Apr 292024

Hi, it’s me, the broad who went to Gyeongju, South Korea and acted like she was the first westerner to make contact. Well, just in case you forgot Gyeongju existed, I’m back with more reminders.

I think we last left off on Thursday evening, heading back to the guest house for a reprieve from the rain and also because I ate too much and then had tipped the scale with a cup of hot and rich matcha and then felt like I was going to vomit. Sound about right?

We left the guest room around 5:15 I would say. I really wanted to go to the Woljeonggyo Bridge which is supposed to be even more beautiful at night and Henry said it was walkable, and that we could just cut through that tourist street again on the way. It was still raining, sometimes just a drizzle, other times in buckets, but what can you do!? We certainly weren’t going to sit in the room all night watching TV. I mean, I’m sure Henry and Chooch would have been fine with that since I had been running them ragged since day 1.

Look, it’s that fucking celebrity tree again.

Chooch wanted to stop in this take-out kimbap place. I still wasn’t hungry after gorging on lunch but I can tell you that after smelling this kimbap all evening, I regretted not also getting 2 rolls and MAYBE sharing with Henry, ugh.

  1. Love that this kimbap place allowed mods;
  2. THAT HANDWRITING!!! I’m obsessed.
  3. The young woman who took Chooch’s order was so friendly. We love Gyeongju.
  4. This was like designer kimbap, you guys.
  5. Burdock is an underrated ingredient. I love that they put it in bibimbap in Korea too – in the States, I don’t think this is a common ingredient but it’s a traditional bibimbap ingredient in the homeland. It’s a root that is good for digestion among other health benefits in case you are wondering and wish for me to be your Google assistant. It’s fine, I need things to do.

I just really liked the look of this kimbap place!

We also bought a box of these amazing butter cookies that had different icing fillings like black sesame, matcha, fig, etc. They were so delicious and I miss them. (*Goes to see if they can be shipped to the US*)

I loved the horror movie look of this place.

Cats! Us! Rain!

I loved this walk. The further out of the tourist street we got, the better the sights became.

Eventually, we ran into Gyochon Hanok Village!

Honestly, I think the rain worked to our advantage because this is definitely the type of place that draws large crowds. And aside from some frantic Chinese man looking for lost people from his group, we barely ran into anyone else in this area.

So I was able to pose like an asshole in privacy. LUCKY YOU.

Then, random tea house!! There was a sign outside that advertised BINGSU and Henry and I were like *heavy panting* because we always have room for bingsu.

We were the only people in the tea house. An old woman came out from the back and fussed over us, made sure we had a table, etc. We were just happy to be sitting somewhere dry and warm!

You guys – they didn’t have bingsu. SUMMER MENU ONLY! So I got black sesame porridge instead. Henry got sikkhye (sweet rice punch – it’s so delicious and I had regertz that I didn’t also order it). Chooch got his schisandra tea that he was obsessed with. Of all the things.


Maybe Dunkin’ will get a schisandra refresher. LOL.


Meanwhile, Chooch was like, “I can bear it no longer, I must eat kimbap” and dug into the box. I was like, “Yo, that might be uncouth, bringing outside food into a tea house?!” and also, he got the spicy version so it was pretty stenchy. Every time the tea house halmeoni would come back from her secret room, Chooch would shove the kimbap box onto the empty seat at our table, and then right before we left, we saw that it had stained part of the seat cushion!!! I was so mad at him! He was like, “I didn’t do that! That’s not from me!” but then he flipped the cushion over in shame and I hope he thinks about what he did for the rest of his life!!!

The Woljeonggyo Bridge!!! Finally!! Chooch and I walked out onto the stepping stones on the Namcheon Stream to take this and it was harrowing because the rain was coming down hard. I was so scared, and the water was rushing loudly past us! Henry has video, and it’s part of the compilation I made for this day SO CHECK THE END OF THIS POST FOR THAT, OK. No, you seriously should because there’s a lot of stuff from this day!

HIGHLY recommend coming here at night. The hype is real. This whole-ass area was ethereal. Otherworldly. Surreal. It felt like being transported back into another time and I’ll tell you that the lack of crowds really leant to that sensation. God, this was one of the biggest highlights of the trip for me. I really loved Gyeongju, even though it rained all day on our first day.

It didn’t change the fact that we were in such a magical place full of insane history.

That rock says Gyeongju Gyochon Village.

Inside the bridge!

Chooch took a series of HENRY IN MOTION shots when I demanded that Henry come over and get a picture with me. God forbid Henry has to have his photo taken with his WIFE. Ugh!

You can imagine how crowded this place would be on a day with better weather!

View from the bridge.

말뚝박기! It’s like a leapfrog / piledriving type of childrens game in Korea. It looks….a lot wronger than it actually is, lol.

Cats! That orange one wanted to kill Chooch.

Photo cred: Chooch

Hanok are so beautiful.

Cafe time!! EYST 1779 Henry got a BEER. I got just coffee. Chooch got some fancy fruit ade. It came with cheeseballs!

Still working on that kimbap.

There was an American (Canadian?) family sitting behind us – I couldn’t see them but Chooch said it looked like the mom was Korean and they were here with Korean family. When one of the Korean family members asked the kids what their favorite thing was so far in Korea, one of them quickly said, “Salt bread” and I couldn’t hate on that. Because, salt bread.

Back in the tumuli zone!

My favorite part of the night was when Henry thought that we were done after the cafe, that we were going to walk back to the guest house. I mean, technically we walked back in that direction, but the other thing that I wanted to see at night…..

….in addition to the burial mounds….

….which looked so eerie and cinematic at night in the rain….

…I mean, just look….

…was this old ass observatory! Cheomseongdae!

Constructed during the reign of Queen Seondeok (r. 632-647), the observatory consists of 365 stones, each one symbolizing the number of days in a year. It’s billed as the oldest standing observatory in Asia, POSSIBLY THE WORLD.

Again, yes it was annoying being out in the rain but this was worth seeing at night. And again, the rain kept the crowds away!

And then we walked back to the guest house, taking some of the alleyways off of the popular Hwangridan Gil. I just thought this was pretty.

Chooch got mad because he took a picture of this first and then I had to take one after him.

This was probably an accident but I’m keeping it because I’m almost positive Henry was pissed off about something – pick something, anything – at this point, LOLOLOL.

This was some statue on the street by our guest house.

Say it don't spray it.

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