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~ 🙂

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 🙂

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~