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The Aftermath

I have been consistently dreading writing this for public consumption as I am certain if the Kpop stans get ahold of this I'll get videos of Twice dancing along with death threats. I will preface this by saying that if you feel the urge to fight or debate, fight or debate your mother. This is not an open forum. I am not free of the consequences of my words, but I am eternally free to ignore you. That being said, Korea is the worst place I have ever traveled. As I have likely told many of you who have asked me in person, I would suggest going if you're white, if you're obsessed with the culture and its exports, or if you're going for 2 weeks or less.  Everyone else has been warned. I landed back in the United States on Sunday, June 30th, 2019, and approximately 206 days later, I am ready to talk about my 1 year in Korea. The Flight Back So, I almost died. I'm starting here because this isn't really  Korea's fault so much as my exhaustion because of Ko

Busan Black Panther Tour Experience

Hey there, if you have any questions, check out the Ultimate List of Resources here, and contact page here.

If you didn't know until now, a large portion of the 2018 film Black Panther was filmed and based right here in Busan, South Korea. I applied to study abroad around September of 2017, and as the near year rolled around, I would see Black Panther seven times before I got here. I'd never heard of Busan until I applied to study abroad, and something about seeing the city where I was going to be living on one of, if not the most, popular movies of the season seemed divinely ordained. Once I got here, I realized that Busan is actually massive and encompasses a lot of districts, however, I knew after the first couple of weeks, that I happened to live just a few subway stops from the filming locations. My friend and I decided to do a full Black Panther tour in Busan, taking comparison screenshots from the movie and then scouting the locations and taking similar photos. It didn't exactly turn out the way we wanted, but it was still meaningful as black solo-travelers in Korea. Here's how we did it (and of course, the photos):

Access to the Movie and Screenshots

As of writing this, Black Panther is not available via Netflix in Korea, however, if you find the right VPN, you are able to access it if you are choosing to go the more legal route. More often than not, the VPNs that will actually work for Netflix (they're getting a lot better at detecting VPNs and proxies) will be expensive but will offer a free trial so you can access the movie. You might have to either google ones that will work for you or use trial and error and download a few. Nord VPN, linked below, worked for me. Please remember to cancel any trials you have subscribed to before you get charged, save a life. Taking screenshots in Netflix (web, desktop) kinda sucks because you'll likely have the navigation bar at the bottom, which you'll have to crop out. Selecting the locations is super easy. I will, of course, link all of the official locations with directions in the resources below, but essentially, you want to go from Jagalchi Fish Market (and surrounding areas) to Gwangalli Bridge, which is the entirety of the Busan scenes, from the entrance into the casino, which does not exist (or does it 👀) to the crash on the beach. Here are examples of the screenshots we took:

(above left) Gwangalli Bridge
Jagalchi Fish Market (above right and left)

 You can see what I mean about the annoying screenshot navigation bar thingy? The above photos are examples of the cropping I did to make the photos look decent for comparison and social media upload.

The Travel

Busan's subway system is fantastic and getting around was really not a problem. It was two locations, so sort of three trips just for photos, but it's the experience and the subway is relatively inexpensive (₩ 3,900 // $3.43 for all three trips). Since our subway stop was in the center of the two stops we needed, there wasn't really a better way to go. We went to Jagalchi Fish Market first and the Gwangalli, and minus the transfer from line 2 to line 1 to get there, it was smooth sailing. We were familiar with Gwangalli, so getting there and navigating our way to the beach was no problem. If you've never been to Gwangalli (line 2), there is signage to the beach everywhere after you exit the subway station. 

But... How Did the Photos Turn Out?

We had a rough time finding the same spot in the fish market that you can see in the above photo, which was so sad because some of the most stable screenshots came from this location. We did have luck everywhere else though, and although I am planning another Black Panther Busan Tour for the new study abroad students, I am okay with the photos I was able to get last semester:

 The Gwangalli Bridge photos would've been exponentially better if one of us had posed, but we were feeling awkward and didn't want to be touristy in our new city. It was definitely our biggest mistake and one I won't be making when I go again in search of the Black Panther film locations.
Gwangalli Bridge (above and below)
GS25 at Jagalchi Fish Market


Happy Travels

Thumbnail Photo by Myke Simon on Unsplash