We’re in Gyeongju, along with Seoul and Jeju Island, the most visited places in South Korea. And it’s easy to see why. For a thousand years – from 71 BC to 935 AD this was the hot spot of culture, wealth, and power in Korea. The Silla Kings ruled this land – built amazing places, participated in riotous drinking parties – and converted all of South Korea to Buddhism. The resulting flowering of art, music, culture, and design was considered to be outstanding. Unfortunately – only bits and pieces survive to this day.
We cheated and joined a ‘City Bus’ tour of the highlights – primarily the Tumuli Mound Tombs, the Bulguk-sa Buddhist Temple, and to me the absolute highlight – the Seokguram temple in a grotto. Along with at least a thousand school children – all of whom want to say hello to us – we climbed steps, admired the exquisite landscapes, and felt the power of the Buddha in the grotto.
We lucked out at the Paris Baguette – and snagged a bag of 1/2 price day old goodies for lunch, but the highlight of our stay here has been the dinners.
First up was a Ramen Noodle restaurant. Now don’t go all – instant noodle on me – these were fresh noodles in a wonderful broth served with rice, Kimchi (of course), pickles (of course), and a slice of pork belly. In the soup in addition to the noodles was a soft-boiled egg, vegetables, and soy beans. It was awesome. To go with it – we had an order of potato fritters – man do these guys know fritters. These were made with mashed potatoes inside, then dredged in egg and a batter mixture and deep-fried. Oh were they good.
2nd night – we ate at student hangout – cheap prices (Just $6), and absolutely no English. Our meal consisted of two ‘Schnitzel’ Korean Style. Flattened pieces of chicken that were combined with mashed potatoes, then dredged in a yummy batter before again being deep-fried. Unlimited – help yourself – quantities of Kimchi, pickles, rice, and sauce were provided. We watched Korean Baseball – I think the good guys lost, cheered with the crowd – and headed home full.
Tonight we tried a Japanese restaurant – and ordered the best Fish and Chips (but no chips) I’ve ever ever had. We also had a pork Schnitzel – also good – but not quite as amazing as the fish. Again – more kimchi, more pickles, more rice – and lots of sauce.
I have to admit – I’m going to have trouble finding restaurants this consistently excellent at this price range in Montreal.
Signing off (and too full to move)
The Soup Lady and the Intrepid Traveller
So enjoying your trip! It’s not possible for me right now to be on any trips so I am thoroughly enjoying yours vicariously! 😀
Great articles/Thanks for sending them /Patti
Thanks for the support! Glad to hear you are enjoying them.
I should not have read this so close to dinnertime! I will have a hard time matching my own food to these delicious descriptions.
Ah so… Actually – we had the yummiest dinner night before last – best in Korea yet. I’m going to have write it up – but I’m seriously backed up with blogs to do… So much fun, so little time to write. Hence getting up at 6:00 am – and that’s my time. Or this time. Or some time….
Thanks for commenting – and thanks for reading! Leslie