This past weekend I had the chance to visit Gyeongju which is located about 40 minutes North of Ulsan. Gyeongju is rich in history and even richer in beautiful scenery. However, it wasn’t always known as Gyeongju. Its early name was Saro which was the capitial of Silla, an ancient kingdom from 1st century BCE to 10th century CE. While most of the kingdom has been destroyed from war three structures and the artificial lake that was created still stand as beautiful ruins. Our next stop was to the tombs that were left preserving the royals. Korea has only excavated one tomb, Cheonmachong, and decided that they found enough artifacts that there was no need to ruin the others. Cheonmachong is not famous for the person who was buried there, in fact they have no clue who it is, but rather for the flying horse drawn onto a horse’s blanket. This symbol can be found all over the city from shop windows to billboards. Our last stop was to the water wheel that is deemed the founding place of tourism in Korea. After the water wheel was built next to a lake stores and hotels started moving in and tourism boomed.
Gyeongju is also known for having a wonderful cherry blossom festival but sadly the trees there hadn’t bloomed yet, but lucky for me because the ones in Ulsan are in full bloom and just as pretty as ever! The Cherry Blossom trees only bloom for two weeks during the whole year and bring beauty to everything around them. Most cities will hold a festival commemorating this time. As much as I could describe to you the trees I believe that pictures will do them more justice than I could!
Until the next post!!