To one of the most historic parts of the country.
Thursday 13 September 2012 - Saturday 15 September 2012
Thursday 13 September
An early start for the train from Seoul to Gyeongju. I caught the slow train that called at all stops on the Mugunghwa train line. The scenery was great with forest covered mountains and all the flat land being either cultivated or built on. However the coffee on board was horrible. The highlight of the trip was a large number of school kids aged about 7 to 9 getting on part way through. Given that I am "different" from them, i.e. a European, I was the centre of attention. You could see them talking to each other about me, not that I understood any of it. I was offered chocolate a couple of times and it would have been very rude to refuse.
I found the hostel very easily and then proceeded to walk up to the Tumuli Park, think Egyptian pyramids but greener and somewhat smaller. They were the burial sites for a large number of kings from the Sila Kingdom.
Tumuli Park and Korean traffic.
The lake in Tumuli Park.
The lake in Tumuli Park.
A squirrel at Tumuli Park.
The pizza place across the road from the hostel was average, but they sold beer in large 500ml pints so it redeemed itself.
Friday 14 September
The weather was still miserable but I made the most fo it and went out to Bulguksa Temple. This is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is sited about 10km from the city centre.
One of the entrance ways to the temple.
Renovations inside the temple.
Wet tourists in the temple.
Trees and rain and mist and a temple.
Inside the temple complex.
Another part of Bulguksa Temple.
The afternoon was spent in the hostel reading the only English language book I could find in the place, "Harry Potter", and keeping dry.
Saturday 15 September
The weather was till not very good but I wandered past the Tumuli Park, past the observatory, through a park via Anapji Pond to the museum. In all, a nice walk to some interesting places.
Rather appropriate I thought.
The Cheomseongdae Observatory.
Tumuli Park in the rain.
One of the many pavilions at Anapji Pond.
The outside of the museum.
A statue of Buddha in the museum.
The rain eased off and I was able to wander into the city centre for some dinner. Afterwards there were some Korean drinking games with some Korean guys and French girls in the hostel.
Gyeongju is an interesting place. It was a shame about the weather but such is the fun of travelling. One thing I did notice is that there are a large number of outdoor clothing and equipment shops in the city. It seemed like every street had one or more off them and any brand name you can think of has a shop there.