Okay, so it doesn’t really sizzle. In fact, the Korean summer is much milder than the arid Philippine summer. There’s lots of sunlight, but there’s also a nice breeze because of the nearby Haeundae Beach. Then at night, it’s nice and chilly. How I wish we had the same weather in Manila!
Now, anytime anyone mentions “Korea”, the first thought that pops into my head is “COSMETICS!!!” But of course I’m well-aware that it is so much more than that. It’s a nice country to visit, even though you cannot speak a word of Korean. The first time I was in Korea (Seoul), I had my master communicator cousin with me, so I was quite nervous for this trip. Luckily, charades is a universal thing.
Busan is a much smaller city than Incheon, comparable to our very own Cebu. The vibe out there is also a lot different because people have a more laid-back style. The metro never gets too full (even on weekends) and people never elbow or jostle, unlike in Seoul. There are plenty of shopping and dining options. Sidewalks near the beach feature arcade games, if you want to try your luck. Definitely, this is a fantastic place to relax.
For budget accommodations near the beach, I strongly recommend staying at Popcorn Hostel. Ideal for backpackers, families, and groups, Popcorn takes up a mere 2 floors in a multi-level building. You can book a family room with an en suite bathroom, if you’re particular about communal restrooms. Originally, we asked for a room for 4 but they overbooked, so we got upgraded to a room for 6 instead (a bed for two plus two bunk beds).
It’s fairly basic, but clean. We didn’t have a TV in the room, but the air conditioner functioned nicely and they provided us with towels. As for the bathroom, the dual shower gives a good bath (one rainfall, the other a detachable shower head), though I do have to complain about the drainage system in our room. You see, the entire bathroom has a singular drain hole located between the shower and the sink. (The position of the drain is not the same as in the photo below.) For some reason, the water from the shower went down very slowly, to the point that there was a puddle developing under the sink and toilet bowl. It got gross pretty quickly.
Other than that, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay. They provided free breakfast, albeit a simple one with coffee, eggs, toast, jam, and butter. There’s a communal kitchen complete with utensils and cookware and a dining area with desktop computers you can borrow for free. They do not allow eating in the quarters, but you can use the communal guest refrigerator for food you’ve brought from outside. They also sell alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages by the reception area.
From what was written in chalk on the dining area walls, plenty of guests share my sentiment in loving Popcorn. Staff members were friendly and super helpful. The beach and shop clusters are only a few blocks away and there’s even a small grocery store a block to the right. Given the chance, I’d love to stay there again.
To Be Continued
Popcorn Hotel — Tower Marin 10F & 11F, Haeundaehaebyeon-ro 321, Haeundae Beach / BEXCO, Busan, South Korea