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Gyeongju – Friday

I’d spent the previous three days seeing the sights of Gyeongju (and Busan) and I was nearly done with the enterprise. There were just two priorities left.

After another pleasantly greasy breakfast of fried bread, fried eggs and not-fried jam, I got a taxi to the railway station to deposit the larger of my two bags in a locker. The locker cost ₩1,000 in ₩100 coins. Then I got another taxi to Gyeongju National Museum.

The museum is close to the Anapji Pond that I’d visited on Tuesday, but when I finished at the pond I was ready for a break so I went no further. Today I did. Half of the main hall of the museum (which, along with the other buildings on the site, is built to resemble traditional Korean architecture) was covered in scaffolding.

In the grounds were a bell, various pieces of statuary and masonry, and replicas of the Seokgatap and Dabotap from Bulguksa Temple. I was pleased about this latter item, as the real thing had been covered up when I went there on Wednesday. At least I could now get an impression of its size and proportions.

Dabotap Replica

The first hall I went in was the Anapji Hall. It contained a number of artefacts from the Anapji Pond – and information about them in English. Which was nice.

Then I had a look in the Art Hall. Then I looked round a special exhibition of Buddhist art – the vast majority of this was figures of Buddha, some of them fantastically beautiful.

Amitabha Buddha

Finally I walked round the main hall. This started with some prehistoric art (including ‘man with emphasized genital’), but mainly featured artefacts from the Silla kingdom. Gyeongju is, after all, the historical capital of Silla, the first millenium kingdom that was one of the Three Kingdoms of Korean history (along with Baekje and Goguryeo). Again, some of the pieces on display were wonderful – especially the golden jewellery, crowns and accessories.

Crown and Pendants

Burial Urn

Once done at the museum I walked back, past Anapji, to the souvenir shops by the Daeneungwon tombs entrance. There I carried out my last task: the purchasing of mementos and gifts. I bought a load of cute little pigs for my colleagues. (I had nine of them along with other things. When I asked the man at the counter if he could give me a discount he made a skeptical face, so I thought he wouldn’t. He started wrapping my things up – then he said, ‘Eight pigs?’ And I said, ‘Yes.’ Then he let me have two more for free.) I bought myself a nice turtle (possibly made of jade, or something more quartz-like), and a few small things for Habiba.

Octopus

And then I was pretty much done in Gyeongju. I headed over to the market to take a few last photos (including some of octopus arseholes). I had a nice but pricy pizza at Pizza Hut and paid my last visit to Le Tango Du Chat, where I’m writing this. And I can’t tell you any more, because then I would be writing about things that haven’t yet happened. So I’m going to stop writing.

Now.

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Categories: Travel
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