Temple And Tomb in Gyeongju

4 Apr 2013 – National and Sex Museums too!

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Tue: morning train from Haeundae-Gyeongju (round trip tickets KRW11,200 S$13) 1hr 40mins ride stopping at 6 stations:

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1.SongJung, another beach town where Busan International Foreign School is located between and 2.Gijang,

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3.Wollae, where a nuclear reactor is located, 4.Namchang, what are the jars about? 5.Ulsan, industrial town with shipyard the cars or the Republic of Hyundae is what the Koreans call this place!

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6.Hogye and  finally Gyeongju, yeah here we are at this old Silla kingdom’s capital when the longest dynasty was in power, 57BC-935AD.

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Cab (KRW11,000 S$12) from the station to Daemyung Resort*** (KRW84,000 S$95 1 night stay divided by 3, app S$33pp) on Bomoon Lake.

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Lunched at Shilla restaurant** on dol sot bibimbap (KRW10,000 S$11)

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Bulguksa (KRW4,000 S$5), national temple of Korea and a UNESCO site. The temple’s records state that a small temple was built on this site under King Beopheung in 528. The two famous stone pagodas, Dabotap and Seokgatap are located in the main courtyard. One has been cracked by earthquake and is now under covers for repairs.

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Beautiful grounds by the temple where one could have a picnic under the cherry blossom trees! Bus KRW1,200 S$1.30 and a short stroll by the lake to get back to the resort for some snacks and a rest.

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Anapgi (KRW4,500 S$5), a ‘pleasure garden’ (according to the guide-book) constructed in 674AD by King Munmu. A friend and co-worker of Audrey, our local and charming guide, Jinyoung KWON explained that the grounds were ruins of a summer palace and now only partly reconstructed. It was a cold and windy night but one could try to imagine the scenario with a beautiful summer feast on these grounds.

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Unexpected to find this museum but where there was a ‘pleasure garden’ a Sex Museum/Love Castle (KRW12,00 S$14) should not be a surprise! Opened in 2004 with an area the size of two soccer fields, was an interesting experience and the first encounter with a male chastity belt!

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Wed: Tumuli Park/Royal Burial Grounds (KRW1,500 S$1.70) – excavated in 1973, Cheonmachong/Heavenly Horse Tomb 12,000+artefacts were discovered…

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which are now housed in the Gyeongju Museum (FOC).

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Gyeongju town is a colourful place, even with clothes to match with it… goodbye Gyeongju!

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Train journey back to Haeundae was quite a drama, a silly man who did not know better than to tell us that we were not supposed to be doing something that he had no idea about. An ajuma (an expression given to these past middle age colourful dressed women!) took one of our seats on the train but refuse to move. Followed by another ajuma who missed her station and create quite a show. The final straw was after we arrived back to Haeundae where an elderly man dressed in a suit started to yelled at Jinyoung for no good reason!

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The past 2 days have been full of wonderful experience, tkx to Audrey and Jinyoung. With expences divided by 3, this was affordable. The cab fares for the 2 days app KRW80,000 S$85 and when divided by 3 it worked out to S$28pp. S$130 to cover all expences for 1night+2days pp.

Travel brings wisdom only to the wise. It renders the ignorant more ignorant than ever –  Joe Abercrombie

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