I just took the ferry in Camellia Ferries and it was a great experience, to be honest I was expecting to be like between London and Frankfurt, staying awake the not sure how many hours it took and just wondering around the ferry but actually I had a room and a bed in were I could lay and pretend to sleep while the other 10 people was snoring as crazy.
Buying the ticket:
I tried to look in many pages before buying the ticket from Susan To Fukuoka, you will get the news about the one that hit a whale, the sinking of MV Sewol, but also you can get into aferry.co.uk and look for the ticket in English, I used Korea ferry and payed 45,000 won with my credit card plus 7,300 won in cash for taxes in the port for one way and with some time in advance.
As a difference with plane tickets, Amazon, Ticketmaster, car rentals, and almost everything you buy on internet this time I didn’t got a confirmation mail immediately so I got worried about it, I sent an email to the admin and in the next day, just after the confirmation mail I got a really good response in English with the reservation number, the date and hour, the total talk I have to pay in cash, (I was planning on exchange all my won to yens, lucky I didn’t) and the time I should check in.
I didn’t print the confirmation number, just made a screenshot of the mail in case Wi-Fi wasn’t available at the port
Go to Busan Station and go out from the sea side, walk across the street and walk about 15min to the port, the check in and boarding areas are on the third floor. There are shuttle buses from Nampodong area but I didn’t knew so I don’t know where to take them or where to check the schedule, if you have the interest of this buses should not be a difficult task.
What happened to me:
Oh traveler instincts, most of the time they work but sometimes they just fail, Kodo, a Korean friend of mine, had told me that I should go to Busan Station, but when in the subway I saw that there is a Subway station that in the map Jungang with the icon and the description of “Int’l/Domestic Ferry Terminals”.
The weather was good, I had time and I have never been in Busan station so the plan was to go to the Busan Station and from there walk to Jungang station, I cannot regret it, is not a long walk maybe 1.5 or 2 km to the destination point, it was a really interesting walk, it was Sunday but it looked like a ghost town, a lot of closed business, abandoned buildings, a death Starbucks, big empty buildings and lonely streets, abandoned bikes and motorbikes and the vegetation had taken over many buildings. I walked south and then to the port No.2, seems like only for cargo ships so I asked the security guards “ten min walk, next” I walked 10 min north, saw another door nothing touristic, asked again, “ten minut walk” again, walked 10 more minutes and saw the Busan station again, all this time I walked on an abandoned sidewalk with a lot of pictures about Korea and the war, some LP’s as decoration, and some drawings about the city. Asked an old man with pink hair for the port and he asked me to follow him, we walk few minutes and then saw the port.
The port and Ferry
The check in is easier than in an airport and the luggage check is far less strict, people had bags full of sou, beer and fried chicken, boxes of ramen, and I had a kimbab and some ramen with me.
I took the bed near the electricity plug so I can charge the phone an as I notice latter most of the people had some extra batteries so they don’t have to worry about the only two plugs for 12 people in a room, maybe was a good choice but also the window was a little bit too cold, and people in the room were snoring really hard so earplugs are recommended.
I wonder around the ship, look for the karaoke rooms, the beer was 250Y, cheaper than in Korea, there is a quite room but a lady was screaming the whole time I spend there. The 12 hours passed fast and in the morning the announcement that we arrived was made but only in Japanese, and somehow every other guy in the room stayed there, when I went out to look for some water the ferry was already empty but for me and a Russian family.
It was on winter so no many people wanted to take a walk outside but they have places to take the sun and enjoy the summer weather like this guy:
Latter that day I realized the mistake I was making at the immigration office that day, they ask me the reason, visit; occupation, traveler; length of stay, 85 days; place to stay, with someone that offers me to host me for free that I don’t know; and no ticket out. So the guy find strange for a guy that wants to stay in a country for so long without a plan and without outbound ticket, at the end they let me in with a 90 days visa (how it supposed to work).
I got the idea that maybe would be better to say you will stay shorter, they will still give you a 90 days visitor visa.