Category Archives: East Sea

Bomun Resort East Sea Gyeongju tips for tourists Wierd Gyeongju

Wierd Gyeongju: Dinosaur Village Herb Land (허브랜드공룡마을) and Gyeongju Herb Land (경주허브랜드)

Dinosaur Village Herb Land, Gyeongju

Dinosaur Village Herb Land, Gyeongju

Just like Teddy Bear Museums, “Herb Lands” have been of popping up around Korea lately in all the tourist hotspots.  And somehow, also just like Teddy Bear Museums, Gyeongju is blessed with not just one but two of these so-called Herb Lands. If you aren’t quite sure what a Herb Land is, its kind of like a cross between your local garden center and a miniature golf course. Or better yet, try imagining an amusement park without any actual roller coasters or rides. If that sounds kind of lame, then you’ve probably already guessed that Gyeongju’s Herb Lands are not really on my list of must-see local highlights and I wouldn’t really recommend them to anyone visiting just for a short weekend. However, for visitors who possess a warped appreciation of cheesy tourist traps, or have children under 10 years old, Gyeongju’s Herb Lands are a perfect fit.  Luckily for me, I have both, so it was only natural that we would eventually pay them a visit. read more »

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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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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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Buddhist culture East Sea Gyeongju hiking history Stories, legends & people Temples & shrines tips for tourists

Going to the River: Girimsa Temple (기림사) and Yongyeonpokpo Waterfalls (용연폭포)

Yongyeonpokpo Waterfalls, Girimsa Temple, Gyeongju

Yongyeonpokpo Waterfalls, Girimsa Temple, Gyeongju

About a month ago a friend on on Facebook asked where around Gyeongju you can “go to the river.”  Unfortunately I’ve been a bit distracted with writing my Master’s thesis over the last month, but I hope to post on a few places to “go to the river” around here while there’s still some of the summer left. There are actually a number of nice swimming holes and lovely picnicking spots by the rivers around Gyeongju which we go to almost every weekend, if the weather’s nice. 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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East Sea Gyeongju Sites to see tips for tourists

Gampo’s Najeong Beach (나정해수욕장)

Najeong Beach, Gyeongju

Najeong Beach, Gyeongju

Unfortunately, this is another story that’s coming just a bit late for summer vacation, but then again I’m one of those odd folks who actually prefer going to the beach in autumn.  Perhaps the subtle melancholy in the air suites my temperament more, or maybe I just don’t like crowded beaches in summer.  Either way, the other weekend we were hosting friends from out of town, so we packed up and headed out to Gampo’s Najeong Beach (나정해수욕장) for a seaside picnic. read more »

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Bulguk-dong East Sea hiking Hotels and housing tips for tourists

Camping and Cabins in the Mt. Tohamsan Recreational Forest (토함산 자연휴양림)

Camping at Mt. Tohamsan Recreational Forest

Camping at Mt. Tohamsan Recreational Forest

This post is coming a little too late for the summer, but  I’m posting it anyhow for those who might be interested in doing some camping this fall or are already kicking around ideas for their next vacation.  For years I’ve heard that there there’s a campground at the Mt. Tohamsan at the Recreational Forest (토함산 자연휴양림), but I’ve never been up there to check it.  Growing up in  Virginia, I used to go camping at least a couple times a year, so I’ve been curious about it for a while now. read more »

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East Sea Gyeongju Hotels and housing tips for tourists

Ja-yeon Pension (자연 향기): A Refreshing Mountain Getaway

Ja-yeon Pension, Mt. Tohamsan, Gyeongju

Ja-yeon Pension, Mt. Tohamsan, Gyeongju

After months of slaving away at the computer, my wife finally completed the monumental task of writing her Master’s thesis the other week. We decided to celebrate by heading up into the mountains east of Gyeognju for a little family “r and r” at Ja-yeon Pension (자연 향기). Living in Gyeongju, it’s rare that I actually get firsthand experience of the dozens (if not hundreds) of accommodation options in the area. However, I’d stumbled on Ja-yeon Pension last fall while exploring a little valley near the Baek-nyeon (100 year) Tea House on Mt. Tohamsan and I couldn’t think of a better place to take a break and get away from it all. read more »

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Bomun Resort East Sea Festivals Gyeongju hiking Hwangseong-dong Temples & shrines tips for tourists

Gyeongju Weekend Events: G20, Golgulsa Festival & Moonlight Walk

 

G20 Comes to Bomun Resort (image from english.yonhapnews.co.kr/)

G20 Comes to Bomun Resort (image from english.yonhapnews.co.kr/)

Bomun Resort G20 Summit

This weekend is going to be a bit crazy around Gyeongju.  There’s a lot of stuff going on, and some of it sounds pretty cool (and some of it not really).  For starters, we’ve all heard about the G20 kicking off in Seoul, but you might not know that there’s a separate G20 summit going down this weekend at Gyeongju’s own Bomun Lake Resort.  This summit is reserved solely for the C.F.O.s of the member countries and will focus primarily on tweaking the nuts and bolts of the global economy. read more »

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Buddhist culture East Sea Gyeongju history Stories, legends & people Temples & shrines videos

Video: Seonmudo (선무도) Demonstration

Last month my University asked me to help guide a tour of Korean-American students around Gyeongju for a day.  That afternoon we stopped by Golgulsa (골굴사) Temple for a short lesson in Seonmudo (선무도), or Korean Zen martial arts.  In all the times I’d been to Golgulsa, I’d never actually seen what Seonmudo actually is.  Luckily for us the monks gave a demonstration after the lesson and got to show off some of their top moves.  I had my handycam with me, so here’s a short 3 minute video of some of the highlights I’ve edited together. read more »

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