Today after breakfast I had to figure out what to do with myself as I was almost out of places. It was raining, fortunately wasn’t a heavy rain. So I decided to go and visit the Yangdong folk village. It took around 1 hour by bus 203. However the bus only run every hour or so therefore I decided to take the bus 200 until the entrance of the village. The bus 203 takes you right to the village.
Of course typical me, who always has to make some mistake. I got off 1 station before the actual one. I was thinking walking there since it was just 1 station. But the bus left me in the middle of HIGHWAY where cars go with more than 80 km/h. I was freaked out because I couldn’t walk on the highway. Fortunately the bus 700 came so I took it for that 1 station.
Finally I arrived. I walked in and turned out the entrance fee was 4000 won. If I was already there I guess it would make me look stupid if I just turn back. So I paid. In my opinion it was worth it.
The village is full of houses with a thatched or tile roof. The thatched houses are for those who don’t have a lot of money and the tile roof houses are for those who have. The place was in the middle of the mountain made it very beautiful. Maybe I have seen too much of nature so to me it was normal now.
In the village there is a lotus flower garden, the stream and many houses. Some of them are built from long time ago and are only there for a showcase. But in some houses people actually live at. Which was surprising for me.
The village is part of the UNESCO world heritage due to its geomancy, history and the construction of the houses. Tourists come on everyday basis and I wondered how the local handle this. I didn’t talk to any of them but this question really hit me.
The weather started to get humid and it was very boring. I felt hot and sweaty. Moreover my leg still hurt since the day I climbed the mountain, so I couldn’t say I enjoyed walking around too much. Still the village was very interesting. What I wanted to find was Jangseung who is a protector of the villagers. Usually there are a woman and man Jangseung at the entrance of the door but I haven’t seen any yet. I did saw some on the way but they were for decoration instead of for its function.
I spent two hours walking around there and I visited the museum as well. The museum is free of charge. It explained clearly what each house and area of the village meant.
Around 2pm I took the bus to go home. On the way I fell asleep, just usual me. Then getting down I visited a book shop but didn’t buy any. I couldn’t bring more in my bag. I stopped at a restaurant to eat Rice cake soup (ddokguk) and kimbap. It all cost 7500 won which I find quite affordable comparing to what I ate before.
Arriving home I was hit by the fact that I was alone. First time since my travel has started. I suddenly felt so boring and didn’t really know what to do. Not now nor later in the future. Suddenly the feeling of being lost hit me. I didn’t think it carefully and spent too much time in Gyeongju. I think 4 nights is enough for Gyeongju but that 1 night plus made my mood swing. I could have gone to another city to visit as well.
Don’t get me wrong. Gyeongju is beautiful and if you deep yourself into the history it will be all worth it. If the weather wasn’t be this moody and my leg didn’t hurt maybe I would visit a village nearby as well. However I guess the tiredness and the time to reflect came.
So I went down to talk to people. I talked to the girl who travelled the world without speaking any languages and she was the owner of the hostel. We had a conversation in Korean and to my surprise I understood most of the things and I could answer back. One of the traveller made a Mexican food for us which was amazing. I had dinner, drank some beer then at midnight I went to sleep.
20th of July – Rainy day
Today I had a plan to go to the sea (Munmu king underwater tomb), visit the Folk Craft Village and Bomun Lake. But it was raining. All day. It wasn’t just a shower. It was pouring down. So I couldn’t go anywhere. I stayed at home, played card game with the others for a while then I am finishing my blog posts. At least I could spend time to work on my blog for a while.
At around 6pm I went out to eat fried rice with shrimp. The moment I sat in the restaurant eating the rain stopped. I was thinking maybe the God wanted me to have a full stomach and then enjoy the city therefore he had to keep me at the hostel to take a rest and waited until I eat. Whatever the whole day was spent doing nothing interesting, only staying in the hostel and did my blog.
Since I stayed for long time at the hostel they did my laundry which was very convenient. Laundry is probably one of the most important part of backpacking as you don’t want to bring dirty clothes with you in the bag. Much more different than suitcase.
While packing my stuff I also realized I shouldn’t have brought so many clothes as I can do laudry so I used them again. I hope on the way I can throw some of them away. Of course then I have to buy another one which is money. The dilemma is real.
Today ended up with nothing interesting. Tomorrow I was leaving for Seoul.
21th of July – Bye Gyeongju, hello Seoul
Today was another uneventful day. In the morning I had a breakfast and then I said goodbye from the people. I walked to the Express bus terminal of Gyeongju and waited for the bus there to go to Seoul. On the way going the landscape was very exciting and beautiful. Mountain, grass, hanok style house. Gyeongju was impressive because of this characteristics.
It’s historical but if you want to do shopping or go to waterpark there is a way. Near Bomun Lake there is a waterpark and all the fun facilities. Another thing that I found interesting was that the ahjummas (aunties) usually bring their bags on their head. They use one of their hand to hold the bag but instead of carrying it, they put it onto their head. I guess this way the bag is not that heavy.
The road was 3:30 hours long, I slept all the way there. I arrived to Seoul around 5pm. I caught the bus that took me right near to my guesthouse. I booked the same guesthouse as last year because this was the only place where I could get a single room at a cheap price. The same price that I paid for the hostel in Jeju and in Gyeongju.
I got my room which was much better than last year. The design is brighter. The bed linen is white which is even more attractive. I’m ready to stay in bed all day. It was already late so I didn’t want to go anywhere. Moreover every restaurant was almost closed so I went to a grocery store (GS25) and bought a triangle kimbap and green tea ice cream. The triangle kimbap is 1000 won each which is pretty cheap.
I suddenly felt lonely and didn’t really know what to do with myself. After 10 days of living with people around me now suddenly I am alone in the room it felt strange. Moreover I spent almost 16 days living around the nature. Now that I’m in the city again I feel strange. I need more time to get use to it. Now I know how it feels to move from village to city. Not having nature around is like a torture. But I guess I will have to get use to it somehow.
I didn’t do anything during the day. I watched TV as I wanted to see what channels they had. It’s been pretty long time since I last turned the TV on. It was pleasurable to be honest. I didn’t feel like to do anything so I just spent the day in front of the TV and in the bed.
As I have been to Seoul before I’m not going to write you about the city. This time I’m going to spend my days shopping what others asked me to buy and meet my friends.
For more information about Seoul: Travel-> countries -> Asia-> Arriving to Seoul