A New Perspective: The Train to Busan

Guest Post by Kevin Cha, a Junior at Foster studying Information Systems. Kevin studied at Yonsei University in Korea through the Foster Exchange program. 

Busan is a well-known city in South Korea. It is a port city located on the southern part of South Korea. It is probably the 2nd most well-known city after Seoul, especially after the release of Korea’s first zombie film, Train to Busan. Busan is best known for its seafood, and especially popular in the summer for its beaches.

Luckily for me, it is very easy to visit even for a day. You can buy a 2 hour one-way train ticket for a KTX train from Seoul to Busan. Because of this, we decided to hop on a train in the morning and return to Seoul early the next morning. If we really wanted to, we could have had left at night, but we wanted to experience Busan at night as well. It was also convenient that Busan had an efficient subway system (but not as nice as Seoul’s.)

We first visited a well-known temple in Haeundae called Haeundae Yonggunsa Temple. It is a very beautiful temple and a nice area to walk around. Afterwards, we headed towards Jagalchi Fish Market which is the famous fish market where people can walk around and buy fish. We could have bought fish and had one of the local restaurants cook it for us, but we chose not to due to time constraints. We visited the famous Gamcheon Culture Village which contains a lot of small colorful houses. Many people go during the daytime, but we went in the evening and I would argue it is even prettier due to the street lights and light from the sun.

After doing the exploring aspect of our trip, we decided to explore Biff square during night. It is a nice area to go shopping, drinking, and eating. We tried the unique hotteok/sweet pancakes with brown sugar syrup filling. The uniqueness came from the nuts that were added to the filling. It was amazing and a game changer for me. It was a beautiful place to walk around, eat, and drink especially due to the fact it was the holiday season, so the streets were decorated with all these Christmas lights.

Since we decided to have our train back to Seoul at 5 am, we decided to stay at a Jjimjilbang/Public Bath House. It was only $12/person and we had the opportunity to bathe, use saunas, easily obtain snacks, etc. It was a better deal than finding a hotel or an Airbnb for a night. I love Busan as a place to visit and only wish I stayed longer than a day! And you don’t need to worry: there are no actual zombies on the Train to Busan.