Friday, 4 October 2013

The Best Busan Sites and Bites

I feel like my Mum didn't just get a tour of the best things to see in Busan, but she got to taste some of the best flavours that Korea has to offer. She often commented that she never felt hungry because I always had something that she NEEDED to try, but I think Korean food has so much to offer that I couldn't let her leave without trying it all!

Everything seemed to fall into place with the plans I made for her trip, and I think that it was because I tried to keep it local and eat wherever we had plans.

If you're coming to Busan, or looking for a day out, here are some ideas, followed by the restaurants I love in the area.

Deokcheon and Dwaeji Guk Bap
We got back from Seoul on Monday night, and headed straight to Deokcheon so that I could introduce them to Nick's favourite Korean dish, Dwaeji Guk Bap. If you are heading into Busan, then hop off the train at Gupo train station and try it for yourself. Dwaeji Guk Bap is a pork soup dish that is most commonly eaten in the South East of Korean. It's watery broth with chunks of meat in it, and lots of greens, served with a bowl of rice. You can add salt, chilli paste or tiny shrimps to fit your taste. Nick and Chris go so regularly to the restaurant that they are often given free side dishes and get the celebrity treatment. This place can get so busy that we had to wait for a table, so walked for 5 minutes into Deokcheon and grabbed a beer at one of the 'moustache glass' bars that seem to be everywhere at the moment while we waited.

Dwaeji Guk Bap
Moustache Beers
To get there:
Get off the metro at Sukdeung station and take exit 6.
You should see Outback not far from the exit at a crossroads, walk towards Outback and take the first right after it.
The restaurant is on your right hand side and is maybe 100 metres down the road with a gym above it.

Beomosa and Goat Meat
After all the sightseeing of Seoul, it was time to relax on the Tuesday, so we went to Dadaepo beach. We were the only people there, the sun was hot and there was a nice breeze so it was perfect. After I felt like we had fully unwound, we travelled to the complete opposite side of town to do a little more sightseeing. It was up the mountain we went to Beomosa. I have been there a handful of times now and I have to say my favourite time to go is dusk. It's so peaceful and still and empty, that is until the monks all come out and start playing the huge temple drum. It's really impressive. As it started to get darker and cooler it was time for the next impressive meal of the day, one of my favourites goat meat BBQ.

I have been to this place four or five times now and every single time I forget how amazing the sides are. It's a small village on Geumjaungsan mountain that specialises in goat meat and makeolli. The sides are divine and usually include pumpkin, a pasta salad, so many different kinds of vegetables and a seaweed soup. Although it's a little pricey at roughly 11,000 for 100g of meat, it is really worth it, especially if the temperature is right that you can sit outside on their balcony.
Dadaepo Beach
Beomosa Temple
Beomosa Temple
Beomosa Temple
Beomosa Temple
Beomosa Temple
Goat Meat Feast
To Get There:
Take the metro to Oncheonjang station and leave from exit 3. Cross over the road towards Home Plus.
Go to the bus lane and look for the 203 stop. It's the only bus that leaves from that stop.
Take the bus up the mountain to Sanseong Village.
The restaurant i like is called Chaung-Sa-cho-rong(청사초롱) but the village has plenty of restaurants.

Seomyeon Children's Park and Pajeon
On Wednesday we went for a walk in Seomyeon's Children's Park. It's so nice and shady there and a welcomed break from the hot sun. There are lots of tiny cafes and restaurants dotted around the path. Grab yourself a table with a great view of the lake and spend the afternoon eating pajeon, the Korean pancake. Following our afternoon there, we grabbed a taxi and took the short ride over the hill to Sajik to go and support Lotte. They won the game rather impressively and I loved that the cheerleaders were wearing special hanbok outfits as it was Chuseok.

Seomyeon's Children Park
Seomyeon's Children Park
Haemul Pajeon
Hanbok Cheerleaders
Bag Heads

Nampo and Moksal
On Friday we spent the whole afternoon in Jungang Memorial Park. It was really pretty up there, and I found a new favourite reading spot (if only the memorial didn't close so early on the weekdays I would definitely be spending my evenings up there). The best thing about this park is the views, either from the base of the memorial, or the roof of the building on the other side of the park. You can see down to Yongdo Island and far out to sea. Once you've had enough of the view, it's really easy to get to Nampo where you can nosy around the market to work up an appetite. Our coteacher showed us this amazing Moksal restaurant that's nestled in the middle of the market, and no matter how often I go I never get sick of it. The meat is thin and marinated and is the best I have tasted. The women that work there happily stand and cook your meat for you when it's quieter.
jungang memorial park
jungang memorial park
Jungang Park
Jungang Park
Pig Neck BBQ
How To Get There:
-If coming from the memorial park then take the number 43 back down the hill. Ring the bell to get off as the bus does a major hair pin turn after a set of traffic lights at an odd fork in the road kind of junction. Once off the bus, turn right and follow the road past a Busan Bank and all the way down the hill. You'll eventually come to a crossroads with an Angel in Us on the corner. Cross the big road, and turn left so you're heading towards Jungang Ferry Terminal on a road called Daechong-ro. There should be a Paris Baguette on your right, turn right just after Paris Baguette, the restaurant is on the corner. If you feel lost, just follow your nose, it has bright pink and blue neon lights all over it.
-If coming on the metro leave Jungang station at exit 5. Turn left and head down Daechong-ro. Stay on the same side of the road as Nampo tower, with the tower to your left. Keep walking a fair distance until you see a small Paris baguette. Turn left just before this, you'll have entered Gukje market and the coffee shop is maybe 10 meters down on the right with a big green sign outside.

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