|Splashing around at Gwangalli Beach (광안리 해수욕장). I love the way that the city comes right up to the water.|
Korea's second largest city, Busan lies along the south-east corner of the peninsula and is famous for its wonderful beaches, great nightlife, colourful architecture and youthful spirit - not to mention having the world's largest department story, the Centum City Shinsegae, and Korea's most famous fish market at Jagalchi. With a perfect mix of small seaside fishing town (depite being the fifth largest container port in the world), elegant boardwalk, urban jungle and hillside cafes, the character of Busan can only be described as charming - if it can be described at all :).
|Beach time! Thank you Lawrence for showing us around!|
Being somewhat cheap and longing for a nice soak in a lovely hike after our night's expedition, we decided to stay the night at The Vesta, a jjimjilbang up on the hill. It was awesome! Although it boasted smaller pools and less sleeping space than other jjimjilbangs I've stayed in, it not only had a rooftop terrace with an unbeatable view, but a balcony with a heated outdoor pool (encircled with a waist-high fence of course) on both the men's and women's bathing floors -because who doesn't want a lovely view of the city while they lounge in a hot tub in the nude? All jokes aside, it was a great choice. I also got the hands-down best massage I have ever received while there. Cost was 50,000won for full body massage and exfoliation - the latter of which was hilarious since my masseuse's reprimands and tutting informed me that I apparently do not regularly exfoliate myself up to Korean standards (I think she could tell that my last jjimjilbang exfoliation occurred in March). I felt like a small child being scolded for not washing behind my ears! The ladies there were phenomenal though and the massage included a chiropractic adjustment that was better than some I've received from licensed chiropractors!
|The morning view over Heaundae.|
Sunday did not dawn anywhere near as clear as Saturday had (it was, in fact, tipping it down with rain) , but you can just barely make out the bridge across from Gwangalli in the left side of the photo.
|On the way down the hill.|
|Exploring the Jagalchi fish market (자갈치시장) in the southern end of the city.|
|Some adorable little shrimplets.|
|Our delicious fish fry lunch. Less than 7,000won each.|
|Ships in the port.|
|The indoor market. The sleekness of the building belies the chaos that resides inside.|
|The Busan-ese really like their fish!|
|Fortunately, so do I!|
After enjoying our delicious lunch, it was time to head off toward Beomeosa (범어사).
|Beomeo Temple is one of the major urban temples in Korea. The complex itself was built in 678 and dates to the Shilla Dynasty era although many of the buildings are much younger (due to repeated Japanese invasions).|
|The Pagoda, or the temple's ancient reliquary, essentially a stone vessel for sacred items.|
|The artwork at Beomeosa is easily some of the nicest I've seen at a Korean temple thus far.|
|A natural stone slab that was incorporated into the temple.|
|While the artwork is wonderful, the buildings themselves are not that spectacular. What is breathtaking though is the mountainous setting of the temple - it was especially haunting in the rain.|