Sunday, May 29, 2011

Gyeongju 경주

 Gyeongju is known as the "Museum Without Walls."  It was the former capital of Korea during the Silla Dynasty dating back to 57 BC - around the time of Julius Ceasar.  Most of the things you see around Seoul are from the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910).  Gyeonju is about a 4 hours bus ride from Suwon - in the southeast part of South Korea.

In a previous post:, you saw some royal tombs from the Joseon Dynasty.  I figured the tombs would be similar from the Silla Dynasty but they were much larger!

 These are some royal tombs...just in the middle of the city.  They are surrounded by a sidewalk, nothing else.  You could climb on them if you wanted.  Much different from the ones closer to Seoul.
 Group shot:)

 Girls Group Shot
 Boys Group Shot

 The smaller mound is for the queen
 All kids eventually go to Gyeongju for a class trip.
 Lunch.  Bibimbap and one of the best pajeons I've ever had.  Pajeon is like a Korean pancake.  This one is a seafood one filled with yummy squid!
 The Seokguram Grotto is a "must-see" in Gyeonju.  I thought it was really beautiful but not really all it was hyped up to be.

 Inside this building is a small cave wear an extremely beautiful Buddha carved from one huge stone.  It was probably the most beautiful Buddha I've seen in Korea.  Unfortunatly, we couldn't take any photos and there was someone monitoring it:(

 Many times when you visit a temple you see these roof tiles.  People can purchase/make a donation of a tile - write a wish or message on it - then, when roof repairs need to be done, they use these tiles.  I was happy to see one from Chile!
 This is the building with Buddha inside.

 Sad:(  These dogs are probably not going to the Human Society...they're probably going to be soup!

 Cheomseongdae - a famous observatory for astronomy - is the oldest in East Asia.  Built in the 7th century, it's even one of the oldest scientific installations in the world. 
 My favorite part of the trip was going into one of the royal tombs.  They excavated one of the tombs so you could see how it was built from the inside.  There was a large box in the middle of the tomb with the King's remains, his horse, and several important relics (this tomb included 11,500 artifacts!).  Above the large, wooden coffin, is an extremely huge pile of rocks covered in dirt.  It was really cool to see a cross-section of the royal tomb.
 No photos were allowed---but I quickly snapped this photo.  The King's remains have been removed and reburied-this is only a replica.  This is the large wooden box.  The King was in here with his horse and lots of important relics.
 We stayed at a great hostel in Gyeongju.  I wasn't sure what the third emergency was??

 They had a rooftop where people could go to listen to some music, have a few drinks, and meet new people.  We met some great people up there and had a great time.
 Good times:)
It was actually a friend's last trip before he heads home in a little over a week.  This is our group photo from the tent on the roof at the hostel.

Overall - Gyeongju was a great trip because of the great people who went.  It was a nice place to go to - but I don't think it was all it was hyped up to be.

1 comment:

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