This is Part 3 of my Korea series. Have you read my other posts?
We took the efficient KTX bullet train from Seoul to Busan. Korea's modern high-speed train completes the journey from the capital's central railway station to Busan in around three hours. Ticket costs 58,000 won (P2,500) one-way. For convenience, have a korean friend book and buy your tickets online because these are the trains most likely to sell-out ahead of time. KTX website and iphone apps are in Korean.
A piece of advice: If you can possibly avoid it, try NOT to travel back to Seoul on a Sunday night. Tickets sell fast, can be quite pricey and poor souls wanting to get back to Seoul might end up in standing room.
Welcome to the vibrant, bustling and cosmopolitan city of Busan! Beside the busy port in the heart of the city is Jagalchi, South Korea's largest seafood market. Giant fishing boats deliver the latest catch directly to the stalls day and night.
Korean women dressed in wide sunhats, heavy aprons and long rubber gloves attend to their respective stalls. Women are called Jagalchi "ajumma" - the Korean word for "middle-aged woman'' or "married women.' History tells us that this market survived in the years immediately after the Korean War when there weren't many men around to take care of business.
Being here in this precise moment is truly experiencing stalls and stalls of commercial trade of selling raw fish and other seafoods straight from the ocean.
Almost right off the boat, fish and shellfish, eels, squids, mollusks, mackerels, sea squirts and even whale meat are sold fresh to consumers daily.
As a spring season delicacy, Yuni made us try a hwe (sashimi) slices of some flat fish. It was very fresh and had a sweet delicate taste.
Another way to enjoy those hwes is to place it on the leaves, spread on a layer of red pepper sauce and top it off with kimchis.
Adjacent to Jagalchi Market is the enormous Nampodong International market, also known as Guk-je Market.
We were in for some serious shopping and bargain haunts! With only a few hours to spare, we hurriedly browse hundreds after hundreds of trendy clothes.
Shopping during spring season means dainty pastels of cardigans, fluffy sweaters, cover-ups, flashy trench coats and denim jackets.
Snow boots likewise known as UGGS are a steal for as low as 5,000 won! ( $5 or P220 pesos) I've checked its counterpart prices in Seoul where it retails for 20,000 won. These faux sheepskin boots are amazingly warm and oh so comfy!
I think I just died and went straight to korean dress heaven! For these fashionable pieces, prices starts for as low as 10,000 won or P450 pesos.
The effect of retail therapy on us! Big wide grins (tee-hee)
Locals flock the alley ways lined-up with various tasty Korean street food. There's fish cake, churros, deep fried dumplings, sushi and more.
When in Korea, eat what the locals eat. And we would never pass up the chance to try our hands on an authentic bowl of bibimbap. Mixed rice with assorted meat and vegetables.
Busan I will always remember you as the greatest place for the freshest ocean catch, trendy affordable clothes, delicious street food and authentic bibimbap.