At Christmas I visited Busan in South Korea because it was cheap and out of Japan. I wanted to challenge myself to travel somewhere that I didn’t understand the language or culture by myself. And my god was it a challenge.
Upon arrival I did not anticipated my map service not working. When I arrived in Korea and tried to look up walking routes and clear map of where things are and was faced with the forever unable to load maps on google and the maps app on my Iphone.
I hunted around for a bit in Busan Airport and was able to come across an english paper map! Woot! Although it too was lacking in local roads and didn’t really give me the sense of distance between places but it was a start.
I have since learned that there are other map apps out there that support South Korea and are available in English too. They are Naver Map and Kakao map. Google did support local bus routes but as it was unable to load anything up close it was hard to determine where and when to catch and get off the bus.
My first meals were a miss. I felt too shy to go and sit down in a restaurant or cafe to get food for the first few days. Often opting for convenience store foods instead. I also found that I was very choosy as to where I ate.
1: not crowded
2: not empty
3: food looks good
4: not pricey but not super cheap to make me question the contents of the dish.
5: I wouldn’t look too odd being the only foreign girl in the store.
This seems silly to me now, but this I feel is a common problem with other tourists and travellers.
Having said all this my final day I ate and mixture of what i think we’re noodles and a selection of vegetables at a street market in the middle of a road for a grand total of 2000 won (pretty cheap)! It was literally snack food but I thought it looked good. 😊
I also had issues with the ordering process. Everywhere else other than Japan seems to be getting electronic food ordering machines at fast food restaurants. I don’t understand these things and I’d rather grunt and point at food for someone else to take my order for me. 😕
Dinner Time: I kid you not I think everyone in South Korea has dinner in the same hour (6:00pm- 7:00pm). I went in to the restaurant to have my pork soup it was nearly 6 o’clock. Soon after I sat down everyone turned up and the place was full. Left just after 7 and I was one of the last people in there.
So maybe you could guess how my first day felt based on this information. I stayed for 4 days, by that time I started to enjoy and relax a bit but it was time to go.