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  • Gaya Health Spa and Sauna

    By Daniel Benner

    This decent little gym was pretty close to wear I was living in Gaegeum.  While not having a whole lot of amenities, it suffices well enough if you live in the neighborhood and don’t want to do a distant trek for some place further afield.

    The place has a few machines, all the necessary free weights, about a dozen treadmills, a few stair masters, and also those silly, what I thought were 1950s era belt machines that are suppose to shake out all your belly fat.  Not being too crowded and having a jimjilbang attached is another much appreciated bonus.

    The place is rather steep, in my opinion, for a monthly membership at 60,000\ a month, but since you can go for a day for only 5,000\ (not including the jimjilbang), I just opt for the daily rate and use it when it’s convenient (I do plenty of other sports and group exercises so I don’t go more than once or twice a week).


  • Gudok Stadium and Sports Complex, Dongdaesin.

    By Emma O’Flynn

    2013-08-15 12.13.57

    The Gudok Stadium is within short walking distance from the subway, and offers a pretty decent selection of sporting facilities.  The sports complex has a swimming pool with public swims available throughout the day (swim hat and goggles compulsory attire!).  It is also host to a gym.  The stadium itself, offers free access to the running track, available whenever there are no sporting events on.  It also has an indoor basketball court, and a baseball diamond, though access to these is more controlled.


  • DaeWoo Fittness PNU

    Finding a gym in Korea can either be really simple or the most challenging of adventures. I decided about a month into my contract that working out at home was not, well, working. I wanted to join a gym but had nowhere to start.

    I researched some places on facebook groups, and walked around my neighborhood but I kept being drawn to Daewoo, 1. Because it is literally 2 blocks from my house and 2 because there were a number of well fit men that would walk in and out of the doors. I should have just gone there at first, but being that it is a basement gym, I was not sure what to do, being that walking in to new and big places full of very muscular men can be very intimidating.


  • National Team Fitness in Jangsan

    By Fiona Van Tyne

    Gyms. Gyms. Gyms. Many of us have enjoyed working out at gyms in our home countries, we had a set routine, schedule and we were comfortable.

    Exercise is not thought of the same in Korea as in the western world. Many koreans take a much lighter approach to keeping fit, and so it is sometimes difficult to find a gym that meets a westerners requirements.

    Also, many gyms in Korea are old, they are run down, and their equipment does not work as well as it used to. These get the job done, but barely.

    National Team Fitness in Jangsan has been a personal saving grace in Korea. It opened in December 2012 and things are brand spanking new not to mention state of the art!!


  • Sharky’s Bar and Grill – Haeundae and Gwangalli

    Sharky’s has the most American feel of any of the expat bars in Busan.  It’s the only place where I literally forget that I’m in Korea from time to time (although that could be the drinking as much as the atmosphere.)  While you’re in that fairly small space, you can’t help but feel back at home for better or worse.  There’s usually replays (or live) of whatever seasonal American sports are going on.  They’ve got darts, foosball, and shuffleboard which I absolutely love.  There’s also a nice selection of board games at both locations, including trivial pursuit. Games are constantly being updated, so check in and check often!


  • Jungang Park

    By Emma O’Flynn

    SAM_1104

    Ever wonder about the thing-on-the-hill above Daesindong?  A tower like structure poking above the tree line, with a Korea flag alongside it, can be seen from the neighbourhood, and even from parts of downtown Nampo.  It just so happens to be a memorial park perched in one of the best spots in Busan.

    Set on the crest of Daecheong Mountain, Jungang Park is south facing, commanding impressive views of Nampodong, and across the harbor to the new bridge to Yeongdo.  This vista helps to illustrate how Busan is carved up into sections by the mountains that have gifted the city its name.


  • 콩 밭 ㅔ (Kong Bat Eh) Korean Buffet, Nampo



    By Emma O’Flynn

    2013-06-16 13.38.37

    When it comes to dining out in Nampo, budget vegetarian options are pretty limited. So this little place was a great find, even though it’s not strictly vegetarian. Located in the basement, with a very unassuming entrance, Korean Banchan (side-dish) Heaven awaits. One does not go to this place for the Kimchi Jigae, or the Dwen Jang Jigae (although they are pretty good!). The major selling point for this restaurant is the buffet of sides that you can help yourself to, as much as you heart (and stomach) desires.


  • Zoo Coffee

    By Emma O’Flynn

    2013-06-16 15.24.59

    If you go down to zoo coffee today, you’re sure of a big surprise…!  Well, when I go into a coffee shop, I don’t expect to see stuffed zoo animal toys everywhere…even if it is called zoo coffee.

     


  • Daegu: Herb Hillz



    BY Sharn Kleiss

    Herb Hillz, located in Daegu is an “eco-friendly” theme park. I’m not too sure how it’s eco-friendly, but they do have a lot of plants around and it is sort of “nature” themed.

    The main appeal of the park is the zip lining course. There are 6 levels to choose from, though as a tour group were only offered “King Kong” (Level 5, which I did) and “Gorilla” (Level 4). Before going up on the courses, we were fitted with harnesses, gloves and helmets and given a run through on how to attach the carabiners. The King Kong course took about 40 minutes and included four awesome zip lines. It wasn’t too scary or difficult, but if you’re afraid of heights, it would be challenging! Once you’re up there, you’re on your own, without attendants.


  • Gangneung in Gangwon-Do

     

    By: Emma O’Flynn

    cherry blossems gyeongpo lakeThis is one of the largest cities in the province, and as such has most of the trappings that one would expect.  There is a relatively large and thriving ex-pat community there as well, so you will always see a few folks that you can stop and ask for directions!

      For accommodation, best to grab a taxi from the bus station to the Tekji area, where there are a wealth of love motels.  You should expect to pay in the region of $40-60, but in return you can expect to get spacious and clean digs.


 

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