Last week my husband had a business trip to South Korea, and he invited me to go along. From Tokyo to South Korea — we flew into Busan — is just a short two-hour flight! His meeting was in the resort city of Gyeongju, not far inland on the southeastern coast. The photo above was the view from our hotel window the first night, looking out over Lake Bumon. Gyeongju is surrounded by low mountains and is very lush and green this time of year. The lake has a walking path all around the 6 km perimeter.It was such a beautiful path, I walked (or ran) around it every day I was there.
I called it my “Zen Walk” because every other street lamp along this beautiful path had a speaker playing relaxing music — all the way around the lake! The music played from 7 am to 10 pm… we could hear it from our hotel room when we opened the balcony doors. Nice!
Since my husband was there on business, and I didn’t have transportation, I spent the week just wandering around the lake resort area. There are many historical sites around Gyeongju, but they are quite a ways away from the area where we were staying. He will be having more meetings in Gyeongju in the coming months, so I am sure I will see the historical sites later.
And the food! Korean food is wonderful… if you have never tried it. The first night we took a taxi to a traditional Korean “hot pot” restaurant and had sundubu — a tofu hot pot dish made with freshly made tofu. They have many meat dishes and fish available as well. We liked this restaurant so much, that we went back again later in the week. They start out bringing lots of small dishes — we had a whole grilled fish (delicious, even though it was staring blindly up at me as I ate it), several kinds of kimchi, and other vegetable dishes. Then they brought the hot pot. We tried the seafood hot pot as well. They brought it boiling to the table and cracked a raw egg into it. You stir in the egg, and eat the stew with rice. Yum.
This is a bronze sculpture of Queen Seondeok at a council meeting during the Silla Dynasty. This sculpture sits along the lakeside and is lit at night. they have created a very inviting “photo zone” around the sculpture…
Our last night in South Korea, we went back to Busan so that we could be close to the airport for our flight out the next day. Busan is a much larger city than Gyeongju, and is built in the valleys between the mountains. It is the second largest city in South Korea.
Street food vendors set up their carts in the little side streets around the hotel. Great food… and lots of beer and soju!
And the beautiful lights of Busan at night…