Monthly Archives: November 2010

Arts & crafts Buddhist culture Downtown Gyeongju Gyo-dong shopping tips for tourists

Gyeongju Shopping Guide: Part 2 What to buy?

Continued from Part 1…

Pottery Shop, Gyeongju

Pottery Shop, Gyeongju

If you’re shopping for gifts or personal mementos in Korea, there are a lot of options.  You could get something functional, like a hand-made tea pot or a brass ware dinner set.  Or, if you’re searching for something ornamental, take a look at the calligraphy scrolls or hand-carved wood work.  The fashion conscious might want to try a Korean “Handbok” dyed with traditional Korean pigments, like Je-ju mud.  However, if you’re looking for something more unique or unusual, here are a few suggestions: read more »

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Downtown Events Music & dance Shamanism

Fall Concert under the Ginkgo Trees

The other week I posted on an upcoming concert at the Gyeongju Cultural Center (경주문화원) in honor of the changing leaves of  the 500 year old ginkgo tree (은행 나무) on the premises.  As it’s just a short stroll from my house, I manage to pop down there for about half an hour before running to class.  The atmosphere was a little somber as the event seemed somewhere between a cultural performance and religious ritual honoring this ancient dang namu  (당나무),  or tutelary tree spirit.  I actually felt slightly voyeuristic being the only foreigner there.  In fact, aside from the photographers, I didn’t see a single person in the audience that looked younger than 50. read more »

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Events Gyeongju Music & dance

A Night of Traditional Music at Dongguk

Traditional Music Concert at Dongguk Next Tuesday

Traditional Music Concert at Dongguk Next Tuesday

There’s usually a lot of concerts going on at Dongguk University , but this next Tuesday night is a particular performance that I’d like to give a special plug here.  It’s being organized and produced by Dongyoon Hwan, who’s a music major that I’ve learned to know at Dongguk’s International Lounge this semester.  He’s just gotten back from a year and a half in London where he was a professional musician and also did a fair bit of busking.  Since being back in Korea he’s had a vision to share Korean traditional music with the foreign community here in Gyeongju, so he’s organized this concert on his own initiative and by his own funding, which I think is pretty cool. read more »

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Arts & crafts Bomun Resort Downtown Gyeongju shopping tips for tourists

Gyeongju Shopping Guide: Part 1 Where to Shop?

Folkcraft Village, Gyeongju

Folkcraft Village, Gyeongju

Christmas time is just a few months away, which means (for a lot of folks in my country anyways) that it’s time to start shopping for presents.  Korea offers some very unique and interesting gift options for folks back home and I’m not just talking about the kimchi chocolate or plastic fans that you can buy in the airport.  In places like Insa-dong in Seoul you can find everything from Korean antiques and calligraphy to hand-made pottery and high quality green tea.  What you may not know is that Gyeongju is also a great place for gift shopping, and you can usually find things here for a lot cheaper than in the big cities.  The trick is knowing where to shop and what to buy. read more »

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Gyeongju history photography websites

Old Photos of Gyeongju on gjucc.or.kr

Old Gyeongju (image from www.gjucc.or.kr)

Old Gyeongju (image from www.gjucc.or.kr)

One thing I forgot to mention in my last post on the Gyeongju Cultural Center (경주문화원) is that the Center’s website has a great archive of old, black and white photos of Gyeongju. Unfortunately, the website’s only in Korean, which makes it a little tricky to navigate, plus they’ve disabled hard links.  So, to get to the archive, go to the Center’s homepage: www.gjucc.or.kr.  Roll over the tab in the top right of the main page labeled “Publication발간자료.”  Two options will pop up directly underneath.  Right click on the option on the right called “경주의옛사진.” read more »

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Downtown Events Gyeongju history Korean culture Sites to see Top 10

The Quiet Beauty of the Gyeongju Cultural Center (경주문화원)

Front Gate, Gyeongju Cultural Center

Front Gate, Gyeongju Cultural Center

Downtown Gyeongju can sometimes seem a mess of cars, cluttered streets and concrete buildings.  Yet tucked behind the Police Station, is the quiet oasis of the Gyeongju Cultural Center (경주문화원) with its lovely traditional architecture and serene gardens.  It has a relaxed, unassuming sort of beauty and, although it’s not quite Bulguksa, it’s home to a fair bit of local history in its own right. read more »

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Namsan-dong photography Sites to see tips for tourists Top 10

Autumn in Gyeongju: My 8 Favorite Fall Scenes

Seongbulsa Temple, Mt. Namsan, Gyeongju

Seongbulsa Temple, Mt. Namsan, Gyeongju

With our first blast of brisk weather and leaves starting to turn, fall is finally settling on Gyeongju.  In about a week or so all the brilliant red, orange and gold autumn leaves will be at their peak, so I suggest getting out to enjoy their beauty before the dreariness of winter sets in.  If you need any inspiration to get out of the house, here’s a photo essay of my favorite fall scenes in Gyeongju. Here they are (in no particular order): read more »

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