After we explored around Haedong Yonggungsa, we randomly decided to head a little north east of Busan to Ahopsansup Bamboo Forest. I was particularly excited about it because the famous stone pillars from the K-Drama (yes, I watch them shamelessly) “The King: Eternal Monarch” are there.
Once we parked (easily, which is almost unheard of in Korea) we decided we needed lunch.
Lucky for us there was a restaurant open. Unlucky for us it cost an arm, a leg and possibly my secret brownie recipe for us to eat there. But it was adventurous, delicious and had restrooms, so what we’re we to do? We actually couldn’t enter with shoes on. I’ve been wanting to eat somewhere like this since being here, so that was half a check mark on my “Korea Bucket List.” Half a check mark because I also want to eat on the floor at a low table (soban). We have yet to do this (unless you count our Hanok stay in Dagu) but we have more time, so I can be patient.
G got a kick out of having his shoes off and was excited to eat BBQ. I can’t get him to eat meat anywhere else. For some reason he loves the beef at KBBQ restaurants. I try not to get offended that he doesn’t like my cooking since he’s little and his opinions about my cooking don’t really count. But still.
They served us all the fixings and then some. We were able to try Hotteock (a sweet filled Korean pancake) At the end we were given a popular fermented (non-alcoholic) rice drink called “Sikhye” (식해 or “Shik-hae“). It’s not my favorite, but The Babe loves it.
During our meal we were served some sort of seafood something or other that neither of us were brave enough to eat. See if you can guess what it is . . .
We walked our lunch off through the bamboo and enjoyed the sites. It was so beautiful. It sort of had an ombré effect with the dark and light greens and tans. The heavy solid bottoms and leafy tops made a peaceful sound to listen to as they swayed billowed and creaked in the wind. Standing surrounded by bamboo it felt almost otherworldly and I had another one of those “I’m really in Korea,” moments.
We came around a corner and there the pillars were. I had to be patient while I waited for others to get their photo. Once I had my chance I went whole hog and skip-prance-ran through the pillars and told The Babe I’d see him on the other side. If you’ve ever watched the aforementioned K-Drama then you know.
Other films that have been made here include:
- 100 Days My Prince
- My Sassy Girl
- Ruler of the Mask
- Moon Lovers
- Flowers of the Prison
- The Royal Gambler
- River Where the Moon Rises
- Memories of the Sword
- The Tiger: An Old Hunters Tale
and more . . .
This forest is interesting because for 400 years it was not open to the public. It opened a few years after a movie was filmed here in 2014. This forest is different because it is a big contributor to ecological preservation.
I would have loved to stay here longer to get lost amongst the creaky bamboo, but it was getting late. We headed back home for some nightlife along the beach.
We ate at Schedule (which is drool-worthy by the way) for dinner and enjoyed the ocean views from our leather couch seating. Out on the strip, we enjoyed fresh apple melon juice. We played some carnival street games and enjoyed walking along the beach checking out all the dinosaur themed sand sculptures.
I stood on the beach, watching the stormy waves grow while The Babe ambled along with G and enjoyed the view. The ocean was dark and brooding, the skyscrapers and small shops on land were twinkling and brightly lit. Some tall buildings blended into the night, their windows and lights looking almost like stars in the sky. It had been a busy day full of culture and delicious food (two of my favorite things). With tomorrow looming ahead, we headed inside with happy faces ready to see what it would bring.