Tuesday, October 04, 2005


This weekend I went to Gyeongju, the former capital of the Silla dynasty. It was a 5 hour bus trip south of Seoul and we left early Saturday morning. We unpacked at the hostel (which was the most beautiful hostel I've ever stayed at...I'll post pictures from the trip soon) and then went out to see Seokgulam Gratto and then to Bulguksa Temple. It looked very mystical with the clouds hanging so low in the mountains where the temples were. That night after dinner we played a Korean drinking game called "kong kong chil (007 ) Bang" which was lots of fun... I'll have to bring that one back to Kansas next time I'm there.
On Saturday we went to Namsan mountain for a 3 hour hike. Koreans are very enthusiastic about hiking and go crazy with their hiking gear; they all have high tech hiking poles, shoes, backpacks, gloves and many of them tuck their pants into these horrid Christmas-patterned leg warmers...? It does go both ways though-- I was going down by myself and a group of Koreans were passing by me going up, one of them said something and they all turned around, looked at my feet and started laughing hysterically. I'm not fluent yet, but my guess is they said something like, "Look at that stupid foriegner girl wearing sandals on a mountain! What an amatuer. Now everyone point and laugh!". They are hiking sandals and they worked just fine.
Anyways, that night we went to some festival which ended up being 10 minutes of fireworks and a bunch of very young kids driving motorized child-size cars and bikes around. We had a group of 10 that went to dinner at a Korean restaurant for bibimbap and then we found a huge dance club with only about 5 Koreans in it. We danced with them for awhile--it was fun, we were dancing on tables and had a train of us going all over the empty club (shockingly, everyone in our group was still sober at this point).
The next day we hiked up Mt. Juwangsan which is a couple hours from Gyeongju. It was a pretty easy hike with lots of great scenery, 3 waterfalls, temples and at the bottom many Koreans selling fresh vegetables. After that hike we ate bibimbap at a restaurant at the bottom of the mountain. It was really good with lots of fresh vegetables and a spicy tofu soup.
On the bus ride home we watched 2 Korean movies. Tae Guk Gi is a very famous Korean movie about two brothers who were forced to fight in the Korean war. If you want to read more about it on Amazon click here: