Gyeongju travelogue-King Munmu’s tomb.

출처 지혜's 여행창고 | 지혜

Gyeongju travelogue for 3days and 2nights

Trip schedule: 26~28, Oct, 2011

Tour course

-First day: Gyeongju express terminal- Silla millennium park -Gameunsa Temple-Yigyeondae-Underwater Tomb of King Munmu
-Second day: Underwater Tomb of King Munmu- golgulsa- Gyeongju guest house-Gyeongju downtown bike tour(Bunhwangsa – Hwangryongsa District - Wolseong district- Cheomseongdae - Ohreung - Guilin - daereungwon - Anapji)
-Third day: Seokguram- Bulguksa 

Begin the new day in the bright sunlight shed around King Munmu’s tomb.

As saying goes, penny wise and pound foolish. I got a cheap room to save some money and there was a draft in the room. I failed to get to sleep from standing in the cold the night before. The alarm that was set last night is ringing. Before getting to sleep, I searched the time of sunrise and set the alarm accordingly, but I turned off the alarm as soon as it goes off and I’m still dawdling under a blanket. I’m asking a question to my sister coming back from the bathroom.

“Has the sun risen?”

 I hoped she would say that it is still in dead dark but her answer falls short of my expectation.

“Yes, I think so. It’s bright.”

I jumped to my feet, put on a hooded jumper and went out to the beach with my camera. Fortunately, the sun hasn’t risen yet but a red glow was slowly coming up from the horizon in the distance. As I heard, many photographers come here to see the sunrise but today only around 10 were there. Well, anyway, cold weather made my whole body shivering and it was inconvenient not to have a tripod. Whenever I am packing for a trip, I wonder whether to take the tripod. This time also, I went through the same process and, as always, didn’t take. Most of the pictures that I took before and after the sunrise were not satisfactory. 

While I was shivering with cold gazing at the horizon, I envied people who were waiting in their cars with their installed tripods. It was mysterious that I was enduring the cold that I hate  so much. At the time, just as I was starting to feel worn out, a streak of light rose above the horizon. Sunrays came out between clouds, and eventually sun came up. However, clouds hanging low over the sea spoiled the scene.   

Even though the sun rise had not been up to my expectation, the water fog around the tomb was magnificent. Marvelously, seagulls flew up at the same time as the sun rose and hovered around it. The gulls seemed to be guarding it and the roar of the waves made me sense the King’s dignity defending the country like a dragon. 

It only took short time for the sun to rise but within that short time, the scene had changed. That’s why I couldn’t leave in spite of the cold weather. If I could have seen more and clearly, it would have been better but light coming out between the water fog and cloud seem like a gift from nature. It was the first sunrise for my sister and it impressed her deeply. Her first sunrise was splendid, so normal sunrise would be difficult to satisfy her from now on. 

After sunrise, we came back to our lodgings and wrapped ourselves in blankets. We went out again at 9:20. We got out of bed earlier than usual so it made us hungry but there was no place to eat. We took the road to get out of there and saw a flock of seagulls near the seashore.  

I have a bird phobia so I used to run away in a hurry as soon as I saw a bird but this time, I mustered up the courage to approach them. I slowly approached them in one step, two steps then suddenly one of them spread one’s wings so I had to quickly run away. Expectably, birds are scary. It always seems that birds will fly toward me to peck me with their beaks. 

Unlike me, a street vendor, a woman who starts each new day with seagulls was beautiful indeed. The woman who went out early in the morning to make money started her day feeding a flock of seagulls. I was watching her from a distance but I seemed to hear her voice saying something like, “This is your reward because you escorted Munmu the great well today.”

“You will be blessed, may the grace of the King Munmu be with you.”

Underwater Tomb of King Munmu 

Historic site No. 158(Address: Gyeongbuk Gyeongju-si Yangbuk-myeon

This little rocky islet about 36km away from downtown is the underwater Tomb of King Mummu, who unified the three kingdoms and became the 30th ruler of Silla Kingdom. The king gave specific instructions to be buried in the East Sea after his death so that he would become a dragon and protect Silla from Japanese intruders. The remains of King Munmu’s cremated body were buried under this rock. The rocky island was divided by a cross-shaped waterway, forming a pool at the center, and made a tomb by putting granite at the bottom of it. It would be better to look at the surroundings of historic sites such as Gameun temple and Yigyeondae.

Directions: From Gyeongju Intercity Bus Terminal, take city bus # 150(via Express terminal/Bomun tourist complex) and get off at the Underwater tomb of King Munmu (40 min interval / 50 min ride). 


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