June 26, 2015
Last weekend we finally made it down to Busan!
Our time in Korea is dwindling down pretty quickly. I can’t believe it’s already the end of June! We have intended to go to Busan ever since we moved here, so with our departure in sight, we decided to finally act on it. Busan is Korea’s second largest city, but with a population of only 3.6 million it’s pretty small compared to Seoul (25 million including the metro area).
We caught the KTX train, Korea’s fastest, at Seoul Station and were in Busan in 2.5 hours! The tickets were 58,000₩ ($52) each way which was slightly more than I was anticipating. Oh well. Such is life.
When we arrived in Busan we went straight to Jagalchi Fish Market. It’s the largest fish market in Korea. The main part of the market is housed in a large building, but we wandered through an outdoor market before making our way to the building.
The outdoor area is more reminiscent of traditional Asian markets. It was certainly more picturesque and bombarded us with all sorts of sights and smells. Most of the women manning the booths are ajummas, a term used for older, married Korean women. They periodically splash water on all the seafood and you have to be careful not to get splashed yourself! My favorite sea creatures were the live octopuses.
After walking through the outdoor market we went over the indoor market to pick out a fish to eat. We ended up buying a large olive flounder for 30,000₩ ($27). Our fishmonger called a restaurant upstairs and someone arrived promptly with a bucket to transport our selection. We trailed behind her until she reached her stall. We were seated and given banchan (side dishes that accompany most Korean meals) to accompany our grilled fish. It was pretty tasty – although I’m a sucker for lemon juice on grilled fish so that would have been nice. It was a lot of fish so we left feeling very satisfied. The service was 18,000₩ ($16) for grilling and banchan. On our way out we walked back through the indoor and outdoor markets to catch a final glimpse.