Friday, April 1, 2011

4 Fun things we did in Busan

1) Korean bath/spa. We love the onsens (hot springs) of Japan. I've experienced public bathing in Morocco, Turkey, Hungary and now Japan. I have to say that the Korean experience is the best of all these. You wash yourself, dip in the hot pools (some with different herbs, etc.) and then there are the jjimjilbang (saunas). I consistently said this word wrong while in Korea. They have saunas that are hot, cold and themed. The best part is that after the hot pools you change into little shirt/short combos and meet up your friends of the opposite gender. That's right - you can canoodle with your honey in the jjimjilbangs. We liked the spas so much we went to two - Hurshimchung and Spa Land.

2) DVD bangs. You rent a dvd and watch it in a little room with a big screen and large couch/bed. No doubt canoodling happens here too. Koreans live with their parents into their 30s oftentimes, like a lot of the world. It was a good way for us to break up a long day of sightseeing and fun to see the shy young Korean couples sneak up there.

3) Bars. Our friend took us to a few really fun bars in Busan. By far the best one was a German bar with a Bulgarian band playing K-pop, Russian and American hits. We had pizza to round out the multi-cultural experience. It was Sunday night and the place was rocking with drunk Korean hikers, especially men, dancing their hearts out. Fun times. Here's the band doing "Hot Stuff".

4) Hiking. We took the cable car up the mountain and then hiked up to the Seokbul-sa temple. The temple was beautiful and very worth the walk. The best part, though, was interacting with the awesome (and often drunk on soju) Korean hikers. We enjoyed watching these guys play foot volleyball or is it soccer tennis?

Interacting with outgoing, inebriated older Korean guys was one of the highlights of Korea, actually. The ladies were good fun too. Korean folks were louder, more brash and more likely to be yelling at each other or hitting each other playfully than their Japanese counterparts. Just like in Japan though, they get geared up to go hiking.

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