Ahhh, 3 day weekends. Last weekend we were finally blessed to have a day off from work on Friday because of Buddha’s birthday. Traditionally, there are all kinds of festivities at Buddhist temples where they give out free meals, hand out paper lotus flowers, and…I’m not sure what else since I unfortunately didn’t get to participate in anything. Instead, we decided to knock a destination off our bucket list and visit Geoje (Koje) Island, about 45 min – 1 hour ferry ride off of Busan. Here’s how our trip went.
We decided to head out of Daegu Thursday night to get an early start on Friday. After we arrived in Busan we made our way towards the Seoul Motel, according to our trusty faulty Lonely Planet directions. After getting thoroughly lost, a friendly parking patrol man called the Motel and set us off in the right direction. Someone from the Motel came to pick us up at the subway stop and lead us to the place. We were pleasantly surprised by the clean room and friendly staff after reading the poor entry in Lonely Planet. The 5 min walk to the Busan Ferry Terminal makes it a great place to stay for anyone traveling out of Busan.
Friday morning we caught up with friends Randy and Shauna and hopped on the 10:30 ferry to Geoje. After a short trip we arrived and were eager to get on our way. Thankfully, they had some friends in Geoje, so we met up with her and headed to lunch at Kraze Burger. After gorging on some heart clogging burgers we decided to make the most of the sunny weather and head down to the beach.
After dropping our bags off at the Haewanaru Youth Hostel, our guide led us to Gujora beach, one of the less touristy spots in Geoje and it was well worth the trip. We arrived to a beautiful sight for our sore, city-locked Daegu eyes. The beach was a long semi-circle stretch of sand with beautiful mountains and islands in the backdrop. We spent the day playing volleyball, drinking beer, and generally frolicking in the sandy goodness.
After a terrifying car ride crammed with 9 people, we had some great Indian food for dinner, hung out with some new found friends, and then headed back to our hostel for wine and card games.
Unfortunately, the weather refused to cooperate for the rest of our 3-day weekend. We had planned to go sightseeing on Saturday, and hopefully check out the famed Oedo island, but alas the rain impeded on our plans. Our hostel happened to have a large, 2-story driving range, so we decided to go back and see if we could get in on some golf action. We arrived to a full house of serious looking Koreans swinging away at the driving range. Turns out you had to be a member of some kind of fancy, expensive golf club in order to play, so we headed up a few floors to check out screen golf. We were able to secure a room and set up a game of 9-holes for about $8 a person. Success! Since none of us are exactly pros at golf this took up our time for the next 3 hours or so and we had a lovely afternoon indoors.
That night we headed back to Busan trying not to get thoroughly soaked along the way. We found ourselves a hotel room in the super creepy Sea Friends (or something) Hotel in Gangwali beach. I was hoping to check out more of this area as well, but didn’t get much of a look because of the rain. Next time. That night we went out in the University district for someone’s birthday and had a good time dancing it up with the Koreans at a Western bar called Kino Eye.
Sunday – rain again. After breakfast/lunch at my favorite the only Korean sandwich place, Buccella, Joel and Randy decided to make there way down to the casino to try their hand at black jack, while Shauna and I went to check out the Busan Modern Museum of Art. While Joel was losing $100 bucks, we explored a special traveling exhibit from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, along with some Korean, Japanese and Chinese contemporary art exhibits. The contemporary exhibits were really interesting, and we could have spent much longer there, but we all had to catch trains back to our respective cities.
Made our way home to Daegu that night after a great, if rainy weekend away. Check out all the pics here.