Category Archives: Downtown

Downtown East Sea Geumcheok-ri Gyeongju history Hwangnam-dong Korean culture photography Ruins & remains Stories, legends & people tombs

“From Fusan to Wonsan by Pack-pony” by Rev. H. O. T. Burkwall: A Turn of the Century Missionary’s Travelogue of Gyeongju

Old Photo of Silla-era Royal Tombs, Gyeongju

Old Photo of Silla-era Royal Tombs, Gyeongju

In the course of my Masters research, I’ve sometimes run across interesting tidbits of Gyeognju history that are completely off-topic which I file away for future blog posts.  Here is one such tidbit: a brief  travelogue written by perhaps one of the earliest westerners to visit Gyeongju; the awesomely-named missionary Rev. H. O. T. Burkwall.  Rev. Burkwall’s account was printed in the January 1903 edition of the “Korea Review” (pp. 18 – 22).  The “Korea Review” appears to be one of the earliest English-language academic journals devoted to Korean culture, history, religion and literature and was published between 1901 and 1905 by the Methodist Publishing House in Seoul.  For those interested, .pdf files of the whole 5 year run of the “Korea Review” are currently hosted online by Royal Asiatic Society of Korea. read more »

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Downtown Food & drink restaurants tips for tourists

Restaurant Review #23: Pyeongyang Naengmyeon (평양냉면)

Pyeongyang Naengmyeon Restaurant, Downtown Gyeongju

Pyeongyang Naengmyeon Restaurant, Downtown Gyeongju

I’ve probably use the phrase “hidden gem” on this blog way more often than any decent writer should.  However with Pyeongyang Naengmyeon (평양냉면) the phrase doesn’t fit any better, as I’ve literally walked by the place for years without realizing it was even there. The restaurant sits at the end of long, narrow corridor leading into the courtyard of a traditional “Hanuk” style traditional house; a hidden oasis in the middle of one of downtown Gyeongju’s busiest blocks.  But just because it’s is hard to find doesn’t mean that Pyeongyang Naengmyeon isn’t popular.  In fact the restaurant’s been open for over 65 years, which is probably a record in these parts, and is actually quite famous among locals and Korean tourists alike. read more »

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Blog News Downtown East Sea Gyeongju Gyo-dong News Ruins & remains Temples & shrines

Blog Reboot Summer 2013

Gyo-dong Folk Village, Gyeongju

Gyo-dong Folk Village, Gyeongju

To start off my first post in almost a year, I’d like to apologize to all those folks who’ve posted comments and questions to this blog over the last several months.  I’ve basically been busy as hell this last year, so I hope to breath a second wind into the blog here over the next few months (time willing).  Over this last year, I’ve written the first draft of my thesis for my Masters in Buddhist Studies which, incidentally, involves research into the Silla  Kings Beopheung and Jinheung.  Also, I’ve coauthored a three part series on Gyeognju’s Mt. Namsan (click here to read part 2 and part 3) for the Jogye Order’s English language quarterly, Buddhism and Culture, plus an academic article surveying the life and work of the famed Silla monk, Ven. Wonhyo.  As of last February I changed both my job and  MA program.  Most importantly, however, this last March our second son was born, so everything non-essential has gotten pushed to the side since then.  I hope all the commentors that I’m just now getting back to would be so kind as to forgive this weary grad student, teacher and father for the late reply. read more »

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Downtown Gyeongju photography

Downtown Gyeongju: Photo Slideshow Part 2

Downtown Gyeongju

Downtown Gyeongju

Oddly, my slideshow last month of photos exploring the grungier, funkier side of Gyeongju’s downtown has turned out to be one of the more popular posts here on Gyeongjublog (which might not be saying much, really). I’m going to keep the write up here brief, as I pretty much said all I had to say about Gyeonju’s downtown as whole in part 1.  Not to mention, I’ve been busy grinding out papers for my Masters courses these last few weeks, so I haven’t had much time for blogging lately. I hope this keeps things from getting too stale until I find a bit more free time.  As promised, here’s part two of the slide show, and if you missed part 1, you can check it out here.  Same as before, you can scroll down through the page to view the slideshow or click on the photo above to start flipping through. Hope you enjoy the photos!

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Downtown Gyeongju history photography tips for tourists

Downtown Gyeongju: Photo Slideshow Part 1

Downtown Gyeongju

Downtown Gyeongju

This post probably won’t win me any awards from the Korean Tourism Organization, but once upon a time I was a Fine Arts student.  So after the last few weeks of beautifully blossoming cherry trees, please forgive me if I’m in the mood to post something a bit more urban and gritty.  Here’s the first part of a slideshow of I’ve put together of Gyeongju, so you can scroll down or click on the photos for the slideshow viewer.  I wanted to break in my new Nikon D5100 last month and went for a stroll downtown, so most of the photos here are from that shoot.  Also I’ve thrown in a few older pictures that, for some reason or another, haven’t made it up on the blog yet. read more »

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Downtown East Sea history Hwangnam-dong Namsan-dong Ruins & remains Sites to see Statues & carvings Temples & shrines videos

Gyeongju Videos on the Korean Heritage Channel

 

The other day I was rummaging around on Youtube for videos to fill out a playlist on Gyeongjublog’s fledgling Youtube Channel and I stumbled across some amazing videos on something called the Korean Heritage Channel.  I know I use far too many superlatives on this blog already, but this channel features some of the best promotional videos I’ve seen produced on Korea.   Some might say that’s wouldn’t be too difficult considering the schmaltzy overdubbed travel schlock typically broadcast on Arirang.  However these videos are of a different class entirely.  They’re each brief 2 to 3 minute long vignettes of rich HD footage tastefully edited together with traditional music and subtitled commentary.  read more »

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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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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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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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