Saturday, January 4, 2014

Gyeongju/Busan, Part 2 of 2 - 4/6/12

After our delightful lunch, one of Mr. Ma's employees became our driver/guide for the afternoon. Our first stop was the Toham Mountain Bulguksa Temple, the most famous temple in Korea, according to our guide (who asked me to give him an American name; his Korean name sounded closest to Sean to my ears, so Sean he became).
It's a huge complex with many structures and an imposing entrance.
One of the pavilions contains a stone garden that is routinely modified & photographed by tourists.
At this point, our guide turned us in another direction because he didn't want to run into a group of Japanese tourists. Yes, they all hate each ~ Koreans, Japanese, & Chinese ~ and we discovered that with each country we visited.
It was time to move on to our next destination, Shilla Millennium Park. It's described as a historic experience amusement park and is especially noted for being the location where a well-known Korean television drama (Queen Seondeok) was shot.
It was very lightly attended at this time of year so we had no trouble with crowds. We were first greeted by this row of warriors, each one an animal of the Chinese Zodiac.
  Another area was filled with these cool, stone sculptures.
There are replicas of old buildings everywhere but we were making our way to the arena for the martial arts and horsemanship exhibition.
The exhibition was very entertaining and the skills of these people were most impressive.

  Here is a short video of some of the action.

After the show, we walked back through more stone figures and an interesting character in a waterfall.
Our last stop was at the Gyeongju National Museum, which contains a fascinating collection of ancient relics and artifacts.
Outside, the Divine Bell of King Seongdeok can be found.
It was time to catch the train back, and after saying goodbye to Mr. & Mrs. Ma and Sean, Alex, Roy, & I made our way to our track, and to Seoul.

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