A Night In Busan

south korea
How beautiful??
This hurts my heart

One of the girl’s named Nicole that I met through a Facebook group before coming to Korea invited me to her friend’s Rosa’s going away dinner in Busan one weekend.

We all got our TEFL from International TEFL Academy (ITA) so it was going to be a dinner with ITA peeps. ITA is pretty cool. They have Facebook groups and many other helpful resources on their website even after you get your certification.

On the 19th of March, I booked my SRT ticket from Jije Station to Busan for ₩45000. It was difficult. I tried to use my jetBlue card but then realized that I have to use my Korean card. I still had a hard time so I called and the dude helped me buy one. It’s interesting cause you can’t buy a ticket over the phone.. Luckily, for my ignorant self, the guy spoke good English. He told me you have to use the passcode that you use for the ATM. It’s nice but also frustrating at how secure the bank accounts are here.

On the 20th I took the 810 bus to Jije Station Suseo Pyeongtaek Gosokseon (express railroad) for ₩1650 and it took about 25 minutes. I walked up to the ticket booth and showed the guy a picture of my purchase on my phone and he printed my ticket out for me.

The station was nice. It had a 7/11 and a cute little cafe.

I went down and took the 313 to Busan. I got one of the early trains thinking I could explore Busan before our meetup. Little did I know the weather would change my plans.

I ended up in Busan around 10:30am and had a few hours to kill. I walked to a Subway that was about 20 minutes away from the station cause I was starving.

After Subway, I took the bus to where our hostel was located. It took about 45 minutes. Myself and two of the other girls booked a hostel for ₩12000 for the night. SO CHEAP. It was called Kimchee Guesthouse in Haeundae and it was super cute and had a nice little sitting area right when you walked in.

While I was waiting for the others so I took a little stroll and ended up going to Coffeesmith. It was only about a ten minute walk to the hostel from there.

Mermaid Statue

Once Rosa arrived, we left our bags at the hostel and went to grab something to eat. We found this sushi place near the beach. It was one of those sushi restaurants that has a display that spins around and you pick whatever plate you want and at the end of your meal the server adds up the colored plates and that’s how much your food is. So convenient.

We finished right around check-in time- 4pm- so we went back to the hostel and checked in. Then the third girl, Emily, arrived.

We walked around for a bit to kill time. We went to the mall and Starbucks.

We ended up meeting with the others around 8pm at this YUMMY pizza place called SOL in Gwangali. The pizza was actually pizza and not sweet in any way!!! Since they only allow four people per table, two of the girls sat at another table.

I tried a New York Lager and another one that I can’t remember. The place was cheap. Me and Nicole split a pizza and I think we ended up paying ₩20000 each? Plus the beers were around ₩8000-10000.

After the pizza, we walked along the beach. It was such a nice night. We tried going into this other bar but it was too full. Soooo, we hopped on the subway back to Haundae and found a bar over there. It was an Irish pub 💚 so you know what that means! Jameson.

We stayed there for a bit and chatted a lot. It was nice to be able to sit at a bar and drink and talk to people again! Felt like the pre-Covid days. Ahhhh.

Rosa and I were walking out of the pub to go back to our hostel when we saw these people go and sit with the others so we went back in. Turned out they were from Spain and they work here. They weren’t teachers but I forget what their jobs were.

Our night/morning ended at 3am. I haven’t had one of THOSE nights since Thailand and it just made me feel all good inside. Mingling and hanging out with people. It felt great.

Rosa ended up heading back to her town early the next morning. Emily and I woke up around 8am? How??? I do not know. We got ready and checked out and then went to find some breakfast. We walked along Haeundae Beach trying to find something to eat. It was very odd that there weren’t any restaurants along the beach. Naver/Kakao Maps didn’t show any so we didn’t know where else to go. McDonald’s ended up being the winner. While eating breakfast, I decided that I’d tag along and go to Daegu for the day. We booked our ticket for ₩12600 each and finished our meal.

After McDonald’s, we walked back to the beach and ended up finding a Lighthouse Observatory and Mermaid Statue. The observatory was beautiful!!! We didn’t walk down to the statue because there were people taking pictures and we had limited time. We walked to the closest bus station and we were on our way to Daegu.

Safe to say my night in Busan was a success.

New Year’s Vacay 2019

thailand

From Bangkok to Pattaya to Koh Chang

Sweet little dog at the hostel
Bangkok, Thailand

Since New Year is coming around the corner again, I thought I’d write a throwback about better times and a fun New Year.

The long 5 day weekend started off in the capital on the 27th of December. Christina and I took a train from Mahachai to Bangkok. Taking the train was always great- it was 10 Baht and took about an hour. It stopped at Wonwian Yai. The BTS skytrain (not the band) was about a ten minute walk. So convenient.

Christina and I got to Bangkok before the others. We stayed at Phobphan Hostel in Bangkok. There was this sweet little dog there. We stopped at EmQuartier to do some shopping. Christina finally got me to shop at Zara. I got a cute shirt and skirt and she got a dress. We had dinner and waited for Jules and Indria to get to the hostel and then we were on our way. First, we stopped at Havana Social and met some cool peeps. We ended up hanging out with some people from New York. We got free shots and bottles. That’s always nice, Then this dude took us to Levels and we got more free drinks. Yay.

Havana Social
Bangkok, Thailand

Thailand is great cause they have 7s on every corner. Indria and I went to the closest one and I waited outside for her while smoking and talking to some cool Thais. We got Christina food but she was passed out by the time we got back.

We ended the night late and started the next morning early. Christina realized that she left her purse in the Grab (that’s just a fancy word for taxi that they use in Thailand) that we took back to our hostel. Luckily she was able to contact the guy and get it back. This was the start of an unforgettable New Years.

We stopped at a random spot to get a song taew to the bus station
Trat, Thailand

Jules and I had to get food in our stomachs so Indria and Christina stayed behind to get her purse. Jules and I ended up finding a Pizza Hut that was in the middle. Then, we had to take a Grab from there to the bus terminal. We had no idea where we were going so that’s always fun. Christina already bought all of our tickets and the bus was about to leave. Indria ended up coming to the bus terminal but Jules and I were already on the bus. She ended up taking the next bus. Soooo, two of us were on the same bus and then the other two were on separate buses.

The streets of Pattaya

Once we got to Pattaya Jules and I took motorbikes to our Air BnB. That was amusing because we had our big bags with us. We got to the apartment complex and waited outside. Since Christina booked the Air BnB, the lady that was supposed to collect us came out a bunch of times looking for her. We realized this about 20 minutes later?? Eventually we showed them a picture of Christina and got let into the apartment. Soon after, Christina and Indria arrived. We got settled and went out for a night walk.

The impeccable rooftop view.
Pattaya, Thailand

We had a chill night. We went to a Mexican restaurant close to our apartment and I got some tacos. There was a rooftop pool that had lovely views. The sunset was amazing. We walked the beach and saw a bunch of farangs. The next day we were on the move.

💗

We were off to our destination: Koh Chang. We went from Pattaya to Rayong and made an adorable tiny friend. From Rayong we took another bus to Trat. From Trat we hopped on the ferry and were almost to the island!!! After hopping on a curving and swerving and almost falling off of the road, we made it to our Sleepyowl Hostel.

Got a little carried away

Sunday was our first night on the island. We found this packed bar and danced, sang, and drank a lot. Indria and I found some face paint that was glow in the dark so that was entertaining. I ended up covering my whole face. LOL.

Also we saw a few fake 7-elevens on the island which was humorous.

The next day Jules, Indria and myself went to a beach and that was nice n refreshing. Christina wasn’t feeling too good lolol. The beach was hot but beautiful. The weather was perfect and the water was warm. I’m used to freezing cold water up near Boston so it was a nice change.

For some reason I think that I’m a professional photographer heheh

After the beach we went to a Greek restaurant. We were obsessed with Aesops in Bangkok so we had to compare.

Our 7/11 gear 😃

That night we strutted through the town in our 7 gear, met this bartender (picture below) that could spin his bottle opener, and met some more farangs. OH and we decided to get buckets and split them between two people. WHY? Idk. But we did it and we survived.

Rasta View, Koh Chang

Andddd the night after was NYE. We went to this Jamaican bar and witnessed another memorable view. After sweating A TON (cause that’s what my body does), we made our way back to our hostel and went to the bar that we became regulars at 😂 LUCKILY, we all made it out for NYE. They played Sorry by J Biebs (MY ALLLLL TIME FAVORITE SONG. EVER.) and played some other exciting throwbacks and we screamed in the new year. I also found some balloons so I had some accessories.

Our voyage to the mainland.
From Koh Chang to Trat

We left Koh Chang on New Years Day. That was rough. Jules had to leave earlier than us cause she was going back to southern Thailand.

Koh Chang, Thailand

Me, Indria, and Christina took the song taew back to the ferry. It was a loooong and rough ride. We struggled all the way. We all agreed it would just be easier on ourselves to take a taxi…..who wants to take a taxi then bus then van to their destination?? Especially on New Years Day. Yeah, no one. We were able to get a taxi back from Trat to Mahachai. It was worth every penny/Baht. The driver stopped at 7s on the way. We played categories, sang, and took naps. It only took a few hours.

Safe to say our New Years vacay was memorable. We all laugh about it now because of all of the complications that we faced. From Christina losing her purse to all of us being on separate buses to being complete disasters in our 7-eleven shirts. New Years is coming around the corner again so reminiscing on our NYE from last year has been great. Ahhhh, Covid-free times, it’s always fun looking back on those memories.

From top left: tacos from Mexican restaurant, fake 7/11, picture with some farangs, hummus from the Greek restaurant, FaceTime with my friends from back home, our hostel in Koh Chang, the city life in Pattaya, beautiful view from the Greek restaurant, our bartender friend, this crazy cat that bit Indria (no rabies though), and the Rasta View restaurant with their sweet little doggie.