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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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Events Festivals Gyeongju Hotels and housing Korean culture Music & dance News tips for tourists

2012 Spring Events: Cherry Blossoms, Miso II, Concerts and More

Cherry Blossoms at Night, Gyeongju

Cherry Blossoms at Night, Gyeongju

I’ll skip my usually apologies to my regular readers for not posting in over almost month.  Suffice to say, I’ve been swept up in the usual start-of-semester whirlwind lately.  Thankfully things are finally settling into a routine and with spring at our door step, there are a few things to catch up on. For starters, cherry blossom season is close upon us again. If you’re planning to frolic among the flowers this year, the Korean Tourism Organization has recently released its predictions for the blossoming dates and peak times for 2012. It looks like the cherries here in Gyeongju will begin blooming around April 2nd and will be at their peak between April 11th and the 20th, so mark your calendars.  And if you’re looking tips on places in town to check out the cherry blossoms,  I’ve posted suggestions in years past on the best spots for the blossoms. read more »

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Gyeongju News tips for tourists

Gyeongju KTX Station (신경주역) to Open November 1st

Photos by Maria Pinto

Shingyeongju KTX Station, Gyeongju (image by Maria Pinto)

Shingyeongju KTX Station, Gyeongju (image by Maria Pinto)

It seems as Hell has actually frozen over.  Well, maybe not quite, but after years of delays, the KTX (Korea’s high velocity “bullet” train) is finally arriving in Gyeongju.  It’s official: as of November 1st the brand new Singyeongju Station (신경주역) will be fully operational, along side similar stations in Gumi, Ulsan and Yeongcheon. They are all part of Korea’s latest KTX high-speed rail line, linking Busan with Daegu and connecting with existing KTX lines up to Seoul. read more »

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Korean culture links News Outside Gyeongju shopping websites

Even More Links

It’s been a while since I’ve updated the links here on Gyeongjublog, so here’s a quick run down on sites I’ve run across lately that are worth checking out. To kick things off, it seems the KTO’s (Korean Tourism Organization) got a new interactive map of Korea  that kicks Google Map’s butt. It looks prettier, has more information, and most importantly: it’s in English! Unfortunately, you can’t do cool things with it like plot your hiking routes on it or imbed it in your website, so I guess I’ll be sticking with Google Maps here for a little while longer.

For a lot of Westerners Feng Shui, or Pungsu-jiri (풍수지리) in Korean, ranks right up there with fan death and acid rain causing baldness. For most Koreans, however, it governs matters as serious as where to bury your parents and wheather or not Seoul’s colonial era City Hall should be demolished. Whether you’re a believer or a skeptic, David Mason has a fascinating page on the history and basic concepts governing Korean Pungsu-jiri . It’s part of his broader website: san-shin.org , which is so cool that I’ll be giving it a more indepth review here shortly. read more »

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Buddhist culture News Outside Gyeongju Temples & shrines

Hyangiram Hermitage (향일암) Lost in Fire

Hyangiram Hermitage Fire (from Joongang Daily)

Hyangiram Hermitage Fire (from Joongang Daily)

I heard some rather sad news when I got home today.  It seems that Hyangiram (향일암), literally “Sunrise Hermitage”, in Yeosu burned down last night.  I used to live in Gwangyang, near Yeosu and first visited Hyangiram back in ’02.    I’ve been there twice since and I think it is (or sadly was) one of the coolest places I’ve been to in Korea. read more »

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