Museum and Market, Gyeongju Style

We went to the main museum in Gyeongju and stopped by the market afterwards. Here are a few of the photos from the journey. If you enjoy ancient artifacts and have time, I would definitely recommend stopping by the Gyeongju National Museum. There are three separate buildings, each housing unique and specific artifacts. It took only a few hours and you could go faster or slower depending on your time constraints. However, I would say a must see in Gyeongju.

(This was the Buddhist art museum. I thought there would be paintings for some reason - instead, it focused on statues and architecture.)

(Main Exhibition Hall - lots of artifacts and interesting pieces from the Shilla Dynasty)

(A Buddhist statue, about the size of my hand)

(A little larger, life size statue. I really liked the color. As for the hands, I think there were several sets that could be interchanged depending on the time of year or occasion.)

(Incense holder - smoke comes out the nose - bad a$$!)

(Anybody want a drink? Yep, imagine drinking out of this bad boy. It'd be quite the experience.)

(Nike's got nothing on these bad boys. Can you even imagine walking around in these for a day?)

(Not sure what it was, but I liked it)

(Interesting statues, a few thousand years old. I think that's another reason I liked Gyeongju so much, the history, thousands of years, not hundreds.)

(The king's decorative ornaments, starting with a crown on the left, a waist belt in the middle, and there were some shoes to the right.)

(The main market was interesting, a great place to get sam-bap. Although I did not partake, I heard from Spenser and Chelsea it was great.)

(Yep, squidders, hanging out)

(Shrimp anyone? Great shot Katrina!)

(This lady/bar was hilarious... We ordered gin and tonics, nope, only had one. We ordered Bud, nope, only had 3. Spenser ordered a Jim Collins, nope, didn't even have one. But this lady acted as though that is normal in a bar and just smiled and laughed when she told us. It was a fantastic night of golf...)


Gyeongju Pension and Anapji

We stayed at a fantastic pension while in Gyeongju. It was a bit pricier than your regular 40,000 won a night pension but we were with a group and I think it worked out to be 30,000 a night per person. The owner was amazing and spoke great English. Either her or her husband would pick us up or take us to the bus stop whenever we called. It was in a great location. If you are going and can afford to spend the extra money, I would highly recommend JY pension (http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/AC/AC_EN_4_8.jsp?cid=872918).

Anapji was was another interesting place to visit. I wish we would have stayed a little later and seen it at night. However, it was still a nice place to visit. It was built around 1500 years ago, was destroyed, but since has been restored. For more information on Anapji check out (http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/AC/AC_EN_4_8.jsp?cid=872918).

(View of JY pension - there was even a swimming pool but it was a bit too cool to go swimming)

(There was a great little garden)

(A nice little water wheel)

(A full shot of the garden. As you can tell, there weren't any other houses around. We were out in the middle of nowhere. It was great to get away from the city life for a bit and just relax in nature. I am definitely excited for nicer weather so I can get outside a lot more.)

(View of one of the temples at Anapji)

(Katrina excited to be outside and exploring a new area)

(Here you can kind of see the three major structures and a bit of the pond)

(This would have been a sweet shot at night. There are a lot of lights that come on later in the evening. If you search, you can see a lot of great night time shots.)

(Shot of the temple and pond through a tree)

(Katrina again as we were leaving. One last shot and a chance to say goodbye to Anapji)

(This was just a pretty sweet tree inside the complex)

(Some burial mounds in Gyeongju - they are actually a lot larger than they appear in this picture. To give you an idea, those are full sized trees on the left side in the background...)

(For some reason, this stone observatory was a thing to see. However, I wasn't that impressed.)


Seokguram Grotto

A big stop for us in Gyeongju was Seokguram Grotto (for more information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seokguram). It was an interesting little place and I think it would have been a lot cooler had we been able to actually go inside the Grotto itself. For those of you who are curious, a grotto is defined as small, indoor cave, at least for this experience. If you do get the chance, I would recommend taking the trip out. It's nothing special, but it is unique if that makes any sense. There is a bus that runs but it only comes every hour and it is very windy. If you have the time, I would recommend hiking from Bulguksa. We arrived a little later on Thursday so we were not able to hike. Here are a few more pictures, enjoy.

(View as we arrived and were getting off the bus - a quaint little mountain adventure)
(As soon as we stepped off the bus, this is what we saw. Notice the bell in the structure, it is important later...)

(I am not exactly sure what the old ladies were selling but that must make enough)

(A view of the valley below)

(A bell you could ring)

(Spenser ringing the bell)

(Spenser after he rang the bell)

(Water stop - I do enjoy how Korea makes it a habit to provide water. I have grown found of the communal drinking facilities.)

(The building on the left is the actual grotto. You can kind of see the mound of dirt above the roof. Inside sits a Buddha with a few of his guardian buddies. Unfortunately, we were unable to take pictures inside - weak sauce.)

(Inside view of the grotto from someone else's camera)

(Just to give you an idea of how sweet it is inside. But, like I said, we couldn't go inside...)

(Another view of the awesomeness which we were unable to see first hand)


Bulguksa Temple - First Stop in Gyeongju

We recently had a 4 day weekend - long semester so they gave us a "semester break" at Avalon which was wonderful. For 3 of the days, Katrina, myself, and 3 other friends went down to Gyeongju. I've never been but heard great things - especially from the historical side of the province. It was home to one of the previous Korean dynasties and has quite a bit of history. I learned quite a bit on the trip and got some good shots. Our first stop after checking into our amazing pension was Bulguksa Temple. (For more information, visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bulguksa)

(Welcome to Bulguksa Temple, according to some, the 'oldest temple in Korea')

(It was a very serene and peaceful corner of the world)

(The actual temple itself - quite large)

(Katrina and I on the same bridge in the beautiful landscape photo above)

(This is strictly a new camera shot - wanted to try a different lens. I like it. It's cute.)

(Some Buddhist guardians along with their protector)

(Rockin' the dragon in one hand)

(Not sure why but I just loved the way this little shop looked)


Align Center(This one particular plot/temple was reserved as the 'stone stacking' area. It's difficult to see but there were stones stacked upon each other everywhere.)

(Stones stacked on the roof, on the door, on a tree...)

(Along the wall, on tiles, on the ground... everywhere...)

(The lighting was interesting so I snapped a few photos)

(Just an idea of how far in the mountains you are)

(A farewell to Bulguksa Temple)