One Day in Busan

Our 12-day Windstar cruise, "Kyoto and the Zen of Japan", included one glorious day in Busan, South Korea. Can't say that I realized just how geographically close the two countries are.

Haedong Yonggungsa Temple

This temple was the highlight of the day and perhaps my favorite shrine of the entire trip. It required a climb of 108 steps lined with stone lanterns, animal statues, coins tossed for good luck, Buddhas, vendors, and thousands upon thousands of colorful paper lanterns. Then, you reach an overlook where the expansive seaside shrine unfolds before you, nestled into the rocky shore. Truly a spectacular site and one where I could have spent days and days.

Walking up the path, lined with statues of animals

Steve with a dog statue


Column detail

The Overlook

Inside the Shrine

The monk in the photo below had tourists constantly walking behind him/her, some even grabbing a cushion and joining in quiet (or perhaps more like muffled) tromping and meditation behind him. He/she never moved a muscle.

Lanterns upon lanterns

Wish upon wish

The colorful lanterns decorated both the outside and inside of the monastery with wishes tied to them.

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Above the main plaza, a cemetery

We continued our climb up above the main monastery level to a cemetery. We found family burial areas with decorated statues, small dolls with bobbleheads nodding in the breeze, many "wishes" written on gold leaves, and a lovely overlook. My apologies for my shaky video!

APEC House

We were bussed from the temple to an ocean front international conference center, APEC House (Asian Pacific Economic Corporation) where we toured the gorgeous room where George W once sat for an APEC Summit. We then strolled along the lovely shoreline towards downtown Busan and chanced upon a fisherman and a family having a portrait session. I couldn't resist!

Jagalchi Fish Market


Last stop of the day was a fish market. Really? Can I pass? We'd seen more than a few fish markets by this point in the trip. But I was wrong, very wrong!

The fishmongers lined the streets outside the market and once inside, it was HUGE! Think WalMart, with live fish and all types of strange marine animals trying to escape their tanks lining the sides of the aisles. What an overwhelming visual and olfactory experience as you gingerly step through the water flowing across the floor.

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Sayanora, Busan!

It was a fabulous day! Next stop, Tomo No Ura and the Limestone Caves

Sayanora, Busan!

It was a fabulous day! Next stop, Tomo No Ura and the Limestone Caves

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