Monthly Archives: March 2011

Events Festivals Food & drink Gyeongju holidays Music & dance tips for tourists

2011 Spring Events: Cherry Blossoms, Marathon, Liquor Festival, Martial Arts and More

Gyeongju Cherry Blossoms

Gyeongju Cherry Blossoms

It’s finally beginning to feel a bit like spring around Gyeongju, which means we’re just days away from that magical season when the cherry trees begin to bud and then blossom.  Entire streets in Gyeongju turn into marshmallow wonderlands and romantic couples stroll through flurries of pink petals.  I already posted last spring on some of the best places in town to check out the cherry blossoms, like at Kim Yu-shin’s tomb and the ruins of Banwolseong fortress, so I won’t repeat myself here.  Korea’s wizards of meteorology have gazed into their crystal balls and have predicted Gyeongju’s cherry flowers (벚꽃)  will begin blossoming between now and April 8th and that the peak season this year should be April 6th – 15th. read more »

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hiking history Sites to see Stories, legends & people Temples & shrines Ulsan

Museum and Memorial Shrine of Patriotic Martyr Park Jae-sang (박제상 기념관)

Park Jae-sang Memorial Museum, Ulsan

Park Jae-sang Memorial Museum, Ulsan

Taking advantage of a break in the cold weather, the other weekend I piled into the car with some friends and took off to explore the mountains south of Gyeongju (not to mention my wife was putting the finishing touches on her Master’s thesis and needed me out of the house).  I’d managed to score an English tourist map of Ulsan, on which there’s marked the “Historical Remains of Park Je-sang”  about 15 minutes south of Gyeongju  just of off N.R. 35.  Nothing else was said about who this Park Je-sang was or why he was worth remembering, so I figured he must’ve been a small-time Confucian scholar with a few stone tablets propped up in his honor.  Still, I was itching to explore some new territory and decided to check it out. read more »

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Food & drink Gyeongju Hwangnam-dong restaurants tips for tourists

Restaurant Review #17: Hwangnam Maetdol Sundubu Restaurant (황남 맷돌 순두부)

Hwangnam Maetdol Sundubu Restaurant, Gyeongju

Hwangnam Maetdol Sundubu Restaurant, Gyeongju

Growing up I never cared much for mushrooms. Like a lot of kids I guess, I found them bland and boring. Then again, this was back in the culinary dark ages of the 80’s when the supermarkets only stocked button mushrooms and nobody had yet uttered the word “foodie.”  In the 90’s my tastes changed drastically (in more ways than one) and I learned to love the grilled portobello mushroom sandwiches at the local vegetarian café.  Still, I wasn’t going to blow several hours pay from my (then) minimum wage job to buy a pack of expensive mushrooms at the neighborhood grocery store. read more »

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Events Festivals Gyeongju history Hwangseong-dong Korean culture tips for tourists

2011 Taekwondo World Championships (세계태권도선수권 대회)

Official Taekwondo World Championships Poster (from 2011taewondo.org)

Official Taekwondo World Championships Poster (from 2011taewondo.org)

Recent visitors to Gyeongju might be a bit befuddled by the flashy banners hung all over town proclaiming “2011 Gyeongju WTF!”  No, this is not another misguided English marketing slogan sponsored by the Gyeongju Tourism Board (“Historopia” anyone?).  And if you stop sniggering for a minute, I’ll be happy to explain.  This spring Gyeongju is proudly hosting the 2011 World Championships of the World Taekwondo Federation.  But then, you probably already guessed that from the title of this post. read more »

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