Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Busan: A Lovable Harbor City

Sydney is to Australia as Busan is to Korea. That was the analogy I thought of when I set foot in this lovable harbor city.
 
If I will reside in Korea permanently, I will stay in Busan to enjoy a less hurried lifestyle and feel the Haeundae breeze everyday. 
 
Busan is a very clean city and less crowded as compared to Seoul. Almost, all the conveniences in Seoul is also there.
 
When I toured this place, I was with my friend Eric. We took the train from Seoul and it took us three hours of trip enjoying the country-side panorama.
 
When we got to Busan, our first stop over was the United Nations Memorial Cemetery. A visit to this memorial is quite interesting because you can find here a tribute to Filipino soldiers who fought alongside South Koreans during the Korean War. 

  
Entrance to the United Nations Memorial Cemetery
Portal to the sacred monument of heroes.
A tribute to Filipinos who fought alongside South Koreans
during the Korean War.
A panoramic view of the heroes resting place. 
A stone memorial.
The main monument to war heroes.
From the UN Memorial, we proceeded to Haeundae beach area to look for a hotel to check-in. Eric and I rested for a while to regain energy for our next destination.
 
Since it was Vesak Day, a commemoration of Buddha's birth, death and resurrection, Eric and I decided to visit a temple to pay homage to Buddha. So we proceeded to a temple near Busan Tower.
Me in front of this cute statue of Buddha.
The colorful lanterns on Vesak Day.
The equivalent of the Blessed Virgin in Buddhist belief.
The Buddhist monk we met during Vesak Day.
The ornate anda of Buddha.
After paying homage to Buddha, we proceeded to Busan Tower. This structure is taller than Namsan Tower in Seoul.
 
When you get to the observation deck, you'll see the sparkling city with the lighted Busan Gwangandaegyo  Bridge. The view is just magnificent.  
The Busan Tower at night.
The bosingak at the foot of Busan Tower. 
We capped the day with a dinner in a nearby samgyeopsal restaurant and after that we got back to the hotel for a good sleep. 
 
The following day, we got up early to catch a morning sunlight. We walked along Haeundae beach, the sand  of which is brownish in color but the size is very fine.
 
Within this area, you can find the Busan Aquarium. Since, there are just so many adorable creatures there, a separate post for it is in store for you.

So here's what we have seen in our walk along the shores of Busan.
Towers along the shore of Busan.
Shores in front of Westin Chosun Hotel in Busan.
A closer look of Westin Chosun Hotel in Busan. It was said that APEC
delegates stayed in this hotel during the summit.
Me in Haeundae Beach.
A dip in Busan sea.
 

The enchanting Korean mermaid.
The lush sceneries in Busan harbor.
Me in the hanging bridge.
The beacon near Nurimaru APEC House.
The Nurimaru APEC House.
The Korean pavilion in a forest near Nurimaru APEC House.
Me in the Korean pavilion.
After our long walk at Haeundae beach and the APEC House area, we went back to our hotel and took lunch in a nearby restaurant which serves the famous Busan delicacy - kwisigukbap. The restaurant is located in Busan traditional market which permitted us to have a short stroll along its shops.
Busan's traditional market.
After our lunch, we took a cab and proceeded to Shinsegae Department Store. This is one of Busan's pride being a Guinness World Record holder for the biggest department store in the world.  



After having a good look of Shinsegae Mall, we went to Busan Stadium which hosted the 2002 Asian Games. The facilities of this sports complex covers a sprawling area as you can see in my pictures below.  
Me in front of the outdoor field.
The Busan Asiad Main Stadium
This is where the Olympic flame is lighted.
 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Everland: Korea's Wonderland

In Korea, there are two theme parks of interest. These theme parks are Lotte World and Everland. During my stint in Korea, I only visited Everland with a gang of friends.
 
Everland is a two-hour trip from Seoul. On the way to this place, you'll see the lush Korean country side.

Here's the entrance to the exclusive place of Everland Theme Park.
At the time of our visit, it was around spring time so it was cool to walk around. At this time of the year, it is best to visit Everland for its blooming flowers in different colors as you can see below.
 
 
Here is a serene fountain in the park which looks interesting.
The most thrilling ride is the "Express". Why? You will see in the next pictures. Here's the entrance to get to the ride.
See the almost vertical fall in this picture? 
 
That makes this ride exciting and box-office hit. Here's a closer look of the ride.
As you queue, you will see this exhibit depicting something "Nazi". So you are being prepared for what's in store for you in the ride. 
One of the magnificently designed portals in Everland is that of the Alpine Village.
Another thrilling ride but less severe than "Express".

For almost a day of visit to Everland, we were only able to enjoy these two rides. The reason being the long queue in "Express" but it's worth the wait.
 
Here are more sights in Everland, I would say display of architectural marvel, mostly European inspired. 
A tower which was a replica of that in Venice.