We gave up, we tried to be strong but at the end we succumbed to the temptation of a juicy Mcdonalds hamburger. At least I got to try the McBulgogi, not as good as my favorite quarter pounder, but its always good to try the specific item that McDonalds offer in every country.
We arrived at Gyeongju by bus from Busan (1 hr) and walked to our second love motel of Korea which included a strobe lit bathtub with a very loud engine that some would say may take away some of the romance.
The first thing we noticed is that the city is filled with Korean bakeries and coffee shops but no restaurants. Of course we had to try the specialty pastry which came in two different forms both of which are in the pictures below, and are pancakes filled with red bean paste.
We started our city sightseeing by visiting the Daereungwon Tomb Complex, which is like a cemetery for most of the kings of the Silla Dynasty. Silla was one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, and one of the world’s longest sustained dynasties in the world. The Silla dynasty unified the 3 kingdoms and was the most scientific and artistic oriented of them. The little hills you see in the pictures, are actually tombs (like the Egyptian pyramids).
We got to go inside the Cheonmachong tomb, the only one open to visitors.
After this morbid experience, we walked around this lovely city, everything is authentic looking, even the gas stations have the Korean roofs.
We walked towards the main attractions, but got lost in this neighborhood that was stuck in time, we were definitely the only tourist around there and got some funny looks. The street names are a very modern thing in Korea, houses usually have 2 addresses and people usually use the old one. That makes it almost impossible, but super fun and confusing for us to navigate these streets.
We found this little empty temple around this neighborhood with an awesome ying yang door.
Our next stop was the oldest astrological observatory in the Asia, the Cheomseongdae Observatory. It lacks the “wow” factor now, but it shows how the Silla dynasty was focused in science in technology as early as the 5th century.
We continued our walk until we reached the Anapji Pond Temple, this was basically the city downtown many centuries ago until the Mongols destroyed it when they invaded Korea. They showed us a great animation video of how the city looked, but these were the only buildings left today.
We were tired so we headed back for dinner and sleep, but not before reaching the great Rape Flower garden, I don’t know what we were expecting to see there honestly, and still don’t know if that was a typo.
The whole city if full of this purple cauliflower looking plants, the only plants with color during winter here.
For dinner Sarah decided to eat Korean sushi roll, but Eitan decided to stick to his favorite, the American classic McDonalds.
Bonus pic: Korean money!! named “WON”. It is about 1100 Wons for $1 dollar.