Friday, December 12, 2014

Barely Busan: Haeundae Beach at night

We settled our things in our room (simple traditional Korean style) at the Mobydick Hotel and stepped outside for dinner and a stroll. We spotted a Lotteria fast-food restaurant on our way to the hotel when we arrived and we've decided we would be having our dinner there. Chicken galore! Conveniently located just a few steps away from our hotel. That sealed the deal. It was Lotteria every night for dinner. It's a Korean brand after all - founded by Shin Jun Ho, a Korean entrepreneur in Tokyo, Japan in 1972 (the brand was then established in 1979 in Seoul).

After a stomach-filling dinner at Lotteria, we walked towards the famous Haeundae Beach. According to the map, it was within walking distance from our hotel, too. At first, it was difficult trying to find our bearing. We had to somehow see where the shoreline was but with tall hotel buildings surrounding us, it was hard to spot the shore. We consulted the map again and looked for a building as a marker. We found one then we were off to our night stroll to the beach. We passed by several accommodations and office buildings and even had to cross a main road until we reached the parking lot just in front of the Haeundae Beach.

Frankly speaking, I didn't expect this area to be so modern - with several big hotels lining up the streets across. I was shocked to see that this famous beach was actually in a well-developed community. It's a beach sanctuary co-existing with the hustle and bustle of city life. Although I've seen several pictures of the beach, they show mostly the shoreline with blue umbrellas and lounge chairs in the peak of summer months and not much of the buildings around it. 

We walked into the beach area and saw one huge mound of sand and several smaller ones in rows. It was puzzling to see a hill of sand in the middle of the beach. We were wracking our brains as to what the purpose of this was. Maybe they were preparing something for the opening of the beach season. 

Beach season or not, our boys were ready for whatever it was at Haeundae Beach. They three guys climbed the sand hill while I decided to just stay where I was, not wanting to move a muscle as the cold breeze was getting the better of me. Kelvin and Ira, as always, thought of a game to make use of the things around them - that night it was running down the slopes of the sand hill. At first, they were still wearing their slippers. Then I told them it might be easier if they went barefoot. They tried and said it was easier and more fun because they got to feel the sand on their feet (worry about dirty feet later). It also saved their slippers from wear and tear.

When they were done with the slopes we decided to take a walk along the beach. It was a nice contrast to look at the calm waters of Haeundae Beach as it got dark and the twinkling lights of the hotels/buildings nearby. While hubby was taken in by the view and gotten himself busy with his photography and the boys found themselves another thing to do (jumping into the dug out holes), I stood there looking at them and the scenery and just felt at peace. I knew it was going to be an exciting 3 days in Busan.

When the kids were tired of jumping into holes, they decided to go for another game - find that coin in the sand. One was supposed to hide the coin while the other one looked for it. It lasted only a few minutes until they actually did lose the coin. Ira was frantic. He wouldn't want to leave until he found the coin and asked everyone to dig into the sand to look for it. He even pointed to someone who seemed to carry a metal detector and thought maybe that person could help us find his coin. Of course, he was too shy to approach the person. It was already getting late, and their hands were turning to be filthy by the minute, so I decided to just drop a coin close to him and pretend that I found his lost coin. He was so relieved (and I felt a little pinch of guilt but I knew we wouldn't be able to find it anymore) and thankful.

Before leaving the beach, hubby took a few more shots, with me and him this time. It was hard to call the boys in since they were busy playing.

Here were several couple pics taken at Haeundae Beach

In this final photo, Ira purposely walked close to the camera and caused the sand to spray. We were concerned it might have ruined the shot but it actually made a good effect on print.

We walked back to our hotel a bit cold and tired. We thought of trying some of the street seafood by the car park but most of the patrons were drinking beer. We realized it was probably because it was a good pair to the raw seafood being served. Nah, we weren't up for that kind of challenge that night.

Our trip to Haeundae Beach was a good way to end our first day in Busan. How we would have loved to have been able to take a dip in the beach but that would have to wait for the peak of summer when the beach officially opens. Maybe on our next visit we could be seen here lounging under a blue beach umbrella and sipping cold drinks while watching our boys swim and play in the beach. That's just me daydreaming.... although sometimes dreams do come true. I may even go for a dip myself when that happens :)

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