If I can go to Korea, what I want to do there? I often ask myself. Once I see a lot about Korea through drama, sitcom and film, heard happy Korean pop songs (e.g Gangnam Style), also read a lot about tourist destinations in Korea, I come to a conclusion. There are so many beautiful places, so many things I want to see, so many foods I want to eat, so many things I want to buy (and so many handsome actors I want to meet *blushing*). But most of all, I like to explore Gyeongju by cycling in Korea!. That’s my number one priority. I really want to visit BULGUKSA TEMPLE! My dear God, Father, Mother, Holy Ghost, all my ancients, and Kim Hyung Joong oppa, and Lee Min Hoo too! Please help me, I really want to go to Korea! Yes Korea, the land of the morning calm! In the name of all holy things, good and pure in this world, for the good of my soul at a later date, please answer my pray!
Before I tell you all my readers, the reasons why I do want explore Gyeongju above shopping and eating, I want to tell you this blog post is intended to participate in Asian On Air Program created by Korean Tourism Organization and Korean Air. By join the contest (by blog photo content or video content), we’ll gonna have chance to enjoy the beautiful scenery, unique taste, dynamic culture, including K-Pop, in Korea for FREE. Is that very great? The links of the details could be found in the bottom of this blog post. Okay, let’s continue…
And here is my story and plan. Why cycling? Is that a plain and simple thing to do? Yes indeed, but cycling in Korea would be extraordinary. Because, I want to cycling in the ancient city part of Gyeongju. Gyeongju was the capital of the Silla Kingdom for a thousands year. So, it is very very great, right? Moreover, cycling is one of the greenest and cheapest methods of travel. Get on your bike and reap the environmental and health benefits of cycling, and for the best part, in Gyeongju you can also take a lots of incredible pictures of many historical sites and by then also get fresh air by cycling around. Get multiple benefit by rejuvenate our body and soul, from getting fresh air and from seeing the beautiful scenery around there.
First by cycling in Gyeongju, I would like to go and enjoy specialties in Ssambap Alley, which is located close to Daereung-won Tumuli Park and Cheomseongdae Observatory. Ssambab is soft rice and eaten with sauce wrapped by different kinds of vegetables and lettuce. Also enjoy the banchan, various kinds of side dish, as a supplementary food Ssambab. It is important, I need energy to cycling around, so I put eating as the first thing to do in order. Tumuli park (known as Daereungwon in Korean) has more than 20 large and small tombs from the Silla period and has been designated Historic site #175. The tombs are presumed to be those of kings and court officials. The dimensions of the tombs vary with heights range from less than 1 meter to 23 meters. Most of them are earthen and mound-shaped. Very exhilarate to see there by cycling around.
Now I want to tell you about Gyeongju. What are interesting facts about Gyeongju? Gyeongju was the capital of the Silla Kingdom in the year 57 BC – 935 AD. It is located on the coast of the East Sea in South Korea. The distance is about 370 km from the South Korea capital, Seoul. In the past Silla kingdom standing on the 1st century AD, and Silla was the ruler of almost the entire Korean peninsula. Prosperity and greatness of the kingdom of Silla spread far to another countries, even to Persia, based on the historical record of the 9th century. Gyeongju has the meaning of the word itself literally as “congratulation city”.
For the peace of the kingdom of Silla, King Munmu the Great, king of Silla to the thirty who was born in the year 661 AD, declared to his successor before his death,
Even after death, I will never cease to protect Silla. After I die, burn my body and spread my ashes cremation on a rock in the East Sea so I could thwart the Japanese attack on our country. After my death, I will become a dragon and protection to Silla will never stops.
The place where King Munmu or spread his ashes buried in the East Sea is called the Underwater Tomb of King Munmu. Rocks just off the beach in the fall is very famous for its beauty. Not only the place where King Munmu interred known for beauty, Gyeongju attract a lot of tourists who are interested in Korean history and culture, especially the historical relics of the Silla kingdom, and a beautiful and distinctive architecture of the Joseon Dynasty. Gyeongju National Museum, has recorded a collection of 16,333 artifacts. Gyeongju is a place called ‘Museum without Walls’. So many historic relics there spreading all over the city.
Silla kings burial ancient form of Tumuli Park, tombs shaped hillock overgrown grass .From Daerung-won we could come to Cheongseongdae Observatory, an observation tower built in the era star whose reign of Queen Seondeok is between 632 AD to 647 AD, then cycling trip up to Gyerim Forest, an ancient forest with old zelkova trees and willow forest, is known as the Roosters Forest. The ancient forest where a child was found in a gold box and accompanied by a rooster, the child was adopted by the king and given the name Kim Alji , who became the ancestors in Gyeongju, the Kim clan.
Happy cycling continues to Seokbinggo Ice Storage House ice storage building which was established in 1738 in the reign of Joseon Dynasty. Around this palace there Balwolseong Archery Fun activities – we could learn archery with approximately 10 minutes, participants can try their own ten arrows a shot. Further cycling towards Anapji Pond, a very picturesque with buildings and a pond that was built to resemble the sea as though in a limited area. Anapji Pond has made it the object image which is very famous for its incredible beauty.This pool was built in the reign of King Munmu in 632, located at the northeast end of the site Balwolseong palace and in the city of Gyeongju.
Bike adventure continues to the Gyeongju National Museum which is not far from Anapji Pond, as we could took a break and look around. Cycling continues to the famous Hwangnyongsa Temple Site with stories of sacrifice and the place of execution Ichadon, in his attempt for Buddhist to be accepted by the kingdom. The journey continues to Bunhwangsa Temple which was built in the reign of Queen Seondeok, buildings made of andesite stone shaped like a brick, is listed as National Treasure No. 30. After that, a cycling trip ends in the downtown area of Gyeongju.Trips in the afternoon allows attractions can be seen in the beauty of twilight and streetlights installed there.
The route of cycling can be change in order, because many sites located in the same area. Back to the hotel for rest, I would not forget to buy local specialty snacks , ie Hwangnamppang, Gyeongjuppang, or Chalborippang. Hwangnamppang and Gyeongjuppang snack of bread is very interesting because it contains red beans inside, and Chalborippang feels like sponge cake and it would be very soft in the mouth.
In October, Korea would be incredibly astonishingly beautiful by the colour of the autumn. Especially in Bulguksa Temple which is number one the most visit in Gyeongju. Bulguksa is a very very very beautiful place. Many postcards, paintings, and postal stamps are picturing the beauty of Bulguksa. I DO WANT TO GO THERE. Oh, please God be kind and good to me! I would be regret if I have not ever been in Korea for just once before I die, especially in autumn season. And especially in Bulguksa. But honestly, I would like to be there in any kind of seasons, winter, spring, or summer. But autumn will be very very very special for me. I want to go there and see every beauty scenery with my very own eyes!.
Back from Gyeongju, it would be very nice, of course, if I could go shopping and buy some of my favourite cosmetics and do facial treatments in Seoul. I really like the famous Faceshop cosmetics and other Korean cosmetics. I have been using Korean costmetics and has got incredible benefit from them. So if there any CRAZY SALE in Seoul, I want to shop till I drop!. I would like to buy famous BB cream for my beloved friends, and also buy many thing make up for fun and cute things from cosmetics shop. If we get tired after go around for shopping, we could refresh our body and have some indulging treatment in jjimjilbang. A Jjimjilbang (찜질방) is a large, gender-segregated public house, furnished with nice hot tubs, showers, Finnish-style saunas, and massage tables. We could also sleep over there. Most jjimjilbangs are open 24 hours.
Also in Seoul, to satisfy the taste of culinary adventure in Korea, I wanted to visit and taste the various foods on the Gwangjang Market. Meals are plentiful there. Assorted sausages, various snacks, special food. There mungbean tasty pancakes known as bindaetteok, which I am eager to try. From the picture alone I’d imagine the fragrance and flavor. The Gwangjang Market is worth to visit and it was an overwhelming site of gastronomic beauty.
The last but not least, I WANNA DO GANGNAM STYLE IN KOREA WITH OTHERS PARTICIPANTS!. On the street!. That will be great experience!.
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REUTERS / Brendan McDermid