Kelly the Culinarian: South Korea Recap: What we saw

Friday, June 29, 2012

South Korea Recap: What we saw

After a great vacation in China, I soldiered on to my work assignment in Busan, South Korea. I won't do a hotel recap since that was business related, but if anyone wants to talk accomodations in Busan, e-mail me for details.

What I will say about my hotel was that it was clean, had great amenities (like the spa) and was close to the facility where my work's conference was. I walked to almost everything, but cabs were cheap, too. I realized when I was typing this that none of the things I saw cost any money, so this was a cheap little jaunt for me.

Because the flight was so long, I got a rest day, which I spent sightseeing. We first took a cab to
Haedong Yonggung Temple, a beautiful Buddhist temple with great views of the ocean and amazing architecture. 

 What was cool about this place (as opposed to some of the sites we saw in China) was that people are still worshiping here and it's not at all a tourist trap.  We were there at a time of worship and I took the opportunity to observe. The temples are gorgeous - paper lanterns hang from the ceiling and small statues everywhere reflect the light from within the temples.

Another interesting aspect of this temple was the offerings - I enjoyed looking at all the little Buddha statues people left, along with the food and monetary gifts people left. This was one of the many things I wish I knew more about when I was there.
 There was a really cool market outside of the temple, too. There was a variety of souvenir items, snacks, drinks and clothing.

We had high hopes of going to the beach that afternoon, but it was colder than we thought it would be. In fact, I didn't use my swimsuits at all on this trip. What a waste.

Instead, Kelly and I visited Shinsegae, the world's largest department store. It wasn't quite what I expected. It was far more like a mall than a department store. It had a Banana Republic, an ice rink, a gigantic spa, a driving range, a grocery store and several food courts.

I managed to squeeze a trip to a museum in between work shifts, too. The Busan Museum of Art is massive and new, but doesn't have a lot in it. It took us a little less than an hour to see all the artwork, which included contemporary/modern art and more classic, traditional Asian art. My favorites included a massively large print from a wood carving and a montage of five large-scale photos of an urban area.

1 comment:

Kim said...

The trip to the temple sounds amazing! Definitely a once in a lifetime experience. It's so interesting to hear about the little traditions people have (like leaving the gifts). In Aruba (and all over the world, I know) people stack rocks. It was fun to see those when we were there and learn about it.

I hope the brand new convention center worked out well!