a late summer memoir (going far east) - 안녕하세요 Busan

안녕하세요 Busan !
City of Busan
October 2014

the sleeping experience at the Capsule, was fine. i woke up few times, as i recall. it was more because my excitement (like a kid) and my worry if i were overslept. ah. the toilet was busy too, early that morning as other travelers also getting ready for their trip. once done, i went for Subuh prayer at the surau in front of the Capsule.

we decided to meet straightaway at the airport, instead of me going back to Tune Hotel, and apparently my sisters were earlier than me. they were already at the airport, by the time i called them to check out etc.

morning in KLIA2, despite it is now a bigger place, it is still maintaining the same vibe - of being packed and busy with travelers as early as that wee hours. luckily the queue to drop the luggage was still short and the check-in went smooth. in fact, we managed to squeeze in my backpack as the main luggage weighed less than 25kg allowance that we bought.

i was glad. as i now only had my camera bag with me.

we decided to skip our breakfast, as we bought in-flight meal already, and went straight to the departure hall. 

830am. we left KLIA2 as per scheduled. the flight was almost full. the first hour felt long. probably because we were hungry and early waiting for our first meal of the day. once we had our breakfast, all of us subconcious-ly delved into our rem cycle.

i woke up in the middle of the journey as the cabin temperature was getting colder. i grabbed my new sweater that i bought at Gateway, and then took my tablet and started watching the movie that i'd transferred into it. 

the flight took more than 5 hours, if i've not mistaken, and we finally landed at Gimhae International Airport of Busan. immigration clearance went smooth, so did our luggage that contained lots of instant food from the motherland. hehe. if this was Oz, i bet we gonna have a moment.

we were at the arrival hall already and decided to take a break. i went to the nearby 7-eleven and bought the famous 'banana-milk' and then cashbee cards, and top it up with 10k won value. i went to the information counter and asked the necessaries - transportation, wifi/internet/phone package etc. the lady at the counter was helpful, even though it seemed hard for her to converse fluently in English.

we decided to take the taxi. other mode of transportation seemed impossible for us - big luggage, changing metro line etc. i went back to the counter and asked the lady to write our hotel address in hanja. there was no taxi coupon etc. to be bought, and she told us just to wait the taxi outside the arrival hall.

we could see the taxis, queuing along the road across the arrival hall, and dragged our luggage. the first driver that had eye contact with me waved and smiled, and we went closer to him and showed the address. he just nodded and then helped us with the luggage. okeh..it was a big car - Hyundai Sonata okeh!

we left the airport, and entering the highway. the journey seemed fast as the traffic was ok. i looked outside, saw only few trees started to loose the green. it was late summer in Busan. the colour of autumn was yet to appear. i sat on the front passenger's seat and didn't talke much, as i was aware on the limitation. but our taxi driver was a friendly chap, and tried to break the ice. 

as expected, the conversation went like encrypting morse code of a toddler. hehe. he suddenly softly grabbed my left hand as noticing i was trying to get away from the conversation. ah...apparently, he was too curious to know about the 'hijab/tudung' that both sisters wearing. he sort of understand that we were muslim, probably because now more and more malaysian coming to this part of the country.

we were approaching the city of Busan. Big and modern city. it took a while for him to drive us to our hotel - Woori Guest House.he drove and parked the taxi aside, and went out asking the staff at the cafe, asking the hotel location, and only to know that we were already in front of the alley that led to the place. voila.

he helped us with the luggage and bid farewell to us. the taxi ride cost us about 20k won. 

we dragged our luggage along the alley and was greeted by the owner's pair of wolfdog. their bark caught the owner's attention, a lady that went out from the building and shush them to quiet.

the lady owner was friendly and attentive. again, despite her limitation to converse fluently in English, she was adorable and kind. after settled the payment (in cash only), she showed us the rooms, and told us about the breakfast, rules, wifi password and other relevant things etc.

i booked a double room for my sisters and me a bed in the dormitory of 4. the guest house has few types of room, including family room for 4 pax, twin and double room, as well as dormitory of 4 rooms. i didn't manage to book the family room, else, we could have book the room.

some facts and review about Woori Guest House
  • Relatively cheap! our 4 nights stay for 1 double room and 1 single bed in dormitory cost us 226k won. i think the cheapest i found with location in the middle of the city.
  • breakfast provided - ramen noddles, bread/toast with jams, eggs and free flow of coffee, tea,water.
  • only small towel provided, small locker in dormitory room, but all rooms are with own bathroom, even satellite TV.
  • kitchen and (too) small common area, with pc and satellite TV etc. free wifi too...well i think it is now common.
  • Location (noted in no. 1) - perhaps the only budget hotel that located exactly 100m from the main attraction of the city, particularly the BIFF Square and Gukje Market.
  • and the major plus point - friendly owner

common area cum dining area

double room 
dormitory room
i was the first guest arrived, that day  and the lady owner gave me the lower bunk to me. later that day, there was William, a french guy arrived, and then Park, a korean guy from Seoul and then there was a japanese guy..which i did not manage to catch his name.

William was on a year or half-year out thingy from his freelance job (which he didn't tell), and had been in Korea for few weeks if not mistaken. he was planning to come to Malaysia celebrating Christmas and New Year with his brother, as well as family that planned to fly from france.

Park was on a weekend trip with his other half, mainly to visit the Busan International Firework Festival, so did the japanese guy. yeap. Busan International Firework Festival happened during the weekend of our trip there. 

we had a short rest, and the decided to have our Mamee Chef instant noodle for dinner. the guest house seemed quiet, probably everybody still outside wandering. we were joined by the owner for the dinner. then, we had our jama' prayer for Maghrib and Isya' and then went out to wander.

the guest house located at the centre of the city, where the Gwangbokro Street, BIFF Square and Gukje Market were around the corner. anyway...it took us a while to understand and remember how each of these places connected to each other. i mean, we were lost for a while as kept walking till end of the Gwangbokro Street, and then crossing the alley between the building, only to know that we were already at BIFF square...huhuhu. i even had to use my google map to guide us back to the main road where we left our guest house.

but we got used to this, as the days after, these places became our playground. hehehe.



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