Day trip to 대전

Last week I wound up having to go to Daejeon (대전) for a day and discovered a charming city with a laid-back atmosphere and really nice food. I only had a few free hours of spare time so I decided to try some of the well-known food before I went back to Busan.

Daejeon is known as a transit city because it’s in between Busan and Seoul and many travellers pass by here. Because of that, many interesting shops and restaurants are all located right around the KTX station which is really convenient!

I first decided to try some 국수 (noodle soup). The noodles in 대전 are usually made by hand and rolled and cut with a knife which makes them have a thicker texture than usual. I found a place called 오씨칼국수 and tried their 칼국수 which is a type of noodle soup with clams. It was so delicious and the handmade noodles turned it from a typical dish to something special. The flavour was subtle and light, and was extra delicious with kimchi. For only 6 000원 I got a bowl that was probably initially meant for two but I was so hungry I ate it all 😋

You can get here by leaving exit 1 of 대전역 and walking south for a few blocks!

Afterward for something sweet I went back to the station and visited one of the most famous bakeries in Korea called Sung Sim Dang. This historic bakery was started in 1956 and has expanded into several branches but they are all only in 대전. People literally travel to this city just to order their bread so I knew this was a must-do. Their fried papa-streusel bread (튀김소보로) is one of their most famous and comes with several types of fillings for whatever suits your fancy. I’m on a real 고구마 (sweet potato) phase and when I saw they had that filling I didn’t hesitate to order it. Also I tried the original 팥 (red bean) filling. They have box sets for different prices and I got a pack of 6 for 10 000원. The chewy rice cake-like texture and flavours are AMAZING. I totally see why people travel just to try their bread because it’s worth the hype.

If someone is ever stopping by 대전 please take a moment to try it’s food. Totally recommend it~

The Sea~ 바다

Some memories never

Leave your bones. Like

Salt in the sea; they become

Part of you.

-April Green

Some memories will always stay with you.. let the good ones inspire you and the bad ones be reminders of how you’ve survived and grown past them. 🙂

주말 잘 보내요!

Have a good weekend!

Wearing Hanboks in Gyeongbokgung~ 경복궁 한복 입는 경험

My Canadian friends and I went to Seoul during my winter break and one of the things we decided to do was to rent hanboks (한복) and walk around Gyeongbok palace. We had went there once before in 2017 but never had the chance to wear hanboks before, and it honestly made the experience way more special. The history of the palace is incredibly interesting and it felt like you’re walking back in time the deeper into the palace you get. The palace was built during the Joseon Dynasty in the year 1395 and has undergone a lot of changes from how it was originally, and it’s interesting to see how the buildings were built and what they were intended for.

Some buildings are dedicated just for royalty and you can notice the difference because some will have intricately painted walls with vivid colours in comparison to others which are unpainted and undecorated. Some buildings were dedicated only for specific purposes, for instance there’s one building that’s set by a gorgeous pond which was made just for the Queen to relax by herself when she needed to. Also, I thought it was so ingenious that the buildings are built with interlocking wooden beams instead of using nails. Every part of each building was pieced together like an intricate puzzle and the measurements had to be so precise for it to be built stabley.

Warning: hanboks are a little difficult to wear if you’re plus size. Our had to be pinned down to accommodate for our curviness. There may be a hanbok rental shop with different sizes, but the one we used was free size. However on the plus side they did our hair for free, so we only had to pay around 15 000원 for 3 hours and the entrance fee to the palace was free! It wasn’t much to pay for a great experience.

Here’s a link to some history of 경복궁!

http://koreatourinformation.com/blog/2013/12/08/gyeongbokgung-palace경복궁-景福宮/

Till next time~

나중에 봐요~ 🙂

Tour of Namgu~ 남구의 관광

Last week I was recommended to be a part of a tour through the 남구 district of Busan, a district that I had previously heard of but had never been to before. Needless to say, I was really excited to go and explore a new side to Busan and to try some new things.

Our first stop was to 대연동 문화골목 (Daeyeon-dong Cultural Alley), which at first seemed like any ordinary alleyway, but as we walked further inside, it completely opened up into a square with various shops, cafes, galleries, and even a small theater. Sprinkled throughout the alley were various antiques that gave the alley a really eclectic feel.

After lots of walking we were all a little hungry for lunch. The tour generously gave us each a gift bag filled with goodies, like fruit, korean snacks, and delicious rice cakes filled with red bean paste.

At our next stop we got to do a 한식 체엄 (Korean food workshop) where we learned how to make tomato kimchi! I had never tried this type of kimchi before and I have to say it’s my new favorite kind. The sweetness from the cherry tomatoes mixed with the spice from the hot peppers and onions really complemented each other. After we finished making our kimchi we took it downstairs to a restaurant where our lunch was waiting for us as well as some makgeolli that was locally brewed from Yeongdo Island Makgeolli Brewery.

Next, we went to the 오육도 (Oryukdo Islands), that had a path along the coastline and a glass skywalk where you see fantastic views of Busan as well as (of course) the Oryukdo Islands. It’s a very popular spot for tourists so it was a little busy, but it’s still a lot of fun to walk along the coast and on the skywalk- it somewhat feels like you’re walking on air.

Afterward we were taken to the UN Memorial Park, a place that is dedicated to honor the countries and their troops who risked their lives in the Korean War. There were some really powerful monuments where you can pay your respects to the soldiers, and the park itself felt very tranquil. I’d like to think that the buried soldiers can find their peace here in this park. The statue dedicated to Canada was designed by a Canadian and there is an exact replica of the same statue in Ottawa.

At this point of the tour we had done quite a bit and needed a break, so we were taken to a traditional Korean restaurant where we all had to take off our shoes and sit on cushions. It felt really cozy and welcoming. We were served a generous portion of 오리 반계탕 (Duck soup). I don’t usually ever eat duck.. or meat in general but it was surprisingly tasty!

Our final stop on the tour was a night time cruise, where we got to see Busan’s skyline lit up at night. Gwangalli Bridge definitely stole the show with it’s beautiful ever-changing lights. It was a lot of fun getting to spend this time with the tour group, because even though a lot of us were strangers from different schools we now all had something in common. This whole experience was something unique and special.

I’m forever grateful to have been a part of this tour, and will never forget this adventure. Now I feel like I know a little more about what makes Busan such a wonderful city, and I’m so excited to share this type of experience with my Canadian friends and family when they visit, and also with any other friends that I make while I’m here.

Here are a couple of links if anyone would like to know more about the tour company that I went with:

http://www.facebook.com/busannamgu

http://www.bsnamgu.go.kr/index.namgu

Until next time~

Seokbulsa Temple~ 석불사

❤️

It took over a month in order for me to find this temple- part of it was because I was so busy with school and another part was because my friend and I didn’t prepare to find this temple properly. We thought Google maps would help us, but it sent us to the wrong mountain and up a backroads path leading to nowhere.

A couple weeks later, my friend and I decided to try to find 석불사 once again. This time, I looked up some blogs and figured out how to get there much more easily. This was the blog we used and it was really useful.

This quickly became one of my favourite days here so far. The whole experience was magical. We decided to take the cable car in 금강공원 and hike the rest of the way up. Along the path you pass by 금정산성 남문, a fortress built during the Silla dynasty and a small village called 남맘마을. It’s a bit of a hike to get to this temple even with the cable car, so it’s not riddled with tourists like some of the other temples in Busan. Because of this, you can experience the temple for how it really was intended.

I felt an air of peace as soon as I entered the temple grounds, and the only sounds you could hear were the rustling of the leaves and a monk reciting hymns inside one of the buildings. I could have stayed there all day. Looking from the temple down onto the busy city below really sets your daily worries into perspective. Life is a lot more simple and peaceful than our minds make it out to be sometimes, and you occasionally need moments to step back to just experience the present moment around you~

Journey into Gamcheon Culture Village~ 감천문화마을

A beautiful rainbow sea of homes, ebbing and flowing among the mountains like the tide of a sea.

This village was originally built in a matter of days to house the many refugees during the Korean War. Houses upon houses are stacked upon each other like LEGO blocks- no wonder it’s also known as the LEGO village. I read this article about 감천문화마을 and it was really good about explaining some of it’s complicated history.

Many people now come here for the beautiful sights and Instagram pictures- myself included- but there are many layers of depth to the village. A lot of the artwork has it’s own story of what it represents to the artists and residents.

Photo courtesy of The Bare Yard

Photo courtesy of The Bare Yard

I personally liked the bookshelf staircase. I was thinking that this village felt like a place that popped out of Alice in Wonderland. So enchanting and it’s winding roads seem to draw you further down the rabbit hole and into another world. There is a main street that is dedicated for tourists and is bustling with many souvenir shops, restaurants and cafes, but peering down the alleyways I saw a glimpse of what the ambience of the village is normally like- peaceful, calm and serene, with the occasional dog or cat looking back at me with equally curious eyes.

It’s important to respect the residents living in the village, so I hope that everyone honours the space that the residents need and tries not to disrupt their daily lives.

Someday I’ll come back here again~