Scott's Round the World Tour travel blog

Bus ride from Pusan Airport to Gyeong-ju -- skyscrapers whereever they can...

More skyscrapers in unlikely places....

Bus ride from Pusan Airport to Gyeong-ju -- greenhouses were a common...

Yup, another construction shot...I think this was a bridge pier pour

There was a lot of agricultural use of land, everywhere. The terracing...

Beautiful mountains, reminded me of the green mountains in Hawaii...but MUCH colder!

Tombs placard...the Koreans use mounds of earth versus pyramids like Egyptians

Cheon Ma Tomb...this was the only 'excavated' tomb available for viewing...but no...

A graveyard of royalty

This tomb had three boys 'sledding' down its side on cardboard boxes...

Cheomseongadae - old astrological observatory tower...not very tall

Cheomseongadae - here though, I was the main attraction for the kids...Peter...

Swastikas are better known around the world for peace and/or place of...

This village was recently excavated and reproduced...this priest (?) was walking around...

Close up of ceiling detail on previous picture

This pond was excavated by archaeologists too...manmade back in the day...amazing...look at...

After late afternoon sightseeing the sun started to set...perfect...

Another gorgeous shot with the royal cemetary in the foreground...

Sarangchae - my bed for a night -- this was the typical...

Another typical street...looks like someone could jump out at any moment and...

Welcome to my home - this is what foreign travel is all...

My bathroom - shower, sink and toilet

This was the Sa Rang Chae standard issue towel...

Dinner, Korean style, with 'Chew-won' - all good!

Me laying in bed in Sa Rang Chae


It is 6:30 pm and I just finished a walk around the neighborhood of the place I am staying at tonite here in Gyeong-ju. It is in a neighborhood which I don't think many single women I know would walk into alone. Luckily I came here in the daylight, because I think that walking these streets at night will be a bit scary. This is what I pictured a third world country to be like....at least this particular neighborhood.

In my walking tour this afternoon, I came across lots of schoolkids that were touring the tombs too. As soon as they saw an American walking around one said "hello" then another then another. Then they say "nice to meet you" as these seem to be the key phrases they must learn in school.

This afternoon I went to Tumuli Park, Cheomseongdae Observatory, and Imhaejeonji. Like the pyramids of the Egyptians, the Koreans built mounds of rock, lined with dirt and then seeded. They are far smaller than the pyramids, but the concept is similar I guess. There was one tomb of a king that they had excavated a tunnel into and had installed a perpendicular piece of glass in it so that the viewers could see what they were made of. This particular one sat about 45' high or so and had a diameter of I'd guess 200'. When inside it looked as if they buried the king in the ground, then put rocks over him about 1' in diameter, and then put earthen fill above that. Like other cultures, they buried jewels and other valuables with him.

The Imhaejeonji was pretty neat. It was built around 600 AD and was only recently found. Seems as if in the 70s some folks went out on the presumption that the village was there...dug it up, and then restored what they could. The old village built a manmade pond and an entire village around it.

I came back from my frosty tour and met the owner and another guest here in the house. The guest, I learned, is a teacher an hour or so away. She teaches Korean to high schoolers. She and I had a very tough time communicating, but we made it ok. She was waiting and waiting for her friend to arrive from out of town, but it never happened so I asked her, thru the owner/interpreter (who barely knows english himself) if she'd like to go to dinner. She said yes so off we went. The first restaurant we got to was about 3 studios where you sit on the floor at a table 18" off the ground. The food comes to you from another building and they walk it across the dirt courtyard. It looked like some of the food was being boiled in a pot out on the dirt! We couldn't eat there because it was full! So, we went to another place which was the same except that instead of having a dirt common area, they had their's covered with concrete. Same deal, you sat in a little building with 3 tables which you had to sit Indian style, or however you can, and then they bring you the food. It was good...we had a whole bunch of things that I can't name because "Chew-won" and I only share about 25 words between the two of us in Korean and Japanese - this phrase book sucks! I need a better one for SE Asia! I would say that we had seaweed, water kim chee, green beans with spicy stuff, tofu soup, and rice. It was good, but I was hoping to have some Korean bbq baby! Maybe in next couple days.

What an experience that was, here I am all alone in Korea living in this neighborhood that is a little scary...not speaking a lick of Korean. I meet this woman at the guesthouse, ask her to dinner thru an interpreter who knows English only to the 3rd week of 1st grade, have dinner composed of foods I don't know, and find out that we must bring pancakes back to her boyfriend which is waiting back in the guesthouse for her. And, they are staying at the neighboring room, so I'm bound to get my butt kicked tonite in a deep sleep from him...she did say his name was "Lanyon" and when I met him he didn't seem like he wanted to kick my ass, but I know I wouldn't be happy. She scurried him out in a hurry from this little room I'm in typing this entry.

Tonite I sleep on an andol. Yes, you Korean linguists, that is a padded quilt on a heated floor. Nope, no Western bed for this guy. Give me the floor and heat it up! My shower is my bathroom and the sign says all paper products should not be put in the toilet. Geez, that's gotta do wonders for the fragrance of my room.

Attached to this entry are some pics of the ride from Pusan to Gyeong-ju too...it's too much work to get them back to the previous entry!!



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