Saturday, January 16, 2016

Busan Part III: Things To See Outside the City

Yay, holiday weekend in Busan!

In my first post about Busan, I mentioned the amazing Airbnb place I stayed at near Haeundae Beach, called Gina's House. It was such a great place to stay and the best part was sight-seeing with Gina and her other guests that weekend, a young couple from Singapore. 

We did a cooking class during the morning and then drove out of the city to visit some of the famous places along the coast between Ulsan and Busan. The first place we visited was Ganjeolgot, a park with a lighthouse and, for some reason, a windmill and a giant mail box. I have no idea why those things were there.

A giant windmill overlooking the Korean coastline, because, why not?

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Busan Part II: Sight-Seeing in the City

Busan's Haeundae Beach at sunset

Busan is definitely my favorite urban place in Korea so far- it has a lot to do and see, and so many interesting neighborhoods to wander around. Plus you've got good international food, craft beer and several beautiful parks and beaches.

Here are some of my favorite things to see and do in Busan that I've discovered thus far:

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Busan: Oden Cooking Class and Korean Okonomiyaki

Busan city lights by Haeundae Beach

Just about an hour and half south of Pohang is one of Korea's most interesting cities, Busan. It's a port city with a very international atmosphere, where you can find plenty of foreign food and culture existing side by side with Korean life. It's considered Korea's second largest city and you can really feel that as you travel around it by taxi or metro- it's an expansive place, with a lot of unique neighborhoods to explore and plenty of interesting sights just outside the city as well.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Oeosa Temple

Oeosa Temple, south of Pohang

In my last post I talked about one of the two famous temples near Pohang, Bogyeongsa, located to the north of the city. The other famous temple, which is in the south, is Oeosa (pronounced kind of like "Oh-oh-sah"). Oeosa is also about an hour or more bus ride from Pohang (the buses that go there don't run frequently, thus the long travel time) but it's very close to the city by car (probably about 20-30 minutes).

Oeosa is a little smaller than Bogyeongsa and feels older as well. While both temples are crowded with tourists, Oeosa gives an impression of being a little more quiet and peaceful, probably because it's located right on the edge of a beautiful lake.

Saturday, December 5, 2015


Bogyeongsa temple, near Pohang

Near Pohang are two famous temples, one to the south and one to the north of the city. Both are old, beautiful and have nice hiking trails nearby. The first one I visited was Bogyeongsa, about an hour north of Pohang by bus or probably about 30 minutes by car. The bus drops you off at a touristy little town with small shops and restaurants, where you can get some good local food and apparently a liquor that's meant to be good for "vitality".

Monday, November 30, 2015

Seoraksan and Korean Public Bath Houses

Fall colors at Seoraksan mountain
There was a long weekend in October, so we took the opportunity to travel up north to South Korea's most famous mountain, Seoraksan. We caught a bus from Pohang to the city of Sokcho (about 6 hours north on the eastern coast) and spent the night in a jimjilbang (찜질방),which is a public bath house. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Korean Food Adventures

Before I knew anything about Korea, I knew it's food. I started eating Korean food in college, mainly because the suburb of Portland that I lived in then had Japanese and Korean stores and restaurants on every corner. Korean food is amazing and diverse - there are so many interesting dishes and flavors, which vary from region to region, and even though I'd been eating it for years before actually coming to Korea, I feel like I've barely scratched the surface.

For those who've never tried it, don't be intimated to do so: not all Korean food is spicy, though a lot of it is, and while some things are pretty exotic to foreigners, there are plenty of dishes that most westerners would enjoy if they tried them.

Here are some of the fun foods I've encountered since I've arrived: