The Ocean closes?

For the three day weekend around Korea’s independence day I decided to go to Busan again with Lost in Seoul.

We arrived in the afternoon yesterday.  After getting some sillyness with the trains sorted out and getting everyone together the first place we went was to Haeundae beach, just a short walk from the hostel.

The crowds were as expected–absolutely huge.   It was nearly impossible to find the sand there were so many mats and umbrellas there.

The beach was pretty awesome, but after only about half an hour I was told that the beach was closing.   That’s right at 6:30, THE OCEAN CLOSES.    Seriously what the hell?

I mean why can’t they just post a sign that says no lifeguard swim at your own risk.  I’ve been swimming in the ocean since I was a little kid and there was almost no undertoe to speak of, the waves were very mild (though bigger for Korea) and the current was a non-factor.   The water was safe for people to swim in.

So I don’t really get the point of closing the beach especially so early.

Secondly, from there we went back to Fuzzy Navel and had some of their “FN tacos.”   I got a chicken chimichanga, Corona and a strawberry mojito.  The chimichanga was delicious.    A strawberry mojito though is a poor drink.  Strawberries and mint just don’t go together well.

From there we went on a bit of a pub crawl.   There were a lot of drinks of varying quality consumed over the next few hours.

Then it was back to the hostel, which frankly does not impress.  We stayed in much more comfortable lodgings in June.   Chan’s Guest house however  has restrictions on using the air conditioning, and not a single chair in the place.


Bungee jumping with Lost in Seoul

So yeah I went bungee jumping with some old and new friends in Lost in Seoul.

Trying to describe it is hard,  you look out into the distance, to avoid looking down and then jump.   Then you fall for a bit, and the rope catches you and you bounce back up and down.

You can see that in the video.  What you can’t see is that an ankle jump is actually kind of painful.   I’ve heard a body jump is less so but I didn’t want to spend the money to go a second time.

When you reach the bottom all of your weight+ the force of your momentum is reversed and it really causes a lot of havoc internally.  I clenched all my muscles trying to keep my shit together.

This was maybe a mistake but when you’ve jumped off a bridge you’re not really in your right mind.

After that we  went and did some water sports.  Fly Fish is really cool.  It’s a raft that is unstable and every time it hits a wave it goes airborne.  The only mistake was doing this after we bungee jumped which made everything seem pretty vanilla.


Mud Festival: Checked that box

Mud Festival is one of the most famous events in the foreigner crowd in Korea.  Almost everyone goes.  All the groups fill up huge trips down to Boryeong to drink and act like fools while covered head to toe in filth.

I signed up for Lost in Seoul’s trip down to Mud Festival and it was a lot of fun.   After a few hours on a bus, we arrived at Dacheon beach.  There was some confusion getting the tickets which the Mud Festival people just instituted this year.  After standing in the rain for a long time while we got our tickets we got into the festival proper.

There were a handful of rubber slides and other kinds of activities in the main mud festival area.  They were pretty fun.  The water slide and the obstacle course were especially fun.   They also had mud wrestling, a mud prison, a place where you could play muddy tug of war and mud painting.

When  I had my fill of mud I went on Dacheon Beach.  This beach was very shelly and rough to walk on as it was, and then people threw a ton of trash on it.    Still the water was very comfortable and cleansing after spending the day getting hot and muddy.

At night Lost in Seoul had a great barbecue.   Burgers were cooked, and a good time was had by all.   Throughout the festival they  had entertainment ranging from different bands playing on a beach side stage to a grand fireworks display at the end of the first night.

All in all Mud Festival was a great box to check on my time in Korea.  I’m glad I went, and Sally organized a great trip for Lost in Seoul.   

Busan adventures slideshow

Beachside dining in Busan

So Haeundae beach is awesome.   And right by the beach there are a bunch of restaurants there who serve the beach bums.

On my trip with “Lost in Seoul” we hit up two of the more popular joints there.  The Fuzzy Navel and Breeze Burns.

The Fuzzy Navel is a Mexican restaurant with a bar.  They offer a really wide selection of drinks, especially cocktails.  For my money though if the restaurant is named the Fuzzy Navel I’m not going to get clever and try to outsmart them.

The ambience of this place was really nice.   It had a nice beachside bar feel to it with the music rolling.  I only wish there was an actual bar right on Haeundae.  I’d love to be drinking one of their cocktails while I sunbathe or right after I walk up out of the water.

I ordered a Fuzzy Navel.  That was delicious.  I also ordered a chicken burrito and Nachos with toppings piled high.  ( I had just spent 45 minutes in brutally cold ocean water I was starving) Read more of this post

A taste of the Busan nightlife

Last night on Haeundae beach,  started with me setting off some fireworks.  I stood, with giant sand sculptures behind me, on the beach and lit a rod of fireworks and they shot out over the East Sea.

That was pretty cool.  From there we headed to the 14th floor Rock and Roll bar, which is a bar which sits on the top floor of a 14 story tower overlooking the beach.  I was somewhat dissappointed that in a club called the Rock and Roll bar, they only played a mix of pop music and hip-hop.   They did however make an excellent gin and tonic for 5,000 Won so not all was lost.

Somewhere in this time I had to go get cash but all the major banks had closed up.  This normally wouldn’t be a big deal many conveniant stores have twenty-four hour ATMs.  I walked to three broken ones before I finally found a machine which would dispense with some cash.    Just at the point where I was starting to feel really dumb.

After about 90 minutes there, we set out for a norae bang.  We spent about two hours there.  Ordered some food–a french fry platter with pat bing su (an ice, beans, fruit and cream mix)  It was pretty good–and the singing was fun as it always is.  I  sang a very well timed version of Obladi Oblida among many other things.

About 3:30 in the morning we rolled back into our hostel, we were very tired, we were very merry.

All in all, it had a very different feel than the nightlife district we were on Saturday.  That was much more Korean, whereas Haeundae had a lot more foreigners.  Also Saturday’s was spread out and seemed to be very mixed.  Haeundae seemed very concentrated along the strip.

Beaches, a temple and restaurants: Busan day 2

So, our Busan adventures are continuing.   We moved to our new hostel which is right above Haeundae beach.  Went down in time to see that sand festival was underway.

The sand sculptures were beautiful.   They were  mostly themed after fairy tales.  Alice in Wonderland and the Wizard of Oz were especially fantastic.

From there I went swimming in the East Sea.  It was so outrageously cold.   At first it hurt just to be in the water.  But after about ten minutes I warmed up to it.  I spent a good forty or so minutes floating in the ocean.

From there it was on to a beachside Mexican restaurant.   It was called Fuzzy Navel,   and their fuzzy navels were excellent.  I got a burrito and nachos.  They were pretty good.  The Ambiance was excellent, but the service was pretty poor.  Look for a review later this week.

After that we took a long trip to Boneghusa temple right on the beach.  It was beautiful, it even warmed the shriveled heart of this seasoned atheist.   Still not buying it but at least it was pretty.

After that we headed to another beach.   The water there was really weird.   It didn’t really get deep even like meters from the shore.   So I couldn’t really swim.

Then we headed out to  find some dinner.   We found a pork barbecue to eat at.  It was shockingly delicious. There really wasn’t anything amazingly special about it, it was just great Korean food.   Maybe I was just especially hungry after walking around and swimming.

Now we’re about to head out for some drinking and some Noraebanging.