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.

Towards Centum City Station: Solving a Blind Map

On 16:30 hours, anxiously sitting under the shade of a small bus stop at Gijang-daero Avenue, my eyes kept turning to the left, waiting for the arrival of bus number 181. A few minutes ago I was sentenced to be lost. An amateur journey just to find Haedong Yonggungsa Temple which was located on the edge of Korea Strait.

Two and a half hours of my time wasted in the eastern streets outside Busan City. Meanwhile, another threat came, i.e delay in catching my bus to Seoul which was leaving that night. In the midst of pale faces, the bus finally arrived. I was already waving when bus still seemed to be running from a distance. “I can’t miss that bus, this is my best chance to catch my bus to Seoul”.

The blinking of bus’s turn signal signaled that driver understood that I was a potential passenger. The bus stopped right in front of me, I swiftly jumped from front door and handed over 1,200 Won in fare box. Then I acquired one of middle seat.

Now my eyes were sweeping bus interior, looking for any destination marker or clues which could monitor bus’s whereabouts. My eyes were keen to see a manual route board on a side of upper compartment, while right behind the driver, there was LCD screens which kept changing its Hangeul characters when bus passed bus stops along Gijang-daero Avenue. “Yes….”, I found it but I couldn’t read it because it was a whole Hangeul script. I kept holding my breath, trying to stay calm. “Once again lost, I will be further, my chances of catching bus to Seoul will be lost”, I lowered my eyes closed. Imagine that horror.

Now I decided to stand right under the manual route board, all passengers were amazed because I stood when the bus was never full. I ignored the stares, I was busy saving my own destiny.

Looking closely the route map. Hangeul characters were so small and I didn’t really understand. “Yes, I find it”, my mind cheered with joy. There was a Humetro logo in that route map. That means that bus stop in question was integrated with Humetro station. While a Humetro map, I always hold it along the way. It was neatly folded in a back pocket of my pants.

That means I just needed to memorize that Hangeul alphabetical sequence which composed the name of bus stop and matched it with the same alphabet sequence which would be displayed in the LCD screen behind driver. If that string of names appeared, then I would get off at the bus stop in question. Ah, it turned out that the remnants of intelligence in my brain were still there.

I continued to observe the LCD screen and continued to match each letter with the manual route board in bus’ upper compartmen. That way I would know how many bus stops again when I have to get off. Perseverance and thorough in doing that, made me manage to get off at one of bus stops located near Humetro station, Centum City Station to be exact.

Alighting at bus stop, I rushed to the basement of Centum City Station to intercept the departure of nearest Humetro. I had to hurry to Kimchee Busan Guesthouse to pick up my backpack which I had left at reception desk since check-out this morning.

I ran down the escalator after a Humetro who had stopped a few seconds ago and prepared to close its door to leave. “Yes….”, I managed to enter its carriage before Humetro’s door actually closed. Now I was a little calm, of course I would quickly arrive at my destination. “Take your backpack and hurry to Busan Central Bus Terminal, Donny!”, I thought confirming an order to myself.

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.

Menuju Stasiun Centum City: Memecahkan Peta Buta

<—Kisah Sebelumnya

Pukul 16:30, terduduk khawatir di bawah naungan halte bus mungil di bilangan Gijang-daero Avenue yang lengang, tatapanku terus menoleh ke kiri, menantikan kedatangan bus bernomor 181. Beberapa menit lalu aku telah tervonis tersesat. Berpetualang amatiran demi sekedar menemukan Haedong Yonggungsa Temple yang terletak di tepian Selat Korea.

Dua setengah jam waktuku terbuang sia-sia di jalanan timur luar Kota Busan. Sementara itu, ancaman lain datang, yaitu keterlambatan mengejar bus menuju Seoul yang akan berangkat malam nanti. Di tengah kepucat pasian mimik muka, bus itu akhirnya datang. Aku sudah melambai tangan ketika bus itu masih tampak lamat dari kejauhan. “Aku tak boleh terlewat dari bus itu, inilah kesempatan terbaikku untuk mengejar bus menuju Seoul”.

Kerlipan lampu sein bus itu mengisyaratkan bahwa sang pengemudi memahami bahwa aku adalah calon penumpangnya. Bus berhenti tepat di hadapan, aku melompat gesit dari pintu depan dan menyerahkan 1.200 Won (Rp. 15.000) di fare box. Lalu mengakuisisi salah satu bangku tengah yang tak bertuan.

Kini pendanganku menyapu seisi interior bus, mencari markah tujuan atau petunjuk apapun yang bisa memantau keberadaan bus. Mataku jeli meilhat sebuah manual route board di salah satu sisi kompartemen atas, sedangkan tepat di belakang sopir tertampil jelas sebaris layar LCD yang terus bergantian aksara Hangeul ketika bus melewati halte-halte di sepanjang Gijang-daero Avenue. “Yes….”, aku menemukannya tetapi aku tak bisa membacanya karena itu adalah aksara Hangeul secara keseluruhan. Aku terus menahan nafas, berusaha tenang. “Sekali lagi tersesat, aku akan lebih jauh, peluangku menangkap bus menuju Seoul akan sirna”, aku menunduk memejamkan mata. Membayangkan kengerian itu.

Kini aku memutuskan berdiri tepat di bawah manual route board, segenap penumpang terheran karena aku berdiri ketika bus tak pernah penuh. Aku tak memperdulikan tatapan-tatapan itu, aku sedang sibuk menyelamatkan nasibku sendiri.

Kutatap lekat-lekat peta jalur itu. Aksara Hangeul yang begitu kecil dan aku tak benar faham. “Yes, aku menemukannya”, batinku bersorak girang. Ada logo Humetro di salah satu markah peta. Itu berarti halte yang dimaksud terintegrasi dengan stasiun Humetro. Sedangkan peta Humetro selalu kupegang sepanjang perjalanan. Terlipat rapi di kantong belakang celanaku.

Berarti aku tinggal menghafal urutan alphabet Hangeul yang menyusun nama halte itu lalu mencocokkannya dengan  rangkaian alphabet yang sama yang akan tertampil di layar baris LCD di belakang pengemudi. Jika rangkaian nama itu muncul, maka aku akan turun di halte yang dimaksud. Ah, ternyata sisa-sisa kecerdasan di otakku masih ada.

Aku terus mengamati layar LCD dan terus mencocokkan setiap huruf dengan manual route board di kompartemen atas bus. Dengan begitu aku akan tahu, berapa halte lagi aku harus turun. Tekun dan teliti melakukan itu, membuatku berhasil turun di salah satu halte yang terletak di dekat stasiun Humetro, Stasiun Centum City tepatnya.

Turun di halte itu, aku segera menuju ruang bawah tanah Stasiun Centum City demi mencegat keberangkatan Humetro terdekat. Aku harus bergegas menuju Kimchee Busan Guesthouse untuk mengambil backpack yang kutitipkan di meja resepsionis semenjak check-out pagi tadi.

Aku berlari menuruni escalator berjalan mengejar Humetro yang telah berhenti beberapa detik lalu dan bersiap menutup pintu untuk pergi. “Yes….”, aku berhasil memasuki gerbong sebelum pintu Humetro itu benar-benar menutup. Kini aku sedikit tenang, tentu aku akan tiba di tujuan dengan cepat. “Ambil backpackmu dan bergegaslah menuju Busan Central Bus Terminal, Donny!”, batinku menegaskan sebuah perintah untuk diriku sendiri.

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.

Busan International Film Festival Square … Origin of BIFF


Uncle Sam country has Sundance Film Festival

Great White North country has Toronto Film Festival

l’Hexagone Country has Cannes Film Festival

Then “The Land of the Morning Calm” also has same thing….i.e Busan International Film Festival.

Held every end of year i.e September or October, BIFF always introduces Asian newcomer directors with their first film. The festival which was first held 23 years ago has moved to Centum City in Haeundae-gu area.

This time, I wasn’t going to new BIFF homebase, but I would go along an area where became origin of BIFF, Nampo-dong. For remembering it then headed to BIFF Square.

My journey started from nearest station of Kimchee Busan Guesthouse i.e Beomnaegol MRT station using MRT Line 1 (Orange Line). After passed through 8 stations, I got off at Jagalchi MRT station. Other destination which can be visited near this station is Jagalchi Market (It selling a variety of seafood ) which is open from 5am to 10pm.

Out from exit gate, I’ve been greeted by street food stall. Because cold weather pierced bones, smoke which came out from furnace burning made MRT passengers stopped to eat hot food which sale by buyer.

I experienced a bit of disorientation. I confused in looking for BIFF Square Street, because all streets looked crowded. Finally I braved myself to approach a police officer who was on guard at police post. Patiently, He explained to me while pointing his finger left and right and spoke Korean….Even though I didn’t understand Korean, I though it was easy to understand his explanation.

BIFF street divides that place along 150 m. And when I visited it at night, it was easy to find street food stalls. These stalls form which liked mini house might aim to protect buyers from cold weather at night. It was arranged in a row in middle of road, making BIFF street became a culinary market at night.

Turned a bit to Gwangbok-ro street

I just tried a little bit of eating seafood in a stall, then I proceeded to find a portion of dinner food.

Because it was so hard to find food which suited with my tastes, finally I stopped by at a small food stall in a row of shops around BIFF Street. “Ahangeya” is name of that restaurant. I prefered to eat a beef rice bowl for USD 3,5.

Beside dining stalls, I also found many sellers of souvenirs, t-shirts and some electronic equipments. But my attention wasn’t fixed on that, I prefered to look for a winter jacket at UNIQLO shop.

For spare jacket….It was crazy, 12 days journey and just brought a jacket
for USD 35,5

Cold weather made me freeze.…I couldn’t stay there long and I decided to go back to guesthouse because tomorrow I would walk long and uphill to visit Gamcheon Culture Village.

So.…let’s sleep!

Clean and Modern.…Style of Kimchee Busan Guesthouse

Surely I never knew why this guesthouse was named Kimchee. All I know, kimchee or kimchi are Korean food made from fermented vegetables with various kinds of seasoning and ultimately its taste are spicy and sour. Perhaps this guesthouse will be a gathering place for travelers from various nations with same goal i.e enjoying uniqueness of South Korea.…It only my personal statement….hahaha

Dorm or dormitory have became general choice of backpackers in their journey. Apart offering minimum budget, dorm also offers an option to build network among backpackers who diverse in citizenship. This is very possible because in every dorm room will be filled 12-16 backpackers to sleep together.

This time, my choice was Kimchee Busan Guesthouse as my dorm during my adventure in Busan. The three things that be important concerns in choosing it are price, location and a good feedback rate.

I ordered it 4 months before departure, so I surely got best price. Guesthouse for USD 12,5 per night is located on Hwangnyeong-daero street. It’s about 270 meters from Beomnaegol MRT Station, so guesthouse can be reached by walk.

My arrival at guesthouse was warmly welcomed by a beautiful receptionist. After submitting passport and Won, I get access card to dorm room .

Beautiful receptionist
Receptionist room

For general guesthouse, it’s certainly an extraordinary thing because of elevator availability in it. As I know, a lot of dormes that I have stayed in required me to prepare my leg muscles to climb dozens of stair before reach the room.

Lift access to dorm room

Entering room, my fatigue paid off with spacious dorm room which consisting 10 beds with each locker provided near bed.

Dorm room

In this guesthouse, I firstly breathed fresh aroma of sojuoriginally Korean drink-. Even though I didn’t drink it, at least I knew its aroma, its form and how to drink it from my roommates.

My other funny activity was using hair dryer which provided in shared bathroom to dried my wet socks. It’s become a habit, I only carry 2 pairs of socks, no matter how long is my trip. Every two days, I will wash my socks which I use and dry them in any way.

Another good thing about this guesthouse is providing container to store guests backpacks and their other things. Usually, guests will save their backpack when they arrive earlier than check-in time or when their departure time to leave city is still far from check out time.

I left my backpack because my departure to Seoul was on a scheduled bus on 8pm while I checked out on 12pm.

Guesthouse also provides shelves and refrigerators to store guests foods…. Don’t take people’s food !….hahaha. Usually guests who stay a little longer in guesthouse will store their food here. Surely, I never use this facility because I just stay 2 nights in Busan.

Kimchee snack and Bar

Of course, you have your own taste in choosing hotel.…the important thing is our goals are same, guys.…i.e traveling. That’s it.