Busan, Korea: Haeundae
Welcome to my second Travel Tuesday post! A year ago today I was wrapping up engagement photos for my little brother in NYC and prepping for a trip to Korea with my mom. We had found tickets to Korea on Singapore Airlines for $500rt and couldn't pass them up. Those tickets are still the best Korea deal I've seen (considering both money and airline value) so I'm sure glad we took advantage of them. If you haven't yet, make sure you check out my Travel More series for tips on finding cheap flights and building miles.
My family all lives in the southern parts of Korea. They grew up poor, hard-working farmers in a small village near the city of Changwon, and I always loved hearing my mom's stories about her growing up years. She always told us about how she was the first girl to ride a bike in her village. Only men did that, so she learned in secret at nighttime and would cover her bruises from falling. It came to light one day when she was caring for her brother's baby while the mother worked in the fields. It seemed like there was something wrong with the child, so the only way she could get to the fields fast enough was to borrow the bicycle. I can just imagine her racing along the raised dirt paths as farmers stood up from their work to stare like something out of a movie. Afterwards the whole village gossiped and told her she would never marry because of it, haha. It's interesting to hear about the post-war Korea back then compared to the Korea I know now with it's booming economy and cutting-edge technology.
My oldest uncle now lives in Busan, so while visiting his family I got to explore that city for the first time. It's a city on the sea known for it's strong southern accents, beautiful beaches and great seafood. My uncle took us on a tour around iconic Haeundae and then treated us to a meal of smoked duck (deeeelish). Haeundae beach is possibly the most famous tourist attraction in Busan. Nearby the beach there is Dongbaek Park where we started our tour, checking out the Nurimaru APEC house where summits are held, and views of the famous Gwangan bridge and beach. From there you can stroll along these beautiful pathways built into the sea cliffs that weave you along the rocky shore and bring you to the beach. Check out the photos below. Since it was still March and quite cold there were not many other tourists, but in the warmer months this place can get seriously congested. It's so popular that there is a even a famous movie called Haeundae, a disaster movie about a terrifying tidal wave. It was a big deal when it came out but I still haven't seen it because I'm too weak-hearted for that kind of stuff. But it was a beautiful place and I would love to go back and see what it's like when it's warmer. Have you been?