Busan, Nampo-dong, BIFF Square (BIFF 광장), Gukje Sijang (국제시장) & Gwangbok-ro Cultural & Fashion Street (광복로문화패션거리)
From Jagalchi Fish Market, we walk to BIFF Square which is just opposite (just need to cross the main road and we can see the arch from where we stand). BIFF or PIFF stands for Busan International Film Festival. In case you wonder - Busan was previously spell as "PUSAN" in English, therefore you will still see "PIFF" before they fix it.
BIFF Square was built to held the First International Film Festival in Korea in 1996, and the square was name after it. So far total 15th of International Film Festival were held here every year. It is also known as "Movie Theater Street" in Busan - because there are many famous cinema chains e.g. CGV, Megabox etc are gather around at BIFF area. Therefore locals especially youngster love to came here for latest movies. And because of that, street foods, cafes, restaurant chains, fashion streets etc are blooming here too and it become one of the famous tourist spots in Busan.
Once you step into the BIFF Square, food carts selling street food are lining up along the street! We weren't hungry but we do not miss out to try the Busan famous street food - Odeng (fish cakes) and Odeng-guk (the free flow broth!). The broth has warmed us up in this chilly winter instantly.
Don't miss to check out the 428 meter-long walk of fame stretching from the "Star Street" (at Buyeong Theater, Nampo-dong) to "Festival Street" (the overpass in Chungmu-dong). Just like the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the handprints line-up throughout the street, not only just Korean filmmakers handprints, famous overseas filmmakers handprints can be found too! And I found Zhang Yi-Mou's Handprints (picture above).
This street will be filled with Pojangmacha 포장마차 will be starting to get crowded at night since business is only operate at late evening onwards. Pojangmacha is a food stall with a tent - popular place for drinking and supper late into the night.
This matjib along the street with pojangmacha (Pic.above) - selling Korean king-sized steamed dumplings (similar to chinese bao-zhi but with Korean dumpling filling inside). Recommended to try:
Busan Wang Mandu (Nampo-dong Branch) | 부산 미성왕만두 (남포동점)
47-2, Bupyeong-dong 1-ga, Nampo-dong, Jung-gu, Busan
부산광역시 중구 남포동 부평동1가 47-2
Gukje Sijang 국제시장
Then we walked further up (head north) to Gukje Sijang. Gukje Sijang is connected with Bupyeong Market, Kkangtong Market and some other smaller scale markets, each alley is crowded with shops and stalls, therefore it become one of the Korea's largest market in Busan. Gukje Sijang offer a wide variety of goods, visitor can find almost everything their need right here : Machinery, electronics, kitchen appliances, clothing, food, agricultural products, fish, dairy goods, industrial products and more, just like Namdaemun in Seoul. I bought a Korean culinary set (stainless steel chopsticks and spoons) for my parents here.
Gwangbok-ro Cultural & Fashion Street | 광복로문화패션거리
From Gukje Sijang we head west to Gwangbok-dong, Gwangbok-ro Cultural & Fashion Street. This street is full of shops selling fashions, cosmetics and etc from bargains to luxury items. Decorated with splendid lighting, abundant flowerbeds, pleasant resting spots, and exquisite sculptures. One of the most popular places among the locals and international tourists to shop and walk around in Busan, more like a mini Myeong-dong for me.
Beside fashions, Gwangbok-dong has plenty restaurants and matjib too! This shop name "Chungmu Myeongmyul Gimbap Sesang" (충무명물김밥세상) at Gwangbok-dong (광복동) is one of the Matjib has been in business for long time - for about 30 years.
Chungmu Myeongmyul Gimbap Sesang | 충무명물김밥세상
Address: 13-1 Sinchang-dong 1-ga, Jung-gu, Busan
부산시 중구 신창동1가 13-1
It is actually a Gimbap specialty shop, however became famous with it's delicious fish cake skewer. (Update in 2012: This Matjib became more famous after Lee Seung Gi visited the shop and had their fish cake skewer in "2 days 1 night" programme) That's Yachae Gimbap selling at 2000won each.
Price is cheap, fish cake skewers at different variety different price starts from 500won to 1000won each. Their tteokbokki is delicious too!
We had fish cake skeweres and tteokbokki, and also the free flow fish cake broth (어묵국물) using the custom made orange colour plastic cup with handle - Or to be exact, it looks more like a spoon but shape like a cup.
큰집식당 (Big house Restaurant) - another Matjib in Gwangbok-dong selling authentic Korean Cuisine, recommended by the the local bloggers and visitkorea.
The main street of Gwangbok-ro Cultural & Fashion Street where the steel sculpture and giant Christmas tree made from lightbulbs located at the in the centre road split into two ways.
Sky starts to get dark at 4.45pm, time to go home for dinner. If you have time, you may still continue to explore Busan Tower at Yongdusan Park for night view.
How to get here (BIFF Square):
[Subway] Busan Metro Line 1 - Jagalchi Station Exit 7
- 5 min walk from the station (Walk straight and turn left).