After a long day exploring Busan together the day before, we did something different for our last day in Busan… As in literally different! The girls and I actually split ways for one afternoon – They had their self-pampering session at Spa Land located in Shinsegae Centum City while I did some soul searching adventure to the eastern edge of Busan at Haedong Yonggungsa!
[Korea September/October 2014]
28th Sep 2014 – Day 3
Shinsegae Centum City, Haedong Yonggungsa & Jong-ga Daebak Jib
It was our last morning in Busan before we had to catch the KTX to Seoul the next day so we decided to take some OOTD shots at the railway tracks just behind our apartment before we head off in search of breakfast. The local grandpas and grandmas passing by were watching and wondering what we girls are doing! Hehe…
Breakfast @ Food Park, Shinsegae Centum City
We headed over to Shinsegae Centum City 신세계 센텀시티 (Registered in the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest shopping complex in the world) to source for breakfast and needless to say, we were quite overwhelmed with the choices we had when we were trying to decide where to have breakfast. So, the safest place was to check out Food Park on Level 4 just beside the Ice Skating Rink where we are sure we can have a variety of choices at reasonable prices
We found ourselves a table for just in front of this gyoza and kalguksu stall and we simply ended up with settling for breakfast from there!
Although the ahjumma 아줌마 manning the stall can barely manage any English nor can she understand the broken Korean we were trying to speak, she was very nice to help us till we end up with a good variety for breakfast! From top right and going clockwise, that’s Mul Naengmyeon 물냉면 (Cold Buckwheat noodles), Bibimmyeon 비빔면 (Mixed Noodles in Spicy Bean paste) and Kalguksu 칼국수 (Korean Knife-cut Handmade noodles).
It was approximately ₩6,000 each and portions were relatively huge with complimentary side dishes as well. Actually we realised that most diners at the Food Park were getting their food off this stall and I have to say that this one of the best meals I ever had off a food court! No joke!
Haedong Yonggungsa 해동용궁사
And for my little solo adventure, I decided to take a trip out of town to Haedong Yonggungsa on the eastern edge of Busan. Although it has become quite a tourist attraction, I don’t have any particular reason aside from the fact that I was thinking of going somewhere close to the sea!
To get to Haedong Yonggungsa:
- Take a Metro Train to Haeundae Station (Line 2).
- Use Exit 7 and take Bus 181 from bus stop immediately outside of Exit 7 along Haeun-daero 해운대로. Duration of bus ride is approximately 40 minutes.
- Alight along Gijanghaean-ro 기장해안로 and walk into adjacent street, Yonggung-gil 용궁길 for approximately 10 minutes.
- Arrive at Haedong Yonggungsa.
There’s actually a very prominent sign that reads HAE DONG YONG GUNG TEMPLE just before the bus stop I had to alight at and it was pretty hard to miss!
The slow 10 minute walk from the main street might feel like you had taken a wrong turn but no worries there are a couple of signs along the way to reassure you that you are on the right track to the temple! 🙂
The last leg of the walk to get to the temple, I was greeted with stalls lining both sides of the street and lots of people! Feels really festive actually!
This southern most temple near the east sea was founded by the great monk, Naong, who was the consultant of King Gongnim. It all began with a dream Naong had when the nation was hit by a terrible draught that made crops burn, people suffer from famine and lose faith in god for not giving them rain. In his dream, he was told by the Great Goddess Buddha of Mercy, Gwanseumbosal, to build a temple near the edge of Bongrae mountain and pray there and all the hardship would go away.
After the dream, Naong visited and decided to the build the temple on the area where Haedong Yonggungsa is located now after he saw that there was a mountain in front and the sea at the back, which the Koreans believed that if you say your prayers at a location like that in the morning, they will get answered immediately in the evening!
The believe that your prayer will be answered almost immediately if you were pray at a location like Haedong Yonggungsa is still strong up till today and therefore, Haedong Yonggungsa is a popular temple among the locals and tourists alike! And the fact that I forgot that it is a Sunday and probably a good destination for a family outing on a weekend, I was in for an eye-opening experience like… Queuing to get into the temple!
After this entrance, it took me another good 15 minutes or so and lots of shoving and nudging for a walk that seem more like a 5 minute descend on a series of steps down to the temple! So crazy as if a mega sale is happening at the temple! No joke!
Anyway, here’s some of my shots taken while I was walking around the temple!
The temple was so saturated with tourists trying to get some selfie taken and what nots that I was actually quite surprised that it was really nice and serene within the main hall itself! Well, who in the right mind would go screaming in here right?
But all the ruckus from the tourists made me really glad to see that there were believers in the main hall who visited the temple with the agenda to sincerely make some prayers! That includes myself!
And I thought the view of the temple perched on top the rocky edges of the mountain that meets the sea was pretty magnificent until I saw it from up above as well! Truly breathtaking so I stopped in my tracks totally and hung around the deck to enjoy the view and sea breeze for a bit!
What happened after enjoying the view and sea breeze was a true disaster! Thanks to a bunch of unethical tourists, I know from the language and accent when they spoke, I acquired a scar on my left shin! URGH!!!
One of them shoved me so hard from behind while I was going down the stone steps that I actually fell and slipped down the rough stone surface of the remaining stretch of steps on my left shin. HOLY COW! It hurt big time and I had to buy myself a popsicle and suck on it till I get to the last bit of it to stop myself from bursting out in tears!
And I tried to distract myself from the trauma by watching these folks and trying to steal and soak up their happy vibes as they gathered to eat and drink at the temple! It worked somehow and there was a moment when I silently wished that I will be able to do this with my family and friends when we all grow old!
And that marks the end of my solo adventure! I never thought that I could actually make it there from the vague information that I gathered prior to the trip and of course, I never ever thought that I will end up with such a misadventure and obtain a scar for life! Lifetime guaranteed souvenir? Haha… Nonetheless, I will still say that it is all fun and I want to do more solo adventures like this again!
Since I arrived back at Shinsegae Centum City earlier, I walked around the Food Hall while waiting for the girls to be done with their spa session. I spotted one of the counters selling these deep fried croquettes and there was a snaking queue so I did the most Singaporean thing to just join in queue and myself and the girls one each to find out if it was all worth it! Thank goodness it was yummy! Lol!
Jong-ga Daebak Jib 종가 대박집
Come evening time after everything, we planned to do some shopping at KNU/ PNU district for the rest of the day but it seemed like we couldn’t find the right street with the supposedly-said affordable shopping so we gave up and went food hunting since our last meal of the day was since breakfast!
And we found a food street, as in a street where there were endless choices of cafes, restaurants, pubs and local eateries, and decided on the least commercialized looking one serving Korean BBQ that looked more like a butcher shop on the outside! LOL!
Jong-ga Daebak Jib 종가 대박집 serves a variety of meat choices and cuts for BBQ along side with a small list of noodles or soup dishes. And look how authentic they are that their menu is just so short and sweet and there isn’t any English translations available anywhere to be ready to be tourist-friendly! But thankfully, the owners can manage a little English or Mandarin and we manage to get by with the ordering process!
The fact that we are definitely tourists, the owner of the place actually brought over some thinly sliced pickled radish and tried to introduce to us how we can make a wrap with them also even though he don’t know much English! How sweet of him! And honestly, now I like my BBQ meat with the pickled radish better!
By the way, did you notice the price of each item marked on the menu? The prices were astoundingly cheap as compared to those we had seen everywhere else. Probably it was meant to appeal to the students in the two universities nearby and we managed to satisfy our tummies with all that meat and a little alcohol at approximately ₩24,000 for the three of us! Too affordable!
Map of Jong-ga Daebak Jib 종가대박집. Click for an enlarged view!
And that sums up our last day in Busan! Thank goodness for the perfect weather on all 3 days we had in Busan and the kind locals who helped us along the way! Thank you from deep down inside my heart for the good time we had, Busan! And as much as we know we will miss Busan, we can’t wait to move on to the rest of our trip in Seoul since we know that there’s always a chance to revisit! So stay tuned for the Seoul adventures!!!
More posts from Korea September/ October 2014 travelogue series:
- Day 1 – Seomyeon Shopping District, Gwangalli Beach & Gwangan Bridge
- Day 2 – Gamcheon Culture Village, Jagalchi Market, BIFF Square, Gukje Market & Gwangbok-ro Fashion Street
- Day 3 – Shinsegae Centum City, Haedong Yonggungsa & Jong-ga Daebak Jib
- Day 4 – KTX Busan to Seoul & Myeongdong
- Day 5 – Gwangjang Market, Bukchon Hanok Village (Samcheong-dong) & Insa-dong
- Day 6 – Edae Shopping District
- Day 7 – Gangnam and Sinsa-dong Garosu-gil
- Day 8 – Ihwa Mural Village and Namdaemun
- Day 9 – Hongdae (Hongik University Street)
- Day 10 – Hangang Park
- Day 11 – Bupyeong (Incheon) and Cheonggyecheon (Seoul)
- Day 12 & 13 – Flashback and Goodbye Korea (for now)!