- Alleyway adventures on two feet are afoot On a clear day, the view from the top of Yeongdo Huinnyeoul Culture Village is jaw-dropping. There is life and stories hidden in alleys. In Busan, many narrow alleys tell many stories, each of them unique. The lives of refugees from the Korean War. Life during the Japanese occupation here in the first half of the 20th century. These historical alleys tell stories in far different ways than history books. In these modern times, these relics of a different Busan are garnering a lot of attention from people eager to learn more about the past. This month, Dynamic Busan highlights four distinctive alleys that should be explored, experienced and appreciated. While these alleys can be visited throughout the year, people can experience even more history and culture during the Old Downtown Alleyways Festival on May 26 and 27. Photo time for visitors to the 40 Steps Stairway during a festival. The 40 Steps Stairway will host an outdoor play, while traditional games and a flea market will be held in the Ibagugil alley. Songdo Alley will be the site of free food tastings, music performances and a photography exhibition of Songdo Beach, Korea's oldest public beach. Meanwhile, art from local creators will be displayed at the Huinnyeoul Culture Village in Yeongdo. 1. 40 Steps Stairway (40 계단) The origin of the 40 Steps Stairway dates back to the Korean War. This area in Jungang-dong (neighborhood), in Jung-gu (district), used to be filled with ramshackle shacks where sailors and refugees made their homes. In those days, the area was the transportation and administrative center of Busan and the 40 Steps Stairway was created to link the old Busan Station with the pier. Today, both residential and commercial enterprises have taken up residence here. Special themed streets have also been created in order to preserve the area's unique history. A monument at the entrance to the stairway greets visitors, while other monuments scattered throughout present life here from a different age, including monuments of an accordion player, middle aged man selling puffed rice, a mother carrying a child on her back and more. -How to get there: Jungang Station (Metro line 1), exit 11. Turn right at the BMW shop. Walk straight until the 40 Steps Stairway. ■ The 40 Steps Stairway memorial hall The 40 Steps Stairway Memorial Hall is the place where one can get a close-up look at the lifestyles of people following independence from the Japanese in 1945 until the Korean War. The hall, on the fifth floor of the Donggwang-dong Community Center, has many photographs of refugees, displays and more. Entry is free.-Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., weekdays; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., weekends. Closed Mondays. ■ 100-year fish book cafe (백년어서원) This cafe offers a variety of books such as philosophy, art and humanities, with various humanities classes held on weekends. While reading a book here is enjoyable, it's not the only way one can spend their time. The interior of the cafe offers great atmosphere for relaxation. For example, the 100 pieces of fish carved in wood covering a whole hardwood wall hypnotizes. -How to get there: Jungang Station (Metro line 1), exit 7. Walk straight past Standard Chartered Bank and turn right toward the alley. The cafe is located on the 2nd floor of the brick building. 2. Ibagugil Alley (이바구길) Traversing the historic 168 Stairs is sure to provide some exercise! Ibagugil Alley begins from Busan Station and continues to Sanbokdoro (mountainside road). This alley features memorials to the opening of Busan Port in 1876, the lives of refugees during the 1950s through the 1960s and the lives of citizens who participated in Korea's industrialization in the 1970s and 1980s. The alley's name, Ibagu, comes from the Busan dialect meaning of the word "story." Other sites along the alley include the wall of Namseon Warehouse, Busan's first warehouse and the site of the old Baekje Hospital, which has been transformed into a cafe. Other historical places like Cho-ryang Church, established in 1893, and the 168 Stairs make this a very interesting alley to explore. -How to get there: Busan Station (Metro line 1), exit 7. Walk one block and turn left at the Aritaum beauty shop. Walk for two minutes before seeing Brown Hands Baekje, the start of the alley. ■ Brown Hands Baekje A four-story red brick building once known as Baekje Hospital now provides care for people of a more caffeinated kind. Known as the first western style hospital in Busan, Baekje was built in 1920 but has since been reimagined as a cafe. While the inside is modern, its outer walls and timber construction are virtually unchanged from those earlier times. ■ 168 Stairs Looking for a little leg exercise? Follow along the wall of Choryang Church, which is covered with photographs and paintings, before reaching the 168 Stairs. This is a shortcut and the fastest way to get to Busan Port from Sanbokdoro, but is not traversed without effort. With a slope of 45 degrees across 40 meters, it's quite the climb. Those who brave the 168 Stairs, however, will be amply rewarded with an expansive view of Busan Port at the top. For those who cannot, or will not climb on foot, a monorail has been in place since 2016 that also gets the job done. ■ Kim Minbu Observation Area (김민부 전망대) There is a sign at the beginning of the 168 Stairs pointing right. Before braving the ascent, follow the sign to the Kim Minbu Observation Area, which was created to honor the poet best known in Korea for his poem "Waiting Heart." From the observation area, one can see the many residential areas packed along Sanbokdoro beneath the observation area platform. Busan Harbor Bridge and the ocean can be seen from there, as well. 3. Songdo Alley (송도 골목길) Songdo Beach has a history spanning over a century. It was the first beach in Korea, opening in 1913. While other beaches in recent years like Haeundae and Gwangalli have often received more attention, Songdo Beach's popularity is seeing a renaissance these days since a skywalk and cable car have been opened there. Besides the beach, there are several interesting alleys in the area. A food alley entertains the taste buds, while walking trails along the coast provide natural refreshment. The coastal trail starting from the western side of Songdo Beach to Amnam Park, in particular, offers lush scenery via the forest and ocean. -How to get there: Nampo Station (Metro line 1), exit 8. Walk 50 meters toward Yeongdo Bridge. Take bus 30 or 71 and get off at the Songdo Beach stop. ■ Skywalk The skywalk, allowing visitors to feel like they are walking across the ocean, is a must-visit when at Songdo Beach. The skywalk begins from the beach, moving across Turtle Island and toward a lighthouse. It's open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., allowing visitors to experience both day and night views. ■ Songdo Beach cable car The Songdo Beach cable car is back after almost three decades. Reopened in June 2017 after 29 years, the Songdo Beach cable car passes 86 meters over the ocean for 1.6 kilometers from Songnim Park on the east side of the beach to Amnam Park. The ride takes about eight minutes. The crystal cabin option is a very popular (read: expect to wait a while) option as its floor is made of see-through glass. -Tickets: 15,000 won, 20,000 won for the "crystal cabin."-Hours: 9 a.m to 10 p.m. (depends on weekdays) 4. Huinnyeoul Culture Village (흰여울문화마을) White stones and the blue ocean frame the impressively attractive Huinnyeoul Culure Village, located in Yeongdo-gu (district). The village, built on the edge of a seashore cliff, had a surplus of vacant houses as recently as 2011. Since then, however, a number of artists have moved in and began renovating the area, which has resulted in its growing popularity with tourists from across the nation. First timers might find getting to Huinnyeoul difficult, but the journey is well worth their time. Walking along the stonewall walkway while seeing a panorama view of small and large vessels on the ocean is quite a sight that cannot be experienced elsewhere. Taking pictures in front the well-crafted murals or having a nice cup of tea at a local cafe are other ways to enjoy the village. Be cautious, however, not to make too much noise when visiting. This is still home to people whose privacy must be respected. Be a courteous tourist. -How to get there: Nampo Station (Metro line 1), exit 6. Take bus 7, 71 or 508 and get off at Youngsun Apartment bus stop, the entrance of the village. Or, bus 6, 9, 82 or 85 and get off at Huinnyeoul Culure Village bus stop. Walk to the three-way intersection. The village entrance can be seen from here. ■ Jeoryoung Coastal Walk (절영해안산책로) Located near the Huinnyeoul Culture Village, this is one of the finest walking trails in Busan. It runs through Namhang-dong and Jungni harbor, connecting to Taejongdae Park. One can enjoy the view of the ocean through most of the walk. Mosaic tiles painted at the entrance, lighthouses and haenyeo (female divers), among other themed paintings can be seen along the way. An observation deck can also be accessed. Visitors to the observation deck can check out boats, Nam-hangdaegyo Bridge and Daemado Island if the sky is clear enough. Walk along the coastal trail until the pebble beach. From here, one can purchase the freshest seafood, caught by haenyeo on-site. Continue to Taejongdae Park, another excellent way to spend a couple hours. -How to get there: Nampo Station (Metro line 1), exit 6. Take bus 6, 7, 9, 70, 71, 82, 85 or 508 and get off at the Busan public health center bus stop.
- Baseball season is back again! Sajik Baseball Stadium Sajik Stadium is always filled with enthusastic cheering. Baseball season is back. Regular season play in the KBO League began on March 27. With Busan's hometown team, the Lotte Giants, entering the playoffs last year after a five-year absence, hopes for a repeat are sky high. Join in on that enthusiasm with a day at the 27,000-seat Sajik Stadium in Sajik-dong (neighborhood). Whether a baseball fanatic or not, it's hard to not have fun here. The first thing newcomers often notice is how excited Lotte Giants fans are about their team. From the chants to the cheers, including those from the team's official cheering team, fan appreciation and support are enormous aspects of the experience. Returning players from the team's successful 2017 season are hoping to continue last year's winning ways. Meanwhile, newcomer Byunghun Min is bringing his eight years with the Doosan Bears to the team. Expectations are high but so is the energy... will you be part of the excitement?-How to get there: Get off at Busan Sports Complex Stadium (Metro line 3), exit 9. Walk 10 to 15 minutes. The stadium is located across from Home Plus.-Tickets: Visit ticket.giantsclub.com or buy tickets at the Sajik Stadium ticket office. All tickets are available one hour prior to the game. General admission tickets range from 8,000 to 12,000 won. ■ Cheering culture The KBO League has tens of thousands of passionate fans across all 10 of its teams located across the country. But, let's be serious: Busan's passionate cheering culture outshines them all, going so far as to have garnered international attention in a 2014 New York Times article. Giants fans cheer with unmatched energy throughout all nine innings (sometimes more!), even when the odds seem insurmountable. Busan's distinctive dialect even makes an appearance in a number of classic Giants cheers. Impress fellow Korean baseball fans when you shout "ajura (give the ball to a child)!" or "ma (hey, you!)."A stadium packed with people shouting this word is enough to deflate many opponents. ■ Cheering tools Trash bags are not used solely for trash at Sajik Stadium. When the orange plastic bags appear, it's time to get creative. Originally handed out exclusively for trash collection, these bags have since become synonymous with Lotte Giants late-game cheering. By blowing air in the bags and putting them on heads, thousands of fans turn Sajik's stands into a sea of orange. If that's not enough to cheer about, some people also tear up old newspapers and shape them to make paper flower fans that are used like cheerleader pom poms. If neither of these appeal to you, though, there's always good old-fashioned shouting and singing. They are often effective, too. ■ Chow down All that passion, cheering and general merrymaking can be a little difficult to maintain without proper fuel. Fortunately, fans can bring outside food into the stadium. If you've arrived empty-handed while empty-stomached, however, fear not. There are plentiful food and drink vendors within Sajik Stadium that are happy to serve both western and more Korean-styled snacks at reasonable prices, including fried chicken and beer, one of Korea's most popular flavor combinations.
- Busan Citizens Park puts a spring in your step Busan Citizens Park A couple enjoys a relaxing afternoon looking through some of the lovely photos that can be taken during a visit to Busan Citizens Park. Busan Citizens Park, as the city's largest urban park occupying more than 470,000 square meters, has quickly become one of Busan's most popular destinations for outdoor activities since opening in 2014. Despite its youthful appearance, there is a wealth of history at Busan Citizens Park that stretches throughout much of the 20th century. Used as a racetrack in the early 1900s during the Japanese occupation period, it later served as a United States military base known as Camp Hialeah after the Korean War. The camp was closed in 2006, with all rights to the property returning to the city. As its name suggests, Busan Citizens Park has been transformed from a private entity to a destination for the people. The site offers lots of wide open lawns, copious trees, rivers, fountains and children's play facilities. Amid a density of development, Busan Citizens Park is an open space oasis and a perfect destination for a full day of fun for all. -Information: citizenpark.or.kr (Korean)-Hours: 5 a.m. to midnight daily ■ Relaxation destination Fancy a picnic? Head to the gigantic grass square in the middle of Busan Citizens Park. An area of about 40,000 square meters is waiting to welcome people, picnic blankets, tasty springtime snacking, an after-noon siesta and even perhaps a pickup game of Frisbee if you're feeling sporty. The stone bridge at Busan Citizens Park enjoys plenty of visitors throughout the day. Following one of several walking trails is another relaxing way to enjoy Busan Citizens Park. Various species of trees including button, ginkgo, zelkova, cherry blossom and pine can be found throughout the park. There are even tree decks and benches surrounding an artificial river for people to enjoy the sound of gentle water streams. ■ Art market An art market is held every Saturday along the park's forest trail from April through November. Between 10 and 20 local artists from Busan and throughout the region offer a number of metal accessories, pottery, wood crafts, paintings and more. Please note: the Busan Citizens Park art market is held from 2 to 6 p.m. during the spring only and will be open at different times during the summer and fall. ■ Learning center Want to get creative? Head to the park's learning center where anyone can create special memories by getting their hands on artistic projects. The learning center is in a remodeled building that once was the residence for noncommissioned officers at Camp Hialeah. Today, it's where resident artists produce textiles, prints, metal, ceramics and woodwork and where anyone can carve wood to make watches, sharpen metal for jewelry and much more. ■ Children's playground Busan Citizens Park offers plenty for everyone, even the little ones. Towers where children can climb, a large yard for active play, even a library themed after the popular Pororo cartoon are found here. A movie theater at the visitor's center shows short 3D movies from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, offering thrills for both children and adults. The short films are 1,500 won for children, 2,000 won for adults. ■ Book cafe What if what one really wants is a little quiet time with some excellent reading material? Head to the book cafe. Hidden away near the park's north side fourth gate, this area is also the site of the former Camp Hialeah commander's official residence. Read a book, sip a nice cup of coffee, whether inside the facility or at a bench nearby. Soak in a forested view and be relaxed. Find a book to read for free at the cafe or bring your own.-Hours: 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily -How to get there: Bujeon Station (Metro line 1), exit 7. Turn left at the Busan Bank intersection. Walk 10 minutes. Or, bus 33 at Lotte Department Store in Seomyeon, or bus 63 at Suyeong Station (Metro lines 2 and 3), exit 3. Get off at Busan Citizens Park stop.
- Surf or turf, hot or not, these recipes hit the spot Have you ever tried raw beef? While it might seem unusual to some western tastes, various styles of uncooked beef are enjoyed throughout the world and especially here in Busan, where yukhoe (Korean-style minced raw beef) maintains considerable popularity among many carnivores. This month, Dynamic Busan wants meat-eating readers to give this delicious dining option a try. If the idea of beef never kissed by flame is still a little too bold a choice for some, however, we are recommending some equally scrumptious agwijjim (braised spicy monkfish stew), as well. Together, these two Korean specialties are favored throughout the country but might seem unusual to some foreign tourists. However, those who take a leap of food faith into tasty territory are sure to be well-rewarded. Let's dive in together. ■ Choga Hanwoo (초가한우) Delicious raw beef bibimbap is served at Choga Hanwoo Choga Hanwoo (which translated into English means a straw-thatched roof and Korean beef), with its massive size, unique exterior and classically-styled interior, easily attracts attention even before diners take their first bites. Here, customers can purchase fresh hanwoo, Korean beef, on the first floor and then enjoy their choices on the second floor. Various cuts of beef including galbi kkotsal and anchangsal are used to make sogogi gukbap (boiled beef soup) with rice, raw beef bibimbap (rice mixed with vegetables) and more. The meat is always fresh and its high quality guarantees patrons an excellent meal, whether they favor their beef cooked or not. The dongjang (community head) in Suyeong-dong (neighborhood) recommends Choga Hanwoo's raw beef bibimbap, which costs 9,000 won. Diners are served a large bowl full of bean sprouts, radish shreds, spinach and seaweed flakes, with the star of the show, the seasoned raw beef, resting on top. This filling meal comes with banchan (side dishes), ample stir-fried beef and beef soup, as well. Those who come for lunch between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. can take advantage of the restaurant's 10,000 won lunch menu option, which offers lettuce leaves for wrapping, as well as a comforting bowl of either cold noodles or doenjang jjigae (bean paste stew).-Address: 719, Suyeong-ro, Suyeong-gu-How to get there: Suyeong Station (Metro lines 2 and 3), exit 3. Walk straight for three minutes. -Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily ■ Songee (송이) Agwijjim, braised spicy monkfish stew, is the main event at Songee in Gwangan. Busan, with its proximity to the ocean, is justifiably well-known for its abundance of available seafood. There are many types of fish to be enjoyed here, as well as many ways that fish can be prepared and served. Whether fresh or fried, boiled or braised, there truly are many dishes of fishes to feed every face. Agwijjim isn't as well-recognized a dish as others, however, even for Koreans. That does not mean monk-fish, bold in flavor and characteristics, should not be considered, especially at Songee in Gwangan. Historically, monkfish wasn't a fish Koreans ate on a regular basis. But, when chefs in Masan made agwijjim for the first time, they decided to try steaming as a way to bring out the best tastes and textures to this unusual sea-dweller. It worked, and the dish found its way to Busan. The Gwangan-dong community head praises Songee's agwijjim (35,000 won for enough food to feed three-to-four hungry patrons) for its plentiful, tender meat. "Monkfish marinated with thickened spicy sauces will make your mouth water," the community head said, noting spice levels can be adjusted according to preference. He also recommended diners order extra noodles made of potatoes to mix with the sauce. Many order monkfish soup, as well. Either way, anyone tucking in to a meal at Songee is certain to leave stuffed and satisfied.-Address: 23, Gwangseo-ro 10beon-gil, Suyeong-gu-How to get there: Suyeong Station (Metro lines 2 and 3), exit 10. Enter the alley on the right alongside Coffee Bean Cafe. Walk one more block and turn left.-Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily
- Fresh noodles, made with heart, for smiling mouths [Recommended Local Eateries] Handmade noodles Most noodle dishes at Geochang Kkamakguksu, whether served hot or cold, cost 6,000 won and come with a selection of various side dishes. For many, a bowl of noodles carries a spirit of the east, specifically East Asian countries like Japan, China and Korea, where they have enjoyed long culinary histories. This month, Dynamic Busan celebrates two restaurants specializing in handmade noodles. Paired with unique sauces and quality broths, their noodles get people talking, and slurping, bowl after bowl. ■ Geochang Kkamakguksu (거창까막국수) Geochang Kkamakguksu's dedication to their product is evident in how involved the restaurant is in every step, from milling their hand-crafted noodles, drying them, cooking them and ultimately served to their hungry, loyal customers. Geochang Kkamakguksu is a rare modern example of a restaurant that puts forth a considerable amount of effort in respecting and maintaining traditional methods when making their food. Noodles drying at Geochang Kkamakguksu The restaurant's dedication to tradition can be seen as soon as one arrives. Freshly-made noodles can be seen hanging for drying in a nice breeze. Neither preservatives or additives are used in these noodles, meaning they are about as fresh as one can get. A particular treat is when grains like brown rice, mung beans, soybeans, black rice and more are ground up to become the restaurant's famous black noodles. Most noodle dishes cost 6,000 won and come in a number of varieties, including cold noodles, noodles in hot soup, perilla leaf noodles and spicy noodles. Besides noodles, a lot of pride comes from the restaurant's selection of banchan (side dishes), which include locally-grown gochu-garu (red pepper powder) and Jeju-grown radishes for their kkakdugi (radish kimchi). Other dishes available for groups include bossam (boiled pork slices), ddeok galbi (grilled short rib patties), and kamja mandu (potato dumplings). Takeout is also available. -Address: 53, Gwajeong-ro 42beon-gil, Suyeong-gu-How to get there: Mangmi Station (Metro line 3), exit 2. Walk straight five minutes. Turn left at the alley next to a CU convenience store. The restaurant is nearby. -Hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Closed Sundays on every second and fourth week of the month. ■ Happy Noodles (행복한 국수) A bowl of Kongpuchino at Happy Noodles Take a stroll down several roads in Bugok-dong (neighborhood) to find a variety of quaint businesses occupying what once were primarily residences. One of these, Happy Noodles, has gained a cult-like following among its most passionate customers. While it can be difficult to find the first time, diners won't lose their ways again once they've gotten a taste. Happy Noodles, spelled out in Korean. The dongjang (community head) of the area notes the owner and chef runs both the restaurant and a factory where he makes these noodles daily. "The name of this restaurant is true, because everyone is filled with happiness after eating noodles here," the community head said. Besides getting a great bowl of food, the dongjang calls Happy Noodles a "noodle museum," where people can check out noodle-related antiques like a wooden roller and noodle-maker. One of the most popular menu items at Happy Noodles is their kongpuchino noodles for 6,000 won. If the unique name makes you think of a certain coffee drink, you're not far off. The dish was amusingly-named after cappuccino using kong, the Korean word for beans. Kongpuchino noodles, made from finely ground, homegrown beans, goes down as smoothly as a delicious caffeinated beverage. Bibimkuksu (cold noodles and mixed vegetables in a spicy sauce), also for 6,000 won, is another favored flavor. Whatever meal is ordered, customers are likely to leave Happy Noodles as happy as its name suggests. Unless, of course, they try to go for dinner; the restaurant is only open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is closed on Sundays.-Address: 31, Muhaksong-ro, Geumjeong-gu-How to get there: Jangjeon Station (Metro line 1), exit 2. Walk about five minutes toward Oncheoncheon Stream. Turn left into the alley next to Samsung Church (삼성교회). Walk until you reach the main road, then cross the road at the SK gas station. Walk one more block and turn left onto Muhaksong-ro.
- Long loyalty a testament to culinary quality [Recommended Local Eateries] Time-tested restaurants Beomil Bindaetteok has only two main items on its menu, which has not deterred customers from coming back again and again. Restaurants that have weathered time, the economy and fickle passing trends are restaurants worth inves-tigating. A restaurant that is able to stay open from generation to generation not only hones its recipes, but also creates passionately-loyal customers. This issue of Dynamic Busan features a pair of restaurants with long histories that date back many, many years. Explore their menus and start your own tasty tradition. ■ Beomil Bindaetteok (범일빈대떡) Frying bindetteok Bindaetteok (mung-bean pancake) and pajeon (scallion pancake) are two of the most popular Korean rainy day foods. The reason? The sound of rain reminds people of the sizzle of frying. It's quintessential comfort food. Beomil-dong (neighborhood) was one of a number of refugee towns in Busan during the Korean War. The Ministry of Transportation was established in Beomil-dong and many factories were built, which in turn brought many laborers. Restaurants that could offer nourishing food at affordable prices saw a niche and over the years found this to be a very welcoming home. People still brave the rain and venture out to the area, where customers line up for seats at one of several bindaetteok restaurants, including Beomil Bindaetteok, the favorite of the Beomil-dong dongjang (community head). First opened at Gukje Market in the early 1980s, the res-taurant moved to Beomil-dong 25 years ago. There's only two main items on Beomil Bindaetteok's menu: Nokdu bindaetteok, which includes chopped pork belly and spicy peppers in addition to the mung beans for 7,000 won, and haemul pajeon (seafood scallion pancake) for 9,000 won. All pancakes are cooked to order, resulting in meals that are crispy and piping hot. A bottle of smooth makgeolli (fermented rice wine) is the traditional ac-companiment, especially at the end of a long rainy day, where the sound of rain drops falling on roof tops calls to the hungry masses en masse, like a dinner bell.- Address: 519, Jungang-daero, Dong-gu- How to get there: Beomil Station (Metro line 1), exit 7. Walk behind Hyundai Department Store and cross the pedestrian overpass. Turn left and walk a couple minutes before seeing the restaurant across the street. Or, buses 17 or 67 in front of Lotte Department store in Seomyeon. Get off at Beomgok intersections bus stop (beomgeok gyocharo). - Hours: 3 p.m. to midnight daily. ■ Yetnal Omakjip (옛날오막집) Charcoal-grilled meats at Yetnal Omakjib Taste the tradition in every meal served at Yetnal Omakjip (ancient hut from a long time ago), which has been open in Dongdaesin-dong (neighborhood) since 1958. Specializing in grilled offal such as tripe, Yetnal Omakjip has continued an unbroken tradition that has spawned many regular customers. The dongjang of this area said the restaurant's name derived from its original design, a thatched hut. Many longtime residents of the area hold the restaurant in such high esteem that it has for years been the go-to choice for special occasions such as graduations and anniversaries. For those who have not had a lot of experience with consuming offal such as tripe, Yetnal Omakjip offers a great first impression for these iron rich meats, which are cleaned thoroughly before cooking. It was here that the consumption of grilled tripe and other organ meats was popularized in Busan, and Yetnal Omakjip continues to lead the pack among other, newer restaurants. Doenjang jjigae is a great way to end a meal Grilled tripe marinated in a sweet and spicy sauce gives diners a crispy and soft texture with aromatic, full flavor. The meat is grilled over charcoal, which imparts a smoky flavor that goes extremely well with a little soju (Korean liquor). Additional food to try at Yetnal Omakjip includes stir fried rice with lamb as well as "country style" doenjang jjigae (fermented soybean paste soup), which is cooked over charcoal at the table. An assortment of offal costs about 25,000 won.- Address: 14, Gudeok-ro 274beon-gil, Seo-gu- How to get there: Dongdaesin Station (Metro line 1), exit 7. Walk straight about three minutes. - Hours: Noon to 10 p.m. Closed Mondays.
- Master your mask Fine dust is a big problem here. More and more days have offered warnings of bad air quality due to elevated fine dust levels than ever before. It makes outdoor activities difficult and, for some, dangerous. When bad enough, official notices advise people from going outside. But, what if staying inside is not an option? The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety suggests wearing a face mask and offers advice for what seems now an essential outdoor item. Q: There are so many different masks! Which one should I buy? A: Look for the mark of "sanitary aid" and especially look for the symbol "KF," a measurement of efficiency in blocking particles. A mask without these two designations might not sufficiently function for fine dust pre-vention. Q: What does "KF" mean? Also, what are the numbers next to it? A: "KF" means "Korea Filter." The numbers after "KF" refer to the mask's effectiveness for the wearer breathing in fine dust. For example, "KF80" means the mask can filter more than 80 percent fine particles the size of an average of 0.6㎛ (micrometers). "KF94" and "KF99" can filter more than 94 and 99 percent of particles with the average size of 0.4㎛ and so on. The bigger number means a mask has been designed more finely, which could make it harder to breathe through. It is recommended to buy masks above "KF80" according to one's breathing condition and the level of fine dust. Q: How to wear a mask properly? A: Wear it tightly to ensure the most complete coverage. A bendable wire in the middle of the mask can be adjusted according to nose shape. Extend the mask's two strings toward the ears to fully cover mouth, nose and chin. Q: Are masks washable and reusable? A: This is not recommended. A used mask has already been contaminated by fine dust and germs. Additionally, fine dust blocking capabilities might be reduced if washed. Q: Would putting a handkerchief underneath a mask be more effective for fine dust prevention? A: This will reduce the mask's ability to block fine dust particles as it will not adhere as well to the wearer's face. Q: People with glasses may find a mask uncomfortable. Should they wear contact lenses instead? A: Wear glasses. The dust in contact with contact lenses could dry out eyes quickly, resulting in inflamation and itchiness.
- Butt out No smoking outside metro stations The entrances to all Busan Metro stations have been officially designated non-smoking areas. Going into effect last month, anyone caught puffing within 10 meters from the entrances may be subject to fines following an evaluation period. The ban comprises almost 750 areas of the city, including all numbered Busan Metro stations, all Busan-Gimhae Lightrail Transit stations and the Donghae Line. The city plans to conduct intensive surveying of the non-smoking areas, particularly during peak commuting times in the mornings and evenings, for five months. From Sep. 6 onward, a 20,000 won fine is expected to be imposed on anyone caught smoking at the metro entrances. The smoking ban was made in response to the many complaints that have been made by the public in regard to the effects of second-hand smoke and the inconvenience of non-smokers having to deal with cigarette smoke when entering or exiting metro stations. This most recent prohibition is the latest effort by city officials to curb public smoking. Previously, designated non-smoking zones within 10 meters of bus stops were introduced and another ban coming in December will prohibit lighting up within 10 meters of daycare centers and kindergartens.
- Friends, language keys to Kenyan's Korean success Musa Dan Karami has accomplished a lot since first moving to Korea in 2009. Adjusting to Korean life as a foreigner can be difficult. But, for those who put in the effort, life here has proven to be very rewarding. Musa Dan Karami is an excellent example of the power of hard work for those who choose to live in a new country. Q. Tell us a little more about yourself. A. I have lived here six years. The first time was August 2009 to July 2010 as an exchange student at Kosin University and the second was from February 2013 to now, as a master of arts student at Pukyong National University and as chief business development and marketing officer at Storypal. Q. What brought you to Korea? I first came to Busan in 2009 to learn about Korean culture and understand the reasons behind Korea's rapid economic growth. In 2013, I returned with the intention of pursuing higher education and deepening my understanding of Korean society and Korean economic development. Q. What has kept you in Busan? From the beginning I was in love with Busan. Living by the ocean was on my bucket list and that was achieved from the first day I landed in Busan. But, what truly made the most significant difference was the people I met. From my university professors, classmates, country mates, random people I meet on the streets, I found the people to be very friendly. Q. Did you have much trouble adjusting to Korean life? Adapting to life in Busan was possible thanks to many friends, both Koreans and foreigners. I was able to overcome culture shock and appreciate the culture. Language was a challenge. I think one can only fully enjoy and benefit from the wonders of Korea when they speak the Korean language. Q. Are there a lot of Kenyans in Busan? It is very hard to give an exact number of Kenyans in Busan since most are students and every year we have newcomers and some others going back home. On average we are now about 25 people. We usually organize meetings to discuss our plans for the year and share Kenyan meals among ourselves and also with our friends from all over the world. Every summer we organize an event at a beach in Busan where we invite all Kenyans in Korea to enjoy beach sports and bond with each other. We also participate in events in Busan such as the Global Gathering. This year, we are also having an African Cultural Festival on May 22 where we will participate and show our culture to Busan citizens. Q. It seems like you're quite busy! It is true that on top of being the Kenyan community chairperson, I am also the Busan African Union chair-person, board member of GGS (Global Green Stewards), editor at Busan Beat magazine and am working at Storypal. It seems a lot and maybe tiring but I want to give back to Busan and its citizens for all the good things I have enjoyed. As long as I have the strength I will always give my best for the people of Busan. Q. What do you do in your spare time? I love travelling, cooking and eating delicious food. I know so many restaurants I can recommend. If you would like to eat African food, though, I suggest attending the Af-rican Cultural Festival on May 22 at the Busan Cinema Center or get in touch with any of the Africans or representatives of African communities in Busan. For more information about the African Culture Festival, visit bfic.kr.
- Buddha and a beautiful park: perfect together The Seongjigok Reservoir, once a vital source of drinking water for Busan, is now an essential place for people to escape the chaos of city life for the peace and beauty of nature. Spring 2018 has reached middle age. The trees have all bloomed and the city is awash in green. So, it's a great time to enjoy all the lush foliage the season has to offer with a daytrip to Choeup-dong (neighborhood) in Busanjin-gu (district), home to Busan Children's Grand Park, the walking trails of Seongjigok Reservoir and the amazing annual Lotus Lantern Festival at Samgwangsa Temple. ■ Busan Children's Grand Park Busan Children's Grand Park is the most popular destination for picnics for elementary school students in Busan. No surprise, considering its name. The park is built along the Baegyangsan Mountain slope, which further affords the place some stunning views. Coupled with well-maintained walking trails, Busan Children's Grand Park attracts many more than just kids. Visitors can also check out the Seongjigok Reservoir, an ecological experiential center and forest trails inside of the park. In particular, the retinispora forest is a must visit destination. This area is packed with retinisporas, an East Asian variety of ornamental dwarf shrubs. Retinispora trees produce large amounts of phytoncide, which results in a pleasant scent and clean, fresh air for visitors. Busan's only zoo, Samjung the Park, is also located in Busan Children's Grand Park. Visitors to the zoo can see more than 1,000 kinds of reptiles and animals like penguins, otters, wild cats, ostriches and more.-How to get there: Seomyeon Station (Metro lines 1 and 2), exit 13. Walk straight toward Bujeon Market for about five minutes. Take bus 54, 81 or 133 and get off at Busan Children's Grand Park stop. Or, Centum City Station (Metro line 2), exit 2. Take bus 63 and get off at Busan Children's Grand Park stop. ■ Seongjigok Reservoir This beautiful reservoir area is registered in Korea as a cultural asset for good reason. Built in 1909 to provide clean drinking water to residents, Seongjigok Reservoir has been an invaluable asset to Busan residents for over a century. While the reservoir no longer serves in its original role as a drinking water provider, it remains well-loved by locals due to its incomparable beauty. There is a beautiful wooden deck pathway along the reservoir area, where visitors can experience the changing seasons.-How to get there: Follow the signpost from the entrance of Busan Children's Grand Park. Walk up along the mountain slope for 20 minutes. ■ Samgwangsa Temple For many Buddhists, Buddha's Birthday and the celebrations surrounding it can be compared in importance to Christmas for Chris-tians. This year, the holiday is on May 22 and Samgwangsa Temple will once again be lit up in grand fashion for the occasion. Samgwangsa Temple, located halfway up Baegyangsan Mountain, is a 120,000 square-meter behemoth. Its extensive grounds contain lanterns that create immense wonder after the sun goes down. In 2012, Samgwangsa Temple was recognized internationally by CNN as one of Korea's most beautiful places. Approximately 50,000 lotus lanterns are lit every night at the temple from the end of April through May 22. Built in 1986, Samgwangsa Temple is a representative of the Cheontae Order, one of Korea's mainstream Buddhist denominations. Its nine-story, 30 meter-high Dabotap Tower is notable as the largest stone pagoda in Asia. -Address: 29-7, Choeupcheon-ro 33beon-gil, Busanjin-gu-How to get there: Take mini bus 15 in front of the medical center across from Lotte Department Store in Seomyeon and get off at Samgwangsa Temple stop.
- Yeongju-dong is a mountainous time machine Daytripping in Busan 3: Yeongju-dong Democracy Park, located on the top of Bosu Mountain, was created in 1999 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of a resistance movement in the area that fought against unfair elections. Where can one go to not only take in a beautiful waterside view but also experience living, breathing history up close and personally? Located near Busan Station, Yeongju-dong (neighborhood), in Jung-gu (district) was founded on a mountainous slope that served as home to thousands of refugees during the Korean War. Apartment complexes with decades of history and clusters of humble single-family homes show an aspect of daily life that seems locked in another time. Ocean views from Busan Port during the day are excellent, and night views are also stunning, as Busan Harbor Bridge and city lights dominate the eye. Here are a few suggestions to make a trip to Yeongju-dong worthwhile, whether by day or night. ■ Democracy Park Climb to the top of Bosu Mountain to find democracy. Democracy Park was founded in October 1999 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of a resistance movement in the area that fought against unfair elections and to honor democracy movements throughout Korean history. Visitors can check out historical relics and photographs at the park's memorial building, which is surrounded by an arboretum, promenade and other places to rest and reflect. A 20-meter-tall sculpture of a torch soars high in the center of the memorial building, which lights up dramatically at night. Donarium cherry trees are gorgeous at Democracy Park. The middle of April is an especially excellent time to visit Democracy Park, as it is full of the donarium variety of cherry trees, which reach their most beautiful, colorful peak this time of year. -How to get there: Busan Station (Metro line 1), exit 7. Take bus 43 and get off at Jungang Park Minju Park stop, the last stop. -Information: demopark.or.kr/eng ■ Diorama Observatory When the sun is setting and darkness is descending into the city, lights from every corner of Busan rise and shine like an explosion of stars. At Diorama Observatory, on Sanbokdoro (Mountainside Road), visitors have the opportunity to soak up much of these wonderful vistas from several vantage points. Some dramatic views available from Diorama Observatory include Busan Harbor Bridge, Busan Port, Sinseondae Cliff, Yongdusan Mountain Park, as well as much of the city. Several buses will take visitors to the top of the mountain and run along the winding Sanbokdoro, enabling people to appreciate the beautiful night view by bus on the way up. -How to get there: Bus 190 from in front of Busan Station square, bus 86 from exit 7 of Beomnaegol Station (Metro line 1), or bus 186 from exit 1 of Jurye Station (Metro line 2). Get off at Yeongju three-way intersection (영주삼거리) stop. Walk straight until you see Diorama Observatory. ■ Monorail If getting up to some of Yeongju-dong's highest peaks might prove to be a little too difficult, or you're simply just seeking a different way to get there, consider refreshing your life with a train. A shiny, orange colored monorail, launched in 2016, provides passengers a more relaxed and stress-free way of climbing the steep hills around Diorama Observatory and Sanbokdoro. It takes about one minute to reach the last station from Busan Digital High School, where its route begins. The monorail service was originally launched to minimize inconvenience for elderly locals. It runs daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. -How to get there: Busan Station (Metro line 1), exit 7. Take bus 43 and get off at Busan Digital High School stop.
- Fishing village connects humans to the sea Daytripping in Busan 2: Yeonhwari Lighthouses and small boats paint a peaceful picture along the Gijang shore. Looking for relief from the constant noise of a busy city? An easy trip out to Yeonhwari is a great way to enjoy simple pleasures on an early spring day. Yeonhwari is a small fishing village located along the sea in Gijang. Fishing boats of various sizes are anchored along its shoreline, and their bounty can be enjoyed at the many raw fish restaurants greeting customers nearby. Yeonhwari has garnered greater attention in recent years due to social media outlets like Insta-gram, which have highlighted the area's slower pace, quiet corners and notable attractions like the haenyeo (women divers) village. -How to get there: BEXCO Station (Metro line 2), exit 9. Or, Haeundae Station (Metro line 2), exit 7. Take bus 181 to the Yeonhwari stop. ■ Haenyeo village While the legendary haenyeo of Jeju Island have received the most local and international attention, congregations of women whose livelihoods have depended on their ability to collect saleable sustenance from the seas have existed in many shoreside parts of Korea for generations. While their numbers have declined in modern times, many independent, hard-working haenyeo continue to dive, including at Yeonhwari. The Haenyeo Village here can be found where Yeonhwari and Daebyung Port meet, where a number of ships are anchored. Female divers, many of advanced years, sell seafood here that was just caught with the same hands that clean the fish and seaweed that is then presented to customers to buy and enjoy. The connection between humans and nature on display is powerful. Nearly 20 stalls are regularly open, offering similar stock at comparable prices, usually between 30,000 and 50,000 won for generous portions. As with anything in nature, the sizes and quantities of some items can vary, but customers can usually find plentiful sea squirts, sea cucumbers and conch, which are sliced into small pieces on the spot. Jeonbok juk (abalone rice porridge) is a particularly pleasant and highly recommended treat when enjoyed at the haenyeo village. This fresh, aromatic and very tasty porridge, at 10,000 won, tends to glow with the bluish green color of the tender abalone, adding to an already delightful dining experience. ■ Orangdae Orangdae is a lovely place where one can appreciate the sound of waves lapping along the shore. This park area, created to provide a peaceful respite, has gained popularity among many photographers seeking the perfect sunrise shot. Who can blame them? Photos of the sunrise between rocks soaring above shallow sea waters is enough to make one's heart skip. A small Buddhist hermitage at the edge of the rocks on the seashore easily draws eyes its way. The statue of a dragon king sitting inside further enhances this transcendant scene.-How to get there: Haeundae Station (Metro line 2), exit 7. Take bus 181 and get off at the Haegwangsa Temple stop. Walk for 10 minutes toward the beach. ■ Lighthouse tour Gijang is known as a great place to visit the past through its many humble fishing villages, each with their own uniquely designed lighthouses. In fact, some people even come to Gijang for the lighthouses alone. Several lighthouses can be easily seen from Seoam Port in Yeon-hwari. The Feeding Bottle lighthouse was built with the purpose of encouraging childbirth. It is made of tiles that carry the impressions of 144 local children's feet and hands. The Cockscomb lighthouse, located opposite the Feeding Bottle lighthouse, features a red structure designed to look like the house plant sticking out toward the sea. Look further out to the sea to find the Jangseung (Korean totem pole) light-house. Its slanted eyes and white teeth look like a totem built by ancient hands. -How to get there: Bus 181 from Haeundae Station (Metro line 2), exit 7. Get off at Yeonseo Church stop. Walk five minutes toward the beach. ■ Cafes near the beach A local cafe provides a lovely view. There are many attractive and simple cafes in the Yeonhwari area that are also worth the journey. Walk around and discover your new favorite. The most famous cafe in the area is Beomgorae Cafe. This converted three-story structure serves beverages, homemade cookies and croissants, as well as a variety of familiar and favored coffee drinks. But, don't take our word for it. Explore Beomgorae Cafe, as well as the rest of what Yeonhwari has to offer, and enjoy a wonderful daytrip right here in Busan.