пятница, 7 марта 2014 г.

Korea

I've been to Korea twice recently, really liked this place, which is not so popular and not so many information you can find about it - so I am happy to share as always in case if you will be going there.

So many cool things too see and to do, good shopping and different place.

I stayed in Seoul and Busan and Busan is my favorite place in Korea so far - so if to go to Korea, I would recommend to visit Busan, or to stay there a little bit longer.
Busan is quite close to Seoul though, just a few hours by train (around 4 hours). When I was traveling by train, I've got the ticket  Busan-Seoul-Busan for less than 100$. While the airplane ticket was around 80$ one way.
The train station is located near city center, so it's quite convenient.

I arrived in the middle of December, it was a beautiful time, autumn with colorful trees, not so cold, around 12 degrees, quite comfortable for me and all this Christmas installations improved my Christmas mood.

Let's start with a city view (from Lotte Hotel).





To go shopping in Busan I would recommend to visit the biggest department store Shinsagae mall.
You can find there many luxury brands butiks on level 1 and 2 and then upper levels - Korean brands and some European brands,  sports apparel (like Fila, Nike, Adidas etc ).


At the highest levels you can find cafes and you should go outside while you are upstairs to walk across their Jurassic park to take some pictures or just watch a few dinosaurs.




Another place to visit in Busan for shopping and entertainment is definitely Lotte Mall and Aqua Mall.
These to Malls are located at the same place and connected, so you can walk from one mall to another. What I really like in this mall - the big fountain show with lights and music every hour. It is better to watch it from downstairs. 

Then you can just cross the road in the underground walk and go to the coolest shopping street here, full of Korean brands shops, cafes and restaurants. 

This place is especially beautiful for Christmas time.
Crowded and fun street. If you wanna eat something - just turn to any small parallel street and you'll find heaps of restos. 
Here is my Christmas pic :)



Another good thing - is that you can find free wifi connection everywhere. 

Another good place to go for shopping - is Shinsagae outlett 


It is not so huge, but you will need the entire day to walk around, have a coffee at the Starbucks or a lunch at the food court at the level 3.

It is not so huge as some American or Italian famous outlets villages, but you will definitely spend here a few hours.
There is only one ATM I could use - city bank one at the food court. Other ATM did not accept my cards.  

It is located around 40 minutes driving from the city center, from my Lotte hotel I've payed around 30$ for a taxi. 
You can also take a train and than change to the bus. 
(I am not sure which train - so if you know, please, live a comment, I will add this info )

So it's a small town of outlets of big brands such as Michael Kors, Celvin Clein, Moschino, Armani, Ferragamo, Coach and others. Upper levels are La Coste, Tommy Hilfinger, Banana Republic, Nike and others. Everything is 50-70% discount. I've found here cool Michael Kors shoes just for 70$ and there was a big size (9) which is very rare in Korea unfortunately. And then another pair of shoes in Korean brand store - Suecomma Bonnie - for me it was the only one place where you can check some shoes, because Korean shoes in general looks not so good, I do not know why.. So do not expect great shoe shopping, compare to great coats, jumpers, dresses and other clothes choice.




For visit some historical places,

I recommend you to take a Busan city Tour bus 
from the Train station in Busan. There is a bus stop on a side looks like this:




(This Tom's shoes I bought in Shinsagae department store, level 3, they got big sizes!)

We went to the temple tour and liked it a lot. Be ready to walk down to the stairs at least till the middle unless you will se an ocean view (e.g. if you walk with someone who has any difficulties to walk).

Spectacular view, temples and good vibes. 
If you'd like to enter the temple - take your shoes off and be quiet in respect to others. 

Upstairs next to the parking you can grab some souvenirs.


Amazing place and I would say must visit. 



One of the sunny days is a good reason to go for a walk around and check the Lotte mall and hotel area, Busanjin. 


Walking and shopping street. Shops, cafes, clothes, cosmetics and sport outlets. Cinema, which is all in english in Korea - so if you understand English - you can go to the cinema without any problems.



In this area one of the best Korean BBQ I've tried - good meet, great prices and lots of kimchi as always ) do not hesitate to ask more!
For Korean BBQ come here 


And of cause, Korean BBQ itself 


One more cheap and a very good place, suitable not only for Korean stomach food  - is a small japanese place, where I love to eat soups, went there almost everyday! Meal for 2 people for 10$, and so yummy soups and rolls is good reason to go. Soups are not spicy, I used to order Noodle Udon or dumplings soup. Big portions. 





Around these streets you can find lots of street food - I've tried it and still alive :) It is not a dog, not bad and quite spicy. 

If you are looking for a good supermarket - go to Lotte plaza, B1 level. All kinds of Korean foods and any other everyday goods. You can also eat here at their food court and numerous cafes. Food is quite good and not expensive, all kinds of food, including french bakery and italian cafe, sushi tray.

For fine dining and beautiful view go to Westin Hotel at Chosen beach. 



Busan is actually got a beautiful beach with the well known beautiful Diamond Bridge. During the wintertime you can have a walk, quite cold for a swim though. Some people are still surfing here on a small waves on the side. 


This area is fool of seafood restaurants.



After that there is a great place for a walk, fresh breeze and ocean view. Short track is made special for a walk or a run. 


Visit the Modern art museum, but without any big expectations
not so much to see, but still interesting. Most of all I liked a souvenir shop though )


What you can do in a rainy day - indoor contemporary art museum.



What else you can do in Busan? 
You can also visit a textile market which is very big and got a wide selection of Korean costumes, but not only. Just go a bit more deep and you can find any other beautiful materials, Korean fabric is really good, check silk fabrics. I will do  a separate post with what I bought there with a look, keep watching my blog ;)

Huge tixtile market, Busanjin area, which is quite central.




What else I loved about Korea, that taxi is quite cheap compare to other countries. However taxi drivers are not always speaking english. So it is better to have some Korean notes if it is possible! Ask from your hotel guest service to write the names of the places where you would like to go in Korean then just show the note to the driver.




Read about Korean Cosmetics HERE










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