Tag Archives: cycling

Cycling Routes Gyeongju history Ruins & remains Sites to see Statues & carvings Temples & shrines tips for tourists

Gyeongju Cycling Courses and Maps

Gyeongju Cycling Map

Gyeongju Cycling Map

Gyeongju is really a great place for cycling.  The countryside around Gyeongju is fairly flat and dozens of cement farm roads weave their way through scenic rice paddies and rustic villages.  Cycling’s also the fastest way to visit the dozens of ancient Silla tombs, temples, relics and ruins scattered outside of the city.  Not to mention, you can rent bikes for the day at both the train and bus stations and the bikes are usually in fairly decent shape too.   When I first started this blog I’d planned on posting a lot more on different cycling routes in the area.  Unfortunately, aside from one or two early posts, that never really happened.  To be honest, I’ve probably been on a bike once since my son was born two years ago (a sad fact I hope to soon change). read more »

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Slideshow: Autumn in Namsan-dong (남산동) Village

Muryangsa Temple, Namsan-dong, Gyeognju

Muryangsa Temple, Namsan-dong, Gyeognju

To be honest the Korean urban lifestyle doesn’t really do much for me.  Sure, I sometimes miss the art and culture, the night clubs and the convenience.  But after living in London, Berlin and Barcelona, there’s really not anything new that I get out of big cities in Korea.  All it takes is a walk through one of the many quaint and quiet farm villages near Gyeongju to remind me why I like living with the Korean countryside so close at hand.   One of my favorite places to visit is Namsan-dong (남산동);  a string of farming villages just 15 minutes outside of town tucked in the shadow of Gyeongju’s historic Mt. Namsan (남산). read more »

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Gyeongju Cherry Blossoms (벚꽃) 2011

Cherry Blossoms, Road to Kim Yu-shin's Tomb, Gyeongju

Cherry Blossoms, Road to Kim Yu-shin's Tomb, Gyeongju

I have to apologize to the regular readers of this blog (if indeed they exist beyond my lovely wife ;-)) for being slack in posting lately.  I had not one, but two, presentations to prepare for my masters program this last week.  As my creative efforts have been going elsewhere, I don’t actually have any articles ready to post atm.  However this year’s cherry blossoms are in full bloom and I did get out recently for some family photos among the blossoms. read more »

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Cycling Routes Gyeongju history Ruins & remains Statues & carvings Stories, legends & people Temples & shrines tips for tourists tombs

Exploring the Mysteries of Mt. Nangsan (낭산)

Mt. Nangsan, Gyeongju

Mt. Nangsan, Gyeongju

If you’re visiting the Gyeongju National Museum and happen to look east over the highway you might notice the outline of a hill on the far side of the train tracks.  From the looks of it you wouldn’t guess this low ridge (often describe as looking like a silkworm) was in fact considered one of the most sacred mountains of the Shilla Dynasty. As such, it’s home to numerous ancient relics and features in a number of stories and legends from the Shilla Era. read more »

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Namsan-dong photography Sites to see tips for tourists Top 10

Autumn in Gyeongju: My 8 Favorite Fall Scenes

Seongbulsa Temple, Mt. Namsan, Gyeongju

Seongbulsa Temple, Mt. Namsan, Gyeongju

With our first blast of brisk weather and leaves starting to turn, fall is finally settling on Gyeongju.  In about a week or so all the brilliant red, orange and gold autumn leaves will be at their peak, so I suggest getting out to enjoy their beauty before the dreariness of winter sets in.  If you need any inspiration to get out of the house, here’s a photo essay of my favorite fall scenes in Gyeongju. Here they are (in no particular order): read more »

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Itinerary: 10 Days in Gyeongju

Tongdosa Temple, South of Gyeongju

Tongdosa Temple, South of Gyeongju

Not to become a broken record or anything, but most tourists just bounce down to Gyeongju for a long weekend, hit up the big tourist sites, and head home Sunday night. It’s a shame really. You can barely even scratch the surface of what Gyeonju has to offer in 2 days. To finally prove what I’ve been harping on so long, I’ve cooked up a 10 day itinerary for visitors to Gyeongju. That’s right: over a week and a half of things to see and do in the area.  If you don’t have 10 days, feel free to pick and choose what suites your liking.  But here are some ideas for exploring a deeper side of Gyeongju and Korea as a whole. read more »

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Buddhist culture Gyeongju history Statues & carvings tips for tourists Top 10

Top 10 Ancient Stone Buddhas (석불) of Gyeongju: Part 2 of 2

Buddha Boulder of Tapgol Valley, Mt. Namsan Gyeongju

Buddha Boulder of Tapgol Valley, Mt. Namsan Gyeongju

Continued from Part 1:

5.  The Buddha Boulder (부처바위) of Tapgol Valley (탑골): Tucked behind the quaint beauty of Oknyeongam Hermitage (옥룡암) in Tapgol (pagoda) Valley is a large rock outcropping covered with Buddhist carvings.  There are dozens of cryptic images including meditating Buddhas, flying Devas, pagodas, and even winged lions!  The quiet magic of Oknyeongam Hermitage and the mystery of Buddha Boulder make Pagoda Valley one of my favorite spots on Namsan.

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Buddhist culture Gyeongju history Statues & carvings tips for tourists Top 10

Top 10 Ancient Stone Buddhas (석불) of Gyeongju: Part 1 of 2

Maitreya Buddha of Samneung Valley, Gyeongju

Maitreya Buddha of Samneung Valley, Gyeongju

One of the cool things about Gyeongu is that it’s literally covered with ancient stone Buddhas from the Unified Shilla Dynasty (통일 신라), most dating back to around the 7th or 8th centuries C.E.  Very little is generally known about the sculptors who chiseled out these masterpieces way back when, though they were probably carved as a form of Buddhist meditation practice.  Heck, every mountain around here has at least one ancient Buddha on it and Mt. Namsan (남산) has at least a few dozen.

If you’re a history junky like me, or you’re just looking to do some hiking or sight-seeing, here are my personal top 10 ancient stone Buddhas of Gyeongju.  As this post has snowballed into something bigger than I’d planned, so I’m splitting it into 2 parts. Here are 10 through 6 on my list.  I’ll be posting my top 5 here in a day or two.

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Buddhist culture Festivals Food & drink Gyeongju hiking restaurants Ruins & remains Statues & carvings Temples & shrines tips for tourists Top 10

My Gyeongju Top 10

I know it’s all the trend these days, but I figured it was about time I sat down and wrote out my personal top ten “to do” list for Gyeongju.  Some of these I’ve posted on already, and if I haven’t yet, I hope to soon. So here they are in brief; counting down from 10 to 1:

Bunghwangsa Temple, Gyeongju

Bunghwangsa Temple, Gyeongju

10. Take a walk around the ancient, 3-storied pagoda of Bunghwangsa (분황사) Temple when the fall leaves are changing. read more »

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Cycling Routes Gyeongju tips for tourists

Tips for Tourists: Cycling in Gyeongju

View West of Mt. Gumi & Mt. Geumgang

View West of Mt. Gumi & Mt. Geumgang

If you’re only in Gyeongju for a short time, definitely take a day to check out the big sights like, Bulguksa, Seokuram, Anapji Pond, etc. (Honestly, I’d give the Museum a miss, unless it’s raining).  But if you really want to experience what makes this city so cool, take an afternoon to hop on a bike and ride around the countryside. read more »

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