Korea’s Second City

Korea’s Second City
Busan, Korea Rep.

Busan, Korea Rep.

Arrived in Busan in time for breakfast. Very modern looking city, large, spread across several bays linked by bridges. Some of them are quite spectacular. We got the shuttle bus to a place in the city near the fish market. Although it was 10 am hardly anything was open. Obviously late starters here! We walked a while and found Lotte, the world’s largest department store which is actually a mall. Went in and had coffee and used their very slow wifi. Nice mall but very expensive. They have a musical fountains show every hour in the atrium. Theme: The 1812 Overture!!!! The shops seemed very expensive to me and the goods not terribly desirable. It appeared Koreans like anoraks, trainers and backbacks. I have never seen so many outlets for these three items. As I don’t like any of them, it tended to blunt my shopping motivation.
We explored the city further and around lunchtime came across a woman giving out fliers for a noodle place. She lead us up a back street and we were on the verge of leaving when we came to her place. It looked ok so we went in. Had to order by pointing at pictures and guessing but we ended up with two big noodle bowls filled with fish and veg and a spicy tomato sauce. The bowls came with a set of kitchen scissors as well as chopsticks and we were a bit puzzled by these. The chap saw our hesitation and picked up a pair of scissors and started hacking away at the noodles (vermicelli sort) cutting them into 2 inch lengths!!!!! Never seen that before. Anyway,, the other surprise was that it was all stone cold but…. not unpleasant…… very rich tomato flavour and quite spicy but not too much. Superfast wifi too so we added a beer to the mix and stayed long enough to upload pix and deal with a few bits and bobs of business.
At this point, we were feeling a bit disappointed with Busan
….. then…. we stumbled across a fantastic area and everything changed in a minute! From empty, expensive shops we came across dense streets packed with market stalls and small shops selling all manner of fabulous goods and food… FOOOD!!!!! We spent a good couple of hours wandering… getting lost…. buying a few Xmas presents. Daisy should just move to Japan or Korea. In the UK she struggles to get clothes small enough to fit. We are a nation of pear shaped people, not little 00 size adults. Here… well….. she would fit right in. Thank god I don’t need anything because I’d have a hard time…. even Lucy…. don’t be offended my eldest daughter… but even Lulu would be at the upper size limit. And it isn’t just size, it’s style. Anyway, enough…. we enjoyed the shopping. We nibbled on street food…..
and then we blundered out of clothes and into the largest fish market in Korea. Street after street after street of amazing fish and seafood of all kinds including whole shops just selling different sorts of seaweed. Much of the produce was still alive in tanks. The lobsters and crabs were HUGE. Probably the biggest lobsters I’ve ever seen. Frankly the lobsters you tend to see in most places are crayfish and they look like they’ve only just beaten the gauge. These ones…. well, you’d have a fight on your hands if you tried to take some of them if you met them on a dive. Massive claws. Massive. And then there were the clams…… they would give the New Jersey clams a run for their money. We drooled and drooled. What a fabulous place!
All too soon it was time to get back to the ship and steam on towards Japan. In the end we loved Busan. Would love to come back in summer weather and shop and enjoy the beaches and probably pitch tent in the fish market and eat all meals there. Oh… Lu….. you might not like the clothes shops but you’d have LOVED the fish market!!!

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