- Busan gets 2020 makeover Nighttime at the Suyeonggang River has become more colorful in 2020, due to illuminations installed along the river on the Galme-gil (trail). Soft, rose-colored lights and LED screens depicting sights and scenes around Suyeong-gu (district) begin at the entrance of the river and continue for two kilometers. The lights in particular illuminate the lower walking path of Jwasuyeonggyo Bridge and add to the atmosphere and safety of the observatory deck, handrails and photo zones. △ Lights illuminate the Suyeonggang River.Meanwhile, Busan Wondong Station, a new station on the Donghae line, opened on March 28. The city's newest station is located between Allak and Jaesong Station. The expansion of public transportation in the area is expected to resolve lingering traffic problems there.
- Championships postponed again The Hana Bank 2020 World Team Table Tennis Championships Busan, which was postponed due to COVID-19, is scheduled to begin on Sept. 27 and end on Oct. 4, at BEXCO. △ The Shinhan Korea Open was held last July.The championships will feature 72 countries, making it the largest sporting event in the world outside of the Olympics. Beginning with the 2003 World Table Tennis Championships in Paris, games that are held in even-numbered years are team events, whereas ones that run in odd-numbered years are individual.Preliminary rounds will be held from Sept. 27 to 30. Semi-finals will go on Oct. 1 and 2. The women's finals will occur on Oct. 3, and the men's finals will conclude on Oct. 4. Tickets can be purchased through the ITTF organizing committee's website (www.wttc2020busan.com) and at Hana Ticket (ticket.hanatour.com). The ITTF has stated that although the schedule is flexible depending on COVID-19, the cancellation of the competition is not being considered.
- Haeundae now nation's conference leader Haeundae-gu (district) is expected to become the national leader in the country's conference tourism sector MICE, which stands for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Ex-hibitions. Through MICE, the city provides tourism services to participants involved in international conferences and events.△ BEXCO in Centum City will serve as the center of MICE. In late March, the government decided to select the areas around Haeundae Beach and BEXCO as an international conference complex. The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism reviewed cities that have international convention centers and decided on Haeundae-gu after the district was well-received for the 2005 APEC Summit, the 2012 Lions Clubs International Convention and the 2019 ROK-ASEAN Commemorative Sum-mit. As a result, Haeundae-gu will become a 2.39-million-square-meter conference complex and will benefit from the increased tourism it will see from convention participants. Busan is investing 400 million won of state funds annually into MICE over the next four years. The city will cater to MICE tourists through the operation of shuttle buses and expansion of tourist information systems. According to one Busan city official, "We will consult with the Busan Tourism Organization, BEXCO, local industries, and academia to turn Haeundae into Korea's representative international conference complex, so that the international conference, tourism, shopping, culture and marine leisure industries in the area will be as synergistic as possible."Haeundae-gu is already a popular area for those mixing business and pleasure, a concept being pushed in a portmanteau as "bleasure."
- Easy Gupo Mujangaesup-gil Course: Gumyeong Station, Gupo Mujangaesup-gil parking lot, Hanul Baram Observatory, Unsusa Temple Time: about two hours △ Gupo Mujangaesup-gil grants visitors beautiful greenery, historic rocks, well-maintained boardwalks, vast landscapes and beautiful observation platforms to see everything. Residents and tourists alike love Busan for its urban and natural mix. The city's beaches provide people with fun and sun in front of an energetic city setting. Mountains give hikers a chance for exercise, peace and relaxation from their daily lives, and all it can take to escape from the middle of a busy intersection in town to a calm waterside village like Cheongsapo is a simple, convenient bus ride. Gupo Mujangaesup-gil (trail) is another such gem in Busan. Replete with trees and accessible boardwalks for anyone who fancies a chance to get away from it all, it may just be the most people-friendly walking path in the entire city. △ The Gupo Mujangaesup-gil is an easy trek that is sure to take your mind off of your daily troubles.A virulent springCOVID-19 has resulted in a highly unusual spring. In a time usually bursting with people throwing off their winter coats, enjoying seasonal flowers and attending the year's first baseball games, the pandemic has forced residents to stay home. Fewer people are out enjoying the weather, Daejeo Ecological Park's iconic canola flowers were cut down in their prime and the country has seen a very late start to the KBO season. As a result, Busan residents may be experiencing more melancholy than usual and could be yearning for the outdoors, some travel and a bit of respite from these strange times. Luckily, the enchanting Gupo Mujangaesup-gil is the place to go for your fix of green and for a feeling of having left your daily surroundings.The trail is an easy trek that anyone can enjoy via boardwalks that are accessible to wheelchairs and strollers. So easy is this trail, in fact, that the very name "Mujangaesup" translates to "No Obstacle Forest"in English. So get ready for some clean fresh air, vast blue skies and a large abundance of wild flowers in your future. △ Families, friends and individuals all come to Gupo Mujangaesup-gil to escape the hustle and bustle of urban life.A not-so-difficult startf which can be quite grueling adventures. A trip from the Geumjeongsan Mountain cable car to Beomosa Temple can take four hours or longer, and the peak is well over 400 meters high. Gupo Mujangaesup-gil, on the other hand, is a comparatively light and pleasant affair. Only 201 meters high, the trek begins at Beombangsan Mountain, in the old western port area of town. From Gunam Station (metro line 2), it's a 10-minute walk in the direction of the Yurim Norway Forest Apartments to the Gupo Mujangaesup-gil parking lot. At this point, you might be feeling a little short of breath, but the good news is that this is the most difficult part of the entire trek. Step onto the boardwalk and enter a paradise of trees and greenery.On Gupo Mujangaesup-gil, the name of the game is tranquility. Gone are the sounds of busy streets, honking horns and noisy buses. All you're left with are a mass of trees and the path before you, beckoning you ever forward. Along the way, you'll come across others who are seeking some solace from modern urban life, be they family and friends taking a walk together, parents of young ones in strollers or folks taking care of their elderly parents.△ Take a look at Busan from 201 meters up. Sights along the way Just like the Igidae coastal walk outlined in the previous issue, Gupo Mujangaesup-gil also features a variety of rock formations with colorful names, including Turtle Rock, Toad Rock, Couple Rock and Jeongseung Rock, named after a Joseon Dynasty-era minister. None of these, however, are denoted by any signs, so if you keep your eyes open, you may be able to tell which is which by yourself. Eventually, you'll come across the Hanul Baram Observatory, from where you'll be able to see Gimhae International Airport, Gupodaegyo Bridge and Hwamyeong Ecological Park. At 201 meters high, there are plenty of people taking pictures, so don't forget your selfie stick! The last sight on this course is on the way down: Unsusa Temple, which was founded during the ancient Gaya kingdom. △ Gupo Mujangaesup-gil is accessible to strollers and wheelchairs. In total, the course takes about two hours to walk. While it's important to be smart and safe and to remain home as much as possible, our mental and physical health are important, too. So, take advantage of Busan's beautiful mid-spring weather and enjoy an easy trek on Gupo Mujangaesup-gil.How to get there: Gumyeong Station (metro line 2), exit 2. Walk towards Yurim Norway Forest Apartment for about 10 minutes. The park is next to the Gupo Mujangaesup-gil parking lot, located by Caffe Pascucci.
- Gaze upon the sea up on Busan's cliffs Route: Oryukdo Sunrise Park, Oryukdo Skywalk, Igidae Jayeonmadang, Nongbawi and Chimabawi Rock, Igidae Oeulmadang, Igidae Dongsaengmal Time: About three hours Oryukdo Sunrise Park is the beginning of the 770-kilometer-long Haeparang trail that connects Busan and Goseong, Gangwon-do (province). Due to COVID-19, most museums and concert halls have temporary closed, but Haeparang always welcomes visitors. The canola flower, which nears its peak bloom, has already begun to show its colors. It's been a long winter, but spring is here at last. △ Oryukdo Sunrise Park is the place to begin what will be a fabulous scenic journey walking on the cliffs next to the vast expanse of Busan's East Sea.Oryukdo Sunrise ParkThere are many beautiful spots with history in Korea, but Busan's Oryukdo Sunrise Park is especially significant. The park is where Haeparang and the 1,463 kilometers of Namparang trail come together. The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism connected trails from the DMZ to all the seas surrounding Korea and designated the route as the Korea Dullegil Trail. Haeparang was the first one to open and consists of 50 courses in 10 sections that span 770 kilometers from Oryukdo Sunrise Park to Goseong Unification Observatory. In the south, Namparang totals 1,463 kilometers from Oryukdo Sunrise Park to Heanam, Jeollanam-do. The trails diverge by the Oryukdo Islets. The Igidae coastal walk from Oryukdo Sunrise Park to Igidae Dongsaengmal takes you to Mipo through Gwangalli Beach, a total of 17.8 kilometers. For those who prefer a lighter hike, the short course that goes to Igidae Dongsaengmal is also popular. From Sunrise Park, you'll view Oryukdo Islands, a moniker which translates to "five or six islands," so named because you should be able to count either five or six islands in front of you, depending on the tide. From the park, you can go to the first major attraction to see before you really begin the Igidae course, which is the Oryukdo Skywalk. It opened in 2013 and emerges from the ground towards the water. The skywalk is a glass bridge with a transparent bottom, and one million visitors come to the skywalk annually to get a better look at the sea and rocks beneath their feet. Unfortunately, it is temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. △ The walking trail winds around cliffs high and low.Igidae: legend of the gisaeng After a roughly 10-minute walk from Oryukdo Skywalk, you will arrive at Igidae Jayeonmadang. Located on a hill where visitors can overlook Oryukdo Islands, it is here where the history of Igidae really comes to life. The name "Igidae" originates from the legend that during the Japanese invasion of Korea in 1592, a conflict known as the Imjin War, two gisaeng (Joseon-era dancers) led Japanese generals to the cliffs and jumped to their deaths, taking the generals with them. Today, however, these cliffs provide a stunning view of the ocean and Busan's skyline.This would not be the last time Igidae would be associated with military figures. There are also old guard posts present, since the area was an anti-espionage military complex once upon a time. It was opened to the public in 1993 and has been a popular walking trail since 2005. △ Nongbawi Rock balances delicately atop Igidae.Nongbawi and Chimabawi Being a natioanl geopark, Igidae is known for its rock formations, particularly its cliffs, which were developed over a long period of time through endless waves and winds. Further geological sights in Igidae are Nongbawi and Chimabawi. Nongbawi Rock is distinctive in that it is a stack of two rocks that stand precariously like a giant tower of blocks. The origin of Nongbawi Rock comes from colonial-era haenyeo (female shellfish divers) who worked around Igidae and Yeongdo Island and made landmarks to communicate with each other. Nongbawi Rock is also called Buddha Rock, because it resembles a Buddha-like figure holding a child. Chimabawi Rock is named due to its appearance as an unfurled chima (skirt). Both rocks feature observatories to visit, but Chimabawi's is a little more difficult to find.△ Gwangandaegyo Bridge and Marine City's skyscrapers in view.Igidae Oeulmadang Continuing on from these rock formations, you'll come across Igidae Oeulmadang. There is an observation balcony facing the sea, which provides a wonderful view of Gwangandaegyo Bridge and Haeundae Beach. Many people gather in this area for the annual Fireworks Festival and for the fireworks display that brings in the new year. Parts of the movie "Haeundae," which brought 100 million viewers to the cinema, were filmed here, and it remains a popular spot for picnics and photos. Igidae Oeulmadang once housed five copper mines during the colonial era. Remnants of these mines can still be seen, as well as the old haenyeo storehouse where the women kept all of their gear. As recently as a few years ago, Igidae Oeulmadang visitors could taste fresh seafood caught by haenyeo, but this is no longer the case. The final location to visit here is the Igidae Dongsaengmal Observatory, which translates to "end of the hill." From there, hikers can march onto Gwangalli Beach.How to get there: Kyungsung University-Pukyong National University Station (metro line 2), exit 3. Take bus 24, 27 or 131. Get off at Oryukdo Skywalk stop. Between April and December, village bus 2 runs from the Dongsaengmal Observatory to Kyungsung University-Pukyong National University Station.
- Strolling Seomyeon's streets Route: Young Kwang Book Store, Lotte Department Store, Ginkgo Tree Path, Jeonpo Cafe Street Time: about two hours Seomyeon is always bustling with people going to and fro, for shopping, entertainment and eating. With all this activity, it's no wonder that Seomyeon is also the subway's largest transfer hub, with an average of 76,000 passengers traveling to or passing through Seomyeon on a daily basis. So, what does the area have to offer for a walking tour? △ Seomyeon's innumerable neon lights are illuminated in the evening, providing a stunning urban spectacle that matches its vibrant nightlife scene for thousands of people Young Kwang Book StoreYou can start the walk at a spot well-known by Busanites: Young Kwang Bookstore. The shop is a famous spot of the city that first opened its doors to the public in 1968. Young Kwang has survived a lot, including competition from another popular bookstore at the time (Dongbo Bookstore, which closed in 2010), the opening of large-scale chain bookstores and the advent of the Internet and reading devices like the Kindle, both of which have slowed the sales of hardcover and paperback books throughout the years. Young Kwang Bookstore lives on in 2020 as a meeting point for many. ● How to get there: Seomyeon Station (metro line 2), exit 9. Follow the street until you reach the bookstore.△ Many of the city's commercial, art, medical and entertainment hubs are located in Seomyeon.Lotte Department Store and Tteokbokki Street Once you've set off from Young Kwang Bookstore, look out for an icon of Seomyeon: Lotte Department Store. This high-end shopping center has a complicated history in Busan. Before it first opened for business in 1995, Busanites were happy to shop at Taehwa Shopping, now known as Judies Taehwa. Citizens harbored some concerns about the potential for Lotte Department Store to wipe out small businesses nearby. As a result, Taehwa Shopping expanded beyond its means to the point of bankruptcy, inadvertently sending shoppers to its new, giant competitor. Since then, Lotte Department Store has opened branches in Gwangbok-dong (neighborhood), Dongnae and Centum City. But Seomyeon is the original location, and it is a must-see for anyone visiting Busan. The department store is connected to a Lotte Hotel and Seven Luck Casino and is accessible either below or above ground.From the department store, you can find one of many tteokbokki alleys. Tteokbokki is a popular snack made of rice cakes and a usually spicy red sauce, often served with fish cakes. With increased activity in the area due to Lotte's presence, the Seomyeon area began a rapid period of development and expansion, with new restaurants and food carts appearing to feed hungry shoppers, visitng tourists and new residents. The food carts stay open practically until dawn and are a perfect late-night snack for the city's more nocturnal folk. △ Participants in Walking Busan with You after a great day out. Theater and Hagwon DistrictIf you cross the street from the back alley of Lotte Department Store, you'll end up in Seomyeon Market, a historic area filled with delicious long-standing old restaurants. Dwaeji gukbap (soup made with pork and a well-seasoned broth) and kalguksu (handmade knife-cut noodles made with wheat) are classic choices for lunch. This part of town has been populated a long time; many of the elderly people you'll see in and around the area have been there since childhood.Going into the underground walkway, you'll come across Seomyeon's underground shopping center, one of the most popular centers of commerce in Korea. Keep an eye open for low prices on unique clothing and cosmetics you won't find anywhere else! △ The old theater and hagwon district looks totally different now.Once you've walked the length of the shopping center and emerge on the other side, you'll find yourself in the city's former district for theaters and hagwons (private after-school learning centers). Once popular for both facets of society, the concentration of theaters and hagwons has died out somewhat, due to modern multiplex cinemas and the prevalence of online education. Ginkgo Tree Road, Jeonpo Cafe Street and the Busan Coffee MuseumIn contrast to the dense, sprawling urban setting of Seomyeon, the spacious Ginkgo Tree Road gives way to nature. The ginkgo trees fill up in the summer and turn yellow in the autumn, and they are accompanied with markets selling handmade goods during most weekends. △ There's no shortage of choice for coffee on Jeonpo Cafe Street.If you continue down the road long enough, you'll stumble into Jeonpo Cafe Street, which gained fame in 2010. In its early days, the street was home to many hardware stores. This all changed with a decline in sales of tools and other such items, and soon these shops were replaced with around 30 cafes. These havens for caffeine were more than happy to take advantage of their unique hardware-store interiors and decorated their establishments accordingly and modestly. In fact, many of these cafes have enough space for just four tables, but what these cafes lack in space, they more than make up for in coziness. If you don't believe us, just ask CNN; it selected Jeonpo Cafe Street as one of 50 must-visit locations in Korea. Around the corner, the Busan Coffee Museum is also an impressive Busan attraction. The owner, who has a passion for traveling around the world to collect rare and old coffee machines, runs the museum free of charge and often holds tasting events. Interestingly, the Coffee Museum is part of a trend of new privately-run museums opening up.
- Cold noodles are the coolest local food of all As the mercury rises, hungry re-sidents begin to seek out ways to cool down. The most classic and delicious choice is Busan milmyeon (wheat noodles). With a perfect combination of cold soup, noodles, meat and sweet and spicy sauce, milmyeon is a no-brainer for the current spring days and upcoming summer months. △ Milmyeon is a Busan Korean War-era creation that delights diners every year.The dish comes in two forms: bibim-milmyeon (spicy and without soup) and mul-milmyeon (not necessarily spicy and containing soup). Milmyeon is chewier than other kinds of typical Korean noodles. The broth is made by boiling beef bone or brisket, and a garnish of toppings including beef, boiled eggs, cu-cumbers, pears and radishes frequently decorates your meal. Red pepper powder is the main ingredient for a sweet, spicy, flavorful sauce. Served cold, all come together for an amazing treat to keep you cool as the days grow warmer.Milmyeon, which was designated as Busan's representative dish in 2009, was born in the early 1950s during the Korean War. Refugees fleeing the north were accustomed to making naengmyeon (cold noodles) with potato starch or buckwheat, but with ingredients made scarce due to the war, alterations had to be made. As a result, people began making noodles by mixing starch with flour, ingredients that came as aid from the United States' military. Thus was born the dish that came to be known as "milmyeon."△ Mul-naengmyeon in Naeho Naengmyeon.Naeho Naengmyeon (내호냉면)Naeho Naengmyeon may be the best place for an introduction to Busan milmyeon, because the restaurant was the beginning of the dish's history.In the beginning, the establishment was a simple naengmyeon house that began operations in North Korea in 1919. The owner fled to Busan during the war and opened her new restaurant in 1953. Currently, Naeho Naengmyeon is owned by a fourth-generation family member. While the type of noodles between naengmyeon and milmyeon differ, the broth is the same. Both are also garnished in the same manner: matured stingray with seasoning.One useful tip, especially for those who are tasting these noodles for the first time, is to try the dish on its own with no additional sauces or alterations. Give the meal a taste on its own to get the purest flavor, and then add or change whatever you like!A bowl of naengmyeon costs 10,000 won, and milmyeon runs diners 7,000 won. How to get there: Beomil Station (metro line 1), exit 8. Take the Namgu-3 village bus at Beomil Station stop. Get off at Donghang Catholic Church stop. Hours: 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Address: 17, Uambeonyeong-ro 26beon-gil, Nam-gu△ Naeho Naengmyeon has a long history.Haeundae Gaya Milmyeon (해운대 가야밀면)Haeundae Gaya Milmyeon, near Haeundae Beach, is a destination visited by many out-of-towners. The broth here is unlike any other: Beef brisket, beef shank, chicken feet and medicinal herbs go into the pot to boil for up to 60 hours. Then, the mixture is fermented for an entire year. All this time-consuming effort results in an unbelievable taste that attracts visitors from around the nation. Milmyeon costs 7,000 won. How to get there: Jung-dong Station (metro line 2), exit 10. Go straight for 5 minutes. Hours: 9 a.m to 9 p.m. Address: 27, Jwadongsunhwan-ro, Haeundae-gu△ Noodles and veggies make for a healthy meal.Gukje Milmyeon (국제밀면본점)Gukje Milmyeon is a place that meat eaters will especially enjoy. The broth is made exclusively with beef bone, and the meat that is used to garnish the bowl of noodles is cut by hand, which is in contrast to the more common machine-cut method of most establishments. This spot is another good one for first-timers, because the sauce here isn't as spicy as usual. Milmyeon here costs 7,000 won. How to get there: Busan National University of Education Station (metro line 1), exit 5. Go straight for 5 minutes. Hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Address: 23-6, Jungang-daero 1235beon-gil, Yeonje-gu
- No joke: jokbal is great There is a special pork dish with a different flavor than what you'd get at a barbecue joint: pig's feet, known in these parts as jokbal.△ Jokbal is one kind of meat you won't find at a regular barbecue restaurant, which makes it a unique delicacy.Jokbal is boiled in a marinade made with soy sauce, garlic, ginger and herbal ingredients. The color and soft texture of the dish is reminiscent of duck, and the taste is fantastic. There are plenty of ways to enjoy it, whether wrapped in vegetables or with saeu-jeot (salted tiny shrimps). Of course, jokbal is delicious enough on its own with no aid needed whatsoever. The meat is also high in nutritional value, with protein, dietary fiber and vitamins B1 and B2. Jokbal has long been a food associated with good times. Koreans often pack it for outdoor activities and picnics, and it is frequently enjoyed with soju and good friends. Here are a few places where you can try this great spring treat.△ There are plenty of ways to enjoy it, whether wrapped in vegetables or with saeu-jeot (salted tiny shrimps).Wonjo Hanyang Jokbal (원조한양족발)Wonjo Hanyang Jokbal is one of the oldest restaurants in a special street in Bupyeong-dong (neighborhood) that specializes in jokbal. The street is also the birthplace of naengchae jokbal, which is made with a mustard sauce and, since its inception, has become a very popular kind of jokbal in the country. The restaurant cooks its jokbal in a special broth that is made with herbal ingredients like cinnamon, licorice, jujube, pepper, garlic and green onions, among others. After cooking the jokbal at a high 150 degrees, it comes together for a delicious taste and light, chewy texture.Diners can choose between basic and naengchae jokbal. Those who wish to taste the classic example of jokbal can order the basic version. For something with more of a kick, the naengchae jokbal is the way to go. Prices at Wonjo Hanyang Jokbal range from 30,000 won for a small order, 35,000 won for medium and 40,000 won for the largest size. How to get there: Jagalchi Station (metro line 1), exit 5. Walk two blocks through BIFF street until you find Wonjo Hanyang Jokbal.Hours: 10 a.m.to 1 a.m. Address: 13, Junggu-ro 23beon-gil, Jung-gu△ Naengchae jokbal with mustard sauce and salad.Pyeongan-do Jokbal (평안도족발)Pyeongan-do Jokbal is a 40-year-old jokbal restaurant in Haeundae and is a popular spot for beach to-go orders. A side of salad made with fresh radishes is a great accompaniment and enough to keep any customer staying for more meat. Prices are 30,000 won for a small order, 35,000 won for a medium one and 40,000 won for a large.How to get there: Haeundae Station (metro line 2), exit 1. Go straight to Haeundae Beach. The restaurant is located across from Golden Tulip Haeundae Hotel & Suites. Hours: 11 a.m. to midnight Address: 14, Dalmaji-gil, Haeundae-gu△ Buljok is the hot and spicy variant of traditional jokbal.Bulnanbuljok (불난불족)Bulnanbuljok grills its jokbal on oak firewood, which results in an incredible texture. Diners can choose from different styles, including basic jokbal, in the naengchae fashion, served spicy and with cheese. Prices go from 27,000 won to 37,000 won for regular jokbal. The price of spicy and cheese jokbal is between 25,000 won and 35,000 won. How to get there: Dongnae Station (metro line 1) exit 4. Go straight for five minutes. Turn right at Coffee Daily and turn left at Manjuk Juksujip. Hours: 3 p.m. to 2 a.m.Address: 42-11, Myeongnyun-ro 139beon-gil, Dongnae-gu
- Tteokbokki too delicious, too hot to handle One of Korea's most ubiquitous food items is tteokbokki (rice cake and fish cake in a spicy sauce). Beloved by young and old alike, this popular snack can be found at street carts and restaurants around the country. Seomyeon is a particularly popular place to find tteokbokki, so it's your best place to begin your journey in getting a plate of this delicious and often highly spicy treat.△ Tteokbokki is a spicy Korean delicacy made with rice cake, fish cake and oftentimes additional ingredients.Tteokbokki is a dish that, at its core, is made of long, thin bars of rice cakes in a spicy red sauce. Fish cakes are the most common ingredients found alongside the rice cakes, but it's not uncommon to come across tteokbokki with vegetables and sundae (Korean sausage). Now a popular snack for the common everyman, tteokbokki was originally an item enjoyed by Joseon-era royalty cooked entirely differently than it is today. A century ago, these royals made tteokbokki with beef and mushrooms, which is similar to tteokbokki made with bulgogi (marinated slices of beef or pork) today. As the Joseon Dynasty came to an end, officials expelled from court began to make the dish for the marketplace, where it gained popularity among commoners.That being said, just because we don't eat tteokbokki today like the Joseon royals did in yesteryear, there are still many ways to enjoy this popular food. Add mozzarella cheese in the mix for a savory, sweet and spicy combination. Enjoy fusion versions that use sauces made of cream or rose, or pair it with gimbap (a roll made with rice and seaweed), mandu (Korean dumpling) or any of the other fried dishes you see at your food cart or restaurant.■ Jeonpo Bangatgan (전포방앗간) Jeonpo Bangatgan is a restaurant that specializes in tteokbokki. What makes going here an experience is the chance to cook the tteok (rice cake) via a gas burner installed at every table. The most popular item is the cheese waterfall tteokbokki, so named because a staff member comes to add cheese in a cascade-like manner as you cook it. Another popular choice is the fried set menu that is dipped into the tteokbokki sauce. Including deep-fried glass noodles in seaweed, mandu, fried peppers and squid, this menu will undoubtedly make any diners' taste buds spring to life.The cheese waterfall tteokbokki costs 16,000 won for two people. The fried food set menu charges 4,000 won. Jeonpo Bangatgan is a popular spot, so be aware that it often requires waiting in line to get in.Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day Address: 9, Jeonpo-daero 209beon-gil, Busanjin-gu△ Fried dumplings can accompany your tteokbokki.■ Ggomaengi Gimbap (꼬맹이김밥)Named for a phrase meaning "bite-sized," this gimbap is made with rice and one ingredient of your choice, which could be ham, tuna, nuts and spicy bulgogi.A bite-sized gimbap costs 800 won. Tteokbokki costs 3,000 won for a full plate, but it is also served at smaller portions of 500 won per tteok.Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Closed on Sunday.Address: 12-1, Seojeon-ro, Busanjin-gu△ Many carts selling tasty tteokbokki and other street food snacks line the streets around Seomyeon's Lotte Department Store.■ Tteokbokki AlleysThere are many places that can be labeled as "tteokbokki alley," and all of them offer delicious tteokbokki for patrons.Enjoy a hot plate of the snack before or after shopping and sightseeing.● Around the back gate of Lotte Department StoreRecommendation: tteokbokki and gimbapHours: 4 p.m. to 4 a.m. Address: 748, gaya-daero, Busanjin-gu ● Seomyeon 1-beonga Tteokbokki AlleyRecommendation: tteokbokki and pajeon (green onion griddle cake) Hours: 11 a.m. to midnight Address: 68beon-gil, Busanjin-gu ● Hagwon Street Tteokbokki CartRecommendation: tteokbokki and gimbap Hours: 11 a.m. to midnightAddress: Jungang-daero 680beon-gil, Busanjin-gu
- COVID-19 threat decreases, but authorities warn against complacency Busan has been succesful in its efforts to contain COVID-19, but that doesn't mean that public in-stitututions aren't being cautious. Museums and performance centers around the city are putting some of their most fascinating and educational materials online. Here's what you can catch from the comfort of your sofa!△ A VR still from "Buddhist Art of Myanmar.History MuseumsMost exhibition spaces have temporarily closed, but some have also gone online. Busan Museum is bringing history and culture to you by way of online and VR experiences. The main event is the museum's virtual reality exhibit "Buddhist Art of Myanmar," which delivers an overview of the Southeast Asian country's history and culture through Buddhist art. Virtual tours, explorations of historic artifacts and vlogs are also available."Gaya Spirit: Iron & Tune," which was displayed by the National Museum of Korea, is another accessible VR exhibition. Take a look at earth-enware, royal clothing and armor dating back to Korea's Gaya era.Website: museum.busan.go.kr/busan/onlinemuseumArt Museums The Busan Museum of Art has also opened up online services. Under the name of "Art Museum in My Hands," this exhibition service will be provided through the museum's official Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. Additionally, there is an exhibition by contemporary artist Shiota Chiharu called "The Soul Trembles," which is an exploration of her sculptures, photographs and drawings that are available via VR. Typing "Busan Museum of Art" into the YouTube search bar will net many other videos of a similar nature. △ A capture of a gugak performance on YouTube.Online Performances The performing arts are also getting in on the action. The National Theater of Korea is releasing a performance to the public every week. These performances inlude cultural gems like gugak (Korean classical music) pansori (traditional dramatic song), dance and music. All it takes to watch these excellent online programs is a quick and simple search of the National Theater of Korea on YouTube. Use the same service to search for what the Korea National Opera has to offer, because it operates a weekly performance program, too. This is your chance to catch many classic operas, including "La Dame aux Camelias" and "La Traviata."
- Expats thankful for Busan's COVID-19 approach Ⅱ "Busan's strength is rapidly adapting to change."John Mark B. Mathlac is a physiology student at Inje University's College of Medicine. △ John Mark B. Mathlac. COVID-19 caught everyone by surprise. The recent cherry blossom season was a stark reminder of how everyone's way of life had changed. Instead of hanging out among the blooms of spring, everyone had to stay indoors. The pressure to keep up social distancing and the feeling of possibly contracting the virus from anyone are circumstances that have affected our daily lives.During the peak of the infection, many of my classmates followed the suggestions of their families to return to their home countries. Others, like me, stayed and trusted that the situation would be handled properly. At that time, centers usually bustling with people became eerily quiet. Whole areas had to be shut down and disinfected in places where confirmed patients had been. Many students also lost their part-time jobs. Our phones rang constantly with lists of new confirmed patients and their whereabouts. It was alarming, but at the same time, those efforts and announcements kept us informed, and they told us which places we should avoid for the time being. The opening of schools was postponed, and festivals and events have been cancelled. Tourist attractions have closed indefinitely. Through social media and text messages, we receive regular instructions and updates reminding us to stay at home. Thanks to massive testing, intensive patient care and wide-ranged incident tracking, the spread of the infection has been curbed. Busan's strengths are in innovation and rapidly adapting to change. New and innovative strategies had to be devised when there were no effective protocols established yet. The best ideas were taken into action and minute details were constantly being improved for better out-comes. Other countries have lauded the country's efforts.It is comforting that our phones are no longer buzzing constantly, but experts say that a second outbreak could still be looming, so no one should get too complacent. I can't wait to finally be in Seomyeon again without wearing a mask! In the meantime, let's be more vigilant and overcome these trying times together!
- Expats thankful for Busan's COVID-19 approach Ⅰ "I've been touched by the city reaching out."Jenni Payne-Wheeler is a teacher and six-year Busan resident. She is currently enrolled at Oxford University, where she is working toward her second Master's degree. △ Jenni Payne-Wheeler.When virus cases began to multiply in February, many of us didn't know what to expect. As it became clear that Korea's outbreak was becoming the biggest outside China, life seemed to go on pause. Knowing that confirmed patients were in my area drove home the seriousness of the situation when I walked past shops and restaurants with signs in their windows saying "temporarily closed due to COVID 19." The start of the semester was delayed and then moved online. Many foreigners began to face pressure from their family and friends in their countries of origin to come home, but for most of us, Busan is our home. Our decision to stay was justified when it quickly became apparent that Korea was reacting swiftly and comprehensively. As cases in our home countries exploded, Korea's effectiveness became all the more evident. In particular, the situation in my own home nation, the UK, began to make clear that Busan was one of the safest places to be.While Busan has faced closures of institutions like museums, baseball games and libraries, the government has been able to rely largely on the cooperation of its residents and their desire to protect themselves and each other. We haven't seen the mandatory closures of businesses or the strict lockdown measures that other countries have. As a result, many of us can still go to work, go to the grocery store and take public transportation, which residents of other nations have been unable to do for weeks now. Thanks to the ability and willingness to test and trace anyone who might be at risk, Korea has been able to control this outbreak while still protecting its principles of democracy and freedom.I miss seeing friends, attending baseball games and going to the gym. I miss seeing my students face to face. But I've been touched by the city reaching out to foreigners with daily radio broadcasts in English and by the patience of pharmacy and medical staff, who have to deal with my poor Korean skills. My hope now is that the rest of the world can follow Korea's example.
- Busan's most illuminated views Busan is undoubtedly one of the nation's prettiest nighttime cities. Using data collected from local districts, experts and phone applications, the Korea Tourism Organization recently selected 100 of the best night views in the country, nine of which are right in Busan. Numbers 2 and 3 feature a combined four of the nine locations.1. Moontan Road Enjoy a moonlit stroll on a dirt path under a wide canopy of trees on Moontan Road. After beginning your ascent up Dalmaji Hill, you can enter the forest opposite the Korea Art Gallery. It won't be long before you'll be able to view the sea, Haeundae Beach, Haewoljeong Pavilion, Dong-baekseom Island and Gwangandaegyo Bridge.How to get there: Take buses 39, 100, 139, 141, 200 or 1003. Get off at Moontan Road Entrance stop.2. Nurimaru APEC House and Marine City Located at the western end of Haeundae Beach, Dongbaekseom Island is home to the Nurimaru APEC House, which hosted the 2005 APEC summit. Look no further for a better view of Busan's famous Gwangandaegyo Bridge. The night view of Marine City, an area containing some of Busan's tallest sky-scrapers, is also popular, particularly the view from restaurant The Bay 101. Join both re-sidents and tourists at this gorgeous locale for an evening beer and an illuminated spec-tacle.How to get there: Dongbaek Station (metro line 2). Go straight for 10 minutes along the main street. 3. Songdo Cloud Trails and Busan Air Cruise Two landmarks in Songdo, the nation's oldest beach, were cited as special night attractions: the Songdo Cloud Trails and the Busan Air Cruise. The Cloud Trails are long and winding paths made with wood and glass that stretch from the land over the sea. Next, take to the skies with the Busan Air Cruise, a series of cable cars which crosses the width of the beach. The attraction is open until 8 p.m. and is a beautiful spot to see at night, since it lets you glimpse Yeongdo and Seo-gu (district). How to get there: Nampo Station (metro line 1). Take buses 30, 26 or 71 from Nampo Station stop. Get off at Songdo Beach stop.Website: busanaircruise.co.kr 4. Dadaepo Sunset Fountain of Dreams The Dadaepo Sunset Fountain of Dreams is listed in the Guinness World Records as the largestground fountain on earth.With 1,046nozzles and 1,148 lights, plusmusic fromgrand speakers, the multimedia fountain show that takes place at night is fantastic. Performances are held from April to October every year, but they will be suspended until further notice due to COVID-19.How to get there: Dadaepo Beach Station (metro line 1), exit 4. Go straight for 120 meters. 5. Hwangnyeongsan Mountain In the center of town, Hwangnyeongsan Mountain has a night view to brag about. When you reach the mountain's summit, you'll be able to see the entire city from Gwangandaegyo Bridge to Seomyeon, right where you stand.How to get there: Geumnyeonsan Station (metro line 2). Take a taxi. 6. Dongnae Eupseong Fortress In addition to its hot springs, Dong-naeisfamous foritsbeautiful nightview.The viewat Buk-jangdae Pavilion, located along the entrance of the Dongnae Eupseong Fortress, is excellent. This spot is also home to the Dongnae Eupseong History Festival in the autumn.How to get there: Dongnae Station (metro line 1), exit 4. Take the Dongnae-gu 6 village bus, and get off at Bokcheon Museum stop. 7. Dong-gu Ibagu-gil Night Walking Festival Dong-gu's Ibagu-gil (trail) hosts an annual walking festival that won first prize in the Korea Tourism Organization's Walking Travel Festival in 2009. Due to the virus, it's uncertain whether or not the event will go on as usual, but visitors may still go to the nearby Skyway Observatory to take in the amazing night view of Busan Station and its surrounding areas. How to get there: Take buses 508 or 190 from Busan Station. Get off at Choryang 6-dong Office stop.
- Riverside park flowers'bloom lifts COVID gloom Spring has arrived, and with COVID-19 at the forefront of everyone's minds, mental health is more important than ever. With breezy winds in the air, shades of yellow flowers and green leaves returning to the trees, the weather is perfect for a stroll down a riverside park. Take a look at Oncheoncheon Stream, a fantastic local area for an afternoon walk.△ Oncheoncheon Stream is lined with cherry blossoms and canola flowers in the spring. The beginning of April is the height of spring in Busan, and there may be no better place in the city to enjoy the season than at Oncheoncheon Stream, where multitudes of colors cover its grounds every year.Oncheoncheon Stream originates from Geum-jeong-gu (district) and flows for 15 kilometers into the wide Suyeong River. The stream is surrounded by hundreds of cherry blossom trees and canola flowers that explode with color every spring. Azaleas also bloom in splendid fashion and provide even more colors to enjoy. △ The whole stream is one big photo zone.The park around the stream, which stretches across five kilometers, gives visitors fantastic paths for both cycling and walking, making it one of the city's best outdoor areas. Dynamic Busan's recommendation for a walk or bicycle ride is one that is not too strenuous. Just go down a course that begins at Dongnae Station and ends at Allak Kyungong Li-In Apartment. This brisk trek is little more than three-and-a-half kilometers long and is very pleasant.If you'd like to take your time, you can visit a stretch of the area that is renowned for its many cafes and restaurants. Oncheoncheon Cafe Street, between Yeonsangyo Bridge and Allakgyo Bridge, features a selection of coffee shops, bakeries and restaurants that operate in a number of remodeled houses.To go to Oncheoncheon Stream, take the subway and get off at Dongnae Station (metro line 1), exit 2. Go down the walkway below the station.△ There's arguably no better season than spring, and there's no better place to take in the season's blossoms than at Oncheoncheon Stream.
- Cherry blossoms give winter the cold shoulder Cherry blossom season is approaching like an oncoming, flowery pink train. It's time to ditch those coats and get ready to take some pictures. The blossoms are expected to bloom around March 25, similar to last year's date. Just so you're prepared, here are the best places and times to see Busan at its most beautiful. △ The desolate and barren branches of Busan's winter trees will fill with resplendant pink cherry blossoms that only come once a year.■ Nakdonggang RiverThe Nakdonggang River is home to one of the longest cherry blossom tunnels in Korea. There are around 2,700 fluffy cherry blossom trees along the 12-kilometer stretch from the Daejeo floodgate to Myeongji IC. How to get there: Gangseo-gu Office Station (metro line 3). Go straight to Nakdonggang River for five minutes. ■ Namcheon Samick Beach ApartmentSamick Beach Apartment in Namcheon-dong (neighborhood), at the western end of Gwangalli Beach, is Busan's original cherry blossom road. Rows of trees planted in the 1980s cover the entire street with pink blossoms every spring. A visit to Namcheon's Bbangcheon-dong, the neigh-borhood's famous bakery area, you'll set yourself up for a great day of sights, tastes and smells. How to get there: Geumnyeonsan Station (metro line 2), exit 5. Go straight to the direction of Gwangalli Beach for 10 minutes. △ Samick Beach Apartments' famous blossoms.■ Oncheoncheon StreamOncheoncheon Stream is a seasonal benchmark for Busanites, especially in April, as a long line of cherry trees adorn both banks of the stream. The walkway below it also features canola and azalea flowers. How to get there: Dongnae Station (metro line 1), exit 2 and 4. ■ Dalmaji HillIf you go up Haeundae's Dalmaji Hill, you'll notice a cherry blossom tunnel on both sides of the pass to Cheongsapo Port. You can enjoy driving or walking along the road while looking at all the petals on the trees, which look beautiful day or night. How to get there: Buses 39, 100, 139, 141, 200 or 1003. Get off at Moontan Road stop. △ Hwangnyeonsan Mountain is gorgeous in the spring.■ Hwangnyeongsan MountainIf you missed the starting gun on the trees in town, the cherry blossoms of Hwangnyeongsan Mountain bloom about a week later than in the rest of Busan, with countless blossoms coming together to create a wonderful spectacle.How to get there: Geumnyeonsan Station (metro line 2). Take a taxi up Hwangnyeonsan Mountain.CHERRY BLOSSOM FEVER Cherry blossoms have become very popular in Busan, and you you can see many of them on Dalmaji Hill, at Samik Beach Apartments in Namcheon-dong, as well as along the Oncheoncheon Stream in Dongnae-gu. However, just about every university campus and neighbourhood in Busan has streets lined with cherry blossom trees, so you'll never need to go very far to see them. I particularly like the cherry blossoms in Nam-san-dong, Geumjeong-gu. There are also many beautiful trees that line the Nakdong River, out by Sasang.One great place I recommend to see the cherry blossoms is in the mountains, far away from the crowds. If you're not an avid hiker or have limited time, I really recommend two places: Dalmaji Hill, in Haeundae, where you can grab a coffee and see a great view of the ocean and maybe even enjoy a short walk through the easy trails, and then the cherry blossoms that line the Samik Beach Apartments area at the far end of the Gwangan Beach. There will be a lot of people there on weekends, but the view is well worth it. Plus, you can end your visit with a great meal along the Gwangalli strip.By Michael Ryan Lesser- Busan Hiking Tours- Senior Editor of the Busan Beat- Professor at BUFS- firstname.lastname@example.org
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