May 062024

Back with more Gyeongju action!

We left Gyeongju World around 12:30 after successfully accomplishing everything there that we wanted. This left a lot of time open for us to do some last minute stuff back in the tumuli section of Gyeongju!

But first, it was time to eat! I had seen Slap Pizza on an earlier stroll through the neighborhood and since we hadn’t had Korean pizza yet, it seemed like the perfect time to gorge on some pizza with un-American toppings.

We sat upstairs and I had a nice view of the burial mounds and hanok roofs! Henry had to sit by him lol:

He looks like he’s super mad about it but I think he was actually about to sneeze or something. In any case, he was being annoying. He was so mad because he got a BEER and then didn’t have a bottle opener so he had to go back downstairs and ask for one, but the guy was like IT IS UPSTAIRS, IDIOT WIGOOK. So he came back upstairs, found the bottle opener, and then for absolutely NO REASON thought the buzzer was going off (it wasn’t?!?!) and took it BACK DOWNSTAIRS to get the pizza?!


But if you’re one of those Henry Apologists and want to take his word for it, he said that the guy said he must have “accidentally set it off.”


Because that buzzer was NOT going off!

And when it DID go off 10 minutes later, it was so loud and nearly vibrated itself right off our table, so Chooch cried, “THAT is what it’s supposed to sound like!!” And Henry was all, “DON’T START WITH ME BOY” except that he would never.


My only complaint was that we didn’t realize how small the pizza was going to be in relation to the cost!! It was pretty expensive, like $20 for that and we each got two tiny baby slices. I could have eaten a whole one of these on my own, and then probably would have cried about it in a locked bathroom later.

I really loved the aesthetic here, and the pizza was delicious (though unsatisfying) and I covet the blue chairs.


Chooch, Practically a Full Blown Man, was still hungry after this so he got a traditional Gyeongju sipwon cheese bread! I guess this craze started in Gyeongju but now you can get sipwon bbang in other cities too (we saw it in Jeonju and Seoul).

Of course he wouldn’t let me try it.


And since Henry had food now, he couldn’t go into the actual tumuli park with us, and if you could believe it – we actually hadn’t been IN the park yet this whole time we were there! You can enter the park itself for free (sans food, possibly also sans drink I can’t remember) but there is a ticket needed if you want to tour one of the tombs. We didn’t have much time left so we’re saving that for next time!

But would you look at that cloud!? It looks like a fluffy UFO hovering over a burial mound!

Chooch dressed in burial mound green that day.

Yes, this is a tourist hot spot but man it sure felt peaceful in its own way.

It was really nice to walk around here with just Chooch, talking shit on Henry hahahah.

I definitely posted about this previously but this spot is soooo popular. I mean, I can’t blame people for lining up for a snap here, because it’s incredibly beautiful. But….standing in line for a picture isn’t for me….

…unless there’s a kpop idol at the end of the line.

After this, we needed coffee and a treat in a bad way, and Henry had to go and find a post office to mail our postcards, so Chooch and I ducked into this LOVELY cafe that was near our guest house. Tuulip?? I can’t believe I can’t remember.

Anyway, I was happy to get to order in Korean. Chooch got a strawberry tiramisu and I got a delicious, rich sweet potato pudding. Ugh, it was really delicious.

We had a buzzer thing, but before it went off, an older woman who came in after us and was sitting at a nearby table got up and went to the counter. The way she was talking to the barista made me think that she was a regular. But then she brought our drinks and desserts over to us! I think she might have been the owner. She was sitting with a laptop and seemed to be doing work things. Anyway, I can’t explain it, but it was just really nice that she brought it over to us before our buzzer going off!

Then Henry came back and ruined the party. He had to also get a drink but he barked his order in barbaric English, so embarrassing.

After this, Chooch went back to the guest house to mooch off their power supply and charge his phone while Henry and I went BACK to the tourist road because there was a really modern and dare I say HIP makgeolli shop and I wanted to get a bottle of cherry makgeolli to take home. So we did that and then I was like, “WAIT CAN WE PLEASE KEEP WALKING I DON’T WANT TO LEAVE YET” so Henry was like Jesus Christ, FINE.

And thank god because we ended up stumbling upon the best thing ever (no, not Frozen Bride – I just took this because it looked cute!)….

This tiny shop selling Gyeongju cheery soju!!!

And there was a cute shop dog!

The one thing I can tell you with absolute certainty is that I am oh so sorry that we only purchased one bottle because this shit is GOOD. I am actually sad about it. Henry is too. Regertz all around.

Had to get some last tumuli shots!

Oh speaking of this spot, that morning when Henry and I were walking by ourselves, we saw a dead duck on the path! I have never seen a dead duck before and it made me sad. Luckily, someone had removed the poor thing before we came back later with Chooch because he probably would have been even more upset than me.


Anyway, now it was time to officially get our shit out of the guest house lobby (shout out to that guy – probably the owner) who let our backpacks and souvenirs squat there all day, and then also our son later in the afternoon lol). Well actually I retract my shout out because Henry showed him his phone and asked if that was the correct address for the Gyeongju KTX station and the guy said yes, but then our Kakao Taxi driver (LOVED HIM) took us to some abandoned train station and he was so confused as to why we wanted to go there. Henry kept saying “Gyeongju KTX” and the guy saying “Gyeongju KTX eopseo” (There is no Gyeongju KTX here, basically) and thankfully since he was speaking super informally since we were just foreigners, I was able to understand and answer him and we had a very basic, monosyllabic conversation which resulted in him understanding where we needed to go and thankfully driving like a maniac to get us there since he had already taken us the clear opposite direction. I was actually clenched in the backseat, thinking FOR SURE that we were going to miss our train, and for the first time ever, I actually opened Naver Maps to follow along to see what our ETA was.

Every once in a while, the driver would laugh quietly to himself, and mumble, “KTX, ha! Eopseoyo.” Then he would laugh again and shake his head, like, “These crazy Americans and their shenanigans!” And that was making me giggle quietly to myself too. He was a real character! Definitely a SOLID memory from Gyeongju. Also, I’m pretty sure Henry typed in “Gyeongju train station” not KTX, I wish he had shown me. But he was so mad that the guest house guy was like, “Yeah sure thumbs up brother.”

Anyway, the Kakao taxi driver was a hero and got us to the train station with less than 10 minutes to spare, just enough time for me to run to the bathroom (my period had started that morning, UGH) and for Henry and Chooch to run to the convenience store.

Honestly, I wrote in my journal, slept, and read for the whole train ride back. The only notable moment was when Henry got up to use the bathroom at one point and everyone stared at him because he’s a fool, so that was embarrassing, and Chooch sat next to the cutest college kid who was doing chemistry work on his laptop. Every once in a while, I would see him glance over at what Chooch was doing on his laptop, and it was precious. I wanted them to be friends. :/

OK, enjoy the video compilation of our last day in Gyeongju, featuring Gyeongju World, Henry being an idiot at Slap Pizza, Tumuli Park, the views out of the taxi window before we knew we were going to the wrong place. It ends with Seoul Station.

Guys, my final plea: if you find yourself in South Korea one day, get down to Gyeongju. It’s only about a 3-hour train ride from Seoul. It’s worth it. This city is a gem. (AND GET THAT CHERRY SOJU IF IT’S IN SEASON!!!)

Say it don't spray it.

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