Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Mar 31 2012

Korea, part one

I was on time to the airport bus terminal this morning, though the others were worried we’d be late. The weather had cooled down considerably since yesterday, and there was quite a bit of traffic on the highway out to Taoyuan.

The airport’s newest terminal is showing premature aging, but it did its job. The employee guarding the new electronic immigration terminals had serious doubts about whether I would be able to use the machines. “Well, I’ll give it a shot; who knows, it just might work.” Of course, it worked, and I was through in less than a minute while the others stood in line for about fifteen minutes while I stood taking photos with my phone for Facebook.

Lunch was noodles at the upstairs food court, as Chenbl said Busan Air didn’t provide meals, but not long after the little Airbus reached cruising altitude the food carts came out, distributing a passing version of beef rice.

The flight was quick, just a few hours as the half moon shadowed our path, and smooth up until the pilot seemed to make a last-minute decision to land from a direction opposite his original intent, but we got down safely, if a bit jostled. The man sitting next to us, it turned out, operates a hostel in Hualian.

Immigration was quick, though the van from the tarmac to the terminal had to stop as I was inadvertantly keeping the door open as we drove, and after a bus trip through what I could have sworn was Sanchong, we were dropped off at our hotel, the Toyoko Inn Busan. Nice enough, though the rooms are tiny.

We stored our stuff and headed out into the cold dusk, and, after several failed attempts to purchase subway passes, finally made it downtown, where we walked through the fish market, many of the vendors taking such umbrage at being photographed that I quickly became glad that I don’t understand any Korean at all. That said, I wasn’t the one being yelled and hissed at; I was careful to stay ahead of the others and be discreet.

We sampled several dishes from street vendors, steamed red bean buns, vegetable pies, and a kind of sushi roll without the sushi in the busy little alleys. It seems like a really neat little town, Busan, though I kind of wish I’d come at a warmer time.

We walked through the tower park and down the steps, and then back to the hotel. I, for one, was glad to see it; I like hotels and travelling.

Tomorrow we’re thinking of looking for cherry blossoms. We’ll see how that goes.

posted by Poagao at 10:34 pm  

1 Comment »

  1. Hi,

    I came across your blog while I was looking for info on Taiwan and see that you are in Korea (I live in Daegu). If you want to see cherry blossoms try hopping on a train up to Tongdosa and Eonyang. There’s a festival there now and the KTX (bullet train) will get you there in under an hour, though it’s a bit of a mission to get from the station to the festival and a slow train might get you way closer to where you need to get to. Conversely, much more accessable but a bit less attractive is Duryu Park in Daegu. Again about 50 minutes on the KTX followed by a subway out to the park. In April there will be vendors and a market but I’m not sure it’s started up yet. Anyway happy travels.

    Comment by Rob — March 31, 2012 @ 11:16 pm

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