My time in South Korea was brief, but memorable. There are photos.
I was at the Gukje Market in Busan, a huge street market that sells, among many other things, a variety of street food. Nothing was particularly catching my eye until I saw a restaurant on the outskirts of the market serving up some seriously delicious-looking fried chicken. Korean fried chicken (or, confusingly, KFC for short. I was on a food forum once, and someone was asking where the best KFC could be found in Toronto, and I was thinking “uh… at… KFC…?” until I realized he was talking about Korean fried chicken) is kind of a big deal. So I figured I’d check it out.
Commemorating the many soldiers from throughout the world who gave their lives during the Korean War, the UN Memorial Cemetery in Busan is actually the only United Nations cemetery in the world.
A bowl of cold noodles that are so chewy you have to cut through them with scissors before you can eat them probably doesn’t sound all that compelling to you. You’re just going to have to trust me: they’re super delicious.
What about dumplings? Yeah, everyone likes dumplings.
Well, you can get both — and that’s about it — at Choryang Milmyeon, a popular restaurant in Busan.
Did you realize that the biggest department store in the world is in Busan? No? Well it is and I went there, because why not? It’s the biggest in the world.
I’ve eaten some pretty awful stuff at McDonald’s over the last few months; McDonald’s in South Korea has single-handedly made up for all of it. It was actually kind of bizarre how good everything was.
The Gamcheon Culture Village in Busan is definitely one of the more striking sights I’ve seen on my trip so far.
One of the specialties in Busan is a soup called dwaeji gukbap — pork and rice soup. There’s a whole stretch of road in the Seomyeon area of town that features nothing but one restaurant after another that specializes in the dish, so yeah, it’s a big deal here.
Many of the toilets in this part of the world, particularly in China — even the ones in touristy places like museums or the airport — are of the squat variety. If you’ve never encountered one of these things, it’s basically a porcelain hole in the ground.