Blogs from Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea, Asia

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Asia » South Korea » Gyeongsangbuk-do » Gyeongju August 15th 2018

Dear All Greetings from a small city in the south of South Korea, called Gyeongju. It may be small today, but is actually a very important historical site in the whole of Korea, as it was once the capital of the ancient Shilla kingdom. I had originally planned to write my next entry from my next destination after this one, Andong, as I currently have three places to visit in quick succession, spending two nights in each rather than three. However, I have a bit of free time now, and feel I would like to write a blog entry about my time here in Gyeongju. I last wrote about to leave Busan, and on Sunday morning, made my last long metro journey northwards, to the end of the number 1 metro line, to the Express Bus ... read more
Bulguk-sa Buddhist Temple
Wolseong-gongwon Park, Gyeongju
Seokguram Grotto, Gyeongju

Asia » South Korea » Gyeongsangbuk-do » Andong August 15th 2018

Dear All Greetings from Andong, the second of my three quick stopovers in the depths of Korea, between Busan and Seoul. By quick, I mean two nights. I usually prefer to spend three nights in a place, unless it’s a place like Andong which only really seems to warrant two. Despite only spending two nights here, I have really enjoyed being here. It’s a lovely city, small and compact, friendly, and compared to Gyeongju, not really a touristy city at all, but seemingly a typical, everyday, working Korean city. This is the kind of place I like to be, to see a country as it really is. And Andong seems the perfect place for it. In addition to its comparative normality, there are also a fair few tourist attractions here, and mainly the amazing Hahoe Folk ... read more
Hahoe Folk Village
Hahoe Folk Village, Andong
Confucian Land

Asia » South Korea » Gyeongsangbuk-do » Gyeongju January 30th 2017

Suzanne here... Before our trip I'd read up about Korean New Year and had been led to expect total travel chaos the day before. So I was worried we'd struggle to get a bus to Gyeongju, and even if we did the traffic would be horrendous. In reality the bus was half empty and we breezed there in an hour. I'd also read that it's a big time of year for tourism so had booked The Apple Motel before even leaving England. Again, there was absolutely no need to worry. Still, it did seem to fascinate the owner who was very pleased to finally meet the people who had booked a room in a standard little small town motel six months in advance! He even called over another member of staff to tell her how long ... read more
Anapji pond
The Emille Bell
Gyeongju National Museum

Asia » South Korea » Gyeongsangbuk-do » Gyeongju September 25th 2016

We arrived in Gyeongju, which is in the south-east of Korea, about 5 hours after leaving Seoul. The drive was quite pleasant as the roads are decent. There are a lot of fixed speed cameras in Korea apparently; and they're all signed which means that drivers seem to go as fast as they like between cameras and then slow down rapidly just before a camera and then speed up again.. Pretty sure that's not the point of the cameras. After checking into our hotel we headed out to grab some food. Scott had noticed a Chinese restaurant on the drive to our hotel and had his heart set on that so we set off hoping that they would still be open despite it being 8pm. They were open but we're not entirely sure if that was ... read more
Seokguram Grotto
Seokguram Grotto
Seokguram Grotto

Asia » South Korea » Gyeongsangbuk-do » Andong August 10th 2016

A day and a half left to go on bus tour. This morning we leave for Andong, a city about mid-way up the east coast. First stop was Hahoe Village, a historic village and home to descendants of the Ryu clan. Like other traditional hanok (old style Korean home) villages, this one is also inhabited so you see a strange mix of straw roofed or large tile-roofed traditional houses with a Chevy or Lexus or Hyundai parked alongside. This area was already popular because it was birthplace of notable scholars of the Joseon Period, but in 1999 achieved even greater fame when Queen Elizabeth II visited. The village is also known for its Mask Dance and many vendors sell traditional wooden masks. Because we were in an area with a reputation for having given Korean some ... read more
Ann and Jon, happy together.
Hahoe Hanok Village
Staffords in traditional Korean village

Asia » South Korea » Gyeongsangbuk-do » Gyeongju June 20th 2016

In Gyeongju in the south east of Korea. (I’m disposing with the “South” in South Korea. Just easier. I’m not sure the North would understand, but I’m not going to worry about it.) The town is a nice relief from Seoul’s 10 million population, with a population of just about 250,000. It’s said to be a great outdoor museum. Arrival was by very comfortable bus with reclining seats and leg rests. About 3.5 hours. Korea is small. My hotel, Apple Motel, is just a few blocks from the bus station and a short walk downtown and to the sights. The town is the center of the Silla kingdom. It began in 57 BC and lasted to 935. About 1000 years. Tombs of the Silla kings and other notables dot the town. They’re obvious as large grassy ... read more
Kimchi Choices
Bulguksa Temple
Glass Necklace from Silla Tomb

Asia » South Korea » Gyeongsangbuk-do January 10th 2016

I hiked the same trail in Sobaeksan National Park in spring last year. I really enjoyed the hike, so i jumped at the chance to do this hike again in the winter season. I thought it would be really nice to see how different the trail is in another season. Also it was rainy last time, so I hoped this time it would be better. We left early on the Sunday morning, and the drive was so quick. I was having a lovely nap and shocked when we got the national park around 10:30 am. It was quite windy when we stepped off the bus, and i'm sure it was snowing a little, although it could have been snow blowing off the trees. The first part of the trail is pretty easy, as it is along ... read more
Snowy Tree
Snowy Trail
Snowy Tree

Asia » South Korea » Gyeongsangbuk-do » Gyeongju October 11th 2015

Sunday 11th October 2015 We arrived at the Express bus station early for our 3 hour journey South East to Gyeongju. The bus wasn't something I was particularly excited about as it was very cheap costing approx £12 return each so didn't hold many high expectations. Having said that, when we boarded we were more than pleasantly surprised. The Bus was set out like an airplane with just 3 seats per row and each seat reclining back almost flat with a leg support. Plenty of space around the soft leather seat. For the next 3 hours we slept. Gyeongju was recommended by a few forums and guides we had read. It is about 30km inland from the east coast and is a place where lots of all kings and generals are buried and surrounded by countryside. ... read more
Bulguska Temple
Autumn leaves
Bell tower

Asia » South Korea » Gyeongsangbuk-do » Gyeongju July 24th 2015

After Andong, it was a quick 1.5h bus ride southwards again to the former capital of the ancient Silla kingdom, now known as Gyeongju, a popular weekend getaway and holiday spot for locals, and known as a sort of museum without walls. Gyeongju boasts a rich history as the former capital of one of the three ancient kingdoms of the Korean peninsular, and today boasts a couple of Unesco Heritage sites in the form of tombs of its ancient royals, temples, as well as the Anapji pond, a beautifully landscaped garden with a pond whose shape is said to resemble the East Asian coastline. Distinctive mound-shape tombs (reminiscent of the Chocolate Hills in the Visayas in Central Philippines) continue to dot the city even today, as Gyeongju continues to pull in the crowds, especially domestic weekenders, ... read more
Bulgoksa Temple
Cheomseongdae Observatory
Erm is that enough kimchi for one person?

Asia » South Korea » Gyeongsangbuk-do » Andong July 20th 2015

After one week, it was time to leave the capital to check out the other parts of the country, and I took the 2.5h bus ride south to the smallish city of Andong in the Gyeongsangbuk province. Andong boasts in its vicinity the Unesco site of Hahoe Village, with its two thousand year history of traditional Korean culture and village life, and I would spend a couple of days here en route to my other intended destinations further south. Arriving at Andong was a bit of a surprise, and I was immediately struck by how quiet the place seemed, despite it being a well-known stop on the tourist trail, and a population size of several hundred thousand. It was also a stark contrast to the hyper modern and busy capital, with sleepy shops with nary a ... read more
Traditional Masks of Hahoe
Wishlocks
Digital Contents Museum




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