The Madness in Bus from Busan to Seoul

Slight interval between my arrival and bus departure sweetly paid off, so I didn’t have to wait too long for bus to depart. A few minutes ago, I had asked to one of drivers in order to find a bus which would I take at Busan Central Bus Terminal. His forefinger clearly pointed at the white fleet with a red color. I rushed to bus and asked to its driver who was sitting in front of the parked bus.

“Yes, this bus”, he said when I showed the ticket.

The ticket which I bought this morning with costs 23,000 Won.

He allowed me to get on early on the bus which its machine was slowly starting but bus still neatly parked at the platform. Bus seats were in two columns on each side and I acquired a seat slightly behind. By being on the bus, apart from getting peace of mind because I won’t be left behind, I also got warm air which made me felt comfortable.

One by one local passengers arrived and tried to find their respective seats. Until a minute before departure, bus seats were not full. The driver came and started checking each passenger with a manifest sheet in his left hand. After marking all lists in the manifest,then driver got off, reported to terminal’s officer, then began to sit behind the wheel. The bus was ready to start its long journey with more than half of its seats left empty.

Then bus was slowly moving away from Busan Central Bus Terminal and starting to show off new areas which I’ve never explored before. Bus entered a toll road by showing the silhouette of South Korea’s beautiful hills. Not infrequently bus entered tunnels which splitting the hill. The streets looked deserted at night, only showing night lights along the contours of Korean hills. Unbelievably beautiful.

Passengers have been asleep for a long time, while I, as a foreigner, prefered to enjoy evening shows while enjoying a few slices of bread which I bought from a minimarket in Busan Central Bus Terminal. Yup, I didn’t have time to have dinner properly, because I was being chased by time to catching bus departure since afternoon.

I didn’t realize I had been enjoying street scenery for so long, until finally driver took a break at Sunsan Service Area near Gumi City, precisely in Gyeongsangbuk Province. All passengers got off to just enjoying a cup of hot coffee or at least go for a moment into toilet. Meanwhile, I just decided to walk around rest area while waiting for driver to finishing their dinner.

Sunsan Service Area, where buses did break time.
Bus which I took (photo taken upon arrival at Seoul Express Bus Terminal).

Then that madness came….

Twenty minutes later, bus was ready to leave, and all passengers returned to their respective seats. I rushed to bus and sat back in my seat. After driver counted passengers, then bus headed again to Seoul.

I remembered that in my backpack there were still two t-shirts and a pair of socks which weren’t completely dry. Seeing a quiet situation in bus with all passengers were sleeping with their dream, I took out that t-shirt and socks and then spread them at headrest of seat in front of me, I deliberately did this to dry them out. “Ah, while all passangers are sleeping, it will be Okay …”, I thought while laughing amused.

Then I started to close my eyes to rest, because when I arrived in Seoul, I would stay overnight and have to stay awake at Seoul Express Bus Terminal to then immediately exploring Seoul City in the morning. I had to save energy for that….

I started to close my eyes, the bus would still arrive in next two hours….

Towards Busan Central Bus Terminal: Backward Three Stations

My gaze was just doing repetitions. Watches-route board-watches….and repeatly. Anxiety punished me by not being able to enjoying comfortable Humetro carriage. I still didn’t choose to sit down, my legs upright supporting my body at a pole near train door. I prepared to get off at Seomyeon Station to ending my journey at Humetro Line 2 (Green Line) to changing to Humetro Line 1 (Orange Line). I had to reach Beomnaegol Station as quickly as possible to retrieve my backpack which I was entrusted at reception desk of Kimchee Busan Guesthouse.

Finally I arrived. Quickly stepping out of the carriage, stepping on several escalators, I quickly reached the surface. Then started to lightly running down Hwangnyeong-daero Avenue towards guesthouse.

A few minutes later I panted, caught my breath in the front yard of guesthouse, and then headed to reception desk with regular breaths.

Me: “Sir, can I take my backpack which I entrusted to receptionist this morning?”.

Receptionist: “Can you show the label card which give to you?”.

Me: “This, Sir”

Receptionist: “OK, follow me!”

After checking the label card, he got up from his seat and headed out into the courtyard. I followed him from behind until I arrived at the side of large container box. Apparently all backpack which every guest in the guesthouse put was in there. Now I had got my blue backpack.

Me: “Thank you, Sir”

Receptionist: “You are welcome. Be carreful on your way”.

I said goodbye and waved him before turning around to leave the guesthouse.

See you Kimchee Busan Guesthouse!….

I went back down the street to station. It was getting dark. Bus departure time for Seoul was getting closer. 10 minutes of pounding made me arrived at the platform of Beomnaegol Station, waiting for Humetro Line1 (Orange Line). The beam of light was getting brighter and hit the bulkhead which separating the platform and Humetro’s path. The series of carriages I was waiting for had arrived, I entered the back carriage, put my backpack between my legs and stood against carriage’s wall right next to Humtero’s door.

This time I calmed down a bit, because there was no need to change lanes to get to Nopo Station. The train slowly left Busanjin District. Every station I passed made me feel more relieved, brought me closer to my destination.

Forty-five minutes later I arrived at Nopo Station. But something happened to my stomach, suddenly unstoppably twisting. I took an initiative to look for a sign to toilets throughout Nopo Station. But two different toilet which I found were far from ideal…. Urine smell, muddy and full of human traffic. Ah….Too bad.

How could I let this happen, if trip to Seoul would take four hours, then I would be tormented by this stomach ache. I looked back at my watch, there was still forty-five minutes before the bus left. I was thinking a little crazy now….I was going to go back two or three stations, looking for a quieter and ideal toilet. I jumped back into Humetro’s carriage and followed its pace. Then get off at third stop, Dusil Station.

As fast as lightning, I did a search for the toilet and finally I found a clean, fragrant and quiet toilet. Ah….Something just happened on my second day of adventure in Korea.

I now have twenty minutes left. I was already sitting in Humetro carriage again, repeating my way to Nopo Station. Ten minutes later I arrived and immediately ran towards Busan Central Bus Terminal which was integrated with Nopo Station.

“”Yes…”, I arrived at bus platform on ten minutes before departure.

“Puufffttt….”, The journey was tense and tiring.

Bye Busan…Love u.

Seeing Old Grandpa in Gamcheon Culture Village

Eleven o’clock in the afternoon, Nopo-dong area, Geumjeong District….

Finally I got a bus ticket to Seoul. Because bus departed tonight, I decided to continue my exploration in Busan until afternoon. Now I was starting to leave Busan Central Bus Terminal, walking down an integration corridor towards Nopo Station.

Arriving at station, I didn’t have to wait long, Humetro Line 1 (Orange Line) took me to Toesong Station. It was twenty-four stations away. I arrived at destination station in almost an hour.

Getting off at Toesong Station, looking for directions to Gamcheon Culture Village.

Exiting west exit of Toesong Station, I then walked down Kkachigogae-ro Avenue. But before going any further, I found a street food which I had been aiming for before leaving for South Korea. Moreover, if it was not Bungeoppang, a street food made from flour and filled with chocolate. The uniqueness of this snack is its fish-shaped appearance which is very cute. I spent 1,000 Won to enjoying it.

I enjoyed a serving Bungeoppang in front of a middle-aged woman seller. Chewing while food was still hot made her laugh at me who was having a hard time chewing. Moments liked this made me always happy when traveling, joking with street food sellers who show their modesty, as they are.

From Kkachigogae-ro Avenue, I changed direction on Haedoji-ro Avenue heading south. The road was still flat, making me cross it with a smile. But I was only two hundred meters from Haedoji-ro Avenue section, because from then on I began to perfectly climb on Ami-ro Avenue.

Police station at Kkachigogae-ro Avenue.

I began to step at uphill road with a typical road topography, twisting, causing the road span to be longer. It was just that I didn’t want to be embarrassed by some of elderly residents who were nimbly climbing the road. Not even a few middle-aged residents happily jog up the hill. Extraordinary. I had to gasp up at Ami-ro Avenue to keep up with them.

I had walked one and a half kilometers until I finally arrived at the front gate of Gamcheon Culture Village. Meanwhile, it was half past one in the afternoon. Actually there was a public transportation number 2 which could take me from Toesong Station to Gamcheon Culture Village, but I was reluctant to use it, because walking is something that is fun and allows interacting with local residents.

The front gate of Gamcheon Culture Village.
The front gate of Gamcheon Culture Village.

After enjoying the atmosphere at the front gate of Gamcheon Culture Village which was full of art, I began to entering the cultural village which had been intensely given a touch of art since eleven years ago. It’s said that this village can be visited by more than one million tourists every year. Wow, you can imagine the magnitude of economic cycle in this former slum village. The village that used to be just a slum village, where the urban poor live, has now turned into a tourist village with extraordinary income.

The superior level of art has made Gamcheon Culture Village identified as the “Santorini of Korea”. Make Saha District pride, district where this tourist village area is.

Art along Gamcheon Culture Village.
 Gamcheon Culture Village atmosphere.
 Gamcheon Culture Village atmosphere.

Along the main village road, it was easy to find restaurants and cafes which pamper visitors. As far as the eye can see, there was ocean at the end of village when I enjoy its beauty from a house rooftop. Meanwhile, art and souvenir shops were scattered and easy to find.

At a point, I was attracted by one of homeowners who wore crutches at both arms. He told me that he was proud that his house was on the edge of the village’s main road and became an interesting spot for tourists to visit. I and a tourist of Chinese descent from Malaysia were invited to enter to see the interior of his house. Well this was the bonus of my trip.

But my time was so tight, it only took me an hour to walk around village and decided to immediately leave Gamcheon-dong area to go to another destination……

Getting Risk at Busan Central Bus Terminal

Bathroom dramas often coloring my travel stories, considering that I often chose a dormitory as a place to stay during my adventures.

First night in Busan. I was really annoyed, I just flushed a closed toilet seat, I mean that I didn’t want to see “zonk” things when I opened it… But, water spilled everywhere along with its load.

Damn it….This must be a behavior of the man who a few minutes ago passed me at shared bathroom door.

Suddenly I went to another bathroom which was two floors above me. I had no desire to take a shower in bathroom even though there were still several more shower rooms available. In upstairs bathroom, conditions were cleaner, maybe guests were reluctant to bother going upstairs. Because of this incident, my heartburn suddenly disappeared. I prefered to go straight to shower room to wash my body with warm water.

Olala….Turned out I was a same jerk…..

After taking a shower, I lingered in front of the sink to dry my t-shirt and sock with a hair dryer, until they were completely dry. “Ah, It’s Okay. There’s no one. I’m paying to this hotel too,” a devil’s voice in my heart whispered. Understandably in this travel journey, I began to apply a strategy of carrying two pairs of socks to simplify my luggage. I will wash and dry unused socks in preparation for next use.


That morning I woke up on time. After Fajr prayer, I no longer felt asleep. I prefered to open itinerary sheets while waiting for light of the day. When sun started to come, I started to leave Kimchee Busan Guesthouse after taking a shower, considering that this inn didn’t provide breakfast for dormitory room.

I exited to the inn alley, and followed Hwangnyeong-daero Street heading west, to Beomnaegol Station to continue my journey. But of course I had to get breakfast before boarding to Humetro. I stopped at a CU minimarket to then enter it and hunted for breakfast in it. I found a handful of rice filled with corn at a special food rack, went to cashier, paid for it and then ate it on a seat inside the minimarket.

Soon I ate it. I immediately entered the station building and looked for a ticketing vending machine to buy a one day pass, then headed to platform after holding a one day pass for 4,500 Won.

That morning I would head to Busan Central Bus Terminal to buy a bus ticket to Seoul which would depart at night. Humetro Line 1 (Orange Line) softly screeched to a stop at platform. I immediately sat at one of its seats in a half-empty carriage to then follow the train to Nopo Station, a station where Busan Central Bus Terminal is integrated. I arrived in 45 minutes.

Getting out of the carriage I looked for clues that could lead me to the terminal. It’s not hard to find. A clue which then continued with the next clue directed me to arrive at the Busan Central Bus Terminal.

Busan Central Bus Terminal ticket sales counter.

 “Hello, Miss. How much is a ticket to Seoul? “I asked to ticket sales staff in a long row of ticketing counters.

“32,000 Won, Sir. Bus will depart on around 16:00 hours”.

“Miss, What is the cheapest price and what time does the bus depart?”, I bluntly remembered that my pockets were running low.

“23,000 Won and bus will depart on 20:30 hours, Sir”.

“Okay, Wait Miss”.

I left her and sat at waiting chair. I started to calculate, if I departed early then I would be relatively safe because I would arrive in Seoul before nightfall. But that means I had to increase cost to rent a dormitory sooner. Of course it would be expensive.

If I took a night ticket, then inevitably, I would spend the night at Seoul City Bus Terminal, a little risky, but it was most possible choice with my money which was running out.

Okay, I would do that….. I got up from my seat and returned to a female staff.

“Yes, Ms. I take the night one”.

“Ok. Sir”

I handed her the money and she gave me a ticket to go to Seoul.

Busan-Seoul bus ticket costs 23,000 Won.

Okay, one important part I quickly finished. I would spend the remaining time in Busan that day.

Menjemur di Bus dari Busan ke Seoul

<—-Kisah Sebelumnya

Jeda tipis antara ketibaanku dan keberangkatan bus berbuah manis, menjadikanku tak terlalu lama menunggunya berangkat. Beberapa menit lalu, aku telah menanyakan demi mencari bus yang akan kunaiki kepada salah seorang pengemudi di Busan Central Bus Terminal. Telunjuk jarinya jelas mengarah pada armada berwarna putih dengan kelir merah. Aku pun bergegas menuju bus itu dan bertanya pada pengemudinya yang duduk di depan bus yang terparkir.

Yes, this bus”, ungkapnya ketika aku menunjukkan tiket.

Tiket yang sudah kubeli sedari pagi seharga 23.000 Won.

Dia mengizinkanku untuk lebih awal menaiki bus yang mesinnya menyala langsam tetapi masih terparkir rapi di platform. Bangku bus itu berformasi dua kolom di setiap sisi dan aku mengakuisisi bangku sedikit di belakang. Dengan berada di dalam bus, selain mendapatkan ketenangan karena tak bakal tertinggal, aku juga mendapatkan udara hangat yang membuat nyaman.

Satu demi satu penumpang lokal berdatangan dan berusaha mencari tempat duduknya masing-masing. Hingga satu menit menjelang kebarangkatan, kursi bus itu tak kunjung penuh. Pengemudi datang dan mulai memeriksa setiap penumpang dengan lembar manifest di tangan kirinya. Setelah menandai semua list dalam manifest, maka pengemudi itupun turun, melapor kepada petugas di terminal, lalu mulai menempati posisi duduk di belakang kemudi. Bus itu siap memulai perjalanan jauh dengan kondisi lebih dari separuh bangku dibiarkan kosong.

Kini bus perlahan menjauh dari Busan Central Bus Terminal dan mulai memamerkan area-area baru yang belum pernah kujelajah sebelumnya. Bus itu memasuki jalur bebas hambatan dengan memamerkan siluet perbukitan-perbukitan indah Korea Selatan. Tak jarang bus memasuki terowongan-terowongan pembelah bukit. Jalanan tampak lengang di malam hari, hanya menampilkan pelita-pelita malam di sepanjang kontur perbukitan Korea. Luar biasa indah.

Para penumpang telah tertidur sedari tadi, sementara aku sebagai orang asing, lebih memilih menikmati pertunjukan malam sembari menikmati beberapa potong roti yang kubeli dari sebuah minimarket di Busan Central Bus Terminal. Yups, aku tak sempat menimati makan malam dengan layak, karena dikejar waktu demi menangkap keberangkatan bus sedari sore tadi.

Tak terasa aku telah begitu lama menikmati pemandangan jalanan, hingga akhirnya pengemudi melakukan break time di Sunsan Service Area di dekat Kota Gumi, Provinsi Gyeongsangbuk. Segenap penumpang turun untuk sekedar menikmati secangkir kopi panas atau paling tidak pergi sejenak menuju toilet. Sedangkan aku hanya memutuskan berkeliling di sekitar rest area sembari menunggu pengemudi menuntaskan makan malam.

Sunsan Service Area, tempat bus melakukan break time.
Bus yang kunaiki (foto diambil setiba di Seoul Express Bus Terminal).

Kegilaan itu datang….

Dua puluh menit kemudian bus siap berangkat, segenap penumpang kembali menempati posisi duduknya masing-masing. Aku segera menuju bus dan kembali duduk di bangkuku. Usai pengemudi menghitung penumpang, bus kembali melaju menuju Seoul.

Aku teringat bahwa di dalam backpack masih terdapat dua t-shirt dan sepasang kaos kaki yang belum sempurna kering. Melihat suasana sepi dalam bus dengan penumpang yang terlelap dalam mimpi, aku mengeluarkan t-shirt dan kaos kaki itu untuk kemudian membentangkannya di sandaran jok depan, aku sengaja melakukannya untuk membuatnya kering. “Ah, mumpung yang lain sedang tidur…”, batinku tertawa geli.

Selanjutnya akupun mulai memejamkan mata untuk beristirahat, karena setiba di Seoul, aku akan menginap dan harus terjaga di Seoul Express Bus Terminal untuk kemudian langsung melakukan eksplorasi Seoul di pagi harinya. Aku harus menghemat energi untuk itu….

Mata mulai kupejamkan, bus masih akan tiba dua jam lagi….

Kisah Selanjutnya—->

Menuju Busan Central Bus Terminal: Mundur ke Belakang Tiga Stasiun

<—-Kisah Sebelumnya

Tatapanku hanya melakukan repetisi sedari tadi. Jam tangan-route board-jam tangan….begitu seterusnya. Kecemasan menghukumku dengan tak mampunya diri menikmati gerbong nyaman Humetro. Aku masih tak memilih duduk, kakiku tegak menopang badan di tiang gerbong dekat pintu keluar. Aku bersiap untuk turun di Stasiun Seomyeon untuk mengakhiri perjalanan di Humetro Line 2 (Green Line) demi berpindah ke Humetro Line 1 (Orange Line). Aku harus menggapai Stasiun Beomnaegol secepat mungkin demi mengambil backpack yang tertitip di meja resepsionis Kimchee Busan Guesthouse.

Akhirnya aku tiba. Melangkah cepat keluar gerbong, menaiki beberapa escalator, aku menggapai permukaan dengan cepat. Kemudian mulai berlari ringan menyusuri Hwangnyeong-daero Avenue menuju guesthouse.

Sedasa menit kemudian aku tersengal, mengatur nafas di halaman depan guesthouse, baru kemudian menuju ke meja resepsionis dengan nafas teratur.

Aku: “Sir, can I take my backpack which I entrusted to the receptionist this morning?”.

Resepsionis: “Can you show the label card which give to you?”.

Aku: “This, Sir

Resepsionis: “OK, follow me!

Setelah memeriksa label card itu, dia beranjak dari tempat duduk dan menuju ke halaman luar. Aku menguntitnya dari belakang hingga tiba di sisi container box besar. Rupanya backpack yang dititip setiap tamu guesthouse ditaruh di sini. Kini aku telah mendapatkan backpack biru ku.

Aku: “Thank you, Sir

Resepsionis: “You are welcome. Be carrefull on your way”.

Aku berpamitan dan melambaikan tangan sebelum balik badan meninggalkan guesthouse.

See you Kimchee Busan Guesthouse!….

Aku kembali turun di jalanan, menuju stasiun. Hari sudah mulai gelap. Waktu keberangkatan bus menuju Seoul semakin dekat. Berderap langkah selama 10 menit membuatku tiba di platform Stasiun Beomnaegol, menunggu Humetro Line1 (Orange Line). Pancaran cahaya itu semakin menerang menghantam sekat pembatas platform dan jalur Humetro. Rangkaian gerbong yang kutunggu telah tiba, aku memasuki gerbong belakang, menaruh backpack di sela kedua kaki dan berdiri menempel dinding gerbong persis disebelah pintu Humtero.

Kali ini aku sedikit tenang, karena tak perlu berpindah jalur untuk menuju Stasiun Nopo. Kereta perlahan meninggalkan Distrik Busanjin. Setiap stasiun yang terlewat membuatku semakin lega, membuatku semakin dekat dengan tujuan.

Empat puluh lima menit kemudian aku tiba di Stasiun Nopo. Tetapi sesuatu terjadi dengan perutku, tetiba melilit tak terbendung. Aku berinisiatif untuk mencari tengara menuju toilet di seantero Stasiun Nopo. Tapi dua titik toilet berbeda yang kutemukan ternyata jauh dari kata ideal….Pesing, becek dan penuh lalu lalang manusia. Ah….Parah.

Bagaimana bisa aku membiarkan keadaan ini, jika perjalanan ke Seoul akan memakan waktu empat jam, maka aku akan tersiksa dalam kondisi sakit perut seperti ini. Kulihat kembali jam tangan, masih ada waktu empat puluh lima menit sebelum bus berangkat. Aku kini berfikir sedikit gila….Aku akan mundur ke belakang sejauh dua atau tiga stasiun, mencari toilet yang lebih sepi dan ideal. Aku kembali melompat ke gerbong Humetro dan mengikuti lajunya. Kemudian turun di pemberhentian ketiga, Stasun Dusil.

Secepat kilat melangkah, aku melakukan pencarian toilet dan akhirnya aku menemukan toilet yang bersih, harum dan sepi. Ah….Ada-ada saja yang terjadi pada petualangan hari keduaaku di Korea.

Waktuku kini tersisa dua puluh menit. Aku sudah duduk lagi di gerbong Humetro, mengulang jalan menuju Stasiun Nopo. Sepuluh menit kemudian aku tiba dan segera berlari menuju Busan Central Bus Terminal yang terintegrasi dengan Stasiun Nopo.

Yes…”, aku tiba di di platform bus yang dimaksud sepuluh menit sebelum keberangkatan.

Puufffttt….”, Perjalanan menegangkan dan melelahkan.

Bye BusanLove u.

Menengok Kakek Tua di Gamcheon Culture Village

<—-Kisah sebelumnya.

Pukul sebelas siang, daerah Nopo-dong, Distrik Geumjeong….

Akhirnya aku mendapatkan tiket bus menuju Seoul. Karena bus baru berangkat malam nanti, aku memutuskan untuk melanjutkan eksplorasi di Busan hingga sore nanti. Kini aku mulai meninggalkan Busan Central Bus Terminal, menyusuri koridor integrasi menuju Stasiun Nopo.

Setiba di stasiun, tak lama menunggu, Humetro Line 1 (Orange Line) membawaku menuju Stasiun Toesong. Jaraknya berselang dua puluh empat stasiun. Aku tiba di stasiun tujuan dalam rentang waktu hampir satu jam.

Turun di Stasiun Toesong, mencari petunjuk menuju Gamcheon Culture Village.

Keluar dari pintu barat Stasiun Toesong, aku kemudian menyusuri Kkachigogae-ro Avenue. Tetapi sebelum jauh melangkah, aku menemukan street food yang sudah kuincar untuk dicicipi sebelum berangkat ke Korea Selatan. Apalagi kalau bukan Bungeoppang, street food berbahan dasar tepung dan berisikan cokelat, keunikan snack ini adalah penampakannya yang berbentuk ikan yang sangat lucu. Aku membelanjakan 1.000 Won (Rp. 12.000) untuk menikmatinya.

Aku menikmati sajian Bungeoppang di depan penjual wanita setengah baya. Mengunyah dalam kondisi makanan yang masih panas membuat dia menertawakanku yang kerepotan mengunyah. Momen seperti inilah yang membuatku selalu bahagia ketika bertraveling, bersenda gurau dengan pengais rezeqi jalanan yang menunjukkan kesahajaannya, apa adanya.

Dari Kkachigogae-ro Avenue, aku berganti haluan di Haedoji-ro Avenue menuju ke selatan. Jalanan masih saja datar, membuatku melintasnya dengan sumringah. Tapi hanya dua ratus meter dari bagian Haedoji-ro Avenue yang kulalui, karena untuk selanjutnya aku mulai menanjak sempurna di Ami-ro Avenue.

Pos polisi di bilangan Kkachigogae-ro.

Aku mulai menanjaki bukit dengan topografi jalanan yang khas, meliak-liuk,  menyebabkan rentang jalan menjadi lebih panjang. Hanya saja aku tak mau dipermalukan dengan beberapa warga lanjut usia yang menanjaki jalan itu dengan gesit. Bahkan tak sedikit warga setengah baya berjogging ria menanjaki bukit. Luar biasa. Aku harus tersengal menanjaki Ami-ro Avenue untuk mengimbangi mereka.

Satu setengah kilometer sudah aku melangkah hingga akhirnya tiba di gerbang depan Gamcheon Culture Village. Sementara waktu telah menunjukkan pukul setengah satu siang. Sebetulnya ada kendaraan umum bernomor 2 yang bisa mengantarku dari Stasiun Toesong menuju Gamcheon Culture Village, tapi aku enggan menggunakannya, karena berjalan kaki adalah sesuatu yang menyenangkan dan memungkinkan berinteraksi dengan warga lokal.

Gerbang depan Gamcheon Culture Village.
Gerbang depan Gamcheon Culture Village.

Usai menikmati suasana gerbang depan Gamcheon Culture Village yang penuh seni, aku mulai memasuki desa budaya yang telah intens diberikan sentuhan seni sejak sebelas tahun lalu itu. Konon desa ini bisa dikunjungi lebih dari satu juta pelancong setiap tahunnya. Wahhh, bisa dibayangkan besarnya putaran ekonomi di bekas desa kumuh ini. Desa yang dulu hanyalah desa kumuh, tempat tinggal kaum miskin kota, kini desa itu telah berubah menjadi desa wisata dengan pendapatan yang luar biasa.

Tingkat seni yang unggul, menjadikan Gamcheon Culture Village diidentikkan dengan “Santorininya Korea”. Menjadikan kebanggaan Distrik Saha yang mencakupi wilayah desa wisata ini.

Seni di sepanjang Gamcheon Culture Village.
Suasana Gamcheon Culture Village.
Suasana Gamcheon Culture Village.

Di sepanjang jalan utama desa, mudah ditemukan restoran dan cafe yang memanjakan pengunjung. Sejauh mata memandang,  tampak lautan di ujung desa ketika aku menikmati keindahannya dari sebuah sky rooftop. Sementara toko seni dan souvenir tampak bertebaran dan mudah ditemukan.

Pada sebuah langkah, aku tertarik dengan salah seorang pemilik rumah yang mengenakan kruk di kedua lengannya. Dia bercerita bahwa dia bangga rumahnya berada di tepian jalan utama desa dan menjadi spot menarik untuk dikunjungi para wisatawan. Aku bersama seorang turis keturunan Tionghoa asal Malaysia dipersilahkan masuk untuk melongok interior rumah si kakek pemilik. Wah inilah bonus dari perjalanan itu.

Tetapi waktu yang begitu sempit, membuatku hanya satu jam berkeliling desa dan memutuskan untuk segera meninggalkan daerah  Gamcheon-dong  untuk menuju ke destinasi lainnya……

Kisah Selanjutnya—->

Bertaruh Resiko di Busan Central Bus Terminal

<—-Kisah Sebelumnya

Drama kamar mandi memang sering mewarnai cerita perjalanan, mengingat aku sering memilih dormitory sebagai tempat singgah selama berpetualang.

Malam pertama di Busan. Aku sedang sebal sekali, kloset duduk yang tertutup itu baru saja ku-flush, maksud hati yang tak ingin melihat “zonk” saat membukanya…..Eh, malah air itu tumpah mbeleber kemana-mana bersama muatannya.

Brengsek….Ini pasti  kelakuan lelaki asal Tiongkok yang beberapa menit lalu berpapasan denganku di pintu kamar mandi bersama.

Sontak aku menuju ke kamar mandi lain yang berada dua lantai di atasku. Aku sudah tak bernafsu mandi di kamar mandi itu walaupun masih tersedia beberapa shower room lagi. Di kamar mandi atas, kondisi lebih bersih, mungkin para tamu enggan bersusah payah naik ke atas. Gegara peristiwa tadi, sakit perutku mendadak hilang. Aku lebih memilih langsung menuju shower room untuk menyiram badan dengan air hangat.

Olala….Ternyata aku sama brengseknya…..

Seusai mandi, aku berlama-lama di depan wastafel untuk mengeringkan t-shirt dan kaos kaki dengan hair dryer, hingga betul-betul kering. “Ah, bodo amat. Ndak ada orang. Guwe kan juga bayar”, suara setan di batinku membisik. Maklum dalam petualangan kali ini, aku mulai menerapkan taktik membawa dua pasang kaos kaki. Aku akan membasuh dan mengeringkan kaos kaki yang tak terpakai untuk persiapan penggunaan berikutnya.


Pagi itu aku bangun tepat waktu. Seusai Shalat Subuh , aku tak lagi tertidur. Aku lebih memilih membuka lembaran itinerary sembari menunggu hari terang. Ketika matahari mulai hadir, aku mulai meninggalkan Kimchee Busan Guesthouse seusai mandi, mengingat penginapan ini tak menyediakan sarapan seala kadar untuk kelas dormitory.

Aku keluar dari gang penginapan, dan menyusur Jalan Hwangnyeong-daero menuju ke barat, ke Stasiun Beomnaegol untuk melanjutkan perjalanan. Tapi tentu aku harus bersarapan dulu sebelum menaiki Humetro. Aku berhenti pada CU minimarket untuk kemudian memasukinya dan berburu sarapan di dalamnya. Aku menemukan segenggam nasi berisikan jagung di sebuah rak khusus makanan, menuju kasir, membayarnya dan kemudian menyantapnya di sebuah bangku di sisi dalam minimarket.

Tak lama aku menyantapnya. AKu segera memasuki ruangan stasiun dan mencari keberadaan ticketing vending machine untuk membeli one day pass, lalu menuju platform usai menggenggam selembar one day pass seharga 4.500 Won (Rp. 57.000).

Kali ini aku akan menuju ke Busan Central Bus Terminal demi mencari tiket bus menuju ke Seoul malam nanti. Humetro Line 1 (Orange Line) berdecit lembut menghentikan laju di platform. Aku segera duduk di salah satu bangku di gerbong setengah kosong untuk kemudian mengikuti arus kereta menuju Stasiun Nopo, yaitu stasiun dimana Busan Central Bus Terminal diintegrasikan. Aku tiba dalam 45 menit.

Keluar dari gerbong aku mencari petunjuk yang bisa mengarahkanku menuju terminal itu. Tak sulit menemukannya. Sebuah petunjuk yang kemudian menyambung dengan petunjuk selanjutnya mengarahkanku hingga tiba di Busan Central Bus Terminal.

Konter penjualan tiket Busan Central Bus Terminal.

Hello, Miss. How much is a ticket to Seoul? “Aku bertanya kepada staff penjualan tiket di deretan memanjang ticketing counter.

32,000 Won, Sir. The bus will depart on around 16:00 hours”.

Miss, What is the cheapest price and what time does the bus depart?”, aku blak-blakan mengingat kantongku mulai menipis.

23,000 won and bus will depart on 20:30, Sir”.

Okay, Wait Miss“.

Aku meninggalkannya dan duduk di kursi tunggu. Aku mulai berhitung, kalau aku berangkat cepat maka aku akan relatif aman karena akan tiba di Seoul sebelum malam. Tapi artinya aku harus menambah biaya untuk menyewa dormitory lebih cepat. Tentu akan mahal.

Kalau aku mengambil tiket malam, maka mau tidak mau, aku akan bermalam di terminal bus kota Seoul, sedikit beresiko, tetapi itu paling memungkinkan dengan keberadaan uangku yang semakin tergerus habis.

Bismillah…..aku beranjak dari tempat duduk dan kembali menghadap staff wanita tadi.

Yes, Ms. I take the night one”.

Ok, Sir

Aku menyerahkan uang kepadanya dan dia memberikan selembar tiket kepadaku untuk menuju Seoul.

Tiket bus Busan-Seoul seharga 23.000 Won (Rp. 290.000).

Okay, satu bagian penting telah kuselesaikan dengan cepat. Aku akan menghabiskan waktu tersisa di Busan hari ini.

Kisah Selanjutnya—->