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.

Haedong Yonggungsa Temple: Never Arrived….

I hadn’t even reached Toseong Station yet, when my stomach tone sent a signal. “Oh yeah, I haven’t had lunch yet,” was the quick response in my mind. The last time I ate a Bungeoppang street snack was two hours ago at the same street where I stood now, Kkachigogae-ro Avenue.

Getting to Haedong Yonggungsa Temple took a long time. I paused for a moment at a side of sidewalk. Slowly sweeping my gaze to the row of shophouses along my eyes reach. At far side of road, I saw a restaurant which wasn’t that big, some local residents came out of that tiny restaurant with plastic bags filled with food. Quickly decided, “I’d better eat there, I don’t have much time”. Later, I sat down at a seat in that tiny restaurant.


“Good afternoon, Sir. This is the menu. Enjoy your time here”

“Thank you Sir, give me time to choose the menu!”.

A young man with typical Korean bangs smiled with nodding and returned to his busy in preparing food for several customers who were still queuing near door. Meanwhile I started to busy choosing a food I would eat at menu list. My first filter was, of course, price, considering my budget was running low in my second day in Korea.

“Hello, Sir”, I called him after selecting the cheapest menu.

“Yes, Sir” he prepared to go to my table.

“This, Sir”

“Oh, Kimbap….OK…OK. Oh yes, Where are you come from, Sir?”, He quickly understood my order while opening another topic of conversation.

“Indonesia, Sir”

“Wow, Indonesia. I ever worked there for 3 years. Good afternoon, Sir”

I uncontrollably laughed watching him when recited some words from my country language.Hahaha.

“Do you eat pork?”, he joked again.

“No…No…..Hahahaha. Your Indonesian language is good”, I felt happy, as if I was in my own country.

“Are you moslem?”

“Yup. I am happy to hear Indonesia language in Busan, Sir”

“Yes….Yes….Yes….. I can speak a little Indonesian. Wait, I’ll make Kimbap. Only 10 minutes, Wait!”

“Yes, Sir”

He was busy concocting my order of Kimbap diligently and exactly ten minutes later, he picked up a Kimbap and brought it to me. Now Kimbap was ready to eat. But I ate it with a flat expression. Damn…I miss “Nasi Padang”.

Are you full if you eat lunch with that portion?

Paying after eating it, I chatted for a while until I finally found out that he was the owner of this tiny restaurant.


I sat down in Humetro Line 1 (Orange Line) carriage, then changed to Humetro Line 2 (Green Line) at Seomyeon Station. Next I headed to Haeundae Station to continue my journey.

A destination  which made me pale….I didn’t know if there will be enough time until I catched bus to Seoul at half past nine that night. Or would I be left behind by that bus.

My worries which had been going at along underground passages of Busan were stopped when a voice announcer announced that Humetro would soon be arrived in Haeundae Station. At the same time, my decision to going to my next destination was final…..I would visit it. I quickly rushed to station gate in the surface, when I got to the top, I nimbly stepped towards a bus stop located not far from station gate. The name of that bus stop was the same as the station name next to it, namely Haeundae Bus Stop, located on the edge of Haeun-daero Avenue

I carefully looked at some bus numbers at bus stop’s wall. That were the identities of several city buses which passed that bus stop. Yes….There was a number 181 tucked in between, that was a bus number which I was aiming for. I closely looked at every bus which was going to stop at Haeundae Bus Stop. I was agile to find the whereabouts of numbers location at bus’ front window. It took quite a while, several bus with another numbers past me at bus stop until the sixth bus with a number I was looking for arrived. Now I was getting ready to welcome that bus, which from a distance started turning on its turn signal as a sign that that bus would pick up its passengers at Haeundae Bus Stop.

The bus softly screeched in front of me, I immediately jumped in through its front door, entered the fare of 1,200 Won in a fare box next to driver while showing him a picture. “Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, Sir. Please drop me here…!.”.

“Hoohhh….hooohh”, a response that I believed that he understood.

All seats were full, made me stand alone in that city bus. Surprised local faces stared at me all the way, of course because I had a different skin color than them.

While in bus, there were no clues that can help to monitoring where I was at all times. I tried to calm myself apart from a fact that a small panic was starting to disturb my concentration. Thirty minutes had passed, countless, bus had stopped to picking up and dropping passengers, but driver seemed to continue to focus on driving the bus.

Finally I got up the courage to approach him and asked again about the picture of temple which I showed at the beginning of trip. “Sir, is this temple still far?”, I briefly asked. Then how did he react?….Amazing, hahaha.

“Hooohhhh….Hooohhhh”, while waving his hand as a sign of not knowing. Either I didn’t know that place or I didn’t know how to speak English. “Oh God, Imy request had be ignored from earlier by him”. Now I had no choice, I had to get off from bus even though I didn’t know where I was. “Sir. Drop me here now!”. And slowly, bus began to slow down towards a small bus stop in front of it.

My hunch from the beginning of trip was clear, I was now really lost in a lonely place. Meanwhile, it was half past five in the afternoon. I would try to find out if Haedong Yonggungsa Temple was still worth to be visited by walking.

Ten minutes of confusion and panic at a bus stop, I finally saw a young man jogging toward me. I mustered up the courage to stop him and ask him where he was going.

“It’s about 10 kilometers from here, you get off from bus but it was too far from this place”

“Ok thanks, Sir”

That means I couldn’t walk and it was also impossible to wait for next bus to get there….It would be too long and time consuming. I decided to immediately cancel and prepared to heading back towards downtown. I would better to secure my bus departure schedule to Seoul. If I was late then I had to prepare to compensate it with additional accommodation costs for a longer night’s stay in Busan.

With a sense of panic and disappointment…. And also a little fear because I was in a very quiet place at the edge of Gijang-daero Avenue, I finally waited for the arrival of bus number 181.

I was so sorry…. Haedong Yonggungsa Temple….It was like unrequited love.

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.

Lantern Show at Gwangalli Beach

It was almost nine in the evening when I decided to leave Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) Square in the Nampo-dong area. I started walking away from an official UNIQLO counter at BIFF Gwangjang-ro and then continued down the main street, Gudeok-ro. One hundred and fifty meters ahead was Gate 7 of Jagalchi Station which was the target of my steps to immediately leave Jung District.

I was heading underground ten minutes later. In warm basement, I didn’t have to bother looking for ticketing vending machine because I still had a small piece of One Day Pass I bought this afternoon when I arrived in Busan. Walking past automatic fare collection gate, I waited for arrival of Humetro Line 1 (Orange Line) at station platform.

One Day Pass costs 4,500 Won.

The Humetro quickly arrived, opened its automatic doors and I quickly entered center carriage. Sitting on a seat, I kept an eye on the busyness of Busan residents after work. Humetro slowly crept through underground line, dropping me off at Seomyeon Station after passing through nine stations, then I changed to Humetro Line 2 (Green Line). And similarly, after passing through nine stations I arrived at Gwangan Station in Suyeong District. It felt that trip towards this station took quite a long time, forty-five minutes.

I rushed down the carriage and back to surface using escalator. Then took exit at Gate 5 of Gwangan Station which was directly opposite Gwangan-ro Avenue. The street’s air temperature was already at the level of one degree Celsius. I was forced to walk with an occasional shaking body for seven hundred meters towards beach. The presence of several groups of tourists heading in the same direction, made me a little calm, considering that it was almost ten o’clock at night.

I arrived at the beach twenty minutes later after walking nearly seven hundred meters. Standing on the beach as far as the eyes can see, the luminous stretch of the second longest bridge in “Ginseng Country” was truly stunning….Yup, that was Gwangandaegyo Bridge, a seven and a half kilometer long suspension bridge which connects Haeundae District and Suyeong District.

Gwangandaegyo Bridge.
Festive decorative lights.

Now I have mingled with tourists and other locals enjoying the festive atmosphere at Gwangalli Beach. I continued to observe the show by residents airing mini-sized lanterns. Parents, young people and small children were almost all immersed in the excitement of show.

While some others seemed to enjoy decorative lights in the form of various kinds of fauna which were pleasing to eyes. In the other hand, the beach looked crammed with multi-storey buildings which gave an impression that the beach area had been touched by technology. But everything looked clean with a well-maintained and organized environment.

Several hotel buildings on the beach.
Aqua Palace Hotel.

I was only able to withstand cold air for forty-five minutes. Surely the air would approach freezing point when night reached its peak. I hurried off the beach and headed back to station. Quickly stepping to escape growing cold, I arrived at station breathless, then rushed to platform and a few minutes later Humetro took me, to then drop me off at Seomyeon Station. Humetro then transferred me on Line 1 to Beomnaegol Station, a station where the hotel I was staying at was located….Yup, Kimchee Busan Guesthouse.

Now it was time to rest for next adventure tomorrow.

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.

Haedong Yonggungsa Temple: Tak Pernah Sampai….

<—-Kisah Sebelumnya

Belum genap langkahku mencapai Stasiun Toseong, nada perut mengirim pertanda. “Oh iya, aku belum makan siang”, respon cepat dalam fikirku. Terakhir aku menyantap snack jalanan Bungeoppang dua jam lalu di jalan yang sama dengan tempat berdiriku sekarang, Kkachigogae-ro Avenue.

Menuju Haedong Yonggungsa Temple perlu waktu yang tak sebentar. Aku berhenti sejenak di satu sisi trotoar. Perlahan menyapukan pandangan ke deretan ruko di sepanjang jangkauan mata. Di seberang jauh jalan, aku melihat rumah makan yang tak begitu besar, beberapa warga lokal keluar dari rumah makan mungil itu dengan membawa kantong plastik berisi makanan. Cepat memutuskan, “lebih baik aku makan disana saja, waktuku tak banyak”. Sewaktu kemudian aku sudah terduduk di salah satu bangku rumah makan mungil itu.


Good afternoon, Sir. This is the menu. Enjoy your time here

Thank you sir, give me time to choose the menu!”.

Pemuda berpotongan khas poni Korea itu tersenyum mengangguk dan kembali sibuk menyiapkan makanan untuk beberapa pelanggan yang masih mengantri di pintu. Sedangkan aku mulai sibuk memilih makanan yang akan kusantap di daftar menu. Filter pertamaku tentulah harga, mengingat amunisi yang makin menipis pada hari keduaku di Korea.

Hello, Sir”, aku memanggil pemuda itu setelah memilih menu termurah.

Yes, Sir”, dia berkesiap menuju mejaku.

This, Sir

Oh, Kimbap….OK…OK. Oh ya, Where are you come from, Sir”, Dia memahami cepat pesananku sembari membuka topik pembicaraan lain.

“Indonesia, Sir”

Wooow, Indonesia. I ever worked there for 3 years. Selamat siang, Pak

Aku tertawa tak terbendung melihatnya melafalkan bahasa tanah air beta….Hahaha.

Tidak makan babi?”, dia kembali berkelakar.

Tidak…Tidak…..Hahahaha. Bahasa Indonesia Anda bagus”, aku merasa bahagia, seolah sedang berada di negeri sendiri.

Moslem ya?

“Yups. Saya senang bisa mendengar bahasa Indonesia di Busan, Pak”

Ya….Ya….Ya….. Saya bisa sedikit Bahasa Indonesia. Tunggu ya, saya buatkan Kimbap. Hanya 10 menit, Tunggu!

“Ok Pak”

Dia sibuk meramu Kimbap pesananku dengan tekun dan tepat sepuluh menit kemudian, Kimbap itu diangkatnya dan dibawa menujuku. Kini Kimbap telah siap kusantap. Tetapi aku menyantapnya dengan mimik datar. Damn…Aku kangen Nasi Padang.

Kenyangkah anda jika makan siang dengan porsi segitu?

Membayar setelah menyantapnya, aku berbincang sebentar hingga akhirnya tahu dia adalah pemilik rumah makan mungil ini.


Aku terduduk tak kenyang dalam gerbong Humetro Line 1 (Orange Line), kemudian berpindah di Humetro Line 2 (Green Line) di Stasiun Seomyeon. Selanjutnya aku menuju ke Stasiun Haeundae demi melanjutkan petualangan.

Destinasi yang membuatku pucat pasi….Entahlah, apakah waktunya akan cukup hingga aku mengejar keberangkatan bus menuju Seoul pada jam setengah sembilan malam nanti. Atau apakah aku akan tertinggal oleh bus itu.

Kekhawatiranku yang berlangsung di sepanjang lorong bawah tanah Busan terhenti ketika voice announcer mengabarkan bahwa Humetro akan segera merapat di Stasiun Haeundae. Bersamaan dengan itu maka keputusanku menuju destinasi terakhir telah bulat…..Aku akan mengunjunginya. Dengan cepat aku bergegas menuju station gate di permukaan, sesampainya di atas, aku melangkah gesit menuju sebuah halte bus yang berlokasi tak jauh dari station gate. Nama halte bus itu sama dengan nama stasiun di sebelahnya, yaitu Halte Bus Haeundae, terletak di tepian Haeun-daero Avenue

Kuperhatikan dengan seksama angka-angka yang merupakan identitas beberapa bus kota yang melewati halte itu. Yes….Ada angka 181 terselip diantaranya, itulah nomor bus yang kusasar. Kuperhatikan lekat-lekat muka setiap bus yang akan berhenti di halte itu. Aku tangkas mencari keberadaan letak angka di bagian depan bus. Cukup lama, bus bernomor lain melewatiku di halte itu hingga datang bus keenam dengan angka yang kucari sedari tadi. Kini aku bersiap diri menyambut bus tersebut yang dari kejauhan mulai menyalakan lampu sein sebagai penanda bahwa bus itu akan mengambil penumpangnya di Halte Haeundae.

Bus berdecit lembut di hadapan, aku segera melompat masuk melalui pintu depan, memasukkan ongkos sebesar 1.200 Won (Rp. 15.000) pada fare box di sebelah sopir sembari menunjukkan sebuah gambar kepadanya. “Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, Sir. Please drop me here…!.”.

Hoohhh….hoooohh”, selorohnya kuanggap bahwa dia telah faham.

Seluruh bangku yang telah penuh, membuatku berdiri sendirian dibawa laju bus kota itu. Wajah-wajah lokal yang heran menatapku sepanjang perjalanan, tentu karena aku berbeda warna kulit dari mereka.

Sementara di dalam bus, tak ada petunjuk apapun yang bisa membantu memantau dimana keberadaanku di setiap saat. Aku mencoba menenangkan diri diluar fakta bahwa kepanikan kecil mulai mengganggu konsentrasi. Tiga puluh menit berlalu, sudah tak terhitung bus itu berhenti menaik turunkan penumpang, tetapi pak sopir tampak terus fokus mengemudikan busnya.

Akhirnya aku memberanikan diri menghampirinya dan menanyakan kembali perihal gambar kuil yang kutunjukkan sedari awal perjalanan. “Sir, is this temple still far?”, aku bertanya singkat. Lalu bagaimanakah reaksi dia?….Ruarrrr Biasaaahhhh.

Hooohhhh….Hooohhhh”, sembari melambai-lambaikan tangan pertanda tidak tahu. Entah tak tahu tempatnya atau tak tahu bercakap English. “ Ah alamat, pantesan aku dicuekin sedari tadi”. Kini tak ada pilihan, aku harus turun dari bus walaupun aku tak tahu sedang berada dimana. “Sir. Drop me here now!”. Dan perlahan, bus mulai melambat menuju ke sebuah halte kecil di depan sana.

Firasat sedari awal perjalanan itu jelas, aku kini benar-benar tersesat di sebuah tempat nan sepi. Sementara waktu sudah lewat dari jam setengah lima sore. Aku akan berusaha mencari informasi apakah Haedong Yonggungsa Temple masih layak untuk ditempuh dengan berjalan kaki.

Sepuluh menit dalam kebingunan dan kepanikan dalam sebuah halte, akhirnya tampak seorang lelaki muda sedang berjogging mendekat ke arahku. Kuberanikan diri untuk menghentikannya dan menanyakan tempat tujuan itu kepadanya.

It’s about 10 kilometers from here, you get off from the bus but it’s too far from that place

Ok thanks, Sir

Itu berarti aku tak bisa berjalan kaki dan juga tak mungkin menunggu bus menuju kesana….Akan terlalu lama dan menghabiskan banyak waktu. Kuputuskan untuk membatalkan segera dan bersiap menuju tengah kota kembali. Lebih baik aku mengamankan jadwal keberangkatan bus menuju Seoul. Jika aku terlambat maka aku harus bersiap dengan kompensasi menambah biaya akomodasi untuk menginap semalam lebih lama di Busan.

Dengan rasa penuh panik, sebal dan kecewa….Ditambah sedikit takut karena berada di tempat yang sangat sepi di tepian Gijang-daero Avenue, akhirnya aku menunggu kembali kedatangan bus bernomor 181.

I’m so sorry…. Haedong Yonggungsa Temple….Bak kasih yang tak sampai.

Kisah Selanjutnya—->

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—->

Permainan Lampion di Gwangalli Beach

<—-Kisah Sebelumnya

Hampir jam sembilan malam ketika aku memutuskan untuk meninggalkan Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) Square di daerah Nampo-dong. Aku mulai melangkah meninggalkan konter resmi UNIQLO di bilangan BIFF Gwangjang-ro dan kemudia berlanjut di jalan utama, Gudeok-ro. Seratus lima puluh meter di depan sana adalah Gate 7 Stasiun Jagalchi yang menjadi target langkahku untuk segera meninggalkan Distrik Jung.

Aku sudah menuju bawah tanah sepuluh menit kemudian. Di ruangan bawah tanah yang hangat, aku tak perlu bersusah payah untuk mencari ticketing vending machine karena aku masih menggenggam potongan kecil One Day Pass yang sudah kubeli sore tadi setiba di Busan. Melenggang melewati automatic fare collection gate aku menunggu kedatangan  Humetro Line 1 (Orange Line) di patform stasiun.

One Day Pass seharga 4.500 Won (Rp. 57.000).

Humetro itu cepat sekali tiba, membuka pintu otomatisnya dan aku segera memasuki gerbong tengah. Terduduk di sebuah bangku, aku terus memperhatikan kesibukan seusai kerja warga Busan. Humetro perlahan merayap melalui jalur bawah tanah, menurunkanku di Stasiun Seomyeon setelah melewati sembilan stasiun, untuk kemudian aku berganti menggunakan Humetro Line 2 (Green Line). Dan serupa, setelah melewati sembilan stasiun aku tiba di Stasiun Gwangan di Distrik Suyeong. Tak terasa perjalanan menuju stasiun ini memakan waktu yang cukup lama, empat puluh lima menit.

Aku bergegas menuruni gerbong dan kembali merangsek ke permukaan menggunakan escalator. Kemudian mengambil arah keluar di Gate 5 Stasiun Gwangan yang dihadapkan langsung pada Gwangan-ro Avenue. Suhu udara jalanan sudah berada di level satu derajat Celcius.  Aku terpaksa berjalan dengan tubuh sesekali bergetar sepanjang tujuh ratus meter ke arah pantai. Keberadaan beberapa rombongan turis yang menuju ke arah yang sama, membuatku sedikit tenang, mengingat malam sudah hampir mendekati jam sepuluh.

Aku tiba di pantai dua puluh menit kemudian setelah berjalan kaki hampir tujuh ratus meter. Berdiri di tepi pantai sejauh mata memandang, bentangan bercahaya jembatan terpanjang kedua di Negeri Ginseng itu sungguh mempesona….Yups, itulah Gwangandaegyo Bridge, suspension bridge sepanjang tujuh setengah kilometer yang menghubungkan Distrik Haeundae dan Distrik Suyeong.

Gwangandaegyo Bridge.
Lampu hias yang meriah.

Kini aku telah berbaur dengan turis dan warga lokal lainnya menikmati suasana malam nan meriah di Gwangalli Beach. Aku terus mengamati pertunjukan warga mengudarakan lampion-lampion berukuran mini. Orang tua, kaum muda dan anak kecil hampir semuanya terhanyut dalam kemeriahan permainan itu.

Sementara sebagian yang lain tampak menikmati hiasan lampu berwujud berbagai macam fauna yang enak dipandang mata. Disisi lain pantai tampak berjejal bangunan bertingkat yang memberikan kesan bahwa area pantai telah tersentuh teknologi. Tetapi semua tampak bersih dengan lingkungan yang terjaga dan tertata.

Beberapa bangunan hotel di tepian pantai.
Hotel Aqua Palace.

Aku hanya mampu menahan dingin udara selama empat puluh lima menit. Pasti udara akan mendekat ke titik beku ketika malam mencapai puncaknya. Aku bergegas meninggalkan bibir pantai dan menuju ke stasiun kembali. Melangkah dengan cepat demi menghindari hawa dingin yang semakin menjadi, aku tiba di stasiun dengan nafas tersengal, lalu bergegas menuju platform dan beberapa menit kemudian Humetro membawaku, untuk kemudian menurunkanku di Stasiun Seomyeon. Humetro lantas mentransferku di Line 1 menuju Stasiun Beomnaegol, stasiun dimana hotel tempatku menginap berada….Yups, Kimchee Busan Guesthouse.

Kini tiba saatnya untuk beristirahat demi petualangan lanjutan esok hari.