After finishing all of my in-person midterms for this term in Korea I headed to Busan for a short weekend trip! It was exciting to finally go to a different city in Korea and taking the KTX/bullet train for the first time. I had been looking forward to this trip for a while, especially because Busan is a beach city and is on the southern tip of the Korean peninsula. It’s also well-known because of the movie “Train to Busan”, although the city itself doesn’t actually appear in the movie if I recall correctly. Busan is also well known for its raw seafood and the sheer variety of seafood dishes in general! I was very excited to have fresh fish!
Getting to the KTX station was a fast and convenient trip because of how far reaching Seoul’s subways are in general. We used to airport line to get to the station and I always say this, but Seoul’s subway and train stations always tend to look as sophisticated as airports. So I’m always a little bit awed despite seeing quite a few stations already. There was also a Dunkin Donuts in the station that I was really eager to try because I wanted to see how different it was! It didn’t disappoint as it was definitely different than what most people are used to in America. The donuts were smaller and had flavors more catered to Korean taste. They also offered a lot more actual food there than I was used to. I do think I prefer the donuts at American Dunkin Donuts more.
The train ride took around 3 hours and most of it was spent looking out into the Korean countryside, where we sometimes passed rice paddies and farmland. One thing for sure is that the KTX looks almost exactly as it appears in the “Train to Busan” movie: compartments, sliding doors, and all. It was also interesting to me that we were apparently going very fast, but it just didn’t seem as if things were moving that fast as you looked out the window. This was probably due to how fast we were moving.
When we arrived, the team had dropped off our belongings at our hotel and immediately headed to a fish market to try some local raw fish! It was the first time I experienced an outdoor fish market with many vendors like this! Many places had fish for sale to bring home and fish that you could choose from their tanks and eat there. Our group of four were approached by vendors a number of times in order to get us to sit down at their restaurant specifically. I could sense an air of competitiveness between the sellers and found it interesting!
We ordered raw fish and stir-fried eel! It was a new experience for all of us as this was different to sashimi, but it was very good and tasted extremely fresh! There were also plenty of free side dishes and the auntie or ahjumma (아줌마) even gave us a fried fish on the house which was nice! It was an eventful first night in Busan, but it was only the beginning of the trip!
A Message from the Office of Global Engagement:
The safety and security of Drexel students is a priority for the University. As part of the efforts to support Drexel students that are studying abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Office of Global Engagement has conducted a rigorous review of programming and provided additional support to participating students with customized pre-departure orientations and regular check-ins during the required self-isolation period and the term.