Tuesday, June 19, 2018

UNESCO World Heritage: Gyeongju Historic Areas

The Gyeongju Historic Areas, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a group of five areas in Gyeongju:

Mount Namsan Belt
As the name suggests, this area is on and immediately around a mountain called Namsan. It includes ruins of 122 temples, 53 stone statues, 64 pagodas and 16 stone lanterns. The Namsan Mountain Fortress, Poseokjeong Pavilion site, and Seochulji Pond are also within this area.

Wolseong Belt
The palace site of Wolseong is an expansive area which includes the Gyerim Forest, Imhaejeon Palace and Anapji Pond, and the Cheomseongdae Observatory.

 Gyerim Forest

Imhaejeon Palace site and Anapji Pond

Cheomseongdae Observatory

Tumuli Park Belt
The Tumuli Park Belt includes three groups of Royal Tombs. Most of the tombs are mounds, like small hills, but some are half-moon or gourd-shaped. The tombs contain (aside from coffins) gold, glass, and ceramics.

Royal tombs

More royal tombs

Hwangnyongsa Belt
This includes two Buddhist temples: Bunhwangsa Temple (whatever is left of it) and Hwangnyongsa Temple site. Hwangnyongsa was the largest temple ever built in Korea.

Sanseong Fortress Belt
This area includes the Myeonghwal Sanseong Fortress.

These areas are huge and I was only able to visit some of the sites included in the Wolseong Belt and Tumuli Park Belt.




South Korea Spring 2018
Jeju Accommodation: Sum Guesthouse Jeju Airport
Traveling Around Jeju by Bus
Checking out Cafes in Jeju
Jeju: Location, Location, Location (for a Photoshoot)
Jeju Eats
History and Nature in East Jeju
UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Jeju
Hiking Hallasan via Yeongsil and Eorimok Trails
Daegu International Airport to Gyeongju
Gyeongju Accommodation: Chacharang Guesthouse
UNESCO World Heritage: Gyeongju Historic Areas (you're here!)
(more soon)

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Gyeongju Accommodation: Chacharang Guesthouse

Why bother staying a night in Gyeongju? Gyeongju is a very historic city with many UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as Bulguksa TempleSeokguram Grotto, Gyeongju Yangdong Village, and Gyeongju Historic Areas. Some sites that are included in the Gyeongju Historic Areas are walking distance from the city center (Royal Tombs, Imhaejeon Palace Site & Anapji Pond, Cheomseongdae Astronomical Observatory, Gyerim Forest, Banwolseong, etc) and other World Heritage Sites are a short bus ride away (Bulguksa Temple, Seokguram Grotto, Gyeongju Yandong Village, etc). For history buffs, a night in Gyeongju would not be enough.

Photo from booking.com

And the best location to stay, in my opinion, would be near the sites and near the bus terminal. So, you know, I could just walk to the sites and to/from the bus terminal when I arrive/leave.

Chacharang Guesthouse is just a 10-minute walk from the Intercity and Express Bus Terminals. It is right next to the Royal Tombs park. Plus there are nearby bus stops (for city buses).

I arrived at Chacharang Guesthouse in the morning, hours before check in time, but the kind, elderly owner immediately let me check in. The guesthouse had many rooms: 6-bed dorms (all-female/all-male) and private rooms (for two, four, and five persons). I stayed in a 6-bed dorm. There were lockers in the room, one for each bed. A bath towel the size of a hand-towel was provided for each guest. The bunk beds didn't have a curtain, nightlight, and dedicated power outlets. But I did see four power outlets in the room. Each room had its own private toilet and shower. Shampoo, soap, and toothpaste were also available.


 6-bed dorm

Ensuite toilet and shower

Breakfast of toast, jam, eggs (cook your own), coffee, and tea is available from 830am to 1030am at the dining area on the ground floor. (But when I went down at 730am, the owner was already up and the food was available.)

I guess it was lean season—I only saw two other guests: my roommates who arrived later that night. And, maybe because we were only three guests, most of the lights in the hall and in the reception and dining areas were turned off and these areas were too cold.

On a positive note, the owner was very kind and helpful. He searched for the bus schedule for Yangdong Historic Village when I couldn't find the info. And he also allowed me to leave my luggage at the reception after I checked out and while I visited Yangdong in the morning.

Price:
Dorm beds start at 18,000 won.
Private rooms start at 70,000 won.
Book Chacharang Guesthouse through booking.com



South Korea Spring 2018
Jeju Accommodation: Sum Guesthouse Jeju Airport
Traveling Around Jeju by Bus
Checking out Cafes in Jeju
Jeju: Location, Location, Location (for a Photoshoot)
Jeju Eats
History and Nature in East Jeju
UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Jeju
Hiking Hallasan via Yeongsil and Eorimok Trails
Daegu International Airport to Gyeongju
Gyeongju Accommodation: Chacharang Guesthouse (you're here!)
UNESCO World Heritage: Gyeongju Historic Areas
(more soon)

Friday, June 15, 2018

Daegu International Airport to Gyeongju

Did you know there is a direct flight from Cebu to Daegu via T'way Air? I discovered it while I was searching for flights from Jeju to Daegu, which I saw was the nearest airport to Gyeongju, the city I was planning to visit after my five days in Jeju Island. I can't tell you what to see and do in Daegu as I was only passing through.

How did I get from Daegu International Airport to Gyeongju? From the airport, I had to go to the Daegu Complex Transit Center to take a bus to Gyeongju. Daegu Complex Transit Center is where one can take a bus to other provinces in the country. The Transit Center is also connected to Dong Daegu Station where one can take the KTX (Korea's high speed train) to Seoul, Busan, and others, or take the subway to other points in Daegu City.

From Daegu International Airport, go to 대구국제공항건너 Daegu International Airport bus stop across Gonhang-ro (the main road right outside the airport) and take either bus 101 or 401 to 동대구역지하도1 Dongdaegu Station Underpass 1 bus stop. The fare is 1250 won, payable in cash or transportation card (such as T-money).

Across 동대구역지하도1 Dongdaegu Station Underpass 1 bus stop is Dong Daegu Station. Go through Dong Daegu Station and exit on the opposite end, right across will be Daegu Complex Transit Center. Bus tickets can be bought at the third floor. The bus departure bays are on the third and fourth floors. Buses for Seoul, Gyeonggi, Chungcheong, and Jeolla are on the third floor. Buses for Gyeongsang are on the fourth floor. The Transit Center also has convenience stores, restaurants, Shinsegae Department Store, and Alive Aquarium Daegu.

I bought a bus ticket to Gyeongju for 4900 won. The bus ride would take 50 minutes.



South Korea Spring 2018
Jeju Accommodation: Sum Guesthouse Jeju Airport
Traveling Around Jeju by Bus
Checking out Cafes in Jeju
Jeju: Location, Location, Location (for a Photoshoot)
Jeju Eats
History and Nature in East Jeju
UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Jeju
Hiking Hallasan via Yeongsil and Eorimok Trails
Daegu International Airport to Gyeongju (you're here!)
Gyeongju Accommodation: Chacharang Guesthouse
UNESCO World Heritage: Gyeongju Historic Areas
(more soon)