This weekend (yes I am writing about it on Wednesday, lazy blogger strikes again) my friends and I packed up for a weekend in Busan. It was a half birthday, half goodbye trip as five out of eight of my core group of friends are leaving in the next two weeks. Busan is much more than Korea's beach resort town, it is also the second largest city in the country. My friends and I centered around Haeundae Beach, the main touristy spot.
Haeundae Beach is the most beach popular in Korea and my friends and I had inadvertently chosen the most popular weekend of the year. It was a national five day weekend (not for me of course, Koreans need their childcare) and Saturday night boasted a fireworks show and a K-pop concert. Once we settled into our over priced Love Motel my friends and I went down to the beach. It was a little crowded.
In case my picture doesn't get the point across, here is a great image of a major street in Seoul and Haeundae courtesy of the Korean Times.
Where is the sand? I'd like to say that the situation was better in the warm water but to no avail. Very few Koreans take swimming lessons as children (although this is changing) so the water was packed with yellow innertubes. It was like playing human bumper boats. To make matters most no one could go more than ten meters away from shore. Lifeguards zipped back and forth on jetski's ensuring I was never in water more than four feet deep. I still had a great time however playing a game of stand-in-the-water-volleyball (no room on the beach) with my friends and a nice group of Indian men. Indian's are one of the largest minority groups in Busan as Students and Laborers. Thank God they are in Busan as the bring with them fantastic food.
That night my friends and I listened to the concert (my students are super jealous) and watched the fireworks. Then we stayed up still two siting on the beach drinking and chatting. It was a nice intimate way to end the night. Except for the fact that...the beach was still packed! Two a clock in the morning and all the youth in Korea had the same idea as us. It was actually pretty exciting and surreal.
The next day was more of the same lounging on the beach and eating great Indian food. We took the KTX train home that night. I am going to miss everyone. Its like starting all over again with no friends!
Oh and if you ever wondered what a million people will do to a mile of beach, the answer is pretty disgusting.
This guy must hate his job.