“You can possible to go at low cost”

Back home from a weekend deep in the heart of the south of South Korea.  Specifically Busan, Haeundae Beach, and Taejongdae.  Took the nephew along in order to celebrate his birthday and also to serve as a foil for my rapier-like wit.  I’ll let the pictures tell the story…

The picture is not blurry, that's how we look at 300 km/h.  Jee Yeun's daughter's boyfriend works for Korea Rail and scored us some discounted tickets which made an already sweet ride even sweeter.

The picture is not blurry, that’s how we look at 300 km/h. Jee Yeun’s daughter’s boyfriend works for Korea Rail and scored us some discounted tickets which made an already sweet ride even sweeter.

Less than 3 hours after boarding the train in Seoul we disembarked at Busan Station.  Then we hopped in a cab for the ride out to Haeundae beach.

Less than 3 hours after boarding the train in Seoul we disembarked at Busan Station. Then we hopped in a cab for the ride out to Haeundae beach.

Upon arrival the first order of business was securing lodging for the night.  I kinda liked the look, well name anyway, of this place.

Upon arrival the first order of business was securing lodging for the night. I kinda liked the look, well name anyway, of this place.

Jee Yeun wanted clean and comfortable and cheap, so this is where we stayed.  Obviously, the place didn't blow, even if it did *ahem* Blue.  Actually, it was fine and no complaints about the W35,000 rate.

Jee Yeun wanted clean and comfortable and cheap, so this is where we stayed. Obviously, the place didn’t blow, even if it did *ahem* Blue. Actually, it was fine and no complaints about the W35,000 rate.

With lodging secured, we hiked a couple of blocks to the waterfront.

With lodging secured, we hiked a couple of blocks to the waterfront.

The obligatory beachside photo...

The obligatory beachside photo…

And we enjoyed a nice sunset...

And we enjoyed a nice sunset…

And then it was time to eat.  Justin and Jee Yeun insisted on a meal featuring raw fish.  The only time I've ever gotten sick eating in Korea was on raw fish, coincidentally at Haeundae.  So, I wasn't very enthusiastic about their choice.  Still, there was denying the fish was fresh...

And then it was time to eat. Justin and Jee Yeun insisted on a meal featuring raw fish. The only time I’ve ever gotten sick eating in Korea was on raw fish, coincidentally at Haeundae. So, I wasn’t very enthusiastic about their choice. Still, there was denying the fish was fresh…

The restaurant we chose had a nice ocean view...

The restaurant we chose had a nice ocean view…

...and offered an impressive selection of side dishes...

…and offered an impressive selection of side dishes…

I had to admit the presentation of the uncooked fish was appealing.  In the foreground you can see my way of eating fish, which is just what I did.  They also brought me a nice fish stew, so I was satisfied.

I had to admit the presentation of the uncooked fish was appealing. In the foreground you can see my way of eating fish, which is just what I did. They also brought me a nice fish stew, so I was satisfied.

Our hunger satiated, we went for a little hike around the back side of the Westin Chosun.  That's the APEC conference center on the right, which was still under construction during my previous visit...

Our hunger satiated, we went for a little hike around the back side of the Westin Chosun. That’s the APEC conference center on the right, which was still under construction during my previous visit…

The are around Haeundae has really built up as well.  Justin and I debated just how tall these massive apartment complex's were.  Our guesstimates ranged from 50 to 80 stories...

The area around Haeundae has really built up as well. Justin and I debated just how tall these massive apartment complex’s were. Our guesstimates ranged from 50 to 80 stories…

Having walked a fair piece, I was getting thirsty.  For beer.  We came across a covey of pochangmacha's that filled that void nicely...

Having walked a fair piece, I was getting thirsty. For beer. We came across a covey of pochangmacha’s that filled that void nicely…

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Justin and Jee Yeun had ddokgochi and I had a chicken-on-the-stick. Truth be told none of us enjoyed the food. But the beer was cold.

The beach at Haeundae is  undergoing a revitalization project.  I don't know why, but I found the construction work strangely pornographic...

The beach at Haeundae is undergoing a revitalization project. I don’t know why, but I found the construction work strangely pornographic…

Down on the boardwalk.  Well, it was technically concrete, but you get the meaning.  Saturday had been nice, but Sunday morning was overcast and chilly.  We had planned on taking the boat to Taejongdae, but alas, there no longer is such a boat from Haeundae.  So, we took a cab instead.

Down on the boardwalk. Well, it was technically concrete, but you get the meaning. Saturday had been nice, but Sunday morning was overcast and chilly. We had planned on taking the boat to Taejongdae, but alas, there no longer is such a boat from Haeundae. So, we took a cab instead.

Our cab ride took us over the old bridge...

Our cab ride took us over the old bridge…

...and the new bridge.  I've got to say, Busan cabbies seem much chattier than the ones in Seoul.  Our driver on this ride drove like a madman, and answered his kakao messages while driving.  Some crazy guy on a motorbike (excuse the redundancy) darted across an intersection against the light in front of us, how we missed him I'll never know.  The ride was a thrill a minute, that's for sure...

…and the new bridge. I’ve got to say, Busan cabbies seem much chattier than the ones in Seoul. Our driver on this ride drove like a madman, and answered his kakao messages while driving. Some crazy guy on a motorbike (excuse the redundancy) darted across an intersection against the light in front of us, how we missed him I’ll never know. The ride was a thrill a minute, that’s for sure…

Against all odds we arrived safely in the comparatively sleepy village of Taedongchae.

Against all odds we arrived safely in the comparatively sleepy village of Taejongdae.

Were we enjoyed us some lunch before heading up the mountain...

Were we enjoyed us some lunch before heading up the mountain…

I don't want to leave the impression that we actually walked to the top (which would be similar to climbing Namsam).  Instead we opted for this Disney-like tram ride.

I don’t want to leave the impression that we actually walked to the top (which would be similar to climbing Namsam). Instead we opted for this Disney-like tram ride.

Up top we saw buildings on rocks...

Up top we saw buildings on rocks…

...people on rocks...

…people on rocks…

...fresh fish on the rocks...

…fresh fish on the rocks…

and rocks on the water...

and rocks on the water…

Now, I heard the English speaking recording on the tram ride say this is the spot where the East Sea (aka Sea of Japan) meets the South sea.  Justin insisted it is where East meets West.  Hell if I know.

Now, I heard the English speaking recording on the tram ride say this is the spot where the East Sea (aka Sea of Japan) meets the South sea. Justin insisted it is where East meets West. Hell if I know.

We encountered this topless young lady, but frankly I thought there was something fishy about her...

We encountered this topless young lady, but frankly I thought there was something fishy about her…

The obligatory pose in front of the lighthouse.

The obligatory pose in front of the lighthouse.

The whole experience left me feeling rather contemplative.

The whole experience left me feeling rather contemplative.

Having seen the sights we headed back to Busan station.  With some time to kill before our train, we ventured out to "Chinatown".  All I can say is that the Russians have successfully invaded and conquered this part of China.  You might notice as I did that almost all the signage is in Cyrillic.

Having seen the sights we headed back to Busan station. With some time to kill before our train, we ventured out to “Chinatown”. All I can say is that the Russians have successfully invaded and conquered this part of China. You might notice as I did that almost all the signage is in Cyrillic.

Although this sign wasn't.

Although this sign wasn’t.

We decided to spend our final hour in Busan going full on Korea-style.  Which I define as sitting outside drinking and snacking and smoking.

We decided to spend our final hour in Busan going full on Korea-style. Which I define as sitting outside drinking and snacking and smoking.

And so ended our Valentine's day adventure.

And so ended our Valentine’s day adventure.

 

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