Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Lunar New Year in Busan (part 2)

Spending the night at a hotel was a great idea. The original plan was the sleep at the house of my wife's aunt. Given that there would be eight adults and a very young child and very little space there would have been no way I would have slept more than two hours. I got much more than that and felt refreshed as we checked out.

We then headed to the aunts house again. Even though I had just eaten breakfast and we had insisted in a phone call that we wouldn't be eating we were met by a table full of food. I am not really a morning eater and still rarely eat breakfast but this time I made a big effort as once again food had been cooked specifically for me. I tucked into some samgyetang and some galbi (before 11am). This time there was no beer but they did try to get me to crack open a bottle of red wine which I politely declined.

After watching a bit of TV everyone got ready changed and we headed off. I didn't know the plan but found out we were headed towards the Haeundae area which has one of the best beaches in Korea. We didn't go on the actual beach but we walked around Dongbaek park and enjoyed the fine Winter weather which was warming up. It was good to get around Busan after the previous day spent inside. Once again, the baby was the star of the show.

We headed to the two cars we were in and I thought we would be saying goodbye but they suggested we head to a temple and we agreed. The temple name was Yong Kung Sa. I got into the car an agnostic but got out an atheist. I was led to believe it would be a fifteen minute trip but it was nearer to ninety minutes and I couldn't wait to get out, but it was no ones fault as traffic was just very bad where we were headed. I really didn't want to go around a temple but we did and I soon felt a lot better.

The setting was good, a temple on the coast but it was, perhaps predictably, a bit too crowded. I would recommend anyone with spare time in Busan to check it out. If you are a Buddhist or just have a liking for old buildings then it is worth seeing. I have read it is over one thousand years old. For me though I am all templed out after living in Asia for five years.

The sun was setting and we parted ways but not before we were given a lift back to Haeundae. there was a bar I wanted to go to and we made our way to the Wolfound pub which originated in Seoul but has now expanded to Busan. I was starving at this point and gagging for a beer. I chugged down some cider and ale and ate the best fish and chips I've had so far in Korea - not much competition but it was good. The prices for everything seemed to be higher than in Seoul which was disappointing.

I left Busan wanting more which is always a good thing. Wanting more time in Busan, more time off work because I feel done now there and more time with my new family. I hope I can meet up with them somewhere soon.

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