (Josh claimed that it had tea tree oil in it so we ended up rubbing it all over our achy feet), condoms, a hair tie and what I think were packets of lube. Overall I was pretty impressed with the room- it was a pretty big room and had a mini fridge with some beverages (in motels you don’t pay extra for the drinks), facial toner and serum, a sheet mask, Dove shampoo, conditioner and body wash and a huge tub. We split the room with another couple from our school and ended up only paying $30/couple which isn’t bad considering all the cool/creepy extras and the fact that most places were charging premium rates due to the holiday weekend. Another bonus of the love motel was its distance to downtown, it was about a 10 minute walk so we were in a quiet neighborhood yet still close by to nightlife and food.
For dinner we all settled upon eating at Chir Chir which is a chicken restaurant chain. The fried chicken was AMAZING! And unfortunately not many pictures were taken because we were starving. The portions were for about 2-3 people each and even though we were all really hungry when we arrived to eat we ended up taking some chicken home. A cute touch that this restaurant does is to hide a hard boiled egg under the chicken and fries.
After dinner I really wanted to get some ice cream so I decided to try the liquid nitrogen ice cream stand called I Cream (I believe this is a chain because I saw something very similar in Daegu). I ordered the Sun Dried Salt Ice Cream because I was feeling brave and was curious to see if it would actually be salty and it ended up tasting like partially frozen butter (it was really good, not too sweet and not too salty). It was quite fun to watch the lady making the ice cream and too see all the smoke coming out of the mixer.
END OF THE NIGHT
The plan after dinner was to go to a club but after a long day with lots of crowds and a belly full of chicken we all decided to throw in the towel early since we were heading to the Trickeye Museum early the next day.