- Summertime outside: the natural way to enjoy this season Are your feet getting a little achy in those cramped hiking sneakers? Along the red clay trail at the Hoedong Reservoir, barefoot travel is not just a fantasy. Pack your backpacks with some water and snacks. Get those sneakers on. Don't forget your sunscreen (unless the sun's already gone down)! It's time for a natural getaway. Here are five of the finest options Busan has to offer. Amisan Mountain Observatory Park A gorgeous sunset, seen from Amisan Mountain Observatory Park. Some of Busan's finest, most awe-inspiring sunsets can be found on Dadaepo Beach, in Saha-gu (district), located in the far southwestern corner of the city. Perhaps even finer are those that can be viewed close by and a bit higher up, at Amisan Mountain Observatory Park. Located between Lotte Castle apartments and Molundae Apartment in Dadae-dong (neighborhood), Amisan Mountain Observatory Park might be the best place to view the mouth of the Nakdonggang River. The Nakdong Estuary Delta was designated as a natural monument that has allowed more than 100,000 migratory birds, including a wild goose and whooper swan to take up residence. Several sand islands were formed at a point where the Nakdonggang River and the southern sea meet, making for a most charming view.Head to Amisan in the late afternoon, just before sunset. As the sun falls across the Nakdonggang River, a breathtaking view of blazing scarlet over the river emerges. Besides the incredible nature, exhibitions on the Nakdonggang Sand Island and migratory birds are available in the observatory building. Additionally, another observatory deck is on the rooftop to observe the Nakdonggang River. Geojedo Island, Busan Harbor, even the Sasang area can be seen from here when the weather is clear.-Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Entry available until 5 p.m. Closed Mondays.-Address: 77, Dadaenakjo 2-gil, Saha-gu-How to get there: Dadaepo Beach Station (Metro line 1), exit 1. Walk 15 minutes toward Molundae Apartment. The observatory deck can be seen after passing by the apartment. Yongso Well-Being ParkTrees, lakes and hiking routes provide an excellent blend of both invigorating activity and mind-calming peace. Gijang's Yongso Well-Being Park is a great place to obtain all three.Not widely known even to local residents, Yongso Well-Being Park promises a quiet place to get back to nature. With all the hustle and bustle this country's second-largest city offers, this park can feel like one is entering a totally different world. The reservoir, dam and lush, densely-packed trees at the foot of the mountains create a fairytale-like scene.The park, opened in 2008 on what was once an agricultural reservoir, is surrounded by quiet mountains, reservoirs and lakes. An anchored ship could make for a neat photo. A fountain installed in the middle of the lake is pretty cool (pun intended), too. A wobbly bridge above a shallow part of the lake can be traversed by the bold. Or, head to the nearby playgrounds with the kids. Also check out the park's attached sporting facilities. The options are plentiful.A wooded, well-maintained hiking path through the park takes about an hour to traverse. With nearly 60,000 trees such as metasequoia and zelkova planted along both sides of its road, peace is only as far as one's feet will take them. Additionally, pavilions, observatory decks and wild flower gardens can also be found in every corner of the park.For those looking for lasting peace of an even more meditative method, take a trip up the mountain to find Yongeumsa Temple. However one approaches Yongho Well-Being Park, they are sure to leave refreshed.-Address: 35, Eumnae-ro 50beon-gil, Gijang-eup, Gijang-gun-How to get there: Haeundae Station (Metro line 2), exit 1. Take bus 39 and get off at the Gijang Elementary School (기장 초등학교) stop. Walk straight two minutes and turn left at the intersection. Walk another 10 minutes toward Seobu Jugong Apartment until you see the entrance. Or, Gwangan Station (Metro line 2), exit 1. Take bus 1003 and get off at Gijang Elementary School stop. Namgu Uam-dong Urban Forest "A Lovely Night," a scene from the 2016 romantic musical La La Land, features the love struck leads played by Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone tap dancing to the film's catchy, jazz-influenced soundtrack. All of this is played out in a dreamy park, as evening descends upon the couple and the city below. Some have compared Namgu Uam-dong Urban Forest to this magical place, going as far as unofficially dubbing it "La La Land in Busan." Whether one has seen the movie or not, this park is sure to leave a lasting impression.Open since 2011, Uam-dong Urban Forest is a small 20 square-meter oasis located in an area already starkly different than much of the rest of the city, as it is dominated by many port-side distribution businesses and their requisite freight carriers along Busan Harbor. Park designers gathered suggestions from local residents on how to get the most of the space, which included requests for rest areas for seniors, sports facilities and walking trails. Observatory decks in the upper part of the park were established, with a promenade set up on the lower part. A variety of plants including retinispora, royal azalea and camellia were planted along the promenade. Each of these plants bloom at different times of the year, allowing visitors a colorful treat no matter which season they stop by for a visit.Busan Harbor can be seen from the top of the park, which provides a fantastic vantage point. Visit at night to truly get that "La La Land" vibe, as the lights from nearby Busan Harbor Bridge shine down romantically upon the park. Break out your tap shoes, bust out the movie soundtrack and dream of dancing the night away, with the city as your backdrop and the night sky as your audience.-Address: 127-45, Uam-dong, Nam-gu-How to get there: Munhyeon Station (Metro line 2), exit 1. Take minibus 5 and get off at Hanssem Daycare Center (한샘어린이집) stop. The park is located near Namgu Welfare Center. Gudeok Culture Park Gudeok Culture Park, located above Gudeok Tunnel in Seogu, is a place where beautiful nature and informative culture meet. The park begins from a promenade formed along the lush forest of Gudeoksan Mountain. Besides a natural escape from modern life, it is a cultural park with several areas offering different themes. The History of Korean Education Hall, for example, offers entertaining education on the Joseon Dynasty era, Korean War and even more recent history. There is a section of the park that recreates an old and traditional school. Hundreds of historic school materials such as school uniforms, notebooks, text-books, graduation albums and more are exhibited. At the folk living style hall, one can witness items that were part of old Korean life, including a thatched-roof house, folk goods and more. A free horticulture hall, one of the highlights of Gudeok Culture Park, can also be enjoyed during any visit. Its humid atmosphere, providing moderate warmth and moisture for a variety of plants, is palpable as soon as one enters the greenhouse. There are subtropical plants and sculptures made of stone arranged here and there. A walking path through the park takes about an hour and provides a leisurely, energizing afternoon with only a little challenge. A smaller retinispora forest trail within can be traversed in about 20 minutes, when time is a bit shorter but one's desire for a natural respite is strong. -Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m from March through October; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from November through February. Closed Mondays. -Address: 73, Kkonmaeul-ro 163beon-gil, Seo-gu-How to get there: Seodaesin Station (Metro line 1), exit 3. Take mini bus 1 and get off at Gudeok Flower Village (구덕꽃마을) stop. Cross the street and follow the arrow sign's upper direction toward the mountain. Hoedong Reservoir and Oryundae The most popular walking trail in Busan can be found in Hoedong-dong, Geumjeong-gu. The trail was created along the Hoedong Reservoir, the largest reservoir in Busan, which played an historical role as a primary drinking water source. For that reason, it was designated a conservation area, with entry banned 45 years. The ban was lifted in 2010. Oryundae, a lakeside cliff within the area, provides a magnificent view of the reservoir area. Its name originally meant a place where five wise elderly people spent time together. People who studied there during the Joseon Dynasty era praised and admired the place and started to affectionately refer to it as Oryundae. The lake and mountain top provide stunning scenery that can be observed from the comfort of the Oryun-dae observatory deck. The hiking trails here are well maintained and include flatlands, mountain paths, forests and lakes. The red clay forest comes highly recommended. The red clay road in the middle of the forest can even be walked upon barefoot. *Check the map and courses for Heodong Resorvoir Trekking here: http://tour.geumjeong.go.kr/download/tour/hoedongsuwonji.pdf-How to get to`A' course: Guseo Station (Metro line 1), exit 2. Take mini bus 3-1 and get off at Sundong Sanghyeon Village (선동상현마을) stop. Follow the hiking trail downward toward Oryundae. It takes about an hour for the accessible 4.8 km course. -How to get to`B' course: Jangjeon Station (Metro line 1), exit 4. Take mini bus 5 and get off at the last stop, Oryun Bon-dong Village (오륜본동마을). It is recommended to climb up to Oryundae or observe the mountain scenery from the wooden deck. -How to get to`C' course: Pusan National University of Education Station (Metro line 1), exit 2. Take bus 179. Or, Suyeong Station (Metro lines 2 and 3), exit 17. Take bus 42. Or, Yeonsan Station (Metro line 1), exit 12. Take bus 99. For all buses, get off at Hoedong-dong stop, the last stop. Walk toward the reservoir management office from the bus stop to find Hoedong Dam. Make a turn right at the entry for a great view of Oryundae and Bueongsan Mountain (부엉산) on the left. It takes three hours to complete the hike and can be challenging for beginners or veteran hikers who might be somewhat out of practice.
- 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.
- Hot pots full of healthy soups and stews for you There is no shortage of hot soup meal options in Korea. Whether for warming up a chilled winter night, or cooling down during the boiling summer months, hot soups of various kinds can be enjoyed throughout the country, throughout the year. This month, we are highlighting a pair of delicious soups: mushroom hot pot made with a variety of mushrooms cooked at the table and chueotang, a thick, classic seafood soup that, while not as widely known these days, should absolutely be on one's Korean culinary radar. ■ Woong Yi's Papa (웅이아부지) Woong Yi's Papa, in Seo 2-dong, is a prime example that worthy restaurants don't always feature a ton of online reviews. This one does, however, come highly recommended by the area's dongjang (community head) for its delectable beoseot jeongol (mushroom hot pot), which offers a variety of different mushrooms cooked in a large pot at the diner's table. The restaurant has not gone completely under the radar, as plenty of neighborhood residents pack the place for lunch every day. The owners tout their wholesome ingredients that do not include any artificial flavors or seasonings. The most signature food is the neung-i mushrooms hot pot. Only home- grown mushrooms are used, most prominently the neung-i variety, followed by other delicious ingredients like oyster mushrooms, king oyster mushrooms and winter mushrooms. There's also an ample amount of beef, green onions, cabbage, spinach, carrots and more cooked together to create this stupendous stew. Several hungry diners will be stuffed from each 25,000-to-35,000 won set. Single serving lunch menu prices are kept reasonable, as well. Mealtime classics like sundubu jjigae (soft tofu stew), doenjang jjigae (soybean paste stew), or kimchi jjigae (kimchi stew) are offered for 5,000 won.-Address: 48, Seodongjungsim-ro, Geumjeong-gu-How to get there: Myeongnyun Station (Metro line 1), exit 3. Take bus 189 and get off at the Back Gate Sewoong Central Hospital (세웅병원 후문 정류장) stop. Follow the direction of traffic for a couple minutes before seeing the restaurant on the first floor of a brown brick building next to a parking lot. -Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Closed Sundays. ■ Lee Baek's Namwon Chueotang House (남원추어탕 이백집) For Koreans, chueotang is a go-to dining choice when one is feeling under the weather. A thick and hearty soup of boiled and blended loach fish, chueotang offers the kind of comfort Koreans crave when sick. While the beginning of autumn is prime loach season, it can be enjoyed throughout the year. Chueotang's restorative powers aren't just superstition, either. With a full slate of protein, calcium and minerals in every bowl, this is a meal full of power in every bite. The Geoje 4-dong community head enthusiastically endorses Lee Baek's Namwon Chueotang House, one of the most popular "get well soon" restaurants among neighborhood residents. A sign outside informs customers that this restaurant offers chueotang in the style of the southern part of Jeollanam-do (Jeolla province), which is thicker and richer than the other popular style of Gyeongsangdo, which features clear broth by straining the blended loach through a sieve. This restaurant boils whole loach in a pot, separates the meat from the bones and then returns the meat back to the pot, along with dried Chinese radish, which helps to deepen the flavor of the dish.Besides this hearty soup, which costs 8,000 won per serving, a side of boiled beef accompanies every meal. A variety of loach-centric dishes are also available here including deep fried loach, which is very popular among locals.-Address: 62-7, Haemaji-ro 31beon-gil, Yeonje-gu-How to get there: Geojehaemaji Station (Donghae Line), exit 1. Walk three minutes toward Yangjeong (opposite from the Saemaeul finance firm). Follow Haemaji-ro 57 between Geoje-dong Church and Cleantopia five minutes, then turn right at an apartment complex. The restaurant is located on the first floor of a small apartment building on the right. -Hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
- 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.
- U.S. citizen outreach event The American Citizen Services (ACS) from the Consular Section of the United States Embassy and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Field Office will provide off-site services at the U.S. Consulate in Busan next month. During these special visits, scheduled for 1 to 5 p.m. July 19 and 9 a.m. to noon July 20 and located at the U.S. Consulate in Busan, Room 612, Lotte Gold Rose Building, 993 Joongangdae-ro, Busanjin-gu, U.S. citizens can apply for U.S. passports and Consular Reports of Birth Abroad documents. A consular officer will also be available during these information sessions for notary services and to provide information regarding voting, federal benefits and registration with the U.S. Embassy. The consular staff will also be available at this time to assist with emergencies involving U.S. citizens.No appointment is required for most services but those interested should check the Embassy website, kr.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services, email SeoulinfoACS@state.gov or call 02-397-4114 just in case.
- It's the arts "Walking in Sadang-dong in the Rain," from 2014. The works of British pop artist Julian Opie are currently on display at the F1963 arts building in Mangmi-dong (neighborhood) in Suyeong-gu (district) until June 24. Opie first visited the former wire manufacturing building-turned-arts enclave in September and began crafting his current exhibition from then, based on his impressions of the city and of F1963.Four different sections comprise the Julian Opie exhibition, including an exhibit focused on faces, LED panels used in scenes from Seoul and Busan on trains, tunnels, airplanes, a large wooden sculpture depicting a medieval town and even a castle piece that was created specifically for F1963. Opie, most closely connected to the New British Sculpture movement, first came to prominence in the early 1980s. His work has been heralded for its offbeat approaches and reinter-pretations of ordinary objects amid urban life as well as within architecture. "I tried to apply a diverse variety of skills for this exhibition hosting in Busan," Opie said in a press release regarding this latest exhibition. "I wanted to utilize the bamboo garden, situated outside of the F1963 art building, as one of the exhibition spaces. It reminded me of the Kung Fu movie scene filmed at a bamboo forest. I wanted to express the interaction between nature and human beings." Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Last entry is at 5:30 p.m. Closed Mondays. -Admission: 10,000 won for adults, 7,000 won for teenagers, 5,000 won for children -How to get there: Suyeong Station (Metro lines 2 and 3), exit 5. Take bus 54 to the Sangjeong Apartment bus stop. Or, Mangmi Station (Metro line 3), exit 1. Take mini bus 2, also to the Sanjeong Apartment stop. The F1963 arts facility is located near Costco.-Information: f1963.org/en
- Craft beer festival A tap takeover event highlighting more than a dozen Korean craft breweries is set for June 15 through 17 at Skoll in Seomyeon. The event will offer unlimited craft beers from breweries from Busan, Ulsan, Jeju, Andong, Seoul and more. Brewery representatives are scheduled to be available for discussion and there will be various souvenirs available for purchase. Early bird pricing is 16,000 won, which includes unlimited beer on one of the event days and is available in limited quantities. General admission is 20,000 won. -Information: 010-4779-6951, email@example.com (English available), on Kakao at "skoll," or Instagram @skoll_pub.
- Plan a trip to one of Busan's most famous places Daytripping in Busan 5: U-dong The sun sets upon the Nurimaru APEC House on Dongbaekseom Island. Welcome to Busan's signature destination. When people think of U-dong (neighbor-hood), the Suyeonggang River that runs th-rough Haeundae Beach, Centum City and Marine City comes to mind. Skyscrapers, as well, which rise dominantly in clusters around the Korea's most famous beach. Amid some of Busan's most impressive high rises, a traditional market is also here, not far from Haeundae Station. U-dong also has Jangsan Mountain, an excellent library and even more reasons many residents here find any excuse to not travel far.For our latest daytrip, Dynamic Busan is heading out to Haeundae and U-dong. Take a nice walk on Dongbaekseom Island or an energizing bicycle ride on the Suyeonggang River. Catch a great movie at the Busan Cinema Center during its summertime outdoor movie screenings. Or, how about visiting fancy coffee shops or restaurants along the back street of the old Haeundae train station? There's more than a day's worth of fun activities to dis-cover. ■ Dongbaekseom IslandNamed after the camellia flower that occupies much of the place, Dongbaekseom Island today is actually attached to the mainland. Its lovely flowers and excellent walking paths are a perfect place to get some exercise and appreciate the ocean.There is a nice promenade here, which attracts visitors day and night. Be sure to check out the Nurimaru APEC House and observatory while visiting. Tours of where the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) leaders meeting was held in 2005 should be on the agenda, as well as a stop into the observatory, which offers a beautiful and expansive view of the Gwangandaegyo Bridge.The Bay 101, located at the Dongbaekseom Island entrance, is another popular tourist attraction in an area that is full of them. Many enjoy taking pictures of the area at night, when the lights from the many skyscrapers in nearby Marine City create some pretty dramatic images.-How to get there: Dongbaek Station (Metro line 2), exit 1. Walk straight along Dongbaek-ro. Cross the street at Dongbaek intersection and walk straight toward Westin Chosun Hotel. ■ Suyeonggang RiverThe majestic Suyeonggang River flows between Millak and Haeundae and is the second longest river in Busan. A lovely walking and bicycling trail on both sides of the river encourage outdoor activities, while installed lights along the promenade create beautiful reflected night views along the water. Kayaking is recommended and is available at a booth situated in front of Hyundai apartment building 103. Kayaks are available until October every day except Mondays. Online registration in advance is available on sek.or.kr (only in Korean) or those interested can register on the spot. Densely-packed high-rise buildings behind anchored yachts where the river and ocean meet make for a unique view. Yacht tour programs are available from here.-How to get there: Millak Station (Metro line 2), exit 2 or Centum City Station (Busan metro line 2), exit 12. Connect to the Su-yeonggang River in five-to-10 minutes. ■ Busan Cinema Center Busan Cinema Center, with its arresting architecture and dramatic lights, illuminate the Centum City sky and makes for some beautiful nighttime scenery along the Suyeonggang River. Visitors can enjoy a variety of films across genres, from independent movies to popular blockbusters.Busan Cinema Center also hosts music performances such as musicals and other con-certs. It conducts film-related lectures on how to produce films, write scenarios, edit images and more. The center also has a film resource room for film buffs and the rest of the public who want to go even deeper into film appreciation.Be sure to check out Busan Cinema Cen-ter's outdoor theater, which can accommodate nearly 4,000 people. Films can be enjoyed outside at night at 8 p.m. Wednesdays from June to September.-How to get there: Centum City Station (Metro line 2), exit 12. Walk to the corner and turn right. Walk for 10 minutes. Busan Cinema Center is located shortly past Shinsegae Department Store. *Schedule of Movie screeningsJuneTue. June 12: Hacksaw RidgeWed. June 20: NeerjaWed. June 27: PlatoonJulyWed. July 4: Still WalkingWed. July 11: GuzaarishWed. July 18: Earth: One Amazing DayWed. July 25: NutcrackerAugustWed. August 1: Cirque du Soleil Worlds AwayWed. August 8: The ShowerTue. August 14: Dead Poets SocietySeptemberWed. September 19: Spotlight
- 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.