We had a three day weekend at the beginning of October and I was honestly at a loss for what to do to spend it. In fact, when I woke up on Friday morning, I wanted to do absolutely and completely nothing.
However, I did promise my friend Jen that I would meet her and the rest of the gang in Gyeongju, a small city less than an hour away from Ulsan. I almost didn’t keep that promise out of sheer laziness, but I am extremely happy that I did.
(나는 왕자, 너난 왕비)
Gyeongju is beautiful. The best way I can really explain it is to show you “Bicycle” by Jung In & Gary (the video has English subtitles):
It isn’t that the city in the video is Gyeongju (that would be Seoul) but the song and the video capture Gyeongju’s vibe so well. It’s this small romantic little city full of tiny moments of absolute perfection.
Gyeongju is the seat of the old Silla kingdom. We’re talking about 500 BC or so. As such, the sights are a little blurrier than Seoul’s palaces. Mayhap we should just be grateful we get to admire them at all, being so old. They’ve got burial mounds of old kings, an old stone Buddha sitting with his entourage, and more rusty brass than you can find use for– it’s charming.
(Duck boats: 이 순간 난 너무 좋아~)
(Burial mounds of old Silla kings)
(Observatory and tourists)
(These were the cutest little magnets! Too bad they were so expensive because I would’ve bought them ALL.)
(The view from Seokguram Grotto. No photos because it’s a holy place.)
The Gyeongju I visited was in the full swing of autumn, cool and vigorously windy. They were flying kites that weekend. I found myself wanting to fly kites for the first time in my life. My friends played tour guide and decided all the things we were going to see so for once I just followed and relaxed. We took pleasant walks, posed with the selca stick, played drinking games I was stupidly bad at (only to get worst the drunker I got) and ate deliciously warm Gyeongju bread (황냠빵).
I loved Gyeongju so much and it is so very close (less than $3USD by train one way!) I went again this past weekend with another group of friends. We climbed up to see the Buddha and climbed back down to see Bulguksa, all the while chatting about the most inconsequential things, just enjoying each other’s company, the scenery and the utterly beautiful weather.
These are the moments that make life life.
Even with all that, I am still not finished with Gyeongju! There’s the traditional village to see and Anapji Pond to see at night. I don’t mind. I can’t wait for my next visit.