After regrouping at our Busan hostel from a cultural day at the Yonggungsa Temple it was time to head to Busan’s famous fish market. A quick subway ride brought us there and the seafood aroma overwhelmed our senses before we even entered. Once inside you could see dozens of stalls with fresh 해물 (seafood)!
Every stall had a Korean barking promotions about their goods as you walked past tanks filled to the brim with crabs, shellfish, flounder and fish of all kinds. After a quick walk through we discussed what we were going to eat and Warren did some master haggling.
During the negotiation fish and the like were tossed into and pulled out of our basket. First we had 2 octopuses and countless shellfish then suddenly an octopus was swapped for a 4 crabs running around. She quickly reached in and swapped the crabs back for the octopus and a flounder and then again grabbed the octopus and traded for some other fish and a sea-slug. It was enjoyable to watch even though I had no idea what anyone was saying. The exchange went on for about 15 minutes before he finally came back and let us know it would be ₩20,000 each ($20).
Most of the meal ended up as hoe (회) pronounced, “hway”, or raw fish. I tried sea cucumber, oysters, clams and some unknown entities. It was good but my favorite part was the steamed crabs! These small delicacies were so full of juicy flavor that you almost forgot about the soju we had with it.
After dinner we went for a “hike” through Gamcheon Culture Village to an overlook of the city. Gamcheon reminds me of pictures of Rio’s favelas with bright pastel shades and apparently low class housing. Walking between the houses we found the streets to be pretty empty. The few locals we saw were busy in their gardens likely gathering the evening’s dinner.
After an hour or so of uphill we finally reached the top. The panoramic view of Busan encapsulated the beauty and draw of the city as a top vacation destination in South Korea. You could see the beautiful beaches lined in Miami-esque style with tall skyscrapers and our foreground of Gamcheon Culture Village.