May 022024

Me again, the President of the Gyeongju Tourism Board. In today’s travel pamphlet that has been unfolded before you with such thoughtful consideration, let’s talk about what we did in the morning before setting off for our Gyeongju World do-over.

First of all, I believe I already posted a shorty about this, but Henry and I woke up early that Friday in an effort to see some of the mounds and attempt to get a picture with that rando’ celebrity tree. You can read the details of that here because I might get angry if I retell that part of that day.

THAT TREE, plus me squinting because “early in the morning” meant “sun in the eyes” and – spoiler alert – I hadn’t bought my Gentle Monster sunglasses yet :/

We kept walking around because it was such a beautiful morning with hardly anyone out yet. Except for where spring blossoms were concerned, it really felt like we had the whole area to ourselves.

Wow, I’m so presh.

But the burial mounds, you guys. The burial mounds. FYI there’s fine for climbing them so behave and be respectful!

Also, my new thing is turning away from the camera to spare you the full onslaught of my forced smile.

That sign translates to “golden road” in case you were wondering. And the crown is a depiction of the Crown of Silla, which was uncovered in one of the tumuli (burial mound) and is on display in the local museum there in case you are a royal accoutrement buff and ancient crowns tick your box. The coffee cup I bought the day before from the nice man at the shop near our guest house has a Silla crown design all around it in gold – I love it so much. In fact, hold please, I’m going to make some of my cherry blossom Osulloc Tea to drink out of it!

OK I’m back Tea Club Members!

Imagine living here! Right across from burial mounds! The houses were so beautiful – a lot of the were hanok stays and guest houses, I’m sure.

The amount of fighting that happened behind the scenes while Henry was taking pictures of me, you guys. He was legit the worst Instagram Boyfriend and is somehow an even WORSER Instagram Husband. Honestly.

This was my “point and shoot” over the tumuli wall result.

Back to the guest house to collect Chooch and check out – we were at least able to leave all of our stuff there so we didn’t have to lug shopping bags and backpacks to Gyeongju World, which was nice!

This was a nice little place and I would stay there again unless I get my way and we book a traditional hanok stay instead! (This is to say: I will be returning to Gyeongju World. There are several reasons that I haven’t gotten around to yet, so rest assured this city has a place in my heart now.)

We walked about 20 minutes to a more downtown-ish area where we had planned to have breakfast at a place called TAK! which is DANISH for “thank you” and features Scandinavian breakfast items and I thought it would be wild to revisit the breakfasts we miss so much from our Coaster Crew vacation, but in KOREA.

Anyway, they were supposed to be open at 9 but apparently THAT DAY they decided to change their opening hours from 9 to 10 so they were not open when we got there. Since we wanted to be at Gyeongju World when they opened at 10, waiting around wasn’t really an option, so we went to Compose Coffee instead which was on the same block. It’s a South Korean chain so it wasn’t my first choice, or second or third, but we needed to get caffeine and food and this was convenient. (And, because it’s a Korean chain, GOOD.)

More and more Korean cafes have self-ordering kiosks now and most of them have English options, so especially in smaller cities further out from Seoul, this is soooo convenient for foreign tourists! I’m decent-ish at ordering food/coffee so I could have winged it but it was nice to be able to take our time and peruse the menu on the screen.

I don’t remember seeing Compose Coffee the last times we were in Korea, but a quick googlin’ session tells me that it originated in Busan in 2014 and has recently seen a rapid growth so maybe they didn’t have any/many locations in Seoul in 2018 and 2019. If we saw any when we were in Busan, I just don’t remember. But this place was really delightful and I can see why it’s become one of the most popular cafe chains in Korea. I would definitely go back!

I mean, Taehyung from BTS endorses it so I’m sure they’re hurting for business. I guess I will still include it in my tourist pamphlet.

Right after this, we used Kakao Taxi for the first time rather than take the bus to Gyeongju World again. Kakao Taxi wasn’t a thing yet during our last visit, but we definitely recommend this! Super tourist/foreigner friendly – like Uber, you put the address in the app when requesting a ride so you don’t have to fumble with trying to show the address in Korean to the driver, etc. We ended up using this three times while in Korea and all three times we had super intense ahjussi drivers wearing driving gloves. An experience!

Anyway, it was only about a 10-15 ride to Gyeongju World from downtown Gyeongju and I was SO STOKED to ride our first roller coasters of 2024!

….which we will talk about in the next post haha. 2 more Gyeongju posts and then we will be back in Seoul!

Say it don't spray it.

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