The Kyoto of Korea

Trip Start Aug 30, 2010
1
191
201
Trip End Aug 26, 2011


Loading Map
Map your own trip!
Map Options
Show trip route
Hide lines
shadow

Flag of Korea Rep.  , North Gyeongsang,
Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I woke up early today and walked to Changdeokgung Palace. It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site so I absolutely had to check it out. It's a pretty impressive palace in scale but the inside was the same old same old. The palace grounds were huge though and were home to a number of other cool buildings too.

After that outing, I got myself a train ticket to Gyeong-ju. It's about an hour bus ride northeast of Busan so pretty far south. When I arrived, I had to get on a bus and travel for 45 minutes to the center of the city. Gyeong-ju is kind of like the Kyoto of Japan. Lots of history and lots of things to see. The guesthouse I stayed at was located on the same street as a local market so there was lots of action before I even made it to the door.

Once I dropped off my backpack I was off to Tumuli Park. There are quite a few king's tombs there. They look like big green hills. Would be great for sledding but under those hills are the tombs of ancient kings. I swear after walking around the park, the Teletubbies was filmed there. I went into the only tomb that was an attraction, Cheommachong Tomb. They found some interesting things inside of this tomb like a gold crown, a golf necklace, and pottery.

I then went and saw the Royal Tomb of King Naemu. It was a big green hill.

I then walked over to Cheomseongdae Astronomical Observatory. It's a pretty small tower but I'm sure it was a challenge to build hundreds of years ago. I actually walked by at night too and it was truly beautiful. All lit up. Really nice.

Next up was the Seokbinggo Ice Stonehouse. I would describe it as a cave. A king built it to store ice. That's the first time I've ever heard of storing ice I believe.

In the same park as the above two attractions was the Lotus Flower Complex. A huge area covering acres of land with nothing but lotus flowers. I wish they would have all been in bloom but sadly only a couple of the sections were blooming. It was nice to see after being in the big city (Seoul) for the last few days.

Tumuli Park also had a massive flower field. Full of orange and pink flowers. Not far from there was Gyerim Forest. The myth about this forest is that a man heard a crow and when he came to investigate he found a baby. That baby eventually became king. There is now a monument erected at the site telling the story. 

Unlike Japan, in Korea, at least in Gyeong-ju, restaurants are hard to find by the tourist attractions. It was even harder to find a restaurant with an English menu or with pictures of the food. Here I thought Gyeong-ju was tourist heaven but maybe people only make day trips out from Busan. I stumbled across a Chinese restaurant with an English menu. By this time I'm starving so it'll do. Once again though, I'm sad I'm not eating Korean food. What a bad idea it turned out to be. The food was anything but Chinese. Nasty black stuff covered half my plate when all I did was order fried rice. Live and learn.

I went to Anapji Pond at night. It is a very beautiful area by night so that's why I went. I wasn't let down. It was amazing. Three buildings sat on the shore of a man made pond all lit up. I couldn't stop taking pictures it was that nice.

There were so many couples out tonight too. It was really evident I wasn't in Japan anymore with all of the public displays of affection going on. You don't see hand holding all that often in Japan. In Korea, it's impossible not to. 
Slideshow Report as Spam

Use this image in your site

Copy and paste this html: