Street Food in Busan

One evening, on returning from my excursion up a mountain, back in December 2017, I decided to do something differently, and have my dinner outdoors at one of the roadside stalls of the place. It was my first experience of street food in Busan.

Roadside stalls with hygiene

Contrary to what you would expect in Thailand, for example, the Koreans do take hygiene at heart. So, vendors do use plastic gloves when handling food and all of their dishes are single-use.

Busan street food
Busan street food

Rice cannelloni

Most of the dishes were simply some form of rice cannelloni as can be seen on the pictures. The sauce was pretty good and in the cold evening of Busan, it did provide a refreshing change from habitual food (although I must say I tried also some delicious kimchi).

Most people just eat standing.

Atmosphere

Indeed, one of the lovely things about street food in Busan is also the atmosphere around. The night lights, the stands and the street’s setting combine to give it a homely atmosphere. Eating out should be done more for sharing in the atmosphere of locals. One local student helped to translate for me my order and was quite curious to know from where I was. Koreans have always been welcoming and helpful everywhere I went, and Busan was no exception to the rule.

Atmosphere in Busan
Atmosphere in a street where roadside vendors have set their stands

Finally, if you prefer eating in a restaurant, there are many places where you can eat kimchi or a full set meal for a very reasonable price.

For once, I truly enjoyed “going local”. But then, Korea is a place where even foreigners are gladly welcomed to share the local life. Probably one of my best experiences traveling around Asia. Busan, itself, has a more “rough” feeling to it, but locals are quite friendly and nice.

The Lost markets of Bangkok (1/2): Sukhumvit 38

This is a two-part series on the dying street markets of Bangkok. We will consider first Sukhumvit 38 and thereafter Pak Khlong Talad, the defunct flower market.

At the beginning of Soi Sukhumvit 38 was a vibrant and wonderful hub of street food. This hub of street food was resting especially on the tolerance of an old landlord who allowed low rents for the vendors in order to keep alive that lovely place.

Earlier, in 2016, after the death of the landlord, his heirs sold the land to a real estate company which is planning on building another of those towering condominium complexes on that land (very near to the Thonglor BTS).

As a consequence, Sukhumvit 38 street food slowly died off, most vendors relocating voluntarily or being replaced by the Bangkok Municipal Authority into closed markets. People lamented this for being the “singaporisation” of street food, but while the folklore and warmth of Sukhumvit 38 was undeniable, this had also its inconveniences, in particular grease on the pavements, poor hygiene and pollution due to the use of charcoal for open fires (see pics).

Today, the market is about dead and only pictures remain as a far reminder of a place that once enticed foreigners and Thais alike.