One of my pet peeves with the tourist information available in English about Gyeongju is the deal with maps. First off, if you search online, it seems nearly impossible to find any decent maps of Gyeongju. As a public service I’m posting a couple of good ones that I’ve scanned, both in Korean and English. You can click on them for a more detailed view.
Over the last couple of years the tourist info available in English about Gyeongju has actually gotten a lot better, like the free guidebook “Gyeongju: the evergreen spirit of the Silla…” (available at the tourist kiosks by the train and bus stations). It’s mostly been the same with the English tourists maps. They look way nicer now and they include a lot more details about tourists sights, restaurants, etc.
That said, by prettying things up, some of the English maps have lost a lot of detail as far as actual roads and or hiking trails. As a hiker and a cyclist, this can be a big problem. Case in point, they’ve put out a new English map of Mt. Namsan. Through some oversight, they actually forgot to put any of the bloody trails on the map, so it’s not very useful if you actually want to do any hiking. If you plan on climbing Namsan, be sure to pick up the Korean map available at the tourist info kiosks before you head off. Even if you can read Korea, it’s got the trails marked on it so you can hopefully figure out where you’re going and how to get back:
About a year ago, I found a very nice English topographic hiking map of Mt. Namsan for sale at the parking lot at Samreung Valley at the foot of Mt. Namsan. It’s the best I’ve seen so far, but it’s dated from the mid 1990′s (hence the weird Korean Romanization). I haven’t found it any where else around town so I’m scanning it and posting it here for public use:
My last gripe here is with Google Maps and Google Earth. For some daft reason Google has the satellite images of Gyeongju in very low resolution. Considering that Gyeognju is one of the most popular tourist destinations in South Korea, this just shows how out of touch Google is with their Korean market. Both Daum and Naver have far superior resolution, but unfortunately their navigation controls are only in Korean. Instead, I’ll be using Google Maps for my posts on this blog so readers can actually use them. However, if you can figure out the controls, Naver Maps kicks Google Maps butt in terms of detail:
Not only does Naver Maps have way better satellite resolution, they’ve also gone to the trouble of marking the topography and hiking routes on most of the major hiking destinations in Korea. Be to check it out before you head off hiking. You can print the map by hitting the “인쇄” at the top right and you can save the map by hitting “저장.”
|2010.11.28 | 지도 크게 보기||© NHN Corp.|