During our free time in Busan, most of the people in our K-CLIP program end up going to Nampodong. The area gets quite busy from the afternoon until late at night. I've been there thrice myself in just 2 weeks this year during the K-CLIP 2014 (Korean Culture and Language Immersion Program) and each trip had a different purpose - one of them was to exchange some money USD on a weekend (no banks are open). By far, the latest trip I made is my favorite time next to that Nampo-dong date with J I told you about yesterday. So for this post, I'm gonna show you where to exchange your USD or other currency in Busan (2 ways), my all-time favorite Korean store for cool items and where to find that yummy tteokpokki place that's already open in the morning near Nampodong station. Hehe. I have spent around 2 hours there. Of course, it's very easy to lose track of time shopping, walking or eating. This time though, I walk at my own pace and go home on my own when I got tired ;)
So my first order of business was to exchange money. My fellow Pinoy KCLIP-mate R and I just sent my roomie D to Busan Station (has subway stop) for her train to Seoul then took the subway to Nampodong Stop (Exit 7) =)
Photo from our Busan City Tour
Here's a clearer picture below. Statue on the left, police station in the middle and Tourist Information Center on the right (the one with the red "i", you can get maps here). Go to the street (middle of the pic, marker is the police station).
Turn left and the ABC currency exchange store will be on your left. Take note: This is different from ABC Mart (there's one on the main street selling shoes). There's a Voila (Ice Cream?) place and a big mall across. If you walk straight, you'll be in the 3rd pic/big street below this photo.
I exchanged USD but I believe you can also change other currencies like Yuan (China), Yen (Japan), Euros (Europe) and maybe even Russian money. Not sure for peso because I usually carry dollars (it's more universal). You can also try your luck with the Ajoomma (old lady) below. Not sure if they work together.
This map is an approximate location (Orange Circle). The blue circles are the other spots I went to for this post.
The currency exchange place ABC can be reached in other ways from the City Spot. It's in the alley below if you come from another big street. It's sandwiched between this Gallery shop (right below) and a huge mall (left below, sorry I forgot to take a pic but it's a tall building with an activity/sitting area outside).
I think if you take this big road from the Tourist Info Center, it's quicker but I don't have any street names, sorry. I know it's just around 3 blocks from the City Spot (I think they called it or it's near a "Flower Alley", click map below).
I told you 2 ways to exchange money, right? Ajoomma is also there. Look closely and there's an old lady sitting on a chair.
See her?? She will ask you how much you want USD you want to change (I think it will affect the rate so if you have a friend, pool your money together). I think her rates are better. I'm just not sure if she's there all the time and if she is negotiable with the rate. =) From both currency places, I got better rates than the airport. Banks in Busan I haven't tried yet so if you're out of won and you really need it already, you can go here ;)
We went to the direction of the Bosu-dong Book Street (see map at the bottom of this post). I used the Busan Tower as reference... We walked and the streets became lined with stores selling all sorts of stuff. Some of the things I found are jerseys,
R's friends are asking him to bring home some CDs, whole album collections and books so he was able to buy some music-related products in Nampodong if ever you need to buy some.
There are OSTs too and Koreanovelas (I don't think there are English subtitles though).
With the Busan Tower to our right, we changed direction from straight to go left
because I saw a roofed market! Haha.
Turns out this was already Gukje Market. It looked like the Shinsaibashi area in Osaka, honestly.
There were so many choices but the tteokbokki (or tteokpokki or deokbokki or rice cakes) were calling me.
We sat down and ordered some more of the items on the menu. This was seriously one of the best among those I've tried so far (I've tried just a few). The sauce is not that spicy and just the right amount of sweet and salty. It's that good that I will go there again to eat some more =)
It was actually hot that day and I was also looking for the bathroom to pee. Aside from the subway station, there's a public restroom here too and airconditioning! Hahaha.
It was peaceful and somewhat like an art gallery and it goes to the direction of the Jagalchi/BIFF from where I was so better here than up in the main street above.
When I reached the end, I just walked straight and came across this food street to my right (I believe it's the street next to the BIFF I posted about yesterday, I do apologize for the approximations because I just like to walk around and get lost sometimes haha).
the BonGousse 봉구스 밥버거 with the yummy Korean rice burger we ate on the bus =)
I think it's best to come here for lunch haha. I'd like to think that they've created a fresh batch for the day (or leftovers from last night if you like LOL).
Well, unless you can speak Korean, I wouldn't recommend this haha. Otherwise, have a handy translator friend with you.
The rows of cinema houses are also here. I think that's why they call this the PIFF (Busan/Pusan International Film Festival) square. One of my goals in the future is to watch a movie in Korean here. But I have to study very hard first ;)
I went back to the intersection and saw a big Artbox in the corner!!! I must tell you that this is one of my favorite stores in Korea. I can spend a loooong time here and go from aisle to aisle looking for something to buy. Hahaha.
Check out what I bought! Hahaha. There's the strapped bag wallet with cellphone case, a neon stretchable card strap and an awesome multi-folder.
I first encountered Artbox in Seoul and I've been stopping at every one I see in Korea LOL. This one in Busan is one of the biggest ones I've been to so far ;)
I passed by another cinema house on the way to the BIFF sign and subway. I think if you're a local or if you speak fluent Korean, then you can take your date here and add this to your must-dos in Korea. Hehe.
Ladies, if you like MNG (Mango Fashion), Zara or Forever21, then check out the big 8ight Seconds (local Korean clothing brand) near this area.
Exploring Nampodong and the BIFF area was one of the things I wanted to do in my Korea list ;) I guess I checked that accidentally when I decided to go with R to exchange money! LOL.
One of my next must-dos do include to come here again during the Pusan International Film Festival that happens in Busan every October =)
I've also encircled places of interest (blue) in this map for reference. The big orange circle is the main area where the shops and stalls are.
Just click on the pictures to enlarge. I've gotten the ones below from this site if I've covered some places with my circles. Haha.