Last weekend we took a trip down to Busan, on the southern tip of the peninsula. It was our third trip there since living in South Korea and our first time staying at a hotel off of the main tourist strip in Haeundae. Since it's peak season and we were planning the trip with only a week lead time, we weren't able to find a reasonably priced hotel near the country's most popular beach. But this turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Our hotel was on the much chiller Gwangalli Beach overlooking Gwangan Bridge.
We spent most of Saturday laying on the beach and swimming, and then had the freshest crab we'd ever tasted for dinner. The next day was a scorcher and while we originally planned on doing some sightseeing, we ended up hanging out at Haeundae Beach until our train left. I have never seen a beach that crowded! Unfortunately, the large number of people attracted quite a few thieves. The girls sitting next to us had their bag stolen while they were in the water. Although petty theft is super rare in Korea -- most people leave their laptops and purses at their tables while they go to the restroom in restaurants, for example -- Mike and I are cautious Chicagoans. We took turns swimming and watching our bags, and came home with all of our belongings.
Since we're leaving Korea in less than three months, this was largely a farewell trip to Busan. The city has always held a special place in our hearts ... maybe because with its smaller population and waterside location it reminds us a lot of Chicago. I'm not sure when we'll come back to Korea again after this year, but we've already decided to make Busan a destination when we do.