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Monday, May 9, 2016

Busan Day 2: Dalamji-gil Road, Chinatown, Jagalchi Market, BIFF Square

   After spending most of our first day at Gamcheon Art Village, we spent the remainder of our afternoon trying to hunt for other tourist spots around Busan. We ended up at Dalmaji-gil Road near Haeundae Beach, which is famous for its cherry blossom tree-lined roads. We were hoping that they would be already in bloom, but unfortunately there were still no signs of the pretty pink petals we so badly wanted to see. They were in bloom about a week after we left! Talk about bad timing :( 

   But of course we still had to make the most of our situation so we just took a bunch of photos here haha!

   Should you be lucky enough to find yourself in Busan during cherry blossom season, Dalmaji-gil Road is one of the best places to see it. To get here via MRT:

Take subway line #2, get off at Exit 5 or 7 of Jungdong Station.


   We stopped by the Busan Station to check out the rates and schedules for the bullet train to Seoul. Busan's Chinatown is just across the street from the station, but don't expect it to be like Chinatowns in other countries with night markets and food stalls. We got there at around 9 in the evening and most of the souvenir shops were already closed. The only places that were open were seedy bars, massage parlors and a handful of Chinese and Russian restaurants. 

   The next day, we only had a halfday to spend in Busan before heading to Seoul so we decided to go somewhere relatively near Busan Station so we wouldn't go beyond our planned time of departure.

Jagalchi Market and BIFF Square

   Jagalchi Fish Market is Korea's largest seafood market and I was sooo amazed at the variety of seafood on display! All kinds of fish, shells, giant octopus, the list goes on. The wet market surprisingly does not reek strongly of fish (This is subjective; I don't know about you guys, but anybody who has been to a Philippine wet market knows how smelly the fish section is) and we had fun walking around and checking out the stalls.


   We walked a little further towards BIFF (Busan International Film Festival) Square. This area was transformed in 1996 as a center for Korea's film industry and the annual film festival used to be held here until it was transferred to the Busan Cinema Center in 2012. BIFF Square still attracts a lot of tourists as this area is lined with many food stalls, shops, restaurants and cinemas.

The smell of the street food was very inviting so we helped ourselves to some tteokbokki, kimbap and mandu.

   We also came across this cute pojangmacha (tent) cafe and we went in for our AM caffeine fix. The owners really made an effort to make the place cozy- the cute decor and knick knacks made you feel like you were in a real brick and mortar cafe. The coffee was good too- freshly ground and brewed on the spot. 

To get here:

Take the MRT to Jagalchi Station, go out through exit 7. You will see the Jagalchi Fish Market first. To get to BIFF Square, just walk straight through the market then turn left.

This ends our adventure in Busan! We are full, caffeinated and so ready to take on our next destination :D

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