Bringing the Mother around Korea (Day 4) [Gyeongju]

Friday, 21 October 2016

Got up early the next day, rented a car, and off we went to Bulguksa. I had actually already gone there last year during the Wow Korea Trip, you  can see it here. It was my first time driving a car without a person who has driven in Korea before sitting beside me. However I wasn't too fearful about the traffic here in Gyeongju because it's almost non existent. It was extremely fun to drive and I can't wait to finally have my own car, seeing as it is dirt cheap here to get a second hand one.

Arrived there, got tickets and went in and brought my mum to see the famous shrine? or in Korean 'tahp' that is on the back of the 10 won coin. Apparently it wasn't as far as I thought it was, neither was it as I remembered. I think I got confused as to where I was going and how I remembered the entire place. But thank God it wasn't too far in because we were already so tired from walking and the hot Summer's day wasn't make it any easier.

The entire place was different as it seemed to have been decorated for a festival or an event that has already happened. There were a lot of papers stuck onto lanterns with names. Probably seemed like a wedding or a lot that couples would write on for good fortune. Again, this place did not have as many as it did last year when I came.

The place still retained its beauty and nature and it was a really great place for photos. It was hot but we tolerated it and kept walking around, occasionally resting under shades, for more photos and to just take in the nature that you wouldn't be able to see in Singapore. 

Got back into the car and drove to this place where they served a very unique dish: duck and pumpkin. This place is called 호박고을 or Pumpkin Town, and the owner is a really nice and friendly man. We came here and got to know him during our Wow Korea Trip last year and this year I decided to pay him a visit again and let my mum try the duck because it was really really good. Definitely worth going if you're ever in Gyeongju!

경북 경주시 통일로 34-4
Gyeongju City, Tongil-ro 34-4

After a fulfilling meal, we got back onto the car and this time I drove my mum to the National Museum of Gyeongju. Having been here for the 3rd time, I just followed my mum around and tried to replicate what I had been told from the guides regarding all the national treasures and symbols on the artifacts. I guess all that history that I was taught didn't go to waste, huh?

After we left the national museum, we went to Daeneungwon, where all the tombs of royal family members were located. Tombs of all sizes were actually located throughout the whole of Gyeongju, Gongju, and Goryeong as Gyeongju was the capital during the Silla Dynasty. The great thing about this part is that the Daeneungwon, Cheomseong Observatory and the Anapji were all connected through a really long path. So you can check out the tombs (Daeneungwon), walk through the path and visit the observatory (Cheomseongdae) and then head to the Royal Palace Pond (Anapji) for the magnificent night view.

The great thing about the tomb here is that you can see what it looks like inside. It isn't exactly 100% the same as the other tombs, but you get a feel of how it's like and how the corpses were buried in the past. There are also some artifacts and treasures inside as well. Other than that, they mostly look like man-made hills that have really nice grass and look great to roll down from.

After which, we took a long walk to the observatory which actually can't be accessed anymore. Good move, in my opinion, restricting access to preserve it and prevent accidental damage from tourists and foreigners alike who might try funny things. Apart from the observatory, the entire area looks like a botanical garden as it has many flowers, a little stream and many places of rest. The best time to walk around here is at dusk when the sun is low and the sky is orange. The entire place looks wonderful.

Went to grab some dinner while waiting for sundown before we headed to the pond which was well known for the night view. Had some beef rib patties at a restaurant nearby. It's extremely difficult to find good food in Gyeongju since I really had no idea where the good food was and most of the restaurants that I found either were closed or they did not have the kind of food that we wanted to eat. 

Once it got dark, we went back to the Royal Palace Pond (안압지), bought our tickets and took a walk through the entire course. The place still looked as beautiful as it did the year before and the only few things different would be the photos and the way I edited it this year hahaha. Ended off the night early as our legs were killing us and we wanted to rest.

When you stack your rocks, make a wish and if it stays up it'll come true they say

You can check out this post here to see what I experienced last year in Gyeongju with Wow Korea. We went to see roughly the same places and also ate the same duck and pumpkin. Headed back to the hotel and took a nice long soak in the bathtub with lots of bubbles while relaxing and watching some YouTube. It has been so long since I soaked in a bathtub big enough to fit me in a really nice hotel that wasn't so pricey I had to burn a hole in my pocket. (Well my mum paid for it, but sometimes it's so expensive that it hurts)

Got up the next morning for breakfast, realized that there were no food anywhere so we went to the nearby McDonalds for the cheap ass breakfast (Looking at you Singapore). The set meals here were at least 70% of the price in Singapore. Finished up our breakfast, headed back to the hotel to pack and check out and went off to our next destination: JEONJU!

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