South Korea 2015 - Day 1: From Incheon Airport to Busan - Gwangan (Gwangalli) Bridge & Beach

Monday, August 24, 2015

The long awaited second post of my Korea travelogue is here again. Check out the first post here if you've missed out previously. It was a 6-hour journey from Malaysia to Korea, we arrived Incheon Airport around 8am (Korea time zone +9, one hour later than Malaysia). 

We take a ride on KTX (Korea's high-speed train) from Incheon airport to Busan, there was a train depart around 10am but we missed it because we had our own sweet time "loitering" around Incheon Airport thus we have to wait for next ride @ 12pm. There are many cafe, coffee shop, restaurant and shops in Incheon Airport, do not need to worry that you will feel bored. 


Day 1: 3rd Feb 2015
Currency: KRW1,000 = USD1 = RM3.30 (easier to convert)

Hello Busan, here's the view after we walked out from Busan Station.

Before I share more about our first day in Busan, I would like to share more picture of our KTX jouney. As mentioned in previous post, it was a 3 and half hour jouney from Incheon Airport to Busan Station. and KTX will stop at 5 stations to drop off and pick up passengers.

KTX ticket price: KRW71,100 (RM250+) per person for one way.
I would advise to take bus to Busan instead, reason being the price is much cheaper and it is a 4 hours ride from/to Busan - Seoul, 1 stop in between. The bus ticket price at KRW24,600 (RM81+) per person which is triple-cheaper compared to KTX.

The overall journey with KTX was quite comfortable.

Winter view from KTX.

View from KTX - the toll.

First Korean meal on KTX - KRW10,000 (RM30), it comes with few dishes served cold, hot Korean white rice and a mini bottle of mineral water.

They didn't reheat the dishes, but it still taste good.

Finally, Busan station after 3 and half hour journey.
Cold weather yet it wasn't really windy, syok!

There were so many people queuing in front of this shop "삼진어묵 since 1953" thus we decided to queue as well to find out what is so special about this.

As you can see from the picture, the size is quite small, but I couldn't recall how much does it cost.

There are few fillings for you to choose, I think I had the potato one. Nothing special though. 

We were supposedly look for metro station to meet my couchsurfing host but we were lost and couldn't find the metro station. So we walked out from Busan station and get some fresh air first. It was still winter thus all the trees were "botak".

The water fountain right in front of Busan Station main entrance.

Our heavy luggage..
The orange luggage is empty actually, LOL! I'm well-prepared for shopping in Korea!!!!

.. in front of the signature water fountain, Busan Station.

Metro Station @ Busan.

It was really hard to communicate with others in Korea because most of the Korean can't and don't know how to speak English. After few attempts to ask few people / officer in Busan Station, I managed to find the metro station. All the way finding signage is written in English and Chinese as well, so we can easily find the next station we gonna go. 

Machine to buy metro ticket and to reload T-Money card (touch and go).
By using T-money card, it will be cheaper compare to buying individual ticket for each ride. 

We are going to Geumnyeonsan station (green line) to meet my host, but first we gotta go to Seomyeon (orange line) to transfer to green line. The whole journey took around 40 minutes from Busan Station.

Hello YOU, Hello ME.

When we reached Geumnyeonsan station (green line), we faced some problem. There are so many exit in the metro and I forgotten to ask my host which exit I should go? Poor thing was, the metro station don't have any free wifi and I didn't apply any internet data coz very expensive. I couldn't find my host!!!!! SOBS.

As I communicated earlier with my Busan host through Kakao with the free WiFi provided at Incheon Airport and Busan Station, she teaches me how should I transfer and take the metro to her place. Sadly, we've missed out the exit that I should take. I ran in and out from the station to look for my host but she's not there. So, I try to communicate with the people (young, and adult) in the metro station to borrow wifi but none of them could understand a single word of English. Then, I try to use translator yet it failed too. I feel so hopeless..... :(

We walked from the metro station to try out luck to borrow wifi from any "potential" shop, but most of the shops were closed. So, we dragged our tired body and heavy luggage to look for others to borrow WiFi. I came across a LG mobile shop and luckily they haven't close yet. Again, none of them can understand English and I use my translator. Finally, I managed to borrow WiFi from them and received messages from my host. The weather was really cold so my host went home to wait for my message. I get the LG staff to call my host and explained to her where we were. Thankfully!!!!!! I meet my host after few hours, it was really a tired day in Korea, our first day in Korea.

My first impression about Busan - Basically, NONE OF THE KOREAN WHO LIVES IN BUSAN CAN UNDERSTAND ENGLISH, REGARDLESS YOUNG OR ELDEST. 

It was a 5 minutes walking distance to my host's place from the metro station. After we rest and bath, our host - Alice suggested to bring us to Gwangan area for a warm and nice pork soup. Gwangan is famous for its Gwangan Bridge and Gwangan Beach, it was a 10 minutes walking distance from her place.

A hearty meal at Busan.

A bowl of hot piping soup to keep us warm in this winter, I feel so loved.

Pork Soup.

The delicious pork soup rice recommended by Alice. 

Say hello to my lovely host, Alice. She's really friendly and helpful, most importantly, a very independent lady. We didn't face any difficulty in communication because she studied English and she has a bf who speaks English too.


The dinner cost around KRW6,000 (RM20+) per pax, quite affordable. After dinner, we explored Gwangan area. There are many cafe, restaurant and shops around here, quite happening at night. 

Kedai Runcit kat Busan, Korea.

Cafe and restaurant...

The famous Gwangan (Gwangalli) Bridge and beach at night, this is one of the must visit place in Busan.

Gwangan Beach.

Gwangan Beach.

Gwangan Beach.

At Gwangan beach and the bridge.

The happening street at Gwangan.

Angel-in-us Coffee, one of the famous coffee chain in Korea.

Another beautiful coffee shop but we didn't pay any visit.

Both of this cost KRW2,500. The soju is really CHEAP! It cost less than RM5 per bottle.
We bought this and chill by the beach, the weather was quite cold but it wasn't too windy.

#TakPaham

The signature hawker stall at Korea.

Tables and chairs are provided in the tent for diners. So, not to worry if you will get cold.

After we strolled around Gwangan area, we went home earlier to have some quality time with Alice and play with her cutie rabbit name Cora. She's an active and big in size black rabbit.

It was really cold that night and I gotta wrapped myself with few jackets to keep me warm.

That's all for day 1 in Korea.
We can't wait to explore the beauty of Busan tomorrow..

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【Click HERE to browse other South Korea travelogue.
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