Last weekend, Jared and I took a trip up to Gyeongju, Korea’s Historic City. This was an extra special trip to us because we love learning and experiencing a culture’s history. Yes, if you remember–this was on our Korean Bucket List! I’ve been amazed at how much we’ve been able to check off lately!
Oh, guess what? We have some exciting news! Jared upgraded his Nikon last week, and he got to use it and play around with it on this trip. I’m so excited about having him taking the pictures for our blog!
We love road tripping in Korea… especially since everything is so close here!
We saw this historic-Asian looking toll booth, and we knew we were close!
Our first stop was the Royal Tombs. Tombs in Korea aren’t the traditional “tombstones in a graveyard” type tombs. They are basically small mounds of grass. They can be spotted along hiking trails, or in near-by hills along the highway. The Royal Tombs, however, are much larger! They look like rolling hills of grass.
Our next stop was Anapji, an old pond and palace built by King Munmu in 674 AD. We were told to visit this area at night, and we were glad we did so. It was beautifully lit up!
On our way back, we stopped to see Cheomseongdae. This old star-gazing tower is the oldest surviving observatory in East Asia.
The tombs at night…
We decided to retire for the evening, so we headed over to Pohang (a coastal town) to camp.
Nothing beats camping (or hammocking) on the beach!
We have loved using our ENO hammock setup– with our bug nets and rain flies keep us comfortable!
(Side Story: About midnight, our Korean camping-neighbors moved into the area… or what we would call “our area.” We were quite surprised at how close they set up their camp to us. We’ve noticed that Koreans don’t seem to respect “personal” space. I guess it’s just a cultural difference. Something I won’t miss when we return to the States.)
A few kiddos playing on the beach.
Me… attempting to cook us some breakfast!
Jared gladly offered to cook the bacon!
We packed up camp and headed back to the Historic City! Our first stop was Yangdong Village; a traditional village nestled in the outskirts of Gyeongju. The village was built in the 1300’s, and it’s been well preserved. Descendants of the original residents still live in this village. Walking through the streets definitely gave you a glimpse of life in the past. It was one of my favorite places I’ve been to in Korea.
Jared is a little tall for traditional Korean door frames…
Don’t let the old looks deceive you… these guys still have cable!
We left the village after only seeing a third of it. We would have stayed longer, but time was pressing and we needed to get to our next destination–Bulguksa Temple. This temple is the head temple in Korea, and it is classified as Historic Site No. 1 by the Korean Government.
Jared was disappointed that they charged 4,000 won entrance fee (a little less than $4.00). Nonetheless, we left feeling we had got our 4 bucks worth of site-seeing!
Our Chocos are slowly making their way around Korea!
Before leaving, we had to stop and get some of the famous “Gyeongju” bread–small pastries filled with red bean paste. Although we are not particularly fond of the red bean deserts they have in Korea, we brought these little bean-balls back to our co-workers and they were devoured within minutes!
Oh, one last thing! I decided to use my time on the road to be a little crafty… and by the end of the trip, I had this little bracelet to show for it!
The end! Sorry it’s taken me this long to post… We’ve been really busy and since experiencing Korea is more important to us than blogging about it, there will be times when this little blog gets put on the back burner–and I’m okay with that!
Stay tuned for our next post about Jared’s birthday!