Sunday, May 7, 2006

Buddha's Birthday

A day of decent weather and a national holiday allowed me to escape to Gyeongju, the ancient capital of the Silla dynasty. Kind of like the Kyoto of Korea, but not quite as nice. There are a lot of sites in and around town, and I managed to make it to a couple of them. Fortunately, it's pretty close to Pohang, so I'll be able to return relativelt easily. Sadly though, I did not receive any presents on Buddha's Birthday (Number 2550, for those keeping track). Neither did I see any fat men dressed up in costumes, nor dead molting trees. Although they hung up a lot of paper lanterns.

First up are the burial mounds. They're about 1500 years old, and contain the tombs of the ancient leaders. This double mound holds a king and queen.

Next is Anapji Pond, which was the site of a palace back in the 7th century. These buildings are of course reconstructions. The original structure was much more expansive.

A crowd gathers at Bulguksa Temple to watch Korean women, dressed in traditional Korean clothes, sing American pop songs.

Paper lanterns fill the air.

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