South Korea

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Top 10 Travel Destinations Gyeongsangbuk-do

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37 travelers at this place

  • Day14

    Tempel & Königsgräber

    June 14, 2019 in South Korea ⋅ ☁️ 24 °C

    Heute morgen ging es mit dem Auto weiter. Der erste Stopp war kurz nach Busan an einem sehr bekannten Tempel, welcher direkt am Meer gelegen ist. Das Wetter heute war leider nicht so gut, 20Grad und regen. Aber nichtsdestotrotz sind wir zu dem Tempel gelaufen und haben einige Fotos gemacht.
    Danach ging es ca. 2 Stunden weiter zur nächsten Stadt, in welcher wir heute auch schlafen. Dort gibt es viele Königliche Gräber, welche aussehen wie kleine Hügel, aus der Zeit der Silla (57 v Chr. bis 935 n. Chr.). Ziemlich beeindruckend diese Gräber zu sehen. Eines wurde als kleines Museum ausgebaut, in dem man die Gräber, mit ihren schätzen, sehen konnte.
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  • Day35

    Seowon and a Historic Village in Andong

    October 1, 2019 in South Korea ⋅ ☁️ 26 °C

    Time to finally leave Seoul, after 8 nights in South Korea! Checked out early and headed to the station, grabbing a subway to the bus terminal. We had tickets for a long-distance bus to Andong, about 3 hours to the south-east and roughly in the centre of the country. Another Premium style bus with seats three abreast, so it was quite comfortable.

    Arrived at midday where we hoped to drop bags at our nearby hotel and catch a local bus that was coming in 40 minutes. We quickly walked over to the hotel, but there was nobody there! It had a phone to call for someone, but they only spoke Korean so we headed back to the bus station. Just as we got back to the main road a guy pulled up yelling at us, and we realised he was the person we'd spoken to. Although it was well before check-in time, we were allowed to drop our bags in the room and scurry back to the bus station.

    Made it in time for the bus out of town, which took about an hour or so. The site for today was a Seowon, a Confucian academy. This WHS has a series of them scattered in remote locations all over Korea, but we'd decided to limit our visits to just one since they're all generally the same. This was quite a nice one, set in forested mountains with running streams nearby. Perfect for learning your Confucian ethics and morals, and preparing yourself for a life in the government bureaucracy. It was interesting, though not especially large, and we were done within an hour.

    Finishing up with this site, we headed for our next site: the nearby historic village of Hahoe. It was a 2 hour wait for the bus back, or a 4km walk so naturally we opted for the latter. Arrived at the village just in time for a free performance of traditional mask dancing. Obviously, the performers wear masks and dance around on a stage in front of musicians, while a narrator (and surtitles) explain what's going on. It was quite interesting, though the dancing wasn't especially vigorous - the story is more the point. I quite liked how the various masks really sold different characters like an old haggard woman, a young fisherman, a nobleman, a maiden etc. They were mostly played by middle-aged men, but the masks made you believe otherwise!

    After the performance we headed into the historic village. It felt a bit like the ancient village we visited in China, though most of the buildings here were wooden, rather than stone, and not especially old either. Though it was cool to see the clear distinction between peasant houses with thatched roofs and noble houses with tiled roofs. But on the whole the village felt a bit touristy with lots of residents selling souvenirs from their front yards, and of course their accoutrements of modern life like cars, satellite dishes and wifi routers were scattered around.

    Hurried out and managed to jump on a bus back into town, though we realised later that since we'd walked into the back way from the Seowon path, we'd missed the ticket booth (which is for some reason a kilometre from the entrance). So we didn't pay. Whoops!

    Back to Andong where we grabbed a quick bite for dinner at the bus station: Lotteria, the Korean burger chain.
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  • Day37

    Highlights of Gyeongju

    October 3, 2019 in South Korea ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    Another early start, as we got up and anxiously checked outside. There had been heavy rain, but it was now only sprinkling, and there wasn't much wind to speak of. So we'd gotten fairly lucky I think. Undeterred, we pressed on.

    Stop number one for today was Bulguksa Temple, a Silla-era Buddhist temple outside town. Another bus ride and we were here fairly early, though it's a common tourist stop and it was busy already. Despite being constructed in the Silla kingdom, most of the buildings here are much later rebuilds, some of them in Joseon styles. And there's a couple of old relics too, like stone stupas that dated back to the 8th century when the temple was originally constructed, so that was cool. Plus the rain had stopped!

    Another short bus ride to the other part of the World Heritage site, Seokguram Grotto. Located in a man-made cave, the highlight of the grotto is a large and beautiful stone Buddha statue at the back of the cave. It's surrounded by wall carvings and reliefs of other Buddhist iconography. The whole complex dates back to the 8th century and is apparently mostly original which is quite cool. Though it's protected behind glass, and about 10 metres away so you couldn't see it that well. And no photos either, which is going to make for a not-very-interesting video!

    Back on the bus down the hills and into Gyeongju, where the weather had almost completely cleared. There's a separate WHS here covering the rest of the remains of the Silla kingdom, including a palace, tombs, and an observatory. We started with the palace - not much to see except foundations and some modern replica buildings.

    The observatory was cool, about 9 metres tall and still in original condition. It's just a stone tower really, but was used for astronomical observations and looked quite photogenic sitting in a park surrounded by flowers. Last stop was the tombs. There are actually hundreds of these dotted around town - mounds containing a small burial chamber. Some of the mounds are enormous - 20 metres high, while others are quite modest. These are where the golden crowns we'd seen yesterday were found.

    You could go inside one of them, but it felt suspiciously modern so I wasn't super sure about what we were seeing. It was nice to walk around the park surrounded by these mounds, but the signs everywhere warning of a 20 million won fine for climbing them was a bit of a bummer.

    Feeling tired, we just had another 7-11 dinner before heading to the hotel.
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  • Day36

    Sansa & South to Gyeong-ju

    October 2, 2019 in South Korea ⋅ 🌧 19 °C

    Up early again for another busy day. We had one more site to see around Andong, so we grabbed another bus at the bus station and headed off into the mountains, though in a different direction. This stop was a Sansa - nothing to do with the Queen in the North from Game of Thrones (it's actually pronounced Shansha anyway), but a Buddhist monastery. Since the Joseon dynasty ruled Korea as Confucians for over 600 years, adherents to other religions like Buddhism had to hide themselves away in isolated areas like this.

    So the WHS is a collection of Sansa (literally: mountain temple) monasteries located around Korea. Again, there's about 20 of them included on the list but we were contenting ourselves with just one, though it's usually considered the most important. Off the bus, we left our luggage with a friendly parking lot attendant and walked the 20 minutes up the hill to the monastery. It was quite beautiful, again located in the forested mountains and surrounded by cascading streams and brooks.

    It had the typical Buddhist layout of a central courtyard, with a prayer hall in the rear, two dormitories on the flanks, and a pavilion for lectures/studying/meditating at the front above the entrance gate. Behind this little complex was another treasure - what's considered to be the oldest extant wooden building in Korea, dating from the 14th century. Nobody actually knows when it was built, but a temple record mentions roof repairs in 1369, so obviously it was earlier than that! Pretty cool. We had a nice wander around, did our filming, and before 90 minutes was up we were completely done. And that was even after sitting in the main hall and listening to a solitary monk chanting for a while.

    Wandered back down, collected our luggage, and got back on the bus. While waiting we helped out a French lady named Arlette who reminded me a lot of Marie. She was trying to contact her sister back in Andong that she'd meet her at the markets for lunch at midday. But she was relying on wifi and of course a 14th century Buddhist monastery doesn't have wifi. So I sent a few Whatsapp messages to her sister for her, they had a brief conversation and I think all was good.

    We hopped off at the bus terminal (Arlette stayed on for downtown), had another lunch at Lotteria while we waited for our bus south to Gyeongju. A few hours on another comfy bus (it's remarkable how efficient the system is) and we arrived in Gyeongju. Wandered to our nearby hotel and dropped bags, as the overcast conditions turned into steady light drizzle.

    Undeterred, we caught a local bus to the nearby museum for our first sightseeing stop. This was the Gyeongju museum, where the most important local artifacts were stored. Gyeongju was the centre of the ancient Silla kingdom, which ruled south-east Korea for about 1000 years, roughly 50 BC - 1000 AD. Along with Baekje in central Korea and Gogoryueo in the north it was one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, and in around 600 AD they (with some help from China) conquered the other two and were the first to unify Korea. They were also Buddhist, which makes them unusual in Korea.

    Since it's a lot older than other historic stuff we've seen in Korea, most of the physical legacy is stuff recovered from graves etc which is now in the museum, hence our visit. The highlight was a collection of 6 delicate golden crowns recovered from tombs in the city, assumed to be kings and queens of Silla from about 650 AD. Very impressive.

    Since we'd started late in the day we hurried through the museum and finished just as it closed, emerging into the darkness to find an absolutely torrential downpour. This was biblical stuff, getting-wet-underneath-your-umbrella situations. Thankfully I'd put on thongs (not my shoes with a now-enormous hole), as we ran across the carpark to the bus stop and hopped on the bus. Dripping wet, we rode back into town to our hotel, where we picked up dinner from the 7-11 next door since we couldn't be bothered going further.

    Turns out it was the leading edge of a typhoon that was predicted to pass by overnight!
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  • Day101

    Donggung Palace & Wolji Pond

    March 15, 2018 in South Korea ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    At night we visited the Donggung Palace including the Wolji Pond. It was one of our highlights in Korea so far. The view to the palace and the mirror lake was really great.

    Heute Abend haben wir dann noch den Donggung Palace besucht. Es war wirklich ein Highlight unserer Korea Rundreise. Die Spiegelung von dem Palast im Teich war wirklich super.Read more

  • Day219

    Back inland on the "Four rivers trail"

    October 15, 2019 in South Korea ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    We split up for a few days with David so that I can do some sightseeing while he finishes his video about his previous country : China.
    I leave the eastern coast trail to go back inland, to join another famous cycling path in Korea : the "Four rivers trail" that connects Seoul in the north to Busan in the south. If we had not decided to go onto the east coast or to visit the island of Jeju, we could have spent two or three weeks only on this cycling path ! (but it might have been boring).
    On the way, I visit the "traditional" (touristic) village of Andong, which gathers houses of different architectural styles and techniques, a very long wooden bridge, cute coffees and a folk museum.

    Then David catches up with me and we continue our ride towards the south to take a ferry to the volcanic and scenic island of Jeju.
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  • Day215

    Further down the coast

    October 11, 2019 in South Korea ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

    Down the coast we continue. It's still nice and sunny. We feel more and more distant from big cities, crossing only little fishermen's villages. After many food and coffee opportunities in the north, the options narrow down to little fish restaurants.
    We meet a few other cyclists but otherwise it is quite deserted and the population seems to be aging. Young people have probably left for bigger cities.
    The trail is sometimes tricky, going up and down the coast all the time. We also regularly see damages from the recent typhoon, especially on river banks and bridges. One day the little port where we plan on going down to have lunch is completely barred : it has been badly flooded. To comfort us the men from the traffic regulation offer us some pastries. Another couple gives us energy drinks at a viewpoint ! Korean people are very nice, as usual.

    It is definetely the day of generosity : half an phour later, arriving at another little village, we are attracted by what seems to be a local traditional party with danse and music. We don't know exactly what is going on but the local folks soon invite us at the party and for a delicious lunch, ensuring that we don't lack anything. We then attend the performance. I would say it's nicer to watch than to listen to but you can judge by yourself by watching the videos :).

    I also try to lure David into a spa and into a cave visit, but the spa is too expensive and the cave has been flooded too... Anyway, the little detour inland that we made for these places has given us the opportunity of another nice camping spot, in a grassy field full of flowers rather than at the beach.
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  • Day26


    September 26, 2019 in South Korea ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    Two days in Teletubby land, also known as Gyeongju or the Golden City according to the tourist board. This is an old capital city of the Silla Kingdom and is also known as 'the museum without walls', as if it needed any more names.
    The city itself is quite small but full of things to do and we were happy to find that you can walk everywhere easily. We saw a park full of giant grassy mounds which are tombs for the old royal family. Some are still being excavated and there is a small museum inside one of them with gold armour for the horses and their riders. It was very tempting to climb one but the threatened 2 year prison sentence was enough to put us off.
    We also walked around an old town where all the buildings have the old fashioned architecture, visited an amazing bridge over the River, and saw an ancient astrological observatory.
    We spent the evenings in the night market sampling as much of the food as we could, as usual. We've noticed that the Koreans love to add sugar to everything, including cheese and egg toasties and hot dogs. It's a bit strange at first but not as bad as it sounds! Our favourites this time were mung bean pancakes, sweet sticky fried pork and black raspberry wine, well fincsi :)
    One more thing that this city is famous for is Gyeongju bread. There are bakeries all around selling boxes of 10 or 20 of these little buns which are full of sweet red bean paste, not bad, but one was enough.
    For our last night in Korea we headed back to Busan from where we would fly to Taiwan. We escaped a very rainy night in a restaurant where we had budae jjigae another cook-it-yourself dish which was like a giant noodle soup full of different meat and vegetables, another one to remember to try at home!
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  • Day72

    Songnisan National Park, South Korea

    June 3, 2015 in South Korea ⋅ 🌙 20 °C

    In Songnisan worden we verliefd op Korea! De eerste dag 7 uur gehiked ( ja ja onze conditie wordt steeds beter!! ), toen we op het hoogtepunt waren ( na 5 kilometer omhoog klimmen ) zien we niks.. alleen maar mist! Hahaha! Dan moet je wel ff slikken. Maar Songnisan maakt het goed met ons.. we kiezen er voor om langs nog een bergtop te lopen en daar wacht de zon op ons en het prachtige uitzicht. Na een lange dag zijn we weer thuis, gedouched en wel.. klopt de hoteleigenaar op onze deur met de zin “ Koreans want to sing with you “. Deze uitnodiging konden wij natuurlijk niet afslaan. De Koreanen die we op de berg waren tegengekomen ( dronken ) hadden ons gespot en wilde gaan karaoken met ons. Met z'n alle dansen en zingen we op de liedjes van Queen in een verder lege karaoke bar. Vir komt er achter dat het politie agenten zijn, haha, weer even slikken! De volgende dag gaan we naar een boeddhistische tempel en verblijven daar een dag en nacht. We draaien hun programma mee en dat betekent om 3 uur sochtends naar de tempel om met de monniken te chanten. We genieten van het lekkere eten in de tempel, de rust, de wijze raad van de mnonik en de meditatie. Nu nog een paar dagen Seoul en daarna naar Taiwan, waar we twee vriendinnen van Sab meeten en het zusje van Vir. Wat een feest!Read more

  • Day101

    Gyeongju - Bulguksa, Tombs & More

    March 15, 2018 in South Korea ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    Tonight we will stay in a traditional hanok house in Gyeongju. It seems that we are the only guests. The houses are really great and in the rooms you can still smell the wood.
    After our arrival we visited the Bulguksa Temple and several tombs of former kings. The tombs are grass hills and they are almost everywhere in the town.

    Heute Nacht schlafen wir in einem traditionellen Hanok Haus. Es scheint so als wären wir hier die einzigen Gäste. Die Häuser sind wirklich toll und man kann noch das frische Holz riechen.
    Nach unserer Ankunft sind wir noch ein bisschen durch die Stadt gefahren und haben uns den Bulguksa Tempel sowie die Grabstätten von früheren Königen angesehen. Die Grabstätten bestehen aus Grashügeln welche überall in der Stadt verteilt sind.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Gyeongsangbuk-do, 경상북도

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