Although it was not the original plan, I ended up in Busan alone over the weekend. I was nervous about being lonely, but like the rest of this trip, it was not something I needed to worry about at all. The beauty of the cherry blossoms, spectacular views of the city, and (okay I’ll be honest) over-shopping that I did, was plenty distracting. I spent so much time at some locations, I didn’t get to see everything I wanted to. Yet that’s the beauty of traveling alone– you get to spend as much time as you want in one place without worrying about anyone else.
On the first day, I took a day trip to Jinhae (about 1.5hrs from Busan) to catch the last day of the Cherry Blossom Festival. With the exception of the crowds, everything was so beautiful and dream-like, I felt like I was in an anime. Although it was a little confusing to find where everything was, I, along with an Australian mother-daughter duo I met along the way, managed to get where we wanted. A random korean woman even hopped off her bike and personally walked us to the Yeojwacheon stream. She also gave each of us a can of pineapple juice afterwards. I will never forget her kindness. Thank you so much, unni!
I spent the rest of the day walking around Shinsegae mall and chilling out at a fancier version of Korea’s jjimjilbangs. If you don’t know what jjimjilbangs are, stop reading right now and google it. Seriously.
SpaLand at Shinsegae was amazing, and it was sooo relaxing. I loved that everyone was given a uniform spa outfit and that the key to your locker basically acted like a credit card. They had multiple sauna rooms and resting areas at various temperatures. There were rooms with salt incorporated for skin benefits, rooms with infrared light for mental health, extremely hot and extremely cold rooms for health, and just a whackload of other rooms to try. They had a snack shop selling boiled eggs, ice cream, and drinks. They had a restaurant that I had delicious bibimbap from. They had a spa area for facials and other fancy treatments. In the cleansing areas, they had soap, shampoo, face cream, lotion, hairdryers, towels. The place had everything. After 8pm, they dropped the prices to $10 (compared to original price of $18), so I basically threw my money at them and ran in.
And I suppose I’ll finally link my post title to its context haha. Part of the culture of the jjimjilbangs is that you go in nude. So I did. Of course, it was just for the gender-divided bathhouses, but still, not something I thought I would have the guts to do. It was a little easier for me since I knew noone there, and after seeing all the women just waltz in without a care, I slipped out of the uniform and followed suit.
My next venture was to Taejongdae Park via train and bus. I was proud of myself for being able to get to yet another location without getting lost, since the English spoken there was really limited. Even my korean friends were impressed– which goes to show, my OCD planning really paid off. I spent a lot of time exploring and taking pictures around the park, as well as getting whiplash from the wind the closer I got to the sea. That view of the sea, though.
I didn’t get to see everything I wanted to in Busan, but that’s okay. My time was well-spent in the beautiful areas I did manage to go to. Also, it just gives me another excuse to come back, am I right?
This will be one of the last journal-style entries as I’m pretty much done traveling for now, but I’ll still be writing in this blog. It will mostly consist of reviews on places, guides as to how I got around, and also some videos that I’m quite excited to get working on. If you’re interested, stay tuned. If not, thank you so much for staying with me throughout my journey. I started this blog as a personal means of reflection and validation, and to see that you have taken your time to read my posts, means a lot to me. As always, sending peace, love, and happy energy your way. I’m turning into such a hippie.
Until next time!