Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Cycling Korea 2016: Days 15 & 16 - The Busan Art Museum & Goodbye Korea

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                                     AhPek Biker - Riding Adventures                                   
Cycling Korea 2016: Days 15 & 16 - The Busan Art Museum & Goodbye Korea
Tour of South Korea : Days 15 & 16, 18-19th June 2016
Small Group Cycling Tour -?? Dong Yang Motel (near Busan Station)>by train>Haeundae Station>Haeundae Beach>Busan Museum Of Art>Millak-dong>Centum City>by train>Busan Station>Dong Yang Motel.
Cycling Distance - approx 8.0km.     Level: Easy
Time : not relevant.     |     Time Taken : Not relevant.

This is page 15 of a 15-page blog, Click Here To Go To Title Page.
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Route Recommendations :
1. Right is Right!
- Korea traffic is left-hand drive. For those coming from right-hand drive countries always do remember to ride on the right-hand side... i.e. Right is right! Same thing applies when crossing the rode, take note that traffic is approaching from left! Sounds confusing, it actually isn't, just take while to get use to it.
- Do be careful at un-signalised zebra-crossing, drivers often do not stop for pedestrians to cross.

2. Ride Conditions
- It's an easy ride around Haeundae residential area from the beach to the museum.
- The weather was cool at 24°C to 27°C day time and dipping down to about 21°C in the evening.

3. Bringing Bikes Onto Korean Trains, Buses & Planes
   Full-sized bicycles are allowed onto the first and last coach of Korean trains on weekends or public holidays. Folding bikes are allowed onto the trains at any time.
    Using Busan's Airport Limousine Bus is a convenient way to get to the Gimhae International Airport, it has large baggage holds to fit most folding bike bags, The bus route passes by most of the tourist hotel area and the fare is a reasonable 6,000KRW per pax. (... click here to read more on the Airport Limousine Bus route & timetable schedules).
    When travelling by air, we usually packed our Bromptons into Ikea's Dimpa bags and protected with plastic Impra Boards, and carry a spare Dimpa just in case. We bought sports equipment baggage for 25kg which is much in excess of the weight of our packed bike. Anne taught me a nifty trick, pack our clothes and helmet into the spare Dimpa bag and state it as part of our sports equipment. Fold the bag tight and use masking tape to secure it. This lightened our carry on luggage considerably. (... see blog on packing the Brompton for Air Travel).

4. Points of Interest
Busan Museum Of Art (GPS: 35.166745, 129.137028).
Centum City (GPS: 35.167936, 129.132165).
- Shopping: Korean cosmetics and body care products are renown. Buy them at the airport duty-free outlets, it's duty free so cheaper than outside and there is no necessity to claim back VAT refunds. AND always ask for free samples, the shop girls can be generous with these. The duty free shops also sells leather products, etc.

5. Food
- Lunch was a dim-sum outlet at Haeundae Market Alley (부산 해운대시장) (GPS: 35.16166, 129.16263).
- Dinner was at a barbecue restaurant in Busan Chinatown operated by a Mr. Lee.

6. Accommodations
    Accommodations was 3 nights at the Dong Yang Motel (GPS: 35.11336, 129.04061) at 35,000KRW per night. It's conveniently located near the Busan Train Station.

7. Phone Sim Cards
For staying in touch with each other, it will be good to get local sim-cards. At the Incheon International Airport pre-paid sim card can be surprisingly obtained from a convenience store at the first floor for 29,000 KRW with a 1 gig data, 100 minutes of call time. A lady working for the phone company waits outside at the benches to help set up and activate the line, and presto! within minutes it's done.
    Or one can pre-order online through mobile providers such as Evergreen EGsim and collect at their outlet at the airport. They have several plans to select from.


The previous day, we had done a good exploration of Busan and Haeundae marvelling at the artsy culture of the city. Today is our last full day in South Korea and I took leave from the gang as I wanted to visit the Busan Museum Of Art down in Haeundae. The rest wanted to explore the streets and do some shopping in Busan (...click here to see Sin's blog on their day).


I started the day later; enjoying a long, relaxing bath in the en-suite Jacuzzi of my hotel room (yes, it's a great room, that came with a Jacuzzi and even a multi-function, multi-nozzle shower!). 
Taking the Busan Metro train down to Haeundae, I sort of missed my cycling buddies. We had always been looking out for each other. Here I am sitting with people all around me and yet feeling alone; a kindly Korean help me take this photo.

Okay, time to shake of the feeling of melancholy; after all it's "Sun & Fun" in Haeundae.

11:30am - Starting with some sun at Haeundae Beach; it's a Saturday today and surprisingly the beach was rather empty. Perhaps it's still to early and perhaps the crowd come later in the evening. It's good too as it felt like Goofy (my bike) and me had the place all to ourselves.

Very near to the Haeudae Station is Busan's Sea Life Aquarium, it was crowded. I had thought of going in but the entry ticket of 25,000KRW was a deterrent and there was also a long queue there.
So it's off to start my cycling to the museum; but first I dropped by the dimsum shop at Haeundae Traditional Market Alley (부산 해운대시장) to take-away some steamed buns for my lunch later.

And then it's off along the streets of the coastal city; it was a different scenery from our ride yesterday - instead of going through the commercial areas it was through the residential areas. Nearer the beach were prime value condominiums shooting high up into the sky, and dotting in between them were public parks.

Life here is at a slower pace than in Busan, people are dressed casually and there was even this guy with a pull cart going somewhere with his two dogs sitting happily in the cart.

12:15pm - Arrived at the Busan Museum Of Art. It occupies several building, with the main museum galleries on the right, and a gallery called "Space" which showcases the work of Lee Ufan. In between is a large turfed garden with outdoor art pieces on display. At the centre  and two sides of this are shaded seating space for people to relax and appreciate the art pieces.
Entry to the museum is free except for the "Space" gallery (ticket charge of 2,000 KRW per adult); photography is allowed in most galleries except for the private collections and the "Space" gallery.

In the garden are sculptures by contemporary Korean artists, like this one titled "Nature + Man" by Kim Kwang-woo. It's an interesting bronze piece of a giant hand pressed down in stressed mode with a techno combo of equipment and a robot connected to it.

Another large sculpture of a "High 5" hand. The artist must be a great fan of Walt Disney's cartoon; the hand itself, with it's stumpy fingers. looked like Mickey Mouse's hand. Etched onto the hand's surface were other cartoon characters like Pinocchio, Casper the Ghost, Peter Pan, etc. Donald Duck'sh head stuck out from the thumb.

At the ground floor hall, I met a brother dog - Anubis carved in black Belgium Marble. This is a piece by Novello Finitto, an Italian artist. This museum has several pieces by him at the ground floor and first floor lobby; there's even one gallery showcasing only his work.

A seductive piece by Novello Finitto, titled "After the Silence.

Up at the first floor Gallery of Donated Works, a pink marble sculpture by Kim Jun Hae titled "Salvation". Looks like this lady is closing her ears, a salvation from today's noisy world. Perhaps, we should do this once in a while to get some quiet moments and be at peace for a while.

A marble sculpture by Novello Finitto, title "Ritual"; the person seems to have heavy load on his/her head, perhaps he should go see the lady in "Salvation".

I was hypnotised by this green neon piece called "Want" by Ivan Navarro .....

..... and then mesmerised by this pink lady with hollow but piercing eyes (a painting by Chinese painter Feng Zhengjie titled "China No. 25).

After spending more than three hours there, I rode off with my GPS unit directing me to another gallery, the Gayang Gallery located at another part of Haeundae. The route took me across the Suyeong-ro Bridge, from here there are good views of Haeundae both upstream...

... and down stream.

On the bridge itself, statues of a couple of friendly killer whales jumped up...

... across a colourful dune and dove down on the other side.

The Gayang Gallery at Suyeong-gu turned out not to be an art gallery but a shop selling sea floor stones; the stones in the photo above looked uncannily like the huge boulders I saw while on a cycling trip in the Philippines (.... see blog on Valungan Boulder Beach).
What more, the shop was close! But it was not a wasted trip as I got to see some beautiful scenes; and also on the way found a shop selling and servicing Bromptons. Silly me, in my excitement of meeting new Brommie friends I forgot to take photos! Any way the shop is located at the junction of Gwnagnam-ro & Gwanganhaebyeon-ro (Address: 108-10 Millak-dong Suyeong-gu, Busan, GPS: 35.160270, 129.129751).

Satisfied with my short cycling romp in Haeundae, I rode to the Centum City. This place is a huge shopping mall, and they claim themselves to be the largest shopping mall under the Guiness Book of Records. It was a huge place alright, and the train station is located within it's basement. From the Centum City Station I took the Metro back to Busan.
After another good Jacuzzi bath (yup, since it's there might as well indulge and pamper myself), I joined my friends for a wonderful dinner of barbecued Korean Hanwoo Beef at a shop in Chinatown. It was our last dinner and we splurged on this wonderful meal, it was great as the beef cuts provided were well marbled.

Here we are with the owner, Mr. Lee. Thumbs up for his good food!

This being our last night, we really let our hair down. Anne, normally a teetotaller who hardly drank, let herself go, drinking a few glasses of beer. Soon she was joining us, red-faced and giggling away in our happiness.

In the wee hours of the morning (close to 1:00 am), we received an email announcing that our flight back to Malaysia had been delayed. Fortunately we were still awake doing last minute packing and the following morning set out for the airport slightly later.
Anne taught me a nifty trick: pack our clothes and helmet into the spare Dimpa bag and state it as part of our sports equipment. Fold the bag tight and use masking tape to secure it. This lightened our carry on luggage considerably. Yes, this AhPek still have more to learn.
In the morning, we trooped out to the nearby Busan bus stop with our packed bikes and other luggage to wait for the airport limousine bus. As can be seen, my buddies sure did some shopping the day before. We came with two bags each and left with much more. I had not done much shopping (only buying some trinkets, cycling gloves and socks), but I had received a shopping list from my wife and my shopping would come later on at the airport.

The airport limousine bus is a convenient way to go to the Gimhae International Airport from Busan or Haeundae; the buses have very comfortable seats and more importantly have large holds that can fit in our bikes easily. Bus stops are located on the main roads at the tourists area, just look out for a large dark blue signboard stating "Airport Limousine Bus". The board also show the route and the timetable of the bus arriving at that particular bus stop.
(... click here to read more of the Airport Limousine Bus).

Our last meal in Korea, a mix of rice, noodles and steak at a Shinsegae food outlet at Gimhae Airport .... okay, no beer or soju, we had enough last night.

Ok, it's my turn to shop now. At the Shinsegae duty free shop, I took out the shopping list from my wife, it's mainly cosmetics and facial & body care products. South Korea is renown for these, especially the face mask using snail slime to make. Yes, snail slime, the one snails lay to smoothen surfaces that they glide over. Apparently, the slime is good to smoothen the skin too; now, now .... don't go catching your garden snails to get their slime!

Ariel view of Busan.

안녕 다시 당신을보고!
(that's "annyeong dasi dangsin-eulbogo" meaning "Goodbye and see you again")

(For more photos of the day Click Here)

This is page 15 of a 15-page blog, Click Here To Go To Title Page.
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You are at - Jotaro's Blog / AhPek Biker / Cycling Korea / Cycling Korea 2016 / Days 15 & 16 - The Busan Art Museum & Goodbye Korea     |     Go To D1 / D2 / D3 / D4 / D5 / D6 / D7 / D8 / D9 / D10 / D11 / D12 / D13 D14
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