Pusan National University (Korea) Street Food Guide!

Having to live in Pusan National University’s (PNU) dormitory for 4 months, I’ve tasted some of the best and worst food. No doubt, the dormitory serves the worst food EVER! But I force myself to eat in a lot since I’ve already paid for meals and I don’t want to waste the money. Plus, going down and up the “PNU WongBee Mountain” is such a chore.

One thing I realized is that the university streets in Korea are really hyped up but people usually talk about the ones in Seoul but not Busan. It was difficult for me to decide what’s good to eat when I first arrived in Busan so I decided to collate some of my top 10 favorites eateries near Pusan National University! I would say that most of them are pocket friendly price except for one where you really pay for quality food. But it’s always good to splurge once in a while right? :D

1. Budget Eat: 3-layer toast (명물토스트)

I blogged about this before and I’m going to blog about it again since it’s probably one of the tastiest and most convenient food you can get other than cup ramen. I think many who visited Korea have heard about the “Isaac Toast”. But seriously, why eat Isaac toast when you can get a tastier + thicker toast at a cheaper price!

Instead of the normal two layer toast that Isaac is selling, the toast shops outside PNU specialise in 3-layer toast! Expect generous ingredients such as apples/pickles, cabbage and chicken mayo/ham-cheese/tuna-mayo etc (depending on what you order).

Credit: http://www.rodeostreet.net/info/view.html?idx=17 

An unappealing photo of my sandwich :(

There are around 4-5 stores selling the same thing outside PNU but 명물토스트 is my favourite because the ahjumma is really friendly. Other than toast, they also sell juice and waffles. The ahjummas usually add syrup in the juice but you can opt for no syrup by telling them “시럽 말고 넣어주세요 (siryup malgo neoh-eo juseyo)”, which basically means no syrup.

Here’s a little help in case you’re not sure what to order.

Credit: http://blog.naver.com/dirxf3/220174909354 

Directions: The store is just right outside the main entrance of Pusan National University.

P/S: Bap Burger (Rice burger) is also one of the cheapest food you can get outside PNU but I’ll choose bread over rice anytime!

2. If you’re craving for some burgers…

VALENCE Burgers will do the job. This place sells pretty decent handmade burger and it’s much cheaper than many other handmade burger joints in Singapore.

Other than their handmade burgers, they also have one of the best garlic fries I’ve ever eaten!! Remember to order that!!! Chili fries are just passable though. You could complete your meal with a drink and fries and the drinks are refillable. Only about SGD $10 for a set and you get better quality item as compared to fast food like McDonalds. It’s pretty worth it!

Directions: Busan Univ Station, Exit 3. Walk straight till you reach the main street where T mobile is on your right and Starbucks Coffee is on your left. Turn left (toward Starbucks Coffee direction) and continue walking straight till you see Valence Burgers on your left

Address: 312-7 Jangjeon-dong Geumjeong-gu, Busan

3. Makgeolli, makgeolli and more makgeolli

I think makgeolli is probably the most preferred Korean alcohol among many since it’s really sweet! Other than having it straight from the bottle, do you know you could mix it with many other things to make it even better?

I’ve been to three different places which serves makgeolli in three different styles. Each has it’s own unique taste and I didn’t know drinking makgeolli could be that interesting!

부산대 산성: PNU Fortress 

One thing I realized in Korea is that it gets really cooling under the trees (even in summer). It’s weird because I tried going under the trees in Singapore but it.. still.. remains the same. Now I understand why Koreans love having their mini picnic in the middle of a forest.

Yup, so you basically “dine” in the forest here. And like how different cities in Korea have their own makgeolli, this place sells their own makgeolli too!


Directions: This might be pretty unknown for those who are not studying in PNU and I have no idea how to give the directions to this place but it’s near the PNU Gymnasium! Students in the university are generally friendly so you can always ask around! :)


And if you prefer fruity drinks, try this place that sells fruit flavoured makgeolli. They have many different flavoured makgeolli such as kiwi, peach etc.

It comes in a huge jar and cost only KRW3,500 if I didn’t remember wrongly? Expect a slushie makgeolli instead of the normal makgeolli. But they can get pretty inconsistent so your makgeolli might turn out to be very watery!

Credit: http://blog.naver.com/eomsblog/220143240946 

They also sell lots of food here and like many other drinking places, you have to order at least one food item. Their spicy seafood guksu (noodle) is da bomb! And the staff also check your ID so remember to bring them!! My friends got turned down because they didn’t bring their IDs along. Anyway, it’s best to keep your ID in your wallet since it’s common for the staffs to do a random check in these drinking places near the university.

Directions: Busan Univ Station, Exit 3. Walk straight till you reach the main street where T mobile is on your right and Starbucks Coffee is on your left. Turn right and walk straight till you see a traffic light. Cross diagonally to Busan Bank and continue walking straight till you see a handphone shop on your right (Lotteria is right opposite the handphone shop). Upon seeing the handphone shop, turn right to the small alley and continue walking straight for till you see another alley with a huge white signboard on your left. Turn into that alley and you’ll find 조선칼국수와통막걸리.

Address: 418-37 Jangjeon-dong Geumjeong-gu, Busan 


Heard of makgeolli with honey? If you haven’t, you need to try it! It’s even tastier than the usual makgeolli and this place also sells makgeolli + cider and makgeolli + yogurt.

But I didn’t really like this place because the owner is double standard upon knowing that you are a foreigner. If you want to get some honey makkgeolli, go to Sinchon in Seoul. You’ll be spoilt for choices.

Directions: *Don’t bother*

4. Best fried chicken in Busan?

Give me OUTDARK CHICKEN!! I’m a huge chimaek (chicken & beer) fan and I’ve tasted countless fried chicken in Korea. Other than Kyochon Chicken, my second favourite would have to be Outdark Chicken. Outdark originated from Busan and I heard recently, they’ve also started operation in Seoul! Hopefully they get as popular as Yoogane and open a branch in Singapore soon!

This place is always full during dinner so if you’re in a big group, I suggest going either really early or really late.

Directions: Busan Univ Station, Exit 3. Walk straight till you reach the main street where T mobile is on your right and Starbucks Coffee is on your left. Turn right and walk straight till you see a traffic light. Cross diagonally to Busan Bank and continue walking straight till you see a handphone shop on your right (Lotteria is right opposite the handphone shop). Upon seeing the handphone shop, turn right to the small alley and continue walking straight for about 3 minutes. Outdark Chicken is on your right. 

Address: 417-29 Jangjeon-dong Geumjeong-gu, Busan 

5. Hate it or love it. Dwaeji Gukbap

Pork soup rice literally. Taste very much like our teochew porridge in my opinion. Most of my friends didn’t like this because the taste of the pork is really strong. Well, I didn’t like this dish too in the beginning but it gets so addictive after a few tries! People in Busan generally eat saltier and sweeter food so I guess that explains the “strong porky smell”.

There is a “Dwaeji Gukbap Street” near PNU but my favourite one is the one near the North Gate of PNU where the kind ahjumma always give 1000KRW discounts for students!

Directions: Busan Univ Station, Exit 3. Walk straight till you reach the main street where T mobile is on your right and Starbucks Coffee is on your left. Turn right and walk straight till you see a traffic light. Cross to the opposite side (where ABC Mart is located) and continue walking straight till you see Lotteria. Turn left upon seeing Lotteria and you can find lots of 돼지국밥 there! Good luck in finding the one that suits your tastebuds!

6. Korean snacks in a restaurant, 빨봉분식

If you want some Korean snacks but prefer a restaurant setting, try this place. This is an absolute no-frill Korean snacks shop and everything is really affordable so you can order lots without burning a hole in your pocket. I heard that their cheese rabokki and tonkatsu salad are good!

Photo credit: http://toryssong.blog.me/220060827972

Directions: Busan Univ Station, Exit 3. Walk straight till you reach the main street where T mobile is on your right and Starbucks Coffee is on your left. Turn right and walk straight till you see a traffic light. Cross to the opposite side (where ABC Mart is located) and continue walking straight to a T-Junction (after Baskin Robbins). Turn left at the T-Junction and continue walking till you find 빨봉분식 on your left. 

Address: 420-26 Jangjeon-dong Geumjeong-gu, Busan 

7. Galbi Jjim 짚신매운갈비찜

You know how kimchi jjigae sometimes get a little too boring? Why not try this place where they braise pork/beef short ribs together with kimchi/capsaicin soup base! Price is a little high, about 10,000 ~ 12,000 KRW/pax. You can also choose the spiciness (10%, 20%, 30%, 50%, 70% and 100%). You might want to start with the 10% first because my room mate found 20% spicy but I thought it was pretty okay.

Directions: Busan Univ Station, Exit 3. Walk straight till you reach the main street where T mobile”is on your right and Starbucks Coffee is on your left. Turn right and walk straight till you see a traffic light. Cross diagonally to Busan Bank and continue walking straight till you see a handphone shop on your right (Lotteria is right opposite the handphone shop). Upon seeing the handphone shop, turn right to the small alley and continue walking straight for about 2 minutes. 짚신매운갈비찜 is on your left. 

Address: Busandaehak-ro 50beon-gil Geumjeong-gu, Busan

8. Quality sushi, Sushi-Sim (스시 심)

My first taste of sushi in Korea after 4 months. The set up is pretty similar an omakase and you have the chef working the magic right in front of your eyes. You can choose between three sets, each priced at KRW 15,000, KRW 20,000 or KRW 25,000 respectively. The difference is the number of sushi (10, 13 and 15 pieces) and the KRW 25,000 set has an additional sashimi platter.

Busan is famous for it’s seafood so no doubt, their sashimi is really fresh and good. And the chef also tells you what you are eating (not like I understand -_-) but at least they tried?

You might think it’s pretty pricey but… Paying just KRW15,000 ~ KRW 25,000 for a 7/8 course set? So worth it! The restaurant is really tiny and it gets crowded during lunch time so going at a later timing (by 2pm since they close at 3pm for dinner service) would be nice!

Directions: Busan Univ Station, Exit 3. Walk straight till you reach the main street where T mobile is on your right and Starbucks Coffee is on your left. Turn right and walk straight till you see a traffic light. Cross to the opposite side (where ABC Mart is located) and continue walking straight to a T-Junction (after Baskin Robbins). Cross to the opposite side (where Olleh is located) and continue walking straight continue walking straight for about 5 minutes. Sushi Sim 스시 심 is on your right. 

Address: 419-10 Jangjeon 2(i)-dong Geumjeong-gu, Busan

9. Korean BBQ

What’s Korean food without Korean BBQ!

Some random BBQ shop that sells skirt meat and pigskin

However, I don’t have any particular favourite Korean BBQ restaurant in Busan because the best one I’ve eaten are in Anyang and Jeju. Unless you’re eating BBQ Buffet (where they give you sucky meat), Korean high-grade beef or some special marinated meat, pork and chicken are just… pork and chicken to me. There are lots of BBQ restaurants outside PNU so I would say, follow your instincts. But I normally don’t go into shops that sell by grams because I have a perception that they charge more for less.

Directions: Countless! Just go to one that you think looks good!

10. NOHS Coffee

The coffee culture in Korea is really strong and Koreans love getting coffee after meals. Good + cheap coffeehouses are hard to come-by these days so do try NOHS Coffee when you are near PNU! I heard the owner of this café actually goes by the surname of NOHS too!

Anyhow, NOHS is a really good place for cheap coffee and cakes. And although their coffees are cheap, they don’t compromise the quality. However, the cakes are just so-so. But paying only KRW 4500~5500 for a drink AND cake, what else can you expect?

And do you know that many coffee shops in Korea (except the major franchise) gives a discount of KRW 1,000 if you takeaway? Do look out for the big “take-out” signs and you might want to start telling the barista “take-out” in your next visit to a coffeeshop in Korea!

Directions: Busan Univ Station, Exit 3. Walk straight till you reach the main street where T mobile is on your right and Starbucks Coffee is on your left. Turn right and walk straight till you see a traffic light. Cross to the opposite side of  Tous les Jours (also opposite Busan Bank) and walk straight till you find NOHS Coffee on your right. 


Of course, the list goes on and on but I’ll leave the rest to you! Do let me know if you have a good place to recommend and hopefully I’ll be back soon to enjoy it! :)


Exploring Busan (3D2N), Korea!

Just last month, some of my friends who are currently on exchange at Sogang and Ewha University came over to Busan for a 3D2N trip! Well, technically speaking, I only know one of them but it’s always good to know more people when you are abroad!

It was pretty fun being a “tour guide” in a foreign country. And sad to say, I thought I did a pretty bad job since there were some places I haven’t been to! But I didn’t have to worry much anyway because Busan people are all so friendly! I was busy figuring out where was the bus stop to our destination and I guessed this ahjumma thought we were lost so she actually told us the way to get to the bus stop! Sooo kind of her!

This was the itinerary for their 3 days in Busan! Mostly planned by themselves but I did give some constructive feedbacks you know…


One of my favourite place in Busan! The whole park is pretty big so if you have the whole day, you can take your time to walk around. Otherwise, you can always take the tram which cost 1,500 KRW. It brings you to the five different attractions in the park and you can choose to get off at any attractions you want. There’s a pebble beach which we missed (I heard it was good!), an observatory tower, two temples and of course the famous Yeongdo Lighthouse!

I didn’t remember which stop we got off but it was the last stop of the tram course! Well, walking down is always an easier option…

You know you are at Taejondae when you see these two landmarks!

So we saw some people down at the rocks and we decided to explore too!

But it was SUPERRRRRRRR windy! We literally stopped walking every few seconds because it was way too windy! I think it almost blew Sheryl away!

But the view was absolutely worth it!

A mother figurine at the observatory tower to make people “think twice” before committing suicide. 

To get there: Take Subway Line 1 to Busan station. Get off at exit 8 or 10 and cross the road to where “Twosome Place” is. Turn right and walk straight down till you see a bus stop with the bus number 88 or 101. Take either one of the bus and alight at the last stop. Taejondae is a 5~8 minutes walk away from the bus terminal.

Went to Haeundae for dinner since my friends were staying there! We went to this BBQ restaurant that my classmate recommended. It was so cheap and good! Only paid about 7,000 per person? I come to realize that BBQ is “cheaper” when there are more people. We only ordered skirt meat and samgyeopsal since I was told they were the best! I have never heard of skirt meat in Singapore but apparently it’s pork?? It tasted nothing like pork and it’s super tender!

To get there: Take Subway Line 1 to Haeundae station. Get off at exit 3 and keep walking along the straight path. The shop is on the left side of the pathway.

Gwangalli Beach
The Seoulers wanted to check out the beach night view since there aren’t any beach in Seoul! But I think they were pretty disappointed since there was only a bridge with some… lights. Well, it’s pretty but there are other places in Korea with a better night view!

But my previous experience at Gwangalli Beach was really good though since the buddies brought some of the SMU students there for some raw fish!

To get there: Take Subway Line 2 to Gwangan station. Get off at exit 3 or 4. The beach is about 10 minutes walk away.


The girls visited the beach and the Haedong Yonggungsa Temple but I decided to give it a miss since it was too far for me!

Note to self: Must visit these two places before I leave Busan!

Gamcheon Cultural Village

It’s my second time here!

I came here during winter with my room mate but it was crazily cold so we didn’t really get to enjoy the whole walk. So I thought since I am here during Spring, I should be able to enjoy it properly.. But hell no -_-.

It was so windy (again) that day so we just wanted to quickly finish the whole route and hide in a cafe!  But nonetheless, I really enjoy this place a lot! Filled with so much colours and happy kids! A super happy place!



To get there: Take Subway Line 1 to Toseong Station. Get off at exit 6 and turn right once you reached an intersection. Continue walking till you see a bus stop infront of  Busan Cancer Center. Take either bus 2 or 2-2 and alight at the final stop.

The girls wanted to eat Dwaeji Gukbap so with the help of Naver and my poor navigation skills, we finally found one in Seomyeon!

Seomyeon is the downtown of Busan, very similar to Myeongdong in Seoul. There’s an underground shopping mall, departmental stall and some small boutiques. It’s not only good for shopping, but good for partying as well since the clubs are located here!

Back to dwaeji gukbap.

Dwaeji = pork. Gukbap = Soup rice. So this literally means pork soup rice. 

I heard from my professor that this is a Busan delicacy and you can’t really find it in Seoul?? I didn’t believe it at first so I went to google it. Aaaa..nd it’s true! Now you know what to eat when you are in Busan! :)

Hmmm. 3 generations?

The shop was crowded but I personally felt that the stalls near my school are actually nicer so I wouldn’t recommend this place! Just look out for the “돼지국밥” signboard in Busan! You can find them easily everywhere! 


Pusan National University (PNU) 46Street

University street is like a norm in Korea and food/shopping at the university street are generally much cheaper since they are targeted for students.

And PNU has their own university street too! Although it’s not as huge as Hongdae or Edae, but it’s good enough for some random retail therapy and food cravings!

I told the girls to come over because there’s a really famous toast shop right outside PNU. It’s basically a three layer toast and you can choose fillings such as chicken mayo, tuna mayo, ham etc. Price ranges between 2,000 ~ 2,500 KRW! What a perfect price for university students? And it’s really filling as well!

Someone please get rid of all the expensive food stalls and bring this to SMU instead!! It just doesn’t make sense to pay $3.50 for half a sandwich (which doesn’t fill my stomach anyway)!

Ok enough of food. I’m really hungry now….

3 things to do in Korea

Why is time passing by so fast!

It’s already my 2nd month in Korea and I have 3 more months here before going home! And it’s not as though the workload in PNU is crazily tough but I am wondering where had all my free time went to? Did I spend too much time traveling? Or sleeping? Or maybe drinking……….. cough cough.

Gonna talk about three of the must do things (my personal opinion!) in Korea! One of which is really common but I thought the other two was a little bit unusual!

1. Do something to your hair. Perm, dye, cut! Whatever!
This was one of thing I really want to do in Korea and yes, one item ticked on my “KR BUCKET LIST”! I even set aside some of my expenses just for my hair itself. I did lots of research to which hair salon I should visit and apparently, all of the good/affordable salons are located in Edae. But since I didn’t visit that area (I was mainly at Gyeonggi-do before heading to Busan), I decided to do my hair ay Gyeonggi-do instead!

Well, and I thought it would be cheaper since it’s the suburbs of Seoul. I visited Lee Ka Ja Hair Bis located in Beomgye (Subway Line 1) and only realized it was a franchise after leaving the salon! I also see them all over in Busan -_-. So much for thinking that it might be cheaper…

But I still think the price I paid was still pretty reasonable!

Cut + Dye (including my eyebrows!) + Treat + Perm = 190,000 KRW.

Which equates to about SGD$220 back then. Quite okay right? I think they actually gave me discount because I was a student? And I asked my friends around and they said it was reasonable!

Exit 2 of Beomgye Station. Walk straight up.

The salon is on your left! 

 Some huge hair machine behind me!

My hair is still looking okay after 2 months!

2. Get a pair of glasses!
My room mate was telling me how cheap it is to make glasses in Korea.. And so I decided to check it out! There’s an optician just outside PNU. Super convenient! Reminds me of Ngee Ann where there is also an optician in the school campus!

There was a 30% discount in the first few weeks of school and the discount just made everything so much more affordable.

Frames starts from $10,000. Very cheap in my opinion because I can never find such cheap frames in Singapore. As for the lenses, it’s about the same as Singapore. My degree is really high (right 600, left 550) so there is no way I can get the cheap lenses. Ultra thin lenses for me! I remembered paying $80,000 for the lenses itself.

So in total, my glasses cost me $90,000. But thanks to the 30%, I only paid $63,000! What a steal!! Hope they have another 30% before I leave Busan. I really want another pair of glasses!

Leopard prints. How tacky hohoho.

3. Have your passport photo taken!
Yup, that’s right. You might be wondering how special a passport photo could get. But in a country where people are obsessed with beauty, a passport photo can never be that ordinary.

Upon entering the photoshop, I saw an ahjussi touching up the photos using Photoshop. And yes, indeed. All passport photos are guaranteed to be “chio” because the all of them are all photoshopped to perfection. Zits on your face? No problem! I never knew I have such glowing skin and perfect complexion! ^_^

NAYYY. Looking like an idiot but i’m leaving it here just for laughs! 

Bye winter, I’ll miss you!

Time to slap myself back to reality. Spring is here.


Although winter can be such a pain, but I still love it so so much! It’s my favourite season since I can forget about getting all sweaty (which also means I don’t have to do my laundry that often), makeup “melting” under the heat and washing my hair at night is also not necessary since I don’t sweat. I will also miss the winter fashion where I can deck in chic coats, boots, beanies and the list goes on….

But on the other hand, I can forget about the bitter cold wind blowing right at my face, frozen hands, miserable cold walks up to the dormitory! Time to get more skirts, dresses and shorts! I saw so much pastel coloured clothings near my university and I just want to buy all of them!! Also have to mention that I have lots of items in my Gmarket cart but I have no time to check out yet. Sighhh. Sometimes I ask myself if I am really on exchange? -_-

Since Busan’s climate is warmer than Seoul, the flowers have started blooming since 3 weeks back. I think they were in full bloom last week? Or last last? I don’t remember. The weather is getting warmer day by day so the flowers are slowly withering too.. Nooo. Beautiful things are always so short-lived :(

I also heard that the flowers in Singapore are also blooming like crazy. Ah hah! But nothing beats PNU’s cherry blossom! Just imagine walking down to school everyday with such a pretty sight! And when the wind blows, you can see cherry blossom in the wind!!! It makes one so happy!

Oops. Sorry to overwhelm you with these boring flowers. I love the sight of blooming flowers since they signify a start of a new life! And this is the first time I’ve seen cherry blossoms so must take more photos for memories sake!

There are also parks nearby PNU where you can view cherry blossom but I didn’t have the time to really visit (sobs sobs). But it’s okay since I went to the Jinhae Gunhangje Festival last weekend! It’s apparently one of the best cherry blossom festival in Korea! I kinda agree with that too except that it was way too crowded. Am gonna share more photos in the next post!

School is getting a bit crazy with lots of homework and midterms are also coming up! Although grades doesn’t matter for me, but my classmates are so crazily smart/hardworking so even if I did pretty well for my assignments, I am still like… the bottom few in class? Grrrrr, can’t wait for all these work to end. I need to go shopping soon!

PNU’s Dormitory

I finally have the chance to stay in a dormitory!

Think one good thing about being an exchange student in PNU is that I can get to enjoy the “hall life”. Unlike NTU and NUS, SMU does not really have a dormitory of our own (or hall) since the dormitory is reserved for the international students/scholars.

Kinda make sense because SMU is located in town and students can just get back home easily anyway.

There are 2 types of dormitories in PNU. You either get the one with a shared bathroom or private bathroom. Since I’m very particular about bathroom cleanliness, I decided to go for ones with the private bathroom!

WongBee Hall. Looks pretty decent? 

My home for the next 4 months!

Yup, it’s actually pretty decent. There’s adequate space for me and my room mate to do our work and even invite some of our friends over to chit chat! And apparently, I heard that this is the best dormitory in the university.

Urm, best….?? Hello, I have doubts.

On the first day I arrive at the dormitory, the heater was already not working and the toilet bowl was chocked… I basically braced the cold the entire night, wore three layers to sleep and had to go down to use the toilet! URGH. The balcony light is not working too but I can’t be bothered to get them to and fix it since it’s not much of a hinderance.

The dormitory facilities include a cozy but not free gym (you have to pay 30,000KRW for 1 month membership), a convenient store that everybody loves because they could get their ramen fix and a computer lab for you to print your notes but I have no idea how to use it because you have to register your card?!

Other than the so-so facilities, getting back from classes to the dormitory is also a CHORE. Since the dormitory is located at the TOP of PNU, it takes me about 5 ~ 15 minutes to walk back from my classroom to the dormitory!

Literally free workout!

These are just two of the slopes I have to conquer everyday. If I were to head out for dinner with my friends, we usually have to walk up 2 to 3 more slopes! The first few weeks were really difficult as it was super chilly during the night. But now, I think all of us had gotten used to it!

There is also meal plan for students staying in the dormitory. I signed up for the 3 meals/day plan (mon ~ sun) and I’m kinda regretting it now! Lunch and dinner would be enough for me!

Firstly, I don’t usually wake up early on weekends so I’m basically wasting my money. Secondly, Koreans eat rice for all three meals! I usually tell myself to eat more rice for breakfast so that I will eat lesser for lunch and dinner but that is… not happening. At this rate, I’m definitely going to get fat (actually I am already in the process of gaining some…). And the most important reason?

Terrible food. Dinner is usually the worse. And that’s also one of the reason why I eat more rice since the food taste so damn bad.

Lets just let the pictures do the job.

I have no idea what are those two things but I ate them anyway.

There’s usually something mysterious in every meal.. 

& this weird radish

This was one of the better meal!

Now I’m wondering what’s up for breakfast later. I need something nice since last night’s dinner was bad again!