Category Archives: Wierd Gyeongju

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 »

Print Friendly
Share
Bomun Resort Museums Sites to see tips for tourists videos Wierd Gyeongju

Wierd Gyeongju: The Teddy Bear Museum (테디베어박물관) and Teseum (테지움) of Bomun Resort

Entrance to the Teddy Bear Museum, Bomun Resort, Gyeongju

Entrance to the Teddy Bear Museum, Bomun Resort, Gyeongju

After spending an afternoon at Bomun Resort recently, I had an epiphany: teddy bear museums are to Korea what wax museums are to the U.S.  Both are cheesy as hell, prey on bored tourists and are not places you’d want to accidentally get locked in overnight.  Not to mention, both spring up around resorts and tourist traps like mushrooms in a Virginia cow pasture after the rain.   From Jeju Island to Mt. Seoraksan, teddy bear museums are currently the rage at all the major tourist destinations in South Korea. Of course Gyeongju’s Bomun Resort, being possibly the biggest tourist trap in the whole country, is blessed with not one, but two teddy bear museums, and they so happen to be just down the block from each other. read more »

Print Friendly
Share
Arts & crafts Buddhist culture Gyeongju history Statues & carvings Stories, legends & people Temples & shrines Wierd Gyeongju

Wierd Gyeongju: The Wooden Fish Knocker of Bunhwangsa (분황사) Temple

Wooden Fish Knocker, Bunhwangsa Temple, Gyeongju

Wooden Fish Knocker, Bunhwangsa Temple, Gyeongju

As one of the few architectural structures left standing from the Silla Dynasty, Bunhwangsa (분황사) Temple is one of the “must see” historical sites in Gyeongju.  Built in 634 C.E. by order of the legendary Queen Seondeok (선덕여왕), Bunhwangsa is most famous for its three-tiered pagoda.  Originally built as seven or nine tiers, the pagoda was badly damaged during both the Mongolian Invasions of the 13th century, when the neighboring Hwangnyeongsa Temple (황룡사) and nine-story pagoda were burned to the ground, and again during the Hideyoshi Invasion of 1592.  Curiously, the pagoda was built in “imitation brick” style, meaning that Silla workmen actually took the time to carve stones into the shapes of bricks to imitate the brick pagodas then fashionable in China.  Seems to me like it would’ve been a lot easier to make it out of actual bricks, but I’ll leave the debate over that minor detail up to the historians. read more »

Print Friendly
Share
Arts & crafts Gyeongju Shamanism tips for tourists Wierd Gyeongju

Wierd Gyeongju: Mr. Seo, Penis Carver of Mt. Namsan (남산나무꾼)

Penis Carver, Mt. Namsan, Gyeongju

Penis Carver, Mt. Namsan, Gyeongju

There are many times in this country when I’ve wished I had a better grasp of the Korean language.  Standing in Mr. Seo Seung-am’s workshop at the foot of Mt. Namsan (남산) was definitely one of those times.  On display all over the shop are literally hundreds of hand-carved wooden penises.  There are big ones, small ones, some with faces, and some with breasts.  There are penis coat racks, penis hiking sticks, penis hat racks and penis chairs.  Heck, some of the penises even have penises.  I would simply like to ask Mr. Seo “Why?” read more »

Print Friendly
Share
Gyeongju hiking history Korean culture Stories, legends & people tips for tourists Wierd Gyeongju

Wierd Gyeongju: Queen Seondeok and the Legend of Vagina Valley (여근곡)

Map of Yeogeungok Valley, Mt. Obongsan

Map of Yeogeungok Valley, Mt. Obongsan

Yup, you read that right.  About 17 km west of Gyeongju on the north face of Mt. Obongsan (오봉산) is a little valley that goes by the name of Yeogeungok (여근곡).  This literally means “Jade Gate” Valley which, you might not have known, is actually a euphemism for female genitalia.  Just why the ancient Koreans dubbed this valley just that is clear to anyone with a basic knowledge of human anatomy and a bit of imagination. read more »

Print Friendly
Share
history Korean culture Sites to see tips for tourists Wierd Gyeongju Yeongcheon

Wierd Gyeongju: The World’s Largest Silkworm (누에 체함학습관)

Silkworm Experience Learning Center, Yeongcheon

Silkworm Experience Learning Center, Yeongcheon

Inspired by the “Weird America” books back home,  I’ve decided to start a series of posts on some of the quirky, cheesy or just plain strange tourist attractions that abound around here.  I could begin the with the wish-granting stone of Cheonwonsa Temple (천원사), or the legendary Vagina Valley of Mt. Obongsan (오봉산), but I figure it’s only fitting that I start with the giant silkworm statue of Oryong-ri (오룡리). It’s reputed to be the largest silkworm statue in the world (that is according to what little info I could find online).  Though, I don’t think anyone has phoned the kind folks over at Guinness about it yet. read more »

Print Friendly
Share
Content Protected Using Blog Protector By: PcDrome.