Thursday, January 31, 2013

Travel to South Korea: Jeonju & Busan Story

Pack my bag and step aside from the cloudy & rainy Seoul for a while, let's go to Jeonju & Busan!

Beside Seoul, I also wanted to visit other big cities in South Korea. Since I had 10 days to spend, after discussed it with my travel mate a.k.a my brother, we decided to go to Jeonju & Busan in the middle of our Seoul trip. Why Jeonju and Busan?

Reason to visit Jeonju:
1. Visit Korea Year Program (2012) has a facility for tourists to ride free shuttle bus from Seoul to Jeonju or Busan. It can be a round trip or one way trip (Seoul to Jeonju/Busan).
2. My brother is a SONE (SNSD's fan) and Taeyeon father's has a eyeglasses store at Seodo Plaza called Eyebis with her daughter gallery inside.
3. The famous Jeonju Hanok Village!

Reason to visit Busan:
1. Haeundae Beach and its seagulls :)
2. It's Yo~~ong's hometown! (Yo~~ong refers to Jung Yong Hwa, CNBLUE's member and leader)

I totally impressed with Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) for its Visit Korea Year Program. Beside conducted such programs to make Seoul and other cities to be more tourist friendly (with public facility written in English, helpful staffs everywhere), there's also a program like free shuttle bus for foreigners. It's a good strategy to persuade tourists to take a look around other cities too. Several things I should did were create an account on Visit Korea web, chose the destination (Jeonju or Busan) and departure date, and filled the form (name, passport number, nationality). Around 10 days before the departure date, I received the e-ticket through an e-mail from KTO. Easy breezy :)

I arrived in Jeonju around 11.00 (3 hours journey from Seoul), made a quick visit to Jeonju Hanok Village, took a cab to Seodo Plaza (+/- 5000 won), grabbed lunch (tokpoki and waffle) at department store across Seodo Plaza, visited Eyebis, then took a cab to Jeonju Express Bus Terminal (+/- 5000 won) and went to Busan by bus on 15.10. It was rush 4 hours in Jeonju and regretfully didn't have time to taste its Bibimbap :(

KIA Morning (same type with KIA Picanto in Indonesia)

Friendly sunshine!

What's your fav leaves color? Yellow, red, or green?

To Busan!

Actually, there are 4 grades of Express Bus (organized by KOBUS): General, Excellent, M/General, M/Excellent. Please visit to check the timetable and fares. I bought the bus ticket at ticket counter inside Jeonju Express Bus Terminal.

It's already dark when I arrived at Busan Express Bus Terminal. The bus terminal is connected with Busan Subway. I stayed at Haeundae area and the hostel is just around 20 foot steps from Haeundae Station exit 1 :)

Because I was carrying a heavy backpack all day, once I took the subway to Haeundae I only imagined a clean bed at the hostel was already waiting for me, but a silly moment occurred when I arrived at Haeundae Station. I couldn't pass through the exit gate! >.< 

I used T-Money Card for getting around Seoul since my first day, so I wasn't really aware about how to use a single journey ticket. So, when Busan Subway Map appeared on the screen at the machine, I thought I just have to tap the destination station (like the machine in Singapore) and insert the money. I tapped Haeundae station but it turned out I still had to choose between 1 section or 2 sections and one way or round trip ticket. Without hesitation, my brother chose to buy 1 section and one way ticket. Unfortunately it's not the right one :(

I was really tired and being trapped in a subway station wasn't a pleasant experience at all.. haha :) My brother asked for help from a decent Busan guy to buy us the new tickets but still didn't work out. At the end, we forcefully passed through the exit gate (lucky for us there's no staff or officer around :p). For the next day, I bought one day pass ticket (4000 won) for unlimited rides until the last train of the day. Here's some information about Busan Subway fares and ticket (

Do you want to know the right steps to buy a single journey ticket for Busan Subway? Here we go:
1. Go to the ticket machine. On the screen you can see the subway map, number of subway line above the map, and choices or types of ticket on the right side (1 section/2 sections, one way/round trip, one day pass).
2. Tap the line of your destination station. For example, you want to go to Haeundae from Busan Station. Haeunde Station is on line 2 (the green line), so you should tap line 2. The screen will show you name of stations within the green line. Tap Haeundae Station. After that there will be information of your ticket (destination station, number of sections, and amount of fares you should pay).
3. Insert the money and voila! You can take the ticket.
4. Insert the ticket on the entrance gate, don't forget to take your ticket again because you'll need it to pass the exit gate.

I just had one day for running around in Busan, so I carefully researched for the main attractions and made the most effective flow to visit all those places in one go. 
My one day Busan itinerary:
1. Haeundae Beach
2. Nurimaru APEC House
3. Nampodong for BIFF (Busan International Film Festival) area
4. Yongdusan Park
5. Busan Train Station 
6. Gwangalli Bridge
Hint: all those places are free from admission! :)

If I have another chance to visit Busan, I would like to visit Beomosa Temple. It's located on the north of Busan. I just played around on the east and south sides that day. I also want to taste Busan's seafood!

Welcome to Dynamic Busan!

Cutie doggie

Busan Seagulls! 

Kindergarten kids. Gyeoooo ;) 

Bibimbap and bulgogi for lunch

Nampodong Shopping Area (similar with Myeongdong in Seoul)

BIFF Square

Yongdusan Park

I didn't use inter city bus at all since the places I wanted to visit to are reachable on foot from the closest subway station. It's 5-10 mins walk from Haeundae Station to Haeundae Beach. Nurimaru APEC House is 15 mins walk from the beach (you won't feel tired due to the beautiful view). Yongdusan Park is located in Nampodong Area, 5-10 mins walk from Nampodong Station. Walk along the road for 10 mins from Gwangalli Station to reach Gwangalli beach. 

I met my friend's boyfriend who lived in Busan later that night. After had listened to my story, he said that I already visited the main points of Busan in one day (without the tour guide) and he impressed with my ability. So.. I'm a little bit proud of myself :D kkkk

I went back to Seoul the next day on 10.00 by KTX. 

Until we meet again Jeonju & Busan! :)


  1. Oooo..I love this! Thanks for the detailed info! =)
    & bro is a SONE too! kekeke

    1. Hello Carrie! Do you have any plan to visit Jeonju soon?
      hahaha maybe I should introduce my brother with yours ;)

  2. Hi, can i ask which bus station you reach at busan? and how far is it from there to Haeundae?? =)

    1. and how long is the journey from jeonju to heaundae approximately? @.@
      thank you =)

    2. hello there! I'm very sorry for my late reply :(
      I reached Busan via bus station in Nopo, this bus station is also connecting with Nopo subway station. Travel time from Jeonju to Nopo is around 3,5 hours and you need another 1 hour if you want to reach Haeundae from Nopo (if you take the train, incl. transit time).
      Hope my explanation will help you :)