Tag Archives: Bomun Resort

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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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 »

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Bomun Resort Gyeongju holidays restaurants tips for tourists

Restaurant Review #20: Hyundai Hotel Christmas Lunch Buffet

Christmas at the Hyundai Hotel, Gyeongju

Christmas at the Hyundai Hotel, Gyeongju

“Christmas” and “Gyeongju” are probably mentioned in the same sentence about as often as “Nascar” and “feta cheese.”  However, like any tourist destination with a thriving resort industry, Christmas does indeed come to Gyeongju, and it does so with its own unique style.    Over the last decade Christmas in Korea has gone from being observed only by devout Christians to a holiday much heralded by shop keepers and romantic couples alike.  The resulting Christmas festivities I’ve heard one sour Scrooge describe as being “just not quite right.”  Indeed, the florescent cross-cultural fusion with which Koreans celebrate Christmas probably has both Christmas and Korean traditionalists spinning in their graves.  However, as an aficionado of international kitsch, I can only applaud in glee.  For what two things on earth are kitschier than Christmas and Korea?  It’s truly a match made in Heaven, or Hell depending who you ask. read more »

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Andong Bomun Resort Buddhist culture Food & drink Gyeongju Gyo-dong Hwangseong-dong Music & dance tips for tourists Uncategorized

Fall Events in Gyeongju: Temple Food, Hallyu Dreams, Liquor and Rice Cake, Marathons and more

Gyeongju Liquor and Rice Cake Festival, 2010

Gyeongju Liquor and Rice Cake Festival, 2010

The official start of fall is less than a week away, meaning it’s time again for some of the best weather in Korea and its accompanying  frenzy of festivals.   Here in Gyeongju we can look forward to a few old favorites plus some changes and special events.  First off, both vegetarians and Buddhist culture aficionados will want to check out the first annual Sachal Eumshik (사찰 음식), or Temple Food, Festival out at Deoksungsa Temple (덕숭사) next Saturday, Sept. 24th.   Contrary to popular belief (of many Koreans, in fact) Korea has a rich and delicious tradition of vegetarian cuisine rooted in the country’s numerous Buddhist temples.  Sachal Eumshik can be savored at several restaurants around Gyeongju, like Baru in Seondo-dong or Ssukbujaengi near Bomun.

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Summer News: World Culture Expo, Blue One Water Park and More

Laser Show, 2011 Gyeongju World Expo (image from http://au.ibtimes.co)

Laser Show, 2011 Gyeongju World Expo (image from http://au.ibtimes.co)

My apologies for being a bit slow in getting caught up from our vacation.  As always, there have been some cool things happening in Gyeongju this summer, so here’s a belated rundown of some of the highlights:  The time has come around again for the triennial Gyeongju World Culture ExpoZ.  The fun kicked off on August 12th and runs for 60 days until October 20th.  The World Culture Expo features performances and exhibitions from around the world (which you’ve probably already guessed).  To give you a better idea of what the Expo’s about, the 2008 Expo featured everything from traditional Thai dancing, a Russian Ice Ballet, and a retrospective of Korean video artist Baik Nam Jun to Chinese acrobats and an exhibition of Korean cartoon characters for the kids.  Like a lot of expats in Korea, my wife and I have already traveled a bit internationally so we found a few of the exhibits to be a mite cheesy and overdone.  Even so, it  was still a fun day out and definitely worth the price of admission. read more »

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Bulguk-dong Food & drink Gyeongju restaurants tips for tourists

Restaurant Review #19: Bomun Does Vegetarian Part 2- Ssukbu Jaengi (쑥부쟁이) Restaurant

Ssukbu Jaengi Vegetarian Restaurant, Gyeongju

Ssukbu Jaengi Vegetarian Restaurant, Gyeongju

If you’ve read any of my restaurant reviews on here on the blog, you’ve probably noticed  I don’t bother ratings restaurants with crap like forks, stars, or hearts.  I’m a busy guy.  I figure if a restaurant’s blasé or bad (and Gyeongju ‘s got its share of those) then it’s not worth writing about.  Also, everyone has different tastes, especially when it comes to cuisine as unique, flavorful (and sometimes challenging)  as Korean.   Giving a sundae (순대)restaurant four out of five stars (or toothpicks or whatever) doesn’t mean much if thought of blood sausage turns your stomache. All that said, for its combination of quality food, reasonable prices and tasteful traditional décor, I’d about give Ssukbu Jaengi (쑥부쟁이) five out of five stars.  It’s just that good, and it happens to be vegetarian. read more »

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Bomun Resort Food & drink Gyeongju restaurants tips for tourists

Restaurant Review #18: Bomun Does Vegetarian Part 1- Dayoo (다유) Restaurant

Da-yoo Vegetarian Restaurant, Bomun Resort

Da-yoo Vegetarian Restaurant, Bomun Resort

Although it’s not quite enough to call a trend, a couple vegetarian restaurants have sprung up around Bomun Resort (보문단지) in the last few years which, for a country that generally considers eating meat equal with common sense, is a pretty big deal.  Perhaps the frequent media scares over livestock-borne diseases, like mad cow, foot and mouth and avian flu, are beginning to turn some Koreans off from their gleefully carnivorous diets.  Whatever the case, it certainly helps the vegetarian cause that both Dayoo (다유) and Ssookboo Jaengi (쑥부쟁이) restaurants near Bomun serve excellent traditional Korean vegetarian food.  And, contrary to the popular belief among Korean school kids, this is not a contradiction in terms. read more »

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More Spring News: Traditional Korean Opera, Free Taekwondo Tickets, New Gyeongju Website and More

Bomun Opera Performance Poster (click to enlarge)

Bomun Opera Performance Poster (click to enlarge)

Spring is a busy time in Gyeongju, so there are few more things happening around town that I thought I’d mention.   May 5th – 7th (Thursday through Saturday) the Gyeongju City Government is hosting a free opera performance out at Bomun Lake titled “The River Flows to the Sea.”  The opera is a drama based on the relationship between two legendary figures from the Shilla Dynasty; Queen Seondeok and General Kim Yu-shin.  The opera will be accompanied by a Korean classical symphony and features some pretty heavy hitters from the world of Korean theater and classical music, like conductor Park Sang-jin.  The opera will run from 7:00 to 9:30 pm and will be held at the out-door theater on the north shore of Bomun Lake.  If you’re in town that weekend, definitely check it out as it sounds pretty cool.  I mentioned it was free, right? read more »

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Housing: Gyeongju Tourist Pension Association

Brochure for Gyeognju Tourist Pension Association

Brochure for Gyeognju Tourist Pension Association

Since we’ve been on the topic of pensions lately, I thought I should mention the Gyeongju Tourist Pension Association. I was down by the bus station last week and decided to pop in the Tourist Info Booth to see what was new. I noticed they had a brochure in Korean listing information for about a dozen different pensions around Bomun Resort. The brochure was published by the aptly named Gyeongju Tourist Pension Association. Unfortunately their Korean website is listed as a “Reported Attack Site” by Firefox (which can happen when you use a lot of dodgy Active-X and java script in your website, I guess) , so I won’t be providing a hard link to it here. read more »

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Andong Events Festivals Gyeongju holidays Korean culture Pohang tips for tourists Top 10

Top 10 Events Around Gyeongju in 2011

Daeboreum Full Moon Bonfire Festival 2010

Daeboreum Full Moon Bonfire Festival 2010

It seems like local events have a way of sneaking up on me around here.  I try my best, but I have a way of hearing about them right before, or worse, just after they happen.  As my New Year’s resolution is to get a head of things for a change, here’s a list of my top 10 local events to look forward to during the next year:

1. Daeboreum (대보름) Full Moon Bonfire Festival: Slated this year for Thursday Feb. 17th, Daeboreum celebrates the first full moon after Solnal (설날), or the Lunar New Year.  If it’s anything like years past, the city government will set up a huge bonfire in the parking lot by the river, across from the Express (시위) Bus Terminal.  Around 5:30 or 6:00 pm they’ll light up the bonfire, and while it burns people play “gangang  sulae” (강강수래) folk games and sing songs.  It’s a fun evening out so bring your camera or just come and join in the games. read more »

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