Tag Archives: Namsan

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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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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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Top 10 YouTube Videos on Gyeongju and the Shilla Dynasty

It’s been a while since I’ve done any “Top 10″ and since I’ve been busy with final exams and grades, I don’t have any proper articles ready to go this week.  Instead, I figured I’d post on the 10 best YouTube videos I could find about Gyeongju. Believe me, it was a lot harder than it sounds. For all the time I spent fast forwarding through dozens vacation slideshows of Bulguksa and boring A.P. History projects, I might as well have written an article. In any case, I did in fact find 10 YouTube videos that are well worth watching (in spite of their occasional flaws). So, in no particular order, first up is the official UNESCO World Heritage promotional video on Bulguksa Temple and Seokguram Grotto. It’s pretty:

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Off the Beaten Path: The Standing Buddha (마애불얍성) of Mt. Maseoksan (마석산)

Standing Buddha of Mt. Maseoksan, Gyeongju

Standing Buddha of Mt. Maseoksan, Gyeongju

Hidden away above a small farming valley just south of Mt. Namsan, the Standing Buddha (마애불얍성) of Mt. Maseoksan  (마석산) is the epitome of “off the beaten path.”  In fact, for a long time the only reference to it I could find was a mark at the bottom of the regional map published by the Shilla Cultural Society.  I found absolutely nothing about it in any English guidebooks or online and very little when I ran searches for it in Korean. So, of course, for a guy like me that’s all the more reason to check it out and see what’s there.  Happily, I discovered one of those numerous hidden gems that are scattered around Gyeongju. read more »

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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 »

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Buddhist culture Gyeongju history Statues & carvings tips for tourists

Ancient Buddhas of the Shilla Dynasty: Part 2

Continued from Part 1…

Avalokitesvara Relief, Mt. Namsan, Gyeongju

Avalokitesvara Relief, Mt. Namsan, Gyeongju

Avalokitesvara: The Bodhisattva of Mercy

One of the key differences that evolved between Mahayana (Northern School) and Theravada (Southern School) Buddhism is the former’s belief in Bodhisattvas, or “Bosal” (보살) in Korean.  These are highly enlightened beings who have vowed to postpone their final enlightenment until all sentient beings on earth have been awakened.  Most Bodhisattvas are simply humans who’ve taken the Bodhisattva vow.  However, some are considered to be god-like spiritual beings with great compassion and power, who Buddhists can petition for aid and refuge in times of suffering. read more »

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Ancient Buddhas of the Shilla Dynasty: Part 1

Sakyamuni Buddha, Golgulsa Temple, Gyeongju

Sakyamuni Buddha, Golgulsa Temple, Gyeongju

Looking at the history of Gyeongju, it’s hard to underestimate the importance of Buddhism to the ancient Shilla Dynasty.  The acceptance of Buddhism by the Shilla in the 5th century C.E. brought an increased cultural exchange with China.  This coincided with the military rise of the Shilla Empire which ushered in the “Golden Age” of the Shilla Dynasty.  This cultural renaissance saw the construction of many architectural marvels, like Bulguksa Temple (불국사) and the nine-story Golden Dragon Pagoda of Hwannyeongsa Temple (황룡사), and creation of great artistic masterpieces, such as Seokkuram Grotto (석굴암). read more »

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Gyeongju Shopping Guide: Part 1 Where to Shop?

Folkcraft Village, Gyeongju

Folkcraft Village, Gyeongju

Christmas time is just a few months away, which means (for a lot of folks in my country anyways) that it’s time to start shopping for presents.  Korea offers some very unique and interesting gift options for folks back home and I’m not just talking about the kimchi chocolate or plastic fans that you can buy in the airport.  In places like Insa-dong in Seoul you can find everything from Korean antiques and calligraphy to hand-made pottery and high quality green tea.  What you may not know is that Gyeongju is also a great place for gift shopping, and you can usually find things here for a lot cheaper than in the big cities.  The trick is knowing where to shop and what to buy. read more »

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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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Blog News: K-blog Love and Links

I’ve been so busy with family visiting for the last few weeks (along with spending 4 days in the hospital over Chuseok) that I forgot to mention that some pretty exciting things were happening in the blog-o-sphere last month.  It seems the Sam-shin deigned to smile upon Gyeongjublog and blessed it with a fair bit of K-blog love back in September. read more »

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