Tag Archives: East Sea

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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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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Downtown East Sea history Hwangnam-dong Namsan-dong Ruins & remains Sites to see Statues & carvings Temples & shrines videos

Gyeongju Videos on the Korean Heritage Channel

 

The other day I was rummaging around on Youtube for videos to fill out a playlist on Gyeongjublog’s fledgling Youtube Channel and I stumbled across some amazing videos on something called the Korean Heritage Channel.  I know I use far too many superlatives on this blog already, but this channel features some of the best promotional videos I’ve seen produced on Korea.   Some might say that’s wouldn’t be too difficult considering the schmaltzy overdubbed travel schlock typically broadcast on Arirang.  However these videos are of a different class entirely.  They’re each brief 2 to 3 minute long vignettes of rich HD footage tastefully edited together with traditional music and subtitled commentary.  read more »

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East Sea Gyeongju Sites to see tips for tourists

Gampo’s Najeong Beach (나정해수욕장)

Najeong Beach, Gyeongju

Najeong Beach, Gyeongju

Unfortunately, this is another story that’s coming just a bit late for summer vacation, but then again I’m one of those odd folks who actually prefer going to the beach in autumn.  Perhaps the subtle melancholy in the air suites my temperament more, or maybe I just don’t like crowded beaches in summer.  Either way, the other weekend we were hosting friends from out of town, so we packed up and headed out to Gampo’s Najeong Beach (나정해수욕장) for a seaside picnic. read more »

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East Sea Gyeongju Hotels and housing tips for tourists

Ja-yeon Pension (자연 향기): A Refreshing Mountain Getaway

Ja-yeon Pension, Mt. Tohamsan, Gyeongju

Ja-yeon Pension, Mt. Tohamsan, Gyeongju

After months of slaving away at the computer, my wife finally completed the monumental task of writing her Master’s thesis the other week. We decided to celebrate by heading up into the mountains east of Gyeognju for a little family “r and r” at Ja-yeon Pension (자연 향기). Living in Gyeongju, it’s rare that I actually get firsthand experience of the dozens (if not hundreds) of accommodation options in the area. However, I’d stumbled on Ja-yeon Pension last fall while exploring a little valley near the Baek-nyeon (100 year) Tea House on Mt. Tohamsan and I couldn’t think of a better place to take a break and get away from it all. read more »

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The Homigot (호미곶) New Years Sunrise Festival

Hand of Harmony, Homigot Sunrise Plaza

Hand of Harmony, Homigot Sunrise Plaza

For most westerners, New Years Eve means late night parties with friends or family (and usually booze) where we count down the seconds to midnight and ring in the New Year with cheering and fanfare.  Korea has a different, if no less alcoholic, way of ringing in the New Year.   Every December 31st thousands of Koreans brave the freezing cold and flock to various beaches and mountain peaks where the stay up all night to watch the first sunrise of the New Year.  You may not know, but one of the most popular spots in the country for greeting the sun on January 1st isn’t far from Gyeongju:  The Homigot Sunrise Plaza (호미곷해맞이공원). read more »

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Video: Seonmudo (선무도) Demonstration

Last month my University asked me to help guide a tour of Korean-American students around Gyeongju for a day.  That afternoon we stopped by Golgulsa (골굴사) Temple for a short lesson in Seonmudo (선무도), or Korean Zen martial arts.  In all the times I’d been to Golgulsa, I’d never actually seen what Seonmudo actually is.  Luckily for us the monks gave a demonstration after the lesson and got to show off some of their top moves.  I had my handycam with me, so here’s a short 3 minute video of some of the highlights I’ve edited together. 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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East Sea Gyeongju restaurants Sites to see tips for tourists

Restaurant Review #12: 100 Years Tea House (백년찻집)

100 Years Tea House, Mt. Tohamsan, Gyeongju

100 Years Tea House, Mt. Tohamsan, Gyeongju

Perched on the ridge of Mt. Tohamsan (토함산) , looking East over the Churyeong (추령) Pass is one of the best kept secrets of Gyeongju:  the Beak Nyeon Cha Jip (백년찻집) or “100 Years Tea House”.  Whether you’re a dedicated  tea aficionado or you need a break on the trip over to the East Sea and King Munmu’s tomb (문무대왕릉), Beak Nyeon Cha Jip is well worth the 30 minute drive from Gyeongju. read more »

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Buddhist culture East Sea Gyeongju Statues & carvings Temples & shrines tips for tourists

Golgulsa Temple (골굴사)

Sakyamuni Buddha, Golgulsa Temple (골굴사)

Sakyamuni Buddha, Golgulsa Temple (골굴사)

Though it’s not quite Korea’s answer to the Shaolin Monastery of China, Golgulsa Temple (골굴사) is one of the more unique temples in the Gyeongju area and it’s pretty darn cool. If you’re on your way over to King Munmu’s tomb (문무대왕릉) on the East Coast, it’s well worth taking an hour or so to stop off here and check it out. read more »

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