South Korea
Sogeumgangsan

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6 travelers at this place

  • 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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  • 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
     
  • Day10

    Hotel in Gyeongju

    May 9, 2018 in South Korea ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    Nach dem Eesen sind wir nach Gyeongju gefahren und sind in ein Hotel eingecheckt

    Diethardt Rehfeld

    Wie . Ohne Bett .😣

    5/14/18Reply
    Bruder Krille

    Das ist in Korea normal. Ich schlafe bei Jung-Hoon auch auf dem Boden. Es gibt hier sogar Betten die haben anstatt eine Matratze eine Marmorplatte.

    5/14/18Reply
     

You might also know this place by the following names:

Sogeumgangsan, 소금강산