Friday, November 6, 2009

City by the sea

There’s a town by the sea where it’s warmer than here. Five star hotels surround the beach, and more importantly, $30 crash pads surround the five star hotels. Fresh raw fish, tasty Mexican, Indian, Turkish, American, Italian, Japanese, Thai, and Korean food is everywhere by the coast, and Filipino, Russian, and Chinese joints are a subway inland away. One could sit on the beach, throwing back booze and shooting fireworks, or hit up one of several trendy nightclubs and the casino. Or, with the time and the cash, do it all in one night. During the day, there’s the beach of course, several to choose from, and there’s the country’s best aquarium, mountains, temples, a cable car, open air markets, and one of the continent’s largest film festivals should you visit in October. Is it any wonder I keep going back?

I recently made my fifth trip to Busan. I don’t know anybody in Busan. There’s only one city that I’ve visited more times without having friends or family in said city - Las Vegas. Like Vegas, each trip has been a little different, but each trip has been somewhat the same. I’ve been to Busan twice alone, once with my dad, once with my buddy Don, and last time with a big group. Each trip has involved at least one night in Busan’s crown jewel - Haeundae Beach, the beach I referred to in the first paragraph. Yet, unlike Vegas, Busan is not a world class tourist destination, presumably because of the difficulty in getting to Korea to begin with. Plus, unlike southeast Asia, Busan is a seasonal destination, it’s too cold in the winter and (in my opinion) too crowded in the summer. Half a million Korean tourists plant their beach umbrellas into Haeundae’s one mile of sand every weekend in July and August - no thanks. The spring and the fall is when Busan really shines, when it’s noticeably warmer than Seoul. If anybody here in K-land happens upon this post and hasn’t been to Busan - go. This weekend. Hell, I haven’t been on vacation in nearly a month, I have half a mind to go too. Like last week, I’ll toot my own horn and post this link for another blog of mine, the last entry included the nuts and bolts of what to do in Haeundae.

Don’t worry, I haven’t gone soft, on next week’s post, I’ll return to my usual vulgar narrative.

Samyeon doesn't dissapoint for nightlife

Don could find his beloved Red Horse beer on Texas Street

Beumusa Temple, in the mountains of Busan

The Old Man does fireworks on the beach

another shot of Haeundae

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