Monday, June 9, 2014

GyeongJu Visit

Hello everyone!

GyeongJu is only about an hour drive from Busan, and since GyeongJu was the capitol of Silla (one of Korea's ancient kingdoms) for almost 1000 years, it's full of historical things to see and do. If you are interested in Korean history (and some awesome food--a post about that is coming soon!!) it's well worth a day trip! 

We left after breakfast, and got there with enough time to visit the GyeongJu National Museum before lunch!  The grounds and the buildings of the museum are beautiful!

I've been to the museum multiple times while growing up in Korea, but this trip I learned so many new things because a guide came over and gave us a very comprehensive private tour of the museum, all in English!!  
There was English translation of everything written, but having someone there to guide you through and telling you so many interesting things not written down on the information cards made everything so much more fun!  If you can, I suggest going to the museum during the weekdays so that you can take advantage of the possible private tour  ;)

After the tour, we went back outside, took some photos with the 'Emile' bell with a rather gruesome legend/story...

and mosied on along over to have some lunch, traditional style!  It was such an amazing experience that it deserved a post of its own, so that will be coming next!

Our next stop was the Anapji Pond!  It was kind of a summer palace/a playground(?)/park for the royalty, and it's amazing to think that they were able to make such a huge man-made pond and a park two thousand years ago with the limited tools that they had!  The whole park is so beautiful, and it's the perfect place to walk off your lunch!

Another day spent with my favorites!  ;)

We also did some more intensive(?) workouts as well  =p

Our next stop was the Cheonmachong Tomb.
In Silla, the tombs of the kings/queens were made into these giant hills, kind of like pyramids, but with the rock covered by dirt and grass.  There were so many different ones of all shapes and sizes, and they are now all a part of this park we visited.
Isn't it interesting how two different cultures (ancient Egypt and Silla) had similar ideas regarding what would be considered to be a sign of power and wealth in terms of tomb building?

The star of the show was the Cheonmachong Tomb, which got its name from the picture of a flying horse found inside when they first opened up the tomb.  The tomb has been designed since then so that you can walk inside of the tomb and see what the site looked like as they were first digging up the tomb, and includes a display of the different artifacts found inside.  You can't take pictures inside, so you'll just have to go visit and see the artifacts in person!  =)

It was a very pleasant walk around the park, and I think it's definitely worth a visit while you are in GyeongJu!

For us, it was a perfect place to catch up with my cousins, chat, reminisce about our time together as children, and enjoy each other's company while walking through so many relics of the past.
Oh, and of course, we got into some frolicking along the way,, naturally  ;)

I hope you have a wonderful beginning of the week, and thanks for reading!!

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