Thursday, November 27, 2014

Busan (15.-17. Nov.) + Cheonan (17. Nov.)

Finally, on my 3rd year in Korea, I finally go down and visit the 2nd largest city in the country: Busan. I can say this: I really liked seeing the city via subway. I know there's a city bus tour, but I still don't know where it begins (Busan station?). Anywho, I arrived at the Busan Central Bus Terminal, way up in Nopo-dong, Northern Busan, Let me show you what I was able to capture:

Of course, taking a bus from Hoengseong that took over 4 hours, we had a pit-stop--and in Andong, no less! I was just in this town the previous weekend!

The subway stop where my guesthouse is at. Very convenient, seeing this is connected to the bus terminal and this is my first time in Busan.

The subway map. Much less daunting than Seoul's, right?

The guesthouse I stayed in (taken from the veranda on the 2nd floor).

Little difference I noticed: these Busan subway cars have 4 seats on each side for the elderly, pregnant, physically disabled, etc. It's 3 in Seoul.

Ok, this is more or less the same as in Seoul.

Lovely art piece as soon as you get off the station.

Ah yes, the connection to Line 3 is that way.

A tourist map of the city. Good to know.

At the end of the "regular" subway line, waiting for the subway train heading towards Gimhae (as opposed to this one in the photo, heading towards the airport).

The route of this "other" subway line.

Oh, you can actually see ahead, instead of only the sides!

Restroom at 연지공원 (Yeonji Park) station.
A convenient little sink for kids to wash their hands.

So, I arrived at the station early, hence I decided to take a walk along the creek they made that parallels the subway line.

Looking out towards Yeonji Park.


I cam back in time to see my former-student. She took me to her friend's burger joint called, "Burger Seven"

Philly Cheese burger.
Not bad at all!
A little too much cheese for me, but that's my fault for ordering it.
For you who eat pork, you get 2 small sausage links with each burger set!

Leaving and taking a look back.
Even if you don't eat meat, I'd recommend you to go and check it out just for the interior decorating. They also have that really light ice cream!

We needed to walk off the meal and had a bit of time before going to her art hagwon/institute, so we took a walk around the same Yeonji Park.

Fountain shows.

I. Like. Bridges.

The Autumn foliage was all out here too.

A group practicing a traditional Korean farmer's band and ribbon-hat dance (called "nongak").

Panoramic view of the lake.

The red leaves and ancient fortress wall wayyyyyy over in the distance (on the mountain).

Now, off to the art institute.

A few masterpieces by previous students.

Continuation of former students' masterpieces.

Not sure who made it.

One student's attempts in watercolor.

Sketches on top of watercolor.

My former student with a trial sketch.
I'm impressed.

Well, I met her art teachers and their high school son. I really liked them. They wanted to show me around--and my student wanted to go on a trip too--so I let them. They took us to Gamcheon Village (감천마을), which is one of the most "artsy-fartsy" places in Busan/Korea. Quite a fitting place to be recommended by artists.

By an elementary school.

General map of the village.

One of the pieces: colorful birds with human heads.

Yes, let's.

That's as much as I could get.

Looks out onto the harbor.

I've never thought of doing that with used/old pants.

Of course, there's always something catered to couples in this country. Why would this village be an exception?

Even the birds make a heart-shaped cloud!

But I still like the view.

Reminds me of Latin America.

What's up with the Little Prince?

Treat on the village: red bean porridge (that's cinnamon on top) and ddok (떡) or rice cakes in leaves.
Both were quite good.

It was a lovely evening with the family. They even brought me to the door of my guesthouse! (it was quite far)

The next day, I'm off to Busan Station to get on the KTX.

Panoramic attempt at the subway exit/entrance in front of Busan Station.

At Busan Station, with my back to the station.

See how precisely the trains are aligned to the platform?

Inside the train.

This is my 3rd (?) time riding the KTX, but my 1st riding it for an extended period. It would normally take about 4-6 hrs. from Busan to Cheonan. With this KTX, I made it in less than 2.5 hrs.
Nothing like the KTX to remind me how small this country is. You can't really enjoy much of view, since you'll be going through tunnels half the time.

So, in Cheonan and off to see a former student I haven't seen in a while--and his new business:

A PC Bang! (Basically, an internet cafe that's mostly used by gamers).
This place just opened about 2 months ago, so brand new.

You've got quite the variety in snacks--even variations of fried rice (볶음밥).
Fancy schmancy!

You can have this huge screen all to yourself.
Don't worry, there are 100 computers, so you shouldn't have a problem getting one.

That's how it's done.

This is the building where it's at in Cheonan, at (두정점) Dujeong-jeom.
Sorry, don't know the exact address.

The main entrance.

Also went to see another former student, and , , ,

her 36-day-old daughter.

Those were the highlights of my trip.
LORD-willing, I'll take a couple more before I go for good.

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