South Korea - Busan

Sculpture at Sky Park overlooking the harbour of Busan Photo: Jane

On our way to Busan we stopped at Ssanggyesa Temple which means Twin Streams, as two streams tinkle tranquilly through the temple grounds. Like so much of Korea, Ssanggyesa Temple was completely destroyed during the Imjin War (1592-98) by the invading Japanese, thankfully rebuilt in 1632.

Here we enjoyed a traditional tea ceremony led by one of the monks who presented an interesting talk on his life as a monk and guided us through a short meditation.

Ssanggyesa Temple; the monk and our guide Honey who provided translation; beautifully presented tea service, especially the tea jug; one of the assistants was very fussy lining up all our shoes - even tucking in all the laces! Photos: Jane

The port city of Busan, is South Korea's second largest, known for its vibrant energy, beaches, mountains and temples, a fusion of tradition and modernity.

A cable car glides over the picturesque harbor to the Sky Park - which offers a dramatic view across the glistening bay back to the city. The Sky Park is dotted with several photo zones - Moment Capsule is a time capsule for visitors to save precious memories, while The Little Prince and his friends are depicted in various modes of transport.

Busan: Again, a mass of high-rise apartment buildings as we made our way across town to the cable car, and Sky park with its funky sculpture. Bottom Right: Moment Capsule Photos: Jane

Our day in Busan was cold with heavy rain. A great excuse for a relaxing time exploring Shinsegae Department Store the world’s largest, according to the Guinness Book of Records.

The shopping centre even has its own Trevi Fountain and an ice skating rink.

The local beach a little drab under rainy skies, Busan skyline, Shinsegae Department Store, ice-skating rink; replica Trevi Fountain and other delights in the adjoining shopping centre. Photos: Jane

In a few days we will learn about the Silla Dynasty in Gyeongju