Alone~ 혼자서

On tired days

I will spend time counting the passing stars

Only the sound of the sea

Can be heard in this spot

My rough translation 😊

Gazing at the sky is one of the most humbling things. In the grand scheme of things the world is small, you are small, and your problems are small. Is it strange that I find that comforting?

The book is called 모든 것이 마법처럼 괜찮아질 거라고 (Everything will be okay like magic).

The illustrators Instagram: 9jedit

Happy days~

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!

삼광사~ Buddha’s Birthday

May 12th was Buddha’s Birthday in South Korea (부처님 오신 날) and we made the journey to 삼광사 temple, where thousands of paper lanterns (연등) are adorned all over the temples grounds with messages wishing for things such as long life and congratulating Buddha. The atmosphere was nothing short of magical. Although it was quite busy as you walk higher up through the temple’s grounds you can usually find some places that are quiet and serene.

The temple’s architecture on it’s own was gorgeous, but coming here during May is definitely the best time to visit. There was also a small market where you could buy some street food and snacks.

We got here easily by taking the number 15 village bus from Seomyeon (서면) and rode it till the last stop. The temple’s open for 24 hours but the buses tend to stop running around midnight. If you call a taxi the fare to get to Seomyeon is only around 5 000원!

See you next time~ 🙂

Racoonamatata Cafe~ 라쿠나마타타 카페

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These raccoons were sooo cute! This cafe is located by Kyungsung University station (경성대역) by exit 5. We had gone to this cafe during the evening, which was right when the raccoons were starting to wake up. And boy were they energetic! We had bought smoothies at first and after we finished them we went inside their play area with some treats and immediately we had their attention. These raccoons seem a little overweight ( I think they get treated a little too much) but they also have a really nice play area with lots of places where they can climb and roam around.

These raccoons acted like excited little kids and treated the blankets that we brought in like toys. Originally the blankets are supposed to help protect your clothes but I found if I moved it around at all I would have a raccoon leaping at it trying to wrestle with it. It was so adorable but I soon found out wearing tights to a place like this is a bad idea, because these raccoons have sharp claws!

The worker there clearly loves animals and she spent a lot of time playing with them and talking about them with us. It was nice to hear about each raccoons’ unique personality 🙂

The drinks are a little pricy (around 6000 – 7000원), but the price includes the entrance fee too so it’s definitely worth it!

Cafe Review:

Drinks: 3.5 / 5

Atmosphere: 4.5 / 5

Service: 5 / 5

Price: 4 / 5

Their Instagram: racoonamatata_busan

Until next time~ ^^

Coffee Museum~ 부산 커피 박물관

Within Jeonpo’s coffee street (점포 카페 거리) is, without a surprise, a coffee museum! It’s free to enter and you can get there from Jeonpo Station (전포역). If you go out of exit 7 it’ll be less than a block away!

It’s a small museum with only two rooms, but it’s packed full of antiques that all have their own story. The information is sometimes translated into English, but for the most part it’s in Korean. Even if you’re not fluent in Korean you can still appreciate the intricacy of the different machines and how the techniques they used in the past influenced how coffee was made and tastes. The owner is really friendly and as far as I know he collected all of these machines himself. His passion for coffee really shows when you walk inside!

Also, there’s a really lovely rooftop patio one floor above that you can go onto when the weather’s nice 🙂

I definitely recommend coming here even if it’s just for a short time! Then afterward you can appreciate a real cup of coffee next door at Landmark 9 or among the dozens of other cafes nearby.

Until next time~

나중에 봐요 🙂

Hiking 황령산

This is one of the best places to see a panoramic view of Busan 🙂 in my opinion, this view beats the view from Busan Tower and it’s free!

My friend and I chose to hike most of the way up but if you want you can drive or take a taxi too. Sometimes the taxi drivers won’t want to take you up places like this because it’s outside of the city center but sometimes they don’t mind. We went to 시청역 (City Hall Station) and from there transferred to village bus #1 and rode it to it’s last stop, which was at the base of the mountain.

The hike isn’t that long and it took us less than an hour to climb each way. We chose to hike in the late afternoon so that we could catch the sunset and see Busan’s cityscape change from day to night. There’s a nice (but a tad overpriced) cafe at the top and it was calming sit there with a cup of tea and watch as the city gradually lit up and came to life during the night.

Very magical 🙂

마법처럼~

Christmas Festival~ 크리스마스 트리 문화 축제

Christmas in Busan has been completely different from all the Christmas’ I’ve spent in Canada. It feels strange to live in a place that never snows.. this is the one time of year where I actually love having snow blanketing the ground and trees. Generally not many places here (besides cafe’s) really decorate for Christmas, and because I’m spending most of my time with friends of different countries and cultures I realized that Christmas is definitely for the most part a Western and European holiday.

However, I was so happy to stumble upon one area of Busan that turns into a Christmas wonderland in December. I was luckily traveling to Nampo one day and came across a street filled with thousands of glistening Christmas lights and the sounds of Christmas music and caroling. Briefly, I felt like I was home again! It turns out this is a yearly festival called the 부산 크리스마스 트리 문화 축제 (Busan Christmas Tree Culture Festival).

One thing that was really amazing was the LED Christmas tree that’s built in the center of Nampo’s main square. It has to be at least 5 or 6 stories tall. It becomes the hub of most of the Christmas festivities with many carolers and spots for people to bring their instruments to play to their hearts content. We came across a group of 아저씨’s singing and it was so cute and heartwarming to listen to them sing together.

Nampo is also really famous for it’s street food. Actually the main reason why we came here was to try out 호떡- a famous food that’s especially made in Nampo. It’s so light, buttery and filed with so many nuts and seeds. By then there was a lot of hype surrounding this snack because we were looking for it for so long, and honestly it lived up to the hype. I now feel the urge to eat one each time I’m near Nampo.

We also tried 어목 (fish cakes) and 유부초밥 (Yubuchobap), which is fried tofu stuffed with rice and veggies, and was served with a broth that was really comforting to sip on in the chilly evening weather. Everything tasted SO fresh. I also tried 프로즌 스모어, which is Konglish for ‘frozen smore.’. It was basically a toasted marshmallow with ice cream inside.

Nampo’s a fun place to begin with, but it’s definitely one of the best places to go to in Busan during Christmas.

Merry Christmas everyone~ 🙂

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~