Sunday, October 18, 2009

Busan Fireworks Festival

(click on photos for more detail)

This weekend I was lucky enough to travel to the city of Busan (부산) on the south-east coast of South Korea for their yearly fireworks festival. I took the KTX from Seoul to Daegu, where I met up with my friends Brad and Brianne from McGill, and a couple of their new Daegu friends. From there it was a short ride to Busan.

The KTX is a high speed bullet train, which meant that my trip only took 3 hours, even though Busan is almost on the complete opposite side of South Korea from Seoul.
I live at the top marker, and Busan is on the bottom. By bus, it's a 4.5 or 5 hr trip depending on traffic.

Brad found a hostel in the middle of Busan. It was nice. Nothing fancy, but clean and cheap. We were right near the highway, and surrounded by small more traditional Korean houses. So different from all the high rises that are everywhere.

Brad successfully(?) finding our hostel.

Inside our room.

After settling in, we walked around a bit, and met Brianne and Brad's friends at the Jalgachi Fish Market. It was huge, with hundreds of vendors selling very fresh/ still alive fish. In the large central building, you could pick a fish, and they would take it upstairs for you, kill it and cook it. Can't get much fresher than that.

Our crab. He was feisty. He latched on to the lady who carried him upstairs for us, and they had to break his claw off. He was also mighty tasty.

I have yet to try the live octopus. Maybe someday.

Outdoor market.

One of many outdoor vendors. They were very aggressive trying to get us to come into THEIR shop and eat THEIR fish.

The gigantic indoor market.

Our crab after. Yummy.

Restaurant above the market.

The harbour at sunset.

After our early dinner we headed over to Gangwalli beach for the fireworks. They began at 8pm, but the owner of the hostel said to get there early in order to get a spot on the beach. This is what it looked like when we got there at 5:45pm:
On our right.

On our left.

By the time the fireworks began at 8pm, you could not move. We had a Korean couple put their mat on top of ours. Going to the washroom was an epic journey, and the road behind the beach was packed.

Why are we all so ridiculously smiley? When we asked the Korean couple behind us to take our picture, another 4 or 5 Koreans started taking our picture and waving. Foreigners are incredibly exciting.


While we waited for the ridiculous crowds to disperse, we chilled a a bar near the beach.

That's three litres of beer.

Nathan, Brianne and myself.

Brad, Tara and Mike.

It was a really fun trip, and nice to see Brad and Brianne. Hopefully I'll be back to Busan. Maybe for beach weather.

To leave you with. Asian photo booths are so much better than North American photo booths.

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