Petite France, Seoul

The first stop is Petite France. I used the voucher I got from the Korean tourism board in Singapore. It helps to save some money from the entrance fee. Many tours will bring the visitors to visit this place and so did when I was at Petite France. I tried to go at a slow pace so that I did not have to bump into the group of tourists.

At the entrance, it has a separate queue for individuals and groups. So, I paid for the entrance fee and started my lovely journey to look for more stories about the Little Prince.

I found a few Little Prince statues around this place which I can easily get a photo of them. Besides that, wall paintings or murals of Little Prince can be found too. Some of them are like below:

It was painted along the wall across some tiny houses. Some can be found at the stairs or back lane behind the houses. Another interesting one I found is below:

There is a little wooden chair which I think is suitable for kids to sit on to take photos with the backdrop. Adults can be seen sitting on it to take pictures, just a little too small. It is quite enjoyable to spend some time here to look for little things to capture into my memories.

Immature love says: ‘I love you because I need you.’ Mature love says ‘I need you because I love you.’

It was a beautiful backdrop of the window curtains with an old-style window above the old organ when I visited one of the room settings at Petite France, Seoul, South Korea. It is a lovely romantic moment with the decoration on top of the musical instrument.

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.

This place is full of beautiful scenes and a good place to find inspirations for good photography; if you have a plan to take some good pictures here, do doll up yourself nicely and move around to find some good spots.

One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: That word is love.

I was here in Oct/Nov 2018. Today, I am putting up this post after the beautiful love quotes I wrote back then. I am incredibly moved by the quote, “loving someone deeply gives me courage”. I have been learning and building up some courage or determination to see lights (love) again. It is never too late to express love again than regret that I never do it.

Day 3: Saturday’s Hiking to Busan Tower

Well, it is not really a long hike up to the Yongdusan Mountain where the Busan Tower is located at the peak. I came to this place after my visit to the Jagalchi Market. The road heading up to this place is a little bit confused from the Google map. To cut it short, walk up the street when you see the police station on your left at the junction. Walking up the street brought me to a row of shops, cafes and boutiques on both side of the roads. Interestingly, I saw a temple in the middle, Aegean, along Gwangbokjungang-ro.

The weather was a bit cloudy and wanted to rain soon while I walked up to the Busan Tower. Not many people were walking with me to the same place, therefore the park at the bottom of the mountain looked empty. However, this was a great place to be because windy, shaded and no crowd. It was cooling to hang around at this place, overlooked the busy city and of course, we can see green here. The park has built the footpath and staircases to easily walk up the mountain. So, I took some time to slowly pace myself up the stairs.

Once a while, I can see people walking passed me, either coming down from the mountain or going up. After a while, finally, I reached the iconic landmark, the Busan Tower. Here, I can notice more people walking around because they are mostly tourists where the tour buses drove them up to the tower for viewing.

I did not enter the tower and I walked around to capture some great scenes from here. One of it is the great bell of the citizen. We cannot go near to the bell to see it or ring the bell.

Next is the statue of the great admiral Yi Sun-sin, a Korean naval commander famed for his victories against the Japanese navy during the Imjin war in the Joseon Dynasty. I did not follow their history, so just let it be with information from the Internet. The place was surrounded with some yellowish colored leaves, the sign of autumn in Korea.

As I walked further up to closer to the tower, the weather changed to sunny, made it perfectly good for a picture. This one is something we shall not miss as a tourist, I think. This place you can find some cafes to sit down and have a drink and food. For those who like to put the “love” locks, here is a place to do so.


The secret to happiness is freedom.
The secret to freedom is courage.

Day 3: Saturday’s Brunch at Jagalchi Market

I spent my next 1.5 hours enjoying my brunch at this quiet restaurant runs by a family. The main reason I stepped into this restaurant because they can speak a little English which could help me in food ordering. I still need some English to converse.

I did not take the picture of the main entrance of the restaurant. So, I missed out the restaurant’s name. I will google it and update the name and address again. And of course, the menu has its name too. 

I saw a couple inside this restaurant. Both of them could be from either Malaysia or Singapore. I did not sit around them and I chose to sit further away on the tatami floor dining area. 

It was pretty comfortable to sit here, breezing cold with wind coming from the main entrance. I took a while to see through the menu and decided to order their set meal, the grilled fish set meal for one person. Again, there is no issues for me to order 1 person portion.

It took quite a while for them to cook the dishes and as usual they served me with the side dishes first and free flow of plain water. The weather was cold and still they served me cold water. I wondered if I could have warm water.

Tada, my grilled fish was served. I did not know what kind of fish it was and it tasted just alright, not salty at all and did not smell stinky. Initially, I did feel that the whole portion of the set meal was quite little. However, half way eating the grilled fish, I started to feel full. 

Then, I started to dive into my kimchi soup and took a few spoons. It was sweet and tasty, not spicy at all. I believed the soup based was made of fish bones, again with plenty of kimchi and pickled radish cooked with cucumber and some fish meat, I did find it delicious and go well with my plain rice.

The weather was quite cold and my grilled fish very soon started getting cold and I sped up my eating to make sure I finished my fish and the soup before getting cold. The ahjumah was quite friendly to help me to replenish the kimchi while I was slightly being entertained by the two young kids, the grandsons of the ahjumah. The kids cannot speak English but they are not shy at all.

Day 3: Saturday’s Morning at Jagalchi Market

I woke up at the usual hour on my lovely first Saturday in Busan. Since, the place I stayed did not provide breakfast, I decided to swap my itinerary to visit Jagalchi Market (자갈치시장) instead of going for a morning drink at  the Jeongnangak House and cafe hopping after that somewhere in the city.

The journey from my place began at Daeyeon Station to Jagalchi Station at Line 1 took about an hour and I needed to change my train at Seomyeon Station. Upon exiting the station at Exit 10, I followed a group of ahjumah (aunties) to the market entrance.

If you ever missed the entrance, you will not miss this huge sign of the Jagalchi Market. The interesting and fishy journey began inside the few stories high of seafood market. I did not spend much time inside the market because I did not like the fishy smell at all. 

I could not take the smell anymore and decided to walk the outside wet market, hoping it is much better with open-air market. The atmosphere at the open-air market is different and I found myself walking along the market to find interesting seafood products. There are a lot of these similar stalls here and I am sure you will able to find one good stall to buy the freshest seafood. I took a picture of one of the stalls which the ahjumah was shouting at us to look at her seafood at her stall.

Since it is freshest seafood place, I did not see any reasons to miss out any seafood meals here. I started my breakfast with a gigantic fishcake and a grilled fish set at one of the restaurants around this market area. 

As I walked passed the stalls, I found a little push cart selling fried stuff. It was operated by a couple and I bought a stick of fish cake from them. It was the fake crab meat wrapped with fish paste, seaweeds and corn, deep fried and served hot. It was 6 inches long. It costs me 2,000₩. Besides this fishcake, they sell other deep fried stuff. 

Then, I walked further down to check out food for my early brunch. I saw a few stalls inside the wet market selling seafood set including snow crab, king crab, oysters and etc. I could not make up my mind whether I wanted to try the snow crab or leave it for later day before I go back to Seoul, so I kept walking to decide. Also, I walked passed a stretch of food stalls selling similar food, the pork meat soup with pig blood. I am not a fan of pig blood, so I walked away and found myself back to the original main road. 

Still, undecided what I wanted to eat while I was still biting my fish cake, I bumped into a row of seafood restaurants again. Along this stretch of restaurants, I found one with English menu and I gave it a try.

Check out my next article which I will share my review of the food of that restaurant. 

Day 2: Mission Partially Achieved

My day two in Busan did not able to cover my intention to visit the 
Geumjeongsanseong Fortress (금정산성) due to heavy rain when I reached the 
Oncheonjang Station. It was a day which weather forecasted it would rain. I will leave this place for my next visit to Busan and hopefully I can do a full hiking session there. Also, I skipped to visit Busan Citizen Park and the Jeonpo Cafe Street in Seomyeon.

Beomeosa Temple is a great temple, good place to visit and less crowded. You can really spend some time walking around and relaxing. I felt great to include this into my itinerary. My lunch at Gupo Guksu is also another good discovery although I walked too much to locate the restaurant. It was a hilly road up to the restaurant, make sure you take a bus instead to save your energy going up.

When the weather is bad, it is really inconvenient, however, I have a great discovery at Seomyeon Station, where the underground shopping center has plenty of stuff which we can buy. Besides shopping, Seomyeon is also a place full of great food and the price is not expensive too.

Day 2: Eating Street Food in Busan

After walked for an hour or so and the food in my stomach digested, I found myself landed nearby a street full of street food. The hawkers sell almost the same food, same price along that street which no cars can pass through. Many Koreans love to eat here as it is quick, easy and convenient.

I think it can be quite merry as well when you eat with a group of few people, standing together, surrounding the pushcart and eat during the cold season. But, it does not mean you cannot having your street food alone.

It is interesting to hop on at any of the stalls, eat the hot and spicy tteokbokki, (떡볶이) and steamed fish cake.

If you wish to try those stalls which you can sit inside the tent (similar to those you see in the Korean drama), you can find it here too. Personally, I did not try this in any of my visit, but they do look interesting. I did not walk further down to check what food do they sell. I would love to try it one day when I re-visit Busan with another person travelling with me. Solo trip sometimes can be quite hard to try to many different food.

Day 2: Window Shopping at Seomyeon Underground Shopping Center

Shortly after I finished my dinner, I decided to take a walk and do some window shopping at Seomyeon Underground Shopping Center which is located right at Seomyeon Station. It is one of the recommended shopping centers in the tourism websites. 

This place is huge, mainly selling clothing. The pricing here is comparable with those in Seoul, however, design wise, I feel Seoul is more fashionable. Since, I visited the place during the autumn season, most of the clothing are mainly long jackets and winter clothes.

I intended to get another jacket so that I can change it during my trip because I brought two jackets only. However, I did not shop anything at this place because I did not want to carry them back to Seoul. 

Day 2: Dinner at Hwajeon Guksu

Hwajeon Guksu, Busan.

After detoured to my hostel to rest and re-charge my phone and power bank, I got ready for a dinner nearby the Seomyeon Station. Having the daily pass which costs 5000₩, I was able to travel around Busan using the subway unlimited time. It is convenient to use and I am able to travel more places at anytime without hassle.

That was why I could plan my dinner further from my hostel. I took the subway from Daeyeon Station to Seomyeon Station Line 2. I took the Exit 2 upon reached Seomyeon Station and followed the Google Map to the location.

Unfortunately, I was not able to locate the restaurant when I reached the destionation. Little that I know, the restaurant is located at the back of a little alley in between two shops. The shop is selling guksu (Korean noodle) at the price of 2500₩, the cheapest meal so far in Busan. The concept in this restaurant is pay first when ordering the food, before they serve it.

It was a meatless guksu with plenty of seaweed and sesame seeds. The soup broth was clear, easy to go with the noodle. The amount of noodle was generous, no wonder so many people ordered it without extra dishes. Most importantly, the noodle did not turn soggy. As usual, the table will have a pot of kimchi, free flow for us. You can help yourself to get a cup of plain water which is also free. I saw the man in front of me walked to the counter to get some pickled radish. Although it is simple, yet it can be quite feeling without taking much of the soup. 

맛있다.

The ambiance of the restaurant is decent and level of noisiness is normal. The waitress is attentive, just a little language barrier with my limited Korean. Again, there is no issues to eat alone and some walk-in patrons just sit together with me on the same table.

Address: 17-2 Jungang-daero 702beon-gil, Bujeon 2(i)-dong, Busanjin-gu, Busan, South Korea.

Day 2: Detour From Busan to Penang

After the late lunch, I walked back to the subway station and took a subway to 
Oncheonjang Station Line 1 to visit the Geumjeongsanseong Fortress (금정산성) for afternoon hiking. Luck was not on my side, it was raining quite heavy when I reached the station. Due to the wet weather, I could not walk out to the bus stop to catch the bus to the destination. I spent a while walking around the station to explore while waiting for the rain to stop. However, it still rained.

I planned to take a train down to Seomyeon Station Line 1 and looked around for a cafe to sit down for tea break while waiting the rain to stop. However, when the train reached Seomyeon Station, I decided to change to Line 2 and went back to hostel to rest. 

You must be thinking what a waste! I tried to enjoy my holiday with slow pace. This detour allowed me to explore a little bit of the area nearby my hostel. 

Maybe not many people will notice about this drawing on the wall. A sister and a younger brother were supposed to be on a bicycle. The kids on bicycle made famous in Penang, Malaysia, was drew by Ernest Zacharevic.

Day 2: Lunch at Gupo Guksu

Gupo Guksu (구포국수)

After spending my relaxing hours at the Beomeosa Temple,  it was time to have lunch. I took the same bus back to the bus stop to catch a train to Namsan-dong for lunch. The restaurant was recommended in one of the booklet I took from the Korea Tourism Board in Singapore.

It is located quite a distance away from the Namsan subway which is one station away from Beomeosa subway Line 1.

The 30 years restaurant serves deep flavoured anchovy-broth noodle. It says that we need to wait during peak hour and during my lunch time visitation to the restaurant there was no huge crowd. Serving only guksu (Korean noodle) in different sizes; small, medium and large. There is no English menu and the waitress speaks no English.

I walked so far, of course I ordered the medium sized guksu which costs 5000₩ to satisfy my stomach. It serves with pickled radish, green chilies and a kettle of soup. It is pretty special presentation to me and to be honest, it is first time I eat in Korean restaurant which serves food in this method.

Topping the noodle with minced chili gives them a crisp taste, so I did. Yes, just a little bit and then I poured the soup into the bowl of noodle up to the level I am comfortable with.

You can drink the soup with the stainless steel cup as I saw some people did so. However, the broth is made of anchovies and it is quite strong taste to just drink the soup. It is up to individual preferences.

With seaweed and kelp, it may look simple and meatless, the generous amount of noodle for a medium sized bowl of noodle, can truly make my stomach full after a half day of long walk.

Forget to mention, the radish is free flow.

How to search this restaurant? It was a bit tricky for me to locate the restaurant after my Google map lost its direction again.

By following the map on the website I found on the spot, it is going up hill straight by walking after exiting the Namsan Subway Line 1 Exit 7. A more direct way to go up the hill will be walking down the main street until you see the hospital at the T junction, then turn left into Namsan-ro, continue walking up the hill, which took me quite some time and energy until you see a school, where you make a left turn. The restaurant is just around that corner.

Alternatively, you can take a bus to go up the hill where the bus stop is just nearby the restaurant too.

There is no issues for me to have my meal alone at this restaurant as they serve for one person too. It is just the language barrier with the waitress, yet it is not a problem at all.

Address: 989-13, Namsan-dong, Geumjeong-gu, Busan, Korea.

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