South Korea
Gyeongsangbuk-do

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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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    Solenn Poullennec

    A faire de beaux rêves

    11/20/19Reply
     
  • Day26

    Gyeongju

    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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    Vera and Tom

    Entrance to the bridge

    9/28/19Reply
    Vera and Tom

    Underside of a roof. Typical colours and patterns of Korean traditional buildings

    9/28/19Reply
    Vera and Tom

    From top righ (clock wise) selection box with pork and squid stirfry, coconut shrimp, pork belly. Food market dinner with mung bean pancake and pork. Sweet bean pastries. Last dinner in Busan, budae jjigae for two.

    9/28/19Reply
    Vera and Tom

    Oldest astronomical observatory in East Asia

    9/28/19Reply
     
  • 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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    Anne-Sophie THOMAS

    😮😮😮mais comment t'as pu comprendre que c'était un cimetière ? 🤔

    11/25/19Reply
    Anne-Sophie THOMAS

    😮😮😮😂😂😂incroyable !

    11/25/19Reply
     
  • 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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    Trish Forrester

    That's interesting. What type of building is it? I can't think of the purpose of the thatching...

    10/10/19Reply
    Trish Forrester

    Great that you got to see the performance - would have been refreshingly different!

    10/10/19Reply
    Joel Baldwin

    It’s actually a historic toilet!

    10/10/19Reply
    Trish Forrester

    Oh that's not what I was expecting! I can see a possible practical use for the thatching then!

    10/11/19Reply
     
  • Day9

    Visitem Gyeongju

    November 1, 2019 in South Korea ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    Al matí hem anat a rentar la roba. Mentrestant hem anat a fer un cafè i a menjar panellets coreans. Més tard hem anat cap al mercat i hem menjat bufet d'entrants coreans per uns 5 euros. Després he provat el Sprite de pera, hem fet un altre cafè i hem anat a visitar coses. El parc de les tombes-turonets, el parc de l'observatori astronòmic i el del pavelló amb un llac. Tots molt macos. Més tard hem passat pel barri de casetes i hem comprat el gimbap per emportar. Hem anat a fer una birra pel nostre barri, que te l'omplies tu mateix i cap a l'allotjament. Veiem X-men i a dormir!Read more

  • Day8

    Anem a Pohang per fer transbordament

    October 31, 2019 in South Korea ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    Ens hem llevat ben d'hora a Sokcho per anar cap a Pohang, que són mil hores de trajecte en bus i gairebé no arribem a l'estació de busos. Hem parat uns 50 cops a cada poble i ciutat pel camí. La Zuzanna s'ha marejat a 30km de Pohang i s'ha convertit en una vomitator. A l'arribar a Pohang hem decidit dinar, però estava tot tancat, així que hem menjat algo del Sebun Erebun. Una hora després hem agafat un altre bus cap a Gyeongju.Read more

  • Day8

    Arribem a Gyeongju

    October 31, 2019 in South Korea ⋅ 🌙 14 °C

    Arribem a Gyeongju i anem cap a l'allotjament. És una casa tradicional coreana. La nostra habitació té un futón, un bany i una tele. Hem anat a sopar, que ens ha costat bastant trobar un lloc barat i bo. A la tornada hem mirat El Senyor dels Anells, El retorn del Rei. Sam no ha parat de plorar en tota la peli. A la Zuzanna li feia por Ella Laraña. Gollum gollum. Phehj!Read more

  • Day5

    Gyeongju

    October 25, 2019 in South Korea ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Unser Weg führt uns in die ehemalige Hauptstadt Gyeongju, welche auch das Museum ohne Mauern genannt wird. Korea hat eine wahnsinnig lange Geschichte. Sie ist eine Abfolge von Dynastien, die immer mal wieder von Fremdherrschaften unterbrochen wurden. Mal hatten die Mongolen die Herrschaft, später die Japaner. Auch die Chinesen hatten ihre Finger im Spiel. Gyeongju war Mittelpunkt des Silla Königreichs und gilt heute als kulturelle Hochburg des Landes. Die Stadt ist übersät mit historischen Bauwerken, Tempeln, Palästen und Gräbern vergangener Epochen. Die traditionelle Bestattungsweise für Könige, aber auch für wichtige Würdenträger in Korea war das Hügelgrab. Die Gräber sehen mehr oder weniger aus wie große Beulen in der Landschaft.
    Im Tumuli Park befinden sich 23 grasbewachsene Hügelgräber. Bisher sind erst zwei davon untersucht worden und nur eines davon, das Cheonmachong Grab ist begehbar.
    Hier wird die Bauweise der Gräber erklärt und Repliken der gefundenen Grabbeigaben ausgestellt.
    Es gibt auf dem Gelände aber noch mehr interessante alte Sachen zum Beispiel das Cheomseongdae Observatorium. Es wurde zwischen 632 und 647 erbaut und soll das älteste noch erhaltene in Ostasien sein. Es sieht zwar unspektakulär aus, aber der ganze Bau ist nach mathematischen Prinzipien ausgerichtet. Die verbauten Steine entsprechen der Zahl der Tage in einem Jahr, insgesamt gibt es 30 Steinreihen, entsprechend der Zahl der Tage in einem Monat und so weiter.
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  • Day5

    Blumenmeer & Blütenzauber

    October 25, 2019 in South Korea ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Direkt hinter dem Observatorium folgen endlose Blumenfelder. Zwischen grünen Wiesen und bewaldeten Hügeln fallen jetzt besonders die violettfarbenen Blütenteppiche auf. Statt grauem Beton locken in Gyeongju wunderschöne Blumen und romantische Sonnenuntergänge.Read more

  • Day5

    National Museum

    October 25, 2019 in South Korea ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Um die Ecke liegt das Gyeongju National Museum. Hier kann man mehr über die Geschichte erfahren, außerdem sind die Originale der Funde von den Ausgrabungen ausgestellt. Unzählige Schalen, Krüge, Werkzeuge, Waffen, aber auch prunkvolle Kronen und viel Schmuck.
    Im Hof steht die bronzene Glocke von König Seongdeok. Gemäß Überlieferung soll der Glockenbauer sein Kind in das glühende Metall geworfen haben, um den Klang besonders schön erklingen zu lassen.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Gyeongsangbuk-do, 경상북도