Today I’m feeling pensive as I sit here starting on another post of my experience of Busan, Korea. Today my countrymen turned out in full force and in high hopes of change and for a better country.
Just 2 weeks before I stood facing the Korea’s largest canola flower fields along the Nakdong River in Changnyeong, South Gyeongsang.
“The blooming of the canola flowers signals the arrival of spring and a new season. A season of change“, says my Korean friend.
*Panorama shot of the rapeseed flower field.
In Korea, there are the on-going dispute of North and South. But at the banks of Nakdong River, busloads of young innocent children and their teachers descended on the fields of yellow flowers, oblivious of any impending danger.
Both the young and the old took time to enjoy the arrival of spring.
I hope after today, we can allow our children to go to the park, play and have picnics with their teachers during the day without a worry, just like how the Koreans and Japanese could.
It was a beautiful morning. The air was crisp and the chilly wind kept everyone cool though the sun was out. The scent of the rapeseed flowers are not strong so you’ll only catch a waft of its scent every now and then.
The Rapeseed Flower Festival is a week long celebration with stage performances, food fest and art/photography. It is in its 2nd year for Busan though a similar event in Jeju Island – The Jeju Canola Flower Festival has been a tradition for years.
No festival is rightfully called a festival without food. Makeshift tables and tents provide shelter from the sun as some enterprising folks dishes out Korean delicacies.
This was some pork meat and pork neck and pork ears delicacy, eaten cold with some sauce.
The ever popular Odeng: Fish cake on a stick and boiled in broth. This is a wintertime favorite dish. A cup of broth is usually offered after you finish the fish cake.
And of course the Panjeon.
I sampled this rice alcoholic drink which tasted like fermented rice wine. Sorry but it’s not my kind of drink!
Oh, by the way the Korean crackers are nice. It’s stronger in seafood flavour (if it’s prawn or fish crackers) compared to our local ones.
After flowers and nature we headed to the sea.
Our tour that day took us to the coastline of Taejongdae. In Busan there were so many highways over rivers and so many bridges. I lost track of the amount of bridges we drove past and the direction of where we were heading around throughout the whole trip.
Heading towards Taejongdae we passed the Busan Port Coastal Passenger Terminal, another bridge and through a town.
After 30 minutes we found ourselves on the coastal road. On our left are the hills and on our right we feasted our eyes on the beautiful seaside.
Our coach dropped us off at Gamji Coastal Trail. There is a proper pathway, safe sidewalk, toilets, snack bar, observatory and exercise facility here.
Take the stairs down to the beach if you wish.
The rest of us stood on the suspension bridge and enjoyed the crisp air and took pictures. This area is famous for its magnificent rock cliffs and formations, strong waves and breathtaking horizons.
The sea is so clean! The water looked so pristine and I imagined myself frolicking in the waters in summer time. My guide laughed and reminded me that it would be dangerous to do so.
But one can dream right? 🙂
There are tours available for those who are interested to explore the key attractions within the Yeongdo area. You can check out the tours HERE.
Just before we headed back to our coach we grabbed some hot fishcakes and sipped its clear savoury broth. I really do love these Korean snacks!
We had a good lunch of “fugu” – the poisonous blowfish (another post on food for that) before continuing our exploration of Busan.
This being the 5th day, we had seen the beaches, the markets, the roads and the coastline. How about an aerial view of the city, we asked our guides.
And so here we are at Lotte Department Store, Gwangbok Branch, Busan. No shopping unfortunately, but only for the rooftop observatory and the water fountain show at the concourse.
The one we were on was on the 13th floor but the parks (SkyPark) on the floors below was nice too.
The observatory was divided into 2 main areas – the sea view which provides a sweeping view of the Busan Port while the city view is one of the surrounding city landscape.
The Sky Park and the observatory area are very pretty, clean and very well maintained with appropriate rest areas, safety railings and games facilities.
There’s even a cafe – Angel-in-us on the observatory deck, allowing those who like to enjoy the view and but prefers to avoid the cold.
For us, we were just too preoccupied trying to get the best view from where we were at!
The observatory deck is wonderfully spacious and clean.
On one side, the whole rail was decorated with locks of all sizes and shapes.
I’m guessing it’s a symbolic act of love for couples; leaving the locks on the rail and “throwing” away the key here. This practice seems really popular here in Korea huh?
But yes, the view.
It was indeed amazing. I watched in silence; at my vantage point so high above the hustle of the busy port below. Here I am witnessing it all, the biggest industry of Busan on an ordinary day, oblivious to my presence or anyone else either.
Containers, speed boats, ships of various sizes and logistics vehicles. All in all a day in operation.
The other side would be the city view, but as usual we were hurried along again for our next itinerary.
Other than the sky parks and observatory deck , another attraction of the Lotte Departmental Store Gwangbok branch would be its hourly futuristic fountain show. This is at the concourse level of the mall.
It was a full 15-20 minutes show and the effects was the result of fantastic choreography of light beams and water sprays. I have a video recorded which would be uploaded once I got around to editing it, but here’s some pictures to satisfy your curiosity for the time being.
The water came from both above and below and at times the sprays came out simultaneously or individually, depending on the effect the choreography wishes to impart.
All in all while the choreography does deserve a mention, the whole show was pretty boring after the first 5 minutes. I didn’t think the water jets were dramatic enough nor memorable. But if you’re in Lotte do stop to admire this sophisticated aqua show since there isn’t one like this (as far as I know) anywhere else in Asia.
Next: What we ate, Busan Aquarium, temple visiting, shopping in Busan and more! Stay tuned!
** This is a media trip with the Air Asia X team and Busan Tourism Board. We were in Busan for the Air Asia X inaugural KL- Busan flight launch and had the good fortune to explore Seoul and Busan for 5D4N.
If you have any question for me about Busan, do drop me a comment here! 🙂