Last weekend Kiana came to visit Nicole and I in Seoul. Over the past week she traveled around Korea visiting the Boseong Tea Fields, Gwangju, and hanging out with us in Gwangyang. This weekend, we visited Busan to see the Haedong Yonggungsa temple and Haeundae beach.
Traveling to Busan
Kiana, Nicole, and I got up early and walked down to the Donggwanyang bus terminal. We’d booked our tickets earlier in the week so all we had to do was hop on the bus and head out. The trip took us about 2 hours. Nicole napped and Kiana and I caught up on news from back home.
When we arrived in Busan we took the subway the 24 stops across town to Haeundae Beach, one of Nicole and my favorite spots in the city. We dropped our bags off at the hostel and spent the afternoon at the beach. Visiting the beach is one of the things I miss about Florida while I’m in Gwangyang so its nice to visit a beach in Korea every now and again.
Visiting Yonggungsa Temple
After our trip to the beach that afternoon, we took a local city bus to Yonggungsa temple. Its a beautiful Buddhist temple just East of Busan. Nicole and I had visited before with my Korean friend. However, I don’t think I ever wrote about it.
The temple includes a series of buildings, shrines, and statues. Koreans visit the temple primarily to wish for a male child or for students to get good grades. The three of us just went for the view.
To get into the temple you walk down a little alleyway selling all manner of snacks before you come to a narrow stairway that leads to a series of bridges. Off the left side of the bridges is the coast. On the right side of the bridges are a series of cascading fountains with basins inside. People throw coins into the basins for good luck. None of the three of us made our coins into the basin. Although, one Korean did while we were there and there was a good bit of applause.
Busan Night and Day
That night we returned from the temple to the Hauendae beach area. We visited a local market so Kiana could sample some traditional Korean street snacks and so she could see all the weirder snacks that she didn’t feel like eating. I don’t blame her. I’ve been here almost a year and a half and I haven’t had all the snacks available yet.
After the market, we bought some fireworks and went down to the beach to set them off. Every time we visit Busan we buy fireworks and set them off. Its become our traditional end to the night. This visit was no different, and this time we got to share to tradition with my sister, Kiana.
The next day we visited the beach again and walked to Gwangalli beach. Its another beach a few stops away on the subway or a 30 minute walk from Hauendae beach. The three of us had lunch together before Nicole and I headed back to Gwangyang so we could teach the next day. Kiana headed out the following day to Hong Kong.