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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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Bomun Resort Events Gyeongju Hotels and housing Hwangseong-dong links restaurants tips for tourists

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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Events Festivals Gyeongju restaurants Temples & shrines tips for tourists websites

Winter News: Martial Arts Demos, AREX and More

Seonmudo Demo, Golgulsa Temple (photo by Andrew Peet)

Seonmudo Demo, Golgulsa Temple (photo by Andrew Peet)

If you’ve not seen the signs around town recently, Golgulsa Temple (골굴사) has started hosting daily demonstrations of Seonmudo (선무도), or “Zen Martial Arts.”   Golgulsa has been the center of a Seonmudo revival over the last few decades, so the demos are free and are scheduled for both 11 am and 3 pm every day except Monday.  I’ve visited Golgulsa many times over the years and have had the pleasure of seeing a few demos before (in fact I posted a video of one back in August).   But my brother-in-law was visiting last week, so we stopped by to check it out on our way back from King Munmu’s tomb at the coast. read more »

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Gyeongju history photography websites

Old Photos of Gyeongju on gjucc.or.kr

Old Gyeongju (image from www.gjucc.or.kr)

Old Gyeongju (image from www.gjucc.or.kr)

One thing I forgot to mention in my last post on the Gyeongju Cultural Center (경주문화원) is that the Center’s website has a great archive of old, black and white photos of Gyeongju. Unfortunately, the website’s only in Korean, which makes it a little tricky to navigate, plus they’ve disabled hard links.  So, to get to the archive, go to the Center’s homepage: www.gjucc.or.kr.  Roll over the tab in the top right of the main page labeled “Publication발간자료.”  Two options will pop up directly underneath.  Right click on the option on the right called “경주의옛사진.” read more »

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Blog News websites

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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Tips for Tourists: Housing Links and Other Websites

Sarangchae Guesthouse (image from kjstay.com)

Sarangchae Guesthouse (image from kjstay.com)

I was online this afternoon checking out local pensions for Chuseok when it dawned on me that I’ve been seriously delinquent in updating the “Links” section of this blog over the summer.  In fact, for a blog that targets tourists, I hadn’t really posted that many websites for hotels and what not around Gyeongju.  After several hours rectifying this oversight, I’ve compiled a formidable (if not definitive) list of local links.  Here’s a brief rundown of what I’ve found:

Hotels and Housing

Down around the bus station are scads of love hotels and tourist motels.  As they’re already pretty easy to find, I’ll link to the Gyeongju Tourist Hotel as a typical example of the whole lot.  Instead, there are a few more traditional guesthouses around town that’d give you a more unique experience, like the Sundo Sanbang Guesthouse or the Shillabang Gueshouse.  And of course there’s the classic Sarangchae Guesthouse tucked away next to Daereungwon Tombs Park. read more »

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Daeboreum (대보름) Pt. 2: Ganggang Sullae (강강술래) Folk Dancing

Back at the start of March I posted on this year’s Daeboreum (대보름), or Great Full Moon Bon Fire Festival, in Gyeongju.  As promised, I finally got around to editing the video and I’ve whittled it down to about 2 minutes.  Most of the video is of the Ganggang Sullae (강강술래) folk dancing around the bonfire, which was declared S. Korea’s Important Intangible Cultural Properties No. 8 back in 1965. read more »

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Links: San-shin.org

Korean Mountain God with 8 Daoist Immortals (from san-shin.org)

Korean Mountain God with 8 Daoist Immortals (from san-shin.org)

Like a lot of posts on this blog, I’d meant to get something up on San-shin.org ages ago.  If you’re at all interested in traditional Korean culture, this site’s an awesome resource.  It’s a treasure trove of info on everything from Korean Shamanism and Buddhist culture to folk art, feng shui, hiking and green tea. read more »

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Even More Links

It’s been a while since I’ve updated the links here on Gyeongjublog, so here’s a quick run down on sites I’ve run across lately that are worth checking out. To kick things off, it seems the KTO’s (Korean Tourism Organization) got a new interactive map of Korea  that kicks Google Map’s butt. It looks prettier, has more information, and most importantly: it’s in English! Unfortunately, you can’t do cool things with it like plot your hiking routes on it or imbed it in your website, so I guess I’ll be sticking with Google Maps here for a little while longer.

For a lot of Westerners Feng Shui, or Pungsu-jiri (풍수지리) in Korean, ranks right up there with fan death and acid rain causing baldness. For most Koreans, however, it governs matters as serious as where to bury your parents and wheather or not Seoul’s colonial era City Hall should be demolished. Whether you’re a believer or a skeptic, David Mason has a fascinating page on the history and basic concepts governing Korean Pungsu-jiri . It’s part of his broader website: san-shin.org , which is so cool that I’ll be giving it a more indepth review here shortly. read more »

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Food & drink Korean culture links websites

More Links

It’s been a little while since I’ve updated the links, so here’s a run down of a few websites and blogs I’ve dug up in the last month or so.

If you’re new to Korea or want to learn more about Korean food, my friend Pete hooked me up with a link to TriFood.com. It’s focus is on promoting Korean food in the tri-state area of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut, but it’s got a very thorough glossary of Korean Cuisine.  Not to mention, there’s a bunch of recipes worth trying out if you’re handy in the kitchen.

Speaking of Korean food, One fork, One spoon is a pretty awesome food blog by Grace Meng.  Grace covers Korean cuisine along with a fair mix of Mexican, Spanish and Argentinean.  She’s got dozens of posts including Korean recipes and restaurant reviews.  Keep an eye out for her Korean cookbook coming out soon. read more »

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