Tuesday, 15 April 2014
Day 252 - Hiking and the Market in Gyeongju
I took the bus in the morning to the nearby mountain and go hiking for the day. It was a sunny day but not too hot, so ideal for hiking and for visiting Bulguksa and Seokguram temples.
Rather than starting by visiting Bulguksa temple first, like everyone else, I decided to go hiking to the top first. The walk was very nice and the cherry blossoms made for great views and provided a lot of colour.
Around halfway up to the peak, I figured I take a break from hiking and visit the Seokguram temple but this was quite a disappointment and not really worth the entrance money. It is just a small cave with a Buddha statue but it's under renovation and you're behind glass quite far from the statue itself. It was overall not really worth the visit.
On the way back down from the peak, I ran into a nice group of Koreans who were hiking and just stopped for a pick nick where they invited me to join. Despite them only speaking limited English, we had a nice time with nice food and some soju they brought along. It was a great experience and I always enjoy meeting locals.
Bulguksa Temple was quite nice and the grounds nice to walk around but it was also mostly under renovation so right now probably not really worth a visit.
Heading back to Gyeongju, I went to visit the market near the train station and take some photos. Markets are great and this was no exception, despite it being late in the day and most stalls closed already.
I have now seen markets in different countries and it was quite an experience to see a market in South Korea where everything is clean, orderly and nicely packaged. This compared with the more messy and chaotic markets in Myanmar for example is quite a difference.
The evening was spent having a beer with a friend I met from the hotel I stay at. This was also my last full day in Gyeongju and I'll be heading to Busan tomorrow.