Traveling to Busan
Seoul to Busan
December 20th  2015
Riding the High-Speed Rail from Seoul to Busan

When Autumn and I were planning our trip, we knew we wanted to spend some time outside of Seoul. Originally, we considered a weekend in the mountains skiing or relaxing at hot springs, but some of Autumn’s Korean friends advised that the week of Christmas would be one of the busiest and most expensive for winter activities. We circled back and ultimately decided to visit the city of Busan.

photo of seoul station sign
photo of inside seoul station
photo of soldier in seoul station
photo of seoul station
photo of paris baguette seoul station
photo of family in seoul station
photo of autumn in seoul station
photo of daniel in seoul station

Busan is Korea’s second largest city and home to the country’s largest port. It’s located on the Southeastern coast of the Korean peninsula and is known for its beaches and relatively warm weather. The city is conveniently connected to Seoul via a very fast, three-hour journey on Korea’s high-speed rail.

photo of ktx coach seats

I’ve ridden trains around the world, Amtrak in the United States (a bad joke), the TGV in France (great when not striking), Le Frecce in Italy (very Italian), but nothing holds a candle to the high-speed rail systems of East Asia. Whenever I find myself inexplicably delayed on a slow, rumbling train in the United States, I dream of past journeys: Shanghai to Beijing, Tokyo to Osaka, and now Seoul to Busan.

We left Seoul on Sunday morning and arrived in Busan in the early afternoon. We’d booked an Airbnb (always more interesting and often cheaper than a hotel in a non-Western country). We weren’t able to check in until that evening, so we dumped our stuff in a luggage locker and hopped on the subway towards Busan’s Jagalchi Fish Market.

photo of fish on a stick in jagalchi market
photo of fish for sale jagalchi market
photo of crabs in jagalchi market
photo of jalgalchi market street vendors
photo of jagalchi market fish monger
photo of jagalchi market lights
photo of pouring water on fish jagalchi market
photo of tuna steaks jagalchi market
photo of dried fish in jagalchi market

The central market is housed inside an enormous multi-story warehouse, but stalls of men and women hawking all manner of live seafood spill out over the surrounding half-dozen or so blocks. We wandered around the fish market for a couple of hours and headed back to our Airbnb to check in.

photo of street food jagalchi market
photo of girls walking in jagalchi market
photo of food vendors busan night market
photo of umbrella jagalchi market at night
photo of jagalchi man carrying boxes
photo of jagalchi fish mongers at night
photo of jagalchi alleyway
photo of man gutting fish jagalchi

For dinner, we decided to return to Jagalchi Market to find a place to eat. We stumbled across and entire floor of restaurants that offered to prepare and serve any seafood you picked out (along with generous helpings of Soju and Banchan). We ordered a large portion of uni, sashimi, grilled mackerel, and perhaps the most adventurous dish – live octopus.

After dinner, we found a movie theater and bought tickets to the new Star Wars movie (which was thankfully subtitled and not dubbed). After the movie, we picked up some snacks and headed back to our Airbnb.

photo of blurry photo of jagalchi
photo of food stall jagalchi
photo of jagalchi at night