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.


Gyeongju
(경주)



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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