Historic Gyeongju

Published on 8 April 2023 at 12:35

The Golden City, Gyeongju, is a UNESCO-designated city and one of the most popular destinations in South Korea. We spent the weekend exploring the city seeing ancient structures, burial mounds, and temples. As my daughter says, "in Korea we eat, walk, eat, walk..." My version is eat, recycle, walk, repeat. I so enjoyed eating different foods, was impressed by all things being reused or recycled, and loved being outdoors and walking everywhere!

On our walk to get coffee at the hanok style Starbucks we passed a beautiful field of wild yellow canola flowers. The bagel shop overlooking the field didn't open until 11:00 AM, which is the case for many businesses, so we would come back later. Starbucks was open, and we enjoyed hot coffee and tea sitting on the floor and relaxing. 

Back at the bagel shop for breakfast, we stood in a very long line of people, some with their pets. The shop was as popular for taking photos as it was for food. 

After breakfast we walked through the streets to take photos and buy souvenirs. We walked up to lunchtime, and ate our beef and pork dishes with rice, slaw, soup and sides. My favorite side is kimchi and I looked for it at every meal. Yum!

Next we walked through the Daereungwon Tomb Complex and visited the Tomb of King Michu, who ruled from 262-284.  These huge burial mounds are filled with many members of royalty and treasures buried with them. It made me think of the Pyramids in Egypt, only these were huge mounds that are well preserved and protected. 

Dinner was next on the agenda and several places we tried were closing, so we found one restaurant that would serve us. We shared a delicious bulgogi meal with side dishes and beer before we were off for more walking and exploring. I do love watching the meal cook over the flame at our table, and using leafy vegetables to wrap our meat. Everything just tastes so hot, fresh, and flavorful!

We caught a taxi and just made it to the third historic site on our list, the Donggung Palace and Wolji Pond at night. The colors, lights, and reflections were so very beautiful that photos couldn't do them justice. But we tried!

We ended the evening back at Starbucks for super large hot beverages before a very chilly walk to the hanok!