Train to Busan

Saturday, December 09, 2017
Busan is South Korea's second largest city with more than three and a half million people. One of the few cities which remained under South Korean control throughout the entire duration of the Korean War (1950-1953). For a short while Busan was even named capital of South Korea.

Gwangan Bridge in Busan, South Korea

"Train to Busan" is a Korean movie from 2016 which revolves around a zombie outbreak throughout the country. Busan seems to be the only safe place without infections. We follow the main characters as they struggle to reach Busan on a train. Luckily we didn't take the train to Busan, as the characters in Sang-ho Yeon's zombie thriller "Train to Busan". We flew direct from Fukuoka in Japan with Air Busan.

Busan from above with Air Busan, South Korea
"Train to Busan" amplified the underlining of South Korea's movie industry being Asia's largest voice in competing with Hollywood. The industry is growing rapidly and I'm sure more Korean movies with hit the big screens in the years to come.

Spiderman statue at the Haeundae Marina in Busan, South Korea
In Busan we stayed in the Haeundae district. A popular summer destination for tourists due to its prominent beach front. We arrived on a cold day in December. 3 degrees celsius to be exact. A bright winter sun was shining. Even the pigeons were shivering.

Haeundae Beach in Busan, South Korea
After a stroll on the beach we had planned to visit the United Nations Memorial Cemetery. The place was HUGE and our visit very emotional. The gardens were beautifully sorted and the graves and memorials fit for a place like this.

Graves at UN Memorial Cemetery in Busan, South Korea
Especially the Wall of Remembrance made an impact on me. Endless names engraved into granite wall plates. The very figurative way of showing the lost souls during the Korean War. A great contrast to the sprouting life of nature around the cemetery grounds. One tree had a resemblance of how I imagine the Tree of Life would look like.

"Tree of Life" at UN Memorial Cemetery in Busan, South Korea
After spending more than a hour in the UN Memorial Cemetery we headed for the west part of town and found some Korean fried-yourself food. A mountain-pile of pork strips with kimchi and other vegetables.

Pork strips with kimchi and other vegetables near Gamcheon Cultural Village in Busan, South Korea
In Gamcheon Cultural Village they have houses built in staircase-fashion on the foothill of a coastal mountain. Which has lead to the nickname; Machu Picchu of Busan. The many different colored house and local produced mural in the narrow streets, bring an artistic touch which makes it worth a visit. The streets and walking paths are quite steep and walking to viewpoints on top of the hill aren't for the faint-hearted. On a clear day you can spot Busan Tower and even the Gwangan Bridge.

Gamcheon Cultural Village in Busan, South Korea
Looking for souvenirs? Gurkje Market is the place to visit. Stall upon stall selling everything from kitchen tools to clothing and even a few shops has simple souvenirs like magnets, key-chains and whatnot.

Gurkje Market in Busan, South Korea
We didn't leave Busan by train either. We headed for the Express Bus Terminal and found a direct bus to Daejeon.

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