Gyeongju: Anapji in the Summer


Anapji was a beautiful royal palace that was build on a man made pond. The palace location and pond construction was focused on highlighting the beauty and order of the natural world.gyeongju-176

Sadly, most Korean historical sites have been destroyed; the reconstructions are still very impressive though.  In present day Anapji there are only three standing structures.  If you look to the green lawns you can see and imagine where other buildings used to be.
gyeongju-181 The pond has a few islands that make this palace a very picturesque location.  gyeongju-180

There is also a path that reaches behind tho pond and into a more secluded area.  Anapji is a very relaxing place to visit; Koreans also say that it is a very nice place for couples to visit.gyeongju-179

The structures are wonderfully rebuilt;  I would love to see more of Anapji restored sometime in the future. Looking at most of the rebuilt historical sites in Korea, most people wouldn’t know that these places had been burnt and destroyed through years of war. gyeongju-178The fish in the pond add to the element of natural beauty.
gyeongju-177

 

I have mentioned before that Anapji is one of my favorite places in Gyeongju.  It is beautiful, relaxing, and the entrance price is very inexpensive.  Anapji is also open at night with lights that illuminate the pond and the buildings.

Relaxing Pond


 

There is a medium sized pond located near Anapji and Wolseong that is a great place for a walk in the summer time.
gyeongju-172

 

As you can imagine, this pond would be of little interest while the flowers are not blooming.  I can attest to this since I have been here in the summer and in the winter; the lotus were dead and the brown stalks were frozen in the water during my winter visit.gyeongju-173During the summer these flowers are gorgeous and plentiful!gyeongju-175 There are many paths leading through the pond that are ideal for a beautiful walk.gyeongju-174Since this pond is near Anapji (one of my favorite places in Gyeongju) it is not out of the way, and it is certainly worth even just a brief walk through in the spring or summertime.

 

Shilla Tombs Near Wolseong


 

These tombs are located adjacent to Cheomseongdae slightly north of Wolseong.  During the summer these mounds of earth and stone are covered with the most beautiful green grass.  In the winter, however, the mounds look very desolate as the grass takes a dead brownish hue.  I believe that the tomb to the far right is that of King Naemul of the Shilla kingdom.gyeongju-168

These tombs often appear perfectly round; the grass makes them look as soft as a pillow. Sometimes there are trees growing from the top or sides of the tombs. gyeongju-169

 

This park is a gorgeous place to be in the summer time, and it is free to enter! gyeongju-171

 

 

Gyeongju: Cheomseongdae (첨성대)


Cheomseongdae (첨성대) is the name of an ancient astronomical observatory that is located just north of wolseong park.  It was built in the 7th century during the Shilla kingdom (Gyeongju was the capitol of Shilla).gyeongju-165The structure is about 5 meters wide and 9 meters tall.  About half way up the observatory is an opening which could be used to get to the the top.  I believe a wooden ladder was used to reach the opening.

gyeongju-166

I am not at all sure how this observatory was used, but it is known as the oldest extant astronomical observatory in East Asia.  It is also a very iconic image in South Korea, especially in Gyeongju.

Little Octopus: A Tasty Dish


About 8 months ago I had this dish for the very first time in Gyeongju.  It is a little bit spicy, but absolutely delicious! In fact, as I am sitting here writing about it, I find my mouth watering and my stomach hungering for it.  As with many Korean dishes, once you are almost finished you have the option of turning it into a rice dish.  The server comes over, takes the remainder of the meal, adds rice, and fries it for you.  gyeongju-164

Even if you are not especially fond of seafood, this is a great dish to try!

Lunar New Year


Today is the the Lunar New Year! The Lunar New Year is traditionally celebrated in several Asian countries such as Korea and China.  This is a time for ancestral rites and being with family.  

Korean’s also celebrate the Gregorian New Year on January 1st, but there are no traditional ties to that holiday.  There are several types of food that are eaten especially on the Lunar New Year, and most people travel across the country to be with their families.