Getting Out of Seoul to Gyeongju and Yeongdeok
The following is my article on my journey to Gyeongju and Yeongdeok. You can read the rest at the Seoul Tourism Site. The site is one of my paid gigs, so help a brother out and please, please post a comment on their site.
Sometimes you just gotta get away from the maddening energy that is Seoul. Getting away lets you appreciate all that you have. Recently, I had a weekend free and I decided to visit my old haunt, Gyeong Ju and since I was near the East Sea, I decided to see Yeongdeok.
Gyeong Ju is famous for being the birthplace of the Shilla Dynasty- one of the most powerful and longest ruling dynasties in Korean history. The city has a tremendous amount of history and it is a tourism spot for Koreans and foreigners alike.
My first year in Korea, I lived in Gyeong Ju and I developed many close friendships. I really enjoyed the simplicity of this city and the warm-hearted nature of the people. The food is comforting and very fresh. I wouldn’t call Gyeong Ju a food Mecca, but there are quite a few dishes they are famous for. Almost all tourists buy several boxes of hwangnam bang (red bean bread), or chal barley bread (barley pancakes with red bean filling) to take home with him or her. It is also famous for its beef and sambap (a whole grain rice meal served with a plethora of side dishes.)
When I got into the city it was around 10:30 and I knew exactly where I wanted to go: Duriban makchan (두리반막창 054-741-6363). The restaurant is located in Sunggundong, which is the university hangout of Gyeong Ju. The meat is top quality and they have the best twaengjang chiggae. Their soybean stew has the fresh flavor of crab, seafood, and flavorful twaengjang. I met my friend Ji-Kyeong and we caught up on life over a meal of yam yam garmaeggisal (a marinated pork dish).
After dinner, my friend Ji-kyeong and I went to “S- The Inventive Multi-Cultural Space” (주 S-푸드시스템 054-772-7979). I was pleasantly surprised to find something original. This wine restaurant had what looked like brick igloos; a high brick wall enclosed each table. Inside were floor tables and cushions to sit upon. Inside the space Ji-Kyeong and I enjoyed our drinks in perfect privacy.
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