Category Archives: Travel (International)

[buzz KOREA Tour: Sancheong-Busan] Ice Skating at Shinsegae Centum City

After the Barista experience at The Busan Coffee Gallery, we went to The Shinsegae Centum City our last destination and is the world’s biggest department store of the Guinness World Record. We were asked as to what we want to do. Jess and I chose to do ice skating while the others went to explore and went shopping.

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Jess and I along with KTO staff, Sun’ssi, enjoyed skating. Crayon Pop girls!!! 🙂

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We the English team (me from the Philippines, Jess from Indonesia and Shaima from UAE) together with our interpreter, Jiyeoun unnie, had lunch at the Shinsegae Foodcourt separately as Jess and Shaima could not eat pork due to religious belief. I was allowed to choose and I ordered Tonkatsu. The others went to eat Pork Soup with Rice which is one of the traditional dishes of Busan.

After lunch, we went to our bus and traveled back to Seoul. We arrived in Seoul at around 8:00PM near the KTO Headquarters and we bid our goodbyes and it was the end of the tour. KTO staff Sun’ssi was so nice to accompany me to the subway station as I was hurriedly going to my hostel in Wangsimni area to checkin and leave my luggage and then go to Achasan as I was going to watch SS501 Kim Hyung Jun(which is one of my fave KPOP group) play soccer at 9PM that night. What a great birthday treat, ending my birthday seeing him. 🙂 I extended my stay in Korea for another week exploring Seoul.

Thank you buzz Korea and Korea Tourism Organization for choosing me to join the tour! I enjoyed it very much, it was a learning and unforgettable experience, and I met new friends who share the same passion of LOVING KOREA. Hope this was not the first and the last time for me to join your tours. ^_^

Here is a short video made by buzz KOREA of the entire tour!

My travel diary of the 3 days and 2 nights buzz Korea: Sancheong-Busan tour!

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[buzz KOREA Tour: Sancheong-Busan] Barista Experience at The Busan Coffee Gallery

We are now on our Day 3 and the last day of buzz KOREA Tour: Sancheong-Busan. We woke up early as we wanted to use the sauna since it was free to hotel guest/s and it was my birthday. 🙂 We went there at 6AM and there were already many ahjummas (aunties) and they were very friendly to us as Jess (Indonesian, my partner in crime throughout the tour) and I were the only obvious foreigners as the others on the tour were Japanese and Chinese.

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The amazing view of Haeundae Beach while soaking on the hot pools and while watching a movie.

After the sauna, we hurriedly went back to our rooms to shower and had breakfast, and then met at the lobby at 8:30AM to avoid traffic as there was a marathon that will pass by our hotel that morning.

First destination was The Busan Coffee Gallery. The gallery had a quite collection of coffee equipments and such from the past. We were able to experience extracting coffee by ourselves and hand dripping.

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My favorite would be the making of our own hot chocolate latte and then making a design on the milk bubble on top. And here is my design….

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We were also able to taste the Gold Coffee (yes the one on top is gold) that was featured on CNN.

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And finally the awarding of the 4 people who had actively shared the tour via SNS as the “Best Buzz”, and coincidentally the 4 of us were sitting on the same side. 🙂  We had presents from buzz Korea and KTO.

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A group photo from the participants, KTO and buzz Korea staff, and Prain Global who organized the tour on behalf  of Korea Tourism Organization. We were then off to our next and last destination before going back to Seoul.

[buzz KOREA Tour: Sancheong-Busan] Trying out Milmyeon and Fireworks at Haeundae Beach

After our yachting experience at Sooyoungman Yacht Stadium, we went to Gaya Milmyeon restaurant to have milmyeon, which is a traditional food of Busan putting noodles, pasted with grinded flour and starch, with salt water, in the soup of chicken, beef or pork.

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Clockwise: Mandu, hot milmyeon and cold milmyeon (with ice)

We were asked to choose between hot and cold milmyeon, and I chose the hot one to be on the safe side as I haven’t had cold noodles in my life. Next time, I should really try the cold noodles. It was yummy and of course my favorite mandu (Korean dumplings)!

After dinner, we went back to our hotel and before going to our rooms, the KTO staff prepared an interesting activity of playing fireworks at Haeundae Beach which was just outside of our hotel, The Westin Chosun Busan.

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I’m the K on this one! 🙂

I had fun doing this because on the same beach my favorite couple on the Korean variety show, We Got Married Season 1, which is the Lettuce or Ssangchu couple, Kim Hyun Joong and Hwangbo did this forming the letter L-O-V-E when they were with the Romantic Couple, Alex and Shin Ae. After that we went to our rooms to end the night. Oops, but the truth is that some of us went out again to party! 🙂

[buzz KOREA Tour: Sancheong-Busan] Sooyoungman Yacht Stadium and Yachting in Busan

After exploring the Igidae City Natural Park, we then went to Sooyoungman Yacht Stadium to experience yachting and watch the marvelous landscape of the sea.

Sooyoungman Yacht Stadium

I was so excited about this as Busan yachting had been featured on the Korean variety show, We Got Married, so many times by the couples and was surprised that the yacht we were going was the same yacht that the Khuntoria [2PM Nichkhun and (f)x Victoria]  couple used.

Gwangan Bridge

We had a wonderful time looking at the panoramic night view of Gwangalli and Marine City while on the yacht for one hour.  We also tried fishing and one got lucky to catch a fish. The highlight of this was passing by the famous Diamond Bridge (Gwangandaegyo) and we were  photo bombing with the bridge on the background.

Gwangan Bridge

The KTO staff then asked us to go inside the yacht and to my surprise they prepared a birthday cake for me as it was my birthday the next day. They sang the Happy Birthday song and then we  had some BBQ and wine while blasting on KPOP music especially to BigBang’s Fantastic Baby! 🙂

Yachting in Busan

A flying lamp was also lit up and flown as we were nearing the dock. It was indeed a memorable and unforgettable experience, especially to me the birthday girl. After the ride, we were off to our next destination to have dinner.

Getting to Diamond Bridge:

More info at Visit Korea website

[buzz KOREA Tour: Sancheong-Busan] Igidae City Natural Park

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After visiting the BIFF Street, we then went to Igidae City Natural Park in Yongho-dong which is one of Busan’s best kept secrets.  This is a perfect place for nature lovers and loves to hike, and is still very much close to the city center too.  This too is a perfect place to enjoy the landscape of Gwangalli and Marine City which are right across the park.

P1110442Us with the balloons prepared by KTO staff.

I was amazed how the Korean government put so much effort and money to finance the infrastructures in this park. There were stairs on the shoreline trails, viewing decks, and suspension bridges integrating the cliffs.

igidaeLocals going on hikes and picnics.

igidae2cliffs being integrated by suspension bridges.

Getting Here:
Refer to cityawesome.com’s directions.

[buzz KOREA Tour: Sancheong-Busan] BIFF Street, Streetfoods and Shopping in Napo-dong AreaGukje Market

After our seafood lunch at Haelmulchunji in Buypyeong-dong, we then walked towards the Busan International Film Festival Street or Square in Nampo-dong. This is where BIFF has started in 1996. This had been remade as a cultural tourist attraction promoting the advancement of Korea’s film industry.

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It was crowded as it was the 3rd day of the 18th Busan International Film Festival. A lot of fans were waiting near the stage for an open talk event wherein artist/s of a film participating will make an appearance and answer questions from the media and fans. 2PM’s Junho was scheduled to appear in a few hours when we were there but we have to leave.

KTO/buzz KOREA divided us into groups and the Chinese and Japanese teams went to shop and tried some snacks. We, the English team, together with Jiyeoun unnie our translator and video camera guy went on our way too.

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First, Jessica and I tried  Hotteuk from a stand near the BIFF stage which I must say one of the Hotteuk I’ve tried in South Korea. Hotteok is a popular street food. It is a fried dough filled with nuts and brown sugar. And when we passed again the stall, there was a long line of people buying. We were lucky that when it was our time, there was no line.

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We walked towards the clothes street and we shopped some clothes. It was cheaper in Busan than in Seoul. I should have bought more. 🙂

We then walked towards the food street and tried Patbingsoo. It is a popular shaved ice dessert in Korea with sweetened azuki beans (pat) with condensed milk and various fruits. It was my first time to know in Busan that there were two variety, the hot and cold ones. The stall beside where we were eating had a picture of the Running Man cast and the cast ate at that stall. Yey, video camera guy paid for our Patbingsoo. 🙂

patbingsoo

Getting Here:
Jagalchi Station, Line 1, Exit 7,
5min walk from the station (Walk straight and turn left)
Source Visit Korea website,

Off to our next destination, Igadae City Natural Park.

[buzz KOREA Tour: Sancheong-Busan] Seafood Lunch at Haelmulchunji, Busan

After touring Gamcheon Culture Village, we went back to our bus and moved from Gamcheon 2(i)-dong to Bupyeong-dong to eat our seafood lunch, which Busan is known for. Buypyeong-dong is very known to have lots of restaurants and among those are fresh seafood restaurants.

We ate at Haelmulchunji restaurant. We saw a picture of Wonder GirlsSun with her husband with an autograph. I guess this restaurant is popular among celebrities.

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Look at that fresh seafood jjim (steamed). The waiter helped us cut it into bite pieces. Three of us were able to finish it all. It may appear of large serving but mostly it were shells. 🙂 We then added Kalgaksu noodles and enjoyed a seafood Kalgaksu.

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I want to go back to Busan to try this again. 🙂

Next stop, BIFF street…

[buzz KOREA Tour: Sancheong-Busan] Gamcheon Culture Village, Busan

We are now on our Day 2 of buzz KOREA Tour: Sancheong-Busan. We met at the lobby at 9AM and then we traveled to our first destination.

GAMCHEON CULTURE VILLAGE: “Korea’s Santorini.” “Korea’s Machu Picchu.” “Lego Village.”

This terraced dwelling pattern descending from the mountain and the landscape of alley is the unique scenery of the Gamcheon Culture Village. The local artists and residents have started the project called “MaeulMisul” to strengthen these characteristics and historic value.

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Gamcheon-dong in the Past
Taegeuk Village of Gamcheon 2(i)-dong started off as a humble makeshift abode for refugees from all eight regions in Korea who fled their homes during the Korean war. The small town has witnessed all the ups and downs of Korea’s modern history, the evidence for which is apparent in every wall and footpath. The village is situated on a hillside, like many others in the Busan region, which is blessed with both mountains and sea. Taegeuk Village’s pathways were paved by early Taegeukgyo believers in the early 20th centery, and the grid remains well preserved to this day, along with additional alleys and narrow passages.

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Gamcheon-dong in the Present
As part of the art village project in 2009, alis “Dreaming of Busan Machu Picchu“, hosted by the Minsitry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, ten selected artworks were displayed along the hillside road. Gamcheon 2(i)-dong has opted for preservation and rejuvenation rather than redevelopment, using its resources to enrich the cultural content. It will set an example for all creative communities to come run by residents, professional artists, and the administration office.

gamcheongroup picture. buzz KOREA fighting!!!

b9a8a598393711e3b1d222000a1fb859_7We explored the alleys and the village and completed all the stamp sites.

I was so excited to visit this village because I became to know this place after watching variety show, Running Man, last year when Choi Ji Woo was their guest, and I watched KPOP idol group’s INFINITE, Busan Travel documentary and they featured this and also did the stamping sites but were unable to complete. 🙂

More post on our Busan adventure coming up.

Getting Here:
To Busan: KTX from Seoul Station to Busan (less than three hours)
To Taegeukdo Village: Catch the 17 or 17-1 bus across from Busan Station. Get off at the last stop. A short walk up from there you can catch the local bus (maeul bus). Take the bus and get off at Gamjeong Elementary School. From there you should see the village. (source from Visit Korea website)

[buzz KOREA Tour: Sancheong-Busan] The Westin Chosun Hotel, Busan

After a 1-1/2 hour drive from Sancheong, we finally arrived in Busan.

We went straight to our hotel, The Westin Chosun Busan. This is a 5-star hotel, the only hotel by the Haeundae beach, and one of the most expensive and luxurious hotel/resort in Busan. We stayed here for 2 nights and for FREE, all courtesy of Korea Tourism Organization/buzz KOREA.

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Westin Chosun at night from Haeundae Beach and the lobby. And while we were at the lobby waiting for our room card keys, Taecyeon from KPOP boyband 2PM passed by coming out of O’KIMS. I noticed him and since he is one of my bias in 2PM, followed him and took a fancam. Apparently, artist/s came to O’KIMS bar of some sort of after party after the Busan International Film Festival Blue Carpet. We also saw some actors and actresses arriving at the lobby. I was just too tired from the activities the whole day (Seoul – roadtrip to Sancheong – activities – travel to Busan) to wait for other artist/s and went up to my room to sleep.

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My luxurious room at the Executive Club Floor (7th). I was alone in this triple bed room with a computer. Can this be room forever? 🙂

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View from my room when I slept and when I woked up. Hello Busan!!!

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Buffet intercontinental breakfast served at the Executive Club Lounge in the 9th floor. Delicious foods with the amazing view of Haeundae beach while having breakfast. Bacon and sausages, heaven ❤

More post coming up about our activities in Busan. 🙂

[buzz KOREA Tour: Sancheong-Busan] Herbal Dishes Dinner in Donguibogam Village, Sancheong

I wrote entries about our experience in the 2013 World Traditional Medicine Fair & Festival in Sancheong and about the other attractions found in Donguibogam Village before this.

Now, I’m going to share with you our Dongeuiyaksunkwan dinner. This dinner was offered at a restaurant in the Donguibogam Village to experience herbal dishes of Sancheong. We enjoyed a variety of dishes cooked with herbs, and the herbal dishes, ‘food that can be a medicine’, made of agricultural products (some are rare) and specialties of Sancheong.

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It includes rare mushrooms that can only be found in the Jirisan Mountains. As these were herbal dishes, some tasted bland. 🙂 But were lucky to be able to experience this, which we cannot order in Korean restaurants in Seoul or in my country, The Philippines. Plus the fact that just by looking how the food are arranged and decorated, it looked expensive.

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deep fried black pig pork belly, squash soup, jeon(Korean pancakes), brown rice, and for dessert jelly and berries.

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This is what our table looks like, lots of food and we couldn’t even finish it all. Yey finally we were seated in one long table.

After dinner, we were back to our bus and now traveled to Busan. More entries to come about Busan. 🙂