To get to Chinhae from Busan I went to the Express Bus Terminal in Nopo-dong. I took the subway there from Dongnae. The bus terminal is connected to the subway station so it was easy to find. I just got off the subway at ,stop # 134, Nopo-dong and followed the signs and the crowd of people and there was the Express Bus Terminal [in Korean it is called the "고속 [Go-sok] Bus Terminal"].
Unfortunately, there are only about 6 buses a day that leave there and go to Chinhae and the first bus at 10:50 am was full with only standing room for the hour and forty minute trip. After conferring with my friend, Ray - another Canadian English Teacher, we decided to stand up for the trip since the next bus was leaving for almost another two hours. We were standing near the front of the bus near the driver and there was a few steps there so I decided to sit down and rest for a while and the bus driver said something to me. I started to get up thinking I was allowed to sit so close to the door but instead the bus driver gave me his newspaper to sit on so I wouldn't get dirty. I was so pleased at his kindness. Ray and I took turns sitting down and with us chatting away the trip went quickly.
This is a picture of a sign in Chinhae. Even the signs show the famous cherry blossoms.
Above is the center of town in Chinhae. It has a small replica of the turtle ship and a town clock.
Coming home we took a different bus that was going to Ssang through Hadan and it was a much quicker trip home only about one hour. I would advise anyone going to Chinhae to go to Ssang and take a bus there at the Inner-city Bus Terminal as there as they seem to leave much more frequently and the trip is a good forty minutes shorter.
The blooming cherry trees are everywhere even over-hanging the streets.
We arrived in Chinhae at lunchtime and the first thing we did was find the market place.
Here are the tents that house everything from temporary restaurants to games booths.
Barbecued pork seemed to be the specialty. There were whole pigs turning on spits outside almost every tent. The smell was mouth-watering so we decided that would be our lunch. Ray treated me to lunch as I haven't been paid yet since arriving back in Korea [pay day in Korea is the 10th of the month and you are paid just once a month] and the Korean Won is really strong right now so when I turned my Canadian money into Korean Won I didn't get much. It was a wonderful meal and a great start to our visit in Chinhae.
This shows a whole pig roasting on a spit - or at least it was a whole pig until people [including Ray and I] ordered lunch.
Ray and I had gone to Chinhae the year before to see the Cherry Blossom Festival and at that time we had toured the Naval Base and seen the turtle ship. This time we decided to climb the tower that over-looks all of Chinhae. It has something like 364 steps to the top. I am so out of shape right now that I wasn't sure I could make it to the top - but we went slow and there were benches along the way to stop and rest at and eventually we made it to the top. It was well worth the climb. The view was incredible. I can't even begin to do it justice with my descriptions so I better just post some pictures - after all they say "A picture is worth a thousand words".
This shows the tower that if you climb to the top you can get an awesome view of all of Chinhae. It's a long hard climb at least for most people but since there are benches along the way - it is do-able for most people - at least if you go slowly.
Above is an anchor at the Naval Base where I took the tour and saw the Turtle Ship. Look at the crowd of people. I never get used to the crowds that seem to be everywhere in Korea.
Some Chinhae Sailors take a break from climbing the tower.
Here is a picture of the turtle ship. I took this in April of 2005 when I visited Chinhae for the first time. The ship is located at the Naval Base and you have to go as part of a bus tour but you can actually line up and get to board the ship and take pictures. *** Warning if you take pictures of restricted areas you will be forced to delete your pictures at least the "classified ones" ask me - it happened to me.***
Getting home from Chinhae proved to be a problem. For one thing we hadn't paid much attention the year before to how to get home since we were with a Korean friend who took care of translating everything for us and knew or could ask how to get bus tickets home, etc. Luckily, we did remember using the bathroom at McDonalds just prior to getting on the bus so we figured if we found McDonalds we could ask someone how to get a bus ticket. That's what we did. We found two Chinhae High School girls and they helped us find a man who was standing on the sidewalk selling tickets. It was them that told us there were no buses back to Nopo-dong only to Ssang via Hadan. I had worked at a school in Hadan my last contract in Busan so I knew how to take the subway and get home from there. So, we bought bus tickets for Ssang. However, it had been a beautiful sunny day and it seems that everyone else had decided to come from Busan by bus and now everyone was trying to go home by bus and all at the same time. Bus after bus passed the bus stop we were standing at and didn't stop cause they were crammed full of people.
"Joy" and "April" our wonderful translators and self-appointed angels. We never would have gotten back to Busan without their help.
Our two High School girls who had decided to stay with us and help us decided we needed to walk to the bus terminal if we were EVER to get on a bus back to Busan. We thought they would just give us directions but instead they walked us the 20 minutes it took to get from McDonalds to the Chinhae Bus Terminal despite the fact it was getting cold and they were dressed quite lightly. When we got to the bus terminal there were at least 200 other people in line [ahead of us] waiting for a bus to Busan. We joined the line-up and waited as bus after bus filled up and pulled away. It took a good hour to get on a bus. All the while our High School girls waited with us. They even bought us each a chocolate bar when they found out we hadn't had dinner yet. I was so amazed with there kindness to us - two foreigners they didn't know and had no reason to help. I dubbed them "Our School Girl Angels" and we gave them English nicknames. They are called "April" and "Joy". I got took a picture of them and e-mailed it to them with our thanks a few days later. They really restored my faith in humanity and whenever I get frustrated with how crowded and rushed Korea can be I think of them and feel better.