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Old March 30th, 2006, 11:35 AM
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Default Busan (Pusan)Korea: And Still Going Strong

Today was a “Do it Yourself� day in Busan (Pusan) Korea. We left the ship early and made our way to the Fish Market for breakfast and to view the various catches of the day. What a sight it was. There were fish stands everywhere and not a tourist shop to be found. We couldn’t even buy a t-shirt. It was somewhat refreshing. Our breakfast consisted of a whole fish, kimchi (pickled cabbage) cold soup, beef soup and some green stuff. It was a lovely breakfast for two that was served in a traditional manner on the floor cross-legged style.

After that we took the subway to the Busan Tower to get a good view of the city. Other than getting a good view there really wasn’t nothing else to see. Actually Busan doesn’t have too much to offer. All of the folks who did tours didn’t have anything to really rave about.

From there we decided to go back to the Fish Market for a late lunch and feasted on fresh eel that we picked from the tank and watched while it was cleaned, sliced and then prepared, tableside for us. It ranks as the second best meal we’ve had on our trip. The first is still the point and grunt meal we had in Hong Kong in the restaurant where they spoke no English and we had to point at some BBQ’d meat in the window and grunt that, that is what we wanted.

We did find a good foreign currency exchange bank, two blocks from the ship, where we were able to unload our Hong Kong dollars and Chinese yuan for Yen in preparation for our final 3 days in Japan. They actually had a better exchange rate than advertised by the ship. Then again, most information provided by the ship hasn’t been too accurate. I compared exchange rates online and it was basically 2% under current price. It’s better than running around with un-spendable cash in your pocket. A number of shipmates and a few crew visited the exchange after we told them about it.

The onboard Internet has taken a downturn in speed and we will be out of service after tomorrow. There is some issue with the satellite that they haven’t been to clear about.

In the morning it’s Nagasaki and we will be visiting the Peace Park and then the Shinto Shrines. It will be a full day and I better get myself to bed so I will be fully rested for the day.

Take care,
Mike
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Old March 30th, 2006, 11:42 AM
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Hi Mike & Betty,
I so love rading your posts. They read like a traveler, and not a tourist, how refreshing. You are my hero, actually trying the traditional food, instead of wishing it was a double bacon cheeseburger

I swear, you have been gone for about 3 months, is that about right? Think of me while in Japan, one place I truly would love to see,and know I never will;(

Continue on having a true, cruise of a lifetime! xooxoxoxoxox
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Old March 30th, 2006, 11:47 AM
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Your meals sound like they'd be my version of "Fear Factor"

Delighted to hear you and Betty are enjoying "getting local" though.

Good advice about ship's currency exchanges though. When traveling anywhere outside of the Caribbb, the exchange on the ship is a bout the worst you're going to find anywhere.

Be well, and continue enjoying!!!
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Old March 30th, 2006, 01:31 PM
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Default Busan (Pusan) Korea and Still Going

How exotic! I have to agree with Kuki about the meals! I look forward to more of your posts.

Judy
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Old March 30th, 2006, 04:20 PM
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Mike, I'm loving your travel log. I just think I'll have to take you and Betty along as tourguides when Jake and I start doing those exotic cruises. Not sure I would want to try eel, but you never know. You even make that sound tempting.

Enjoy your time in Japan. It does seem like you've been gone an awfully long time.

Phyll
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Old March 30th, 2006, 07:53 PM
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Mike, I will keep the Pusan fish market in mind for our cruise! That sounds wonderful! My favorite sushi chef says to be sure and go to the fish markets in the Japanese ports as well. Especially Tokyo, but I think that may be on the Vancouver leg. anyway, try to remember that Geishas are dispensers of culture, not ladies of the evening.
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Old March 30th, 2006, 10:25 PM
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Fresh fish market and eel for lunch is not my idea of a good time, but I'm glad you and Betty are enjoying yourselves Mike! What an exotic vacation!

donna
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Old March 30th, 2006, 10:38 PM
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I spent a month in Nagasaki in '66 and never ran out of sights to see, when I had time away from the job. Don't miss the cable car to view the city. My favorite food was eel also, but we don't find it here too often. Better than walleyed pike I'd say.

Enjoy the day.

Keith
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Old March 31st, 2006, 05:27 PM
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I visited Pusan, Korea last year on a Sapphire Princess Osaka/Seattle cruise. It was my first visit there since the Korean War, when I landed there in 1951.

My how things changed! I remember in 1951, you could smell the port a couple hours out to sea. The City was over run with refugees, from the rest of Korea. I don't remember seeing any paved roads or large buildings in the area, particulary South of the City.

I also left from Pusan, to Japan and back home, after my combat tour as an Infantry soldier in the "Wolfhounds," 25th Infantry Division. I remember that the United Nations Cemetery was right across the street from the replacement depot, that out processed us. One could see the white wood crosses and Stars of David from our barracks. One reflected on how many of your Buddys were there.

On my recent visit, I did visit the United Nations Cemetery on a tour from the ship. It of course was vastly different. Gone were the Crosses & Stars of David. Now, there are flat markers at the grave sites. On visiting the American sector, I noticed that there were not that many buried there, as a result of the war. Most Americans buried there died after the war, most likely while living in Korea as civilians, etc. This is a lot different then the Cemetery, say above the Normandy invasion beaches, where I also visited.

In the other sectors, UK, Canadian, Turks, etc. there were many combat KIAs buried there. In any case the visit had a sobering effect on me for the rest of the day.

We also managed to visit the fish market and a shrine, during our one day stop in Pusan. I didn't eat anything though.

I still can't get over the changes there and in Korea, since the war. Freeways, tall buildings, cars, motorcycles, and healthy, wealthy looking people.

I gives me some happiness, and feeling of accomplishment, that at least we did accomplish something, by halting the North Korean and Chinese invasion and preserving the Freedom of the South Korean Nation.
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Old March 31st, 2006, 05:54 PM
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A job well done GBeret, and I thank you for doing it by the way, have you ever seen the night time satellite photo of Korea. south Korea is lit up like a Christmas tree to the 38th parallel. North Korea is as dark as the inside of a goat. It says a lot!
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Old March 31st, 2006, 07:55 PM
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Thanks everyone:

Today we doing some beautiful and scenic cruising. I didn't have a good night but we'll leave it at that.

Kuki: I want to clarify one thing. The ship has NO currency onboard except for American dollars and Japanese yen. The advertised rate I referred to was what they stated was the current exchange rate for American dollars and Korean kuon. I would not exchange currency onboard. The surcharge is too expensive.

Then again, there was one couple who told us they spent an hour trying to find somewhere to exchange money because they didn't want to pay the fees. That amount of time lost isn't worth saving five dollars.

Take care,
Mike
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Old March 31st, 2006, 08:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richstacy
A job well done GBeret, and I thank you for doing it by the way, have you ever seen the night time satellite photo of Korea. south Korea is lit up like a Christmas tree to the 38th parallel. North Korea is as dark as the inside of a goat. It says a lot!
Thanks! No I haven't seen that photo; however, it doesn't surprise me. I walked through "Check Point" Charlie in West Berlin into East Berlin in the Cold War days on a Sunday. The difference there in the day time, was bad enough much less after dark. As bad as it was in East Germany at the time, it doesn't hold a candle to North Korea and its repressive regime.
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Old March 31st, 2006, 09:46 PM
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sounds like your having a great time i'll skip the food just give me a hot dog or hamburg
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Old April 1st, 2006, 07:50 PM
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Hi Mike,

I'm glad to hear you're having a nice time (other than last night!).

I have to agree with paddletoe53, though! I'm not very adventurous when it comes to what I put in my stomach!

So far the most "adventure" I've had was trying escargot on a cruise. It was good, but I love garlic and that's all I could taste .

We're all enjoying your posts,
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