Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Gyeongju glad the banana's gone?

Another week, another increasingly unpronounceable Korean city. After the limited appeal of Jeonju's Hanok village, Gyeongju's abundance of mountains, valleys, forests, lakes, tombs, temples, grottos, shrines, pagodas, pavilions, parks, monuments, museums, villages and archaeological sites was a little overwhelming, especially as I'd originally only planned to come here on a day trip from Busan. What a naive, handsome fool.

I only managed to see about half of what I wanted, but I guess that's just more reasons to think about returning to South Korea in the future - always leave 'em wanting more. Or at least take advantage of my borderline obsessive compulsive need to catalogue everything.


Even the petrol stations are pretty in Gyeongju

Statue of Choe Si-hyeong. The Josie Long of South Korea.
(In that their names sound a bit similar when I definitely pronounce his wrong)

Eupseong fortress (1021). Alright, a bit of old wall

Jaemaejeong well (1872). Alright, a hole and some masonry

Samaso house (1741). Mmm, samosas

Weird time capsule / space egg thing that doesn't fit in with the rest of this entry (2009)

Bukcheon 'stream.'
Below-zero temperatures were a novelty when I first got to Korea, but enough already

Conmaul Oriental hospital

Bunhwangsa Temple. Photographed over a fence, as an extremely tight budget meant I couldn't justify the 500 Won entry fee (28p)

Heungnyunsa temple. This one was free. Take that, Confucius! (or whomever)

Pleasantly desolate Hywangnyonga archaeological site.
There used to be a big pagoda here, around 645 AD. I think I like it better this way

Gyeongju National Museum

Yeah, I didn't actually go inside

Twin turtle supports from Sungboksa Monastery.
The one on the right's definitely Raphael, he has that wiseguy look

Divine Bell of King Seongdeok

Wolseng Forest

Another Korean heritage site that lacks confidence in its cultural appeal and instead focuses on its fleeting appearance in a period drama series. It brings in the Asian tourists

Seokbinggo ice storehouse

Gyerim ancient pine forest

Cheomseongdae Astronomical Observatory (built 647 AD). Okay, now you've got my attention - I wouldn't be surprised if this featured in Cosmos. Which is completely different to getting excited about a place appearing in a Korean drama series, obviously

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