This was my second time in Gyeongju area - the first time, we visited Gyeongju with my mum. This visit was actually connected to a small road trip we did with Anette and our friends from the lab before our conference in Busan and my flight back to Europe. We started in Pohang, where the parents of one of the girls live, and then moved to a hotel at the Bomun Lake Resort. Even when we stayed at the hotel, her father insisted on driving us around and organizing the sightseeing tours - we were really grateful to him, but also felt bad for him spending so much time helping us!
Our first stop was Bulguksa, this time in late, sunlit afternoon.
At night, we went on a long stroll around the Bomun lake with me permanently lagging behind in order to take photos. After walking kilometers around the lake, we walked an equal amount just to find an open convenience store as we were planning to stock up on snacks and drinks for our Go-Stop night and to get some cheap cup noodles for breakfast.
At one point, there was an animated movie being shown above the lake - by projecting light on mist sprayed from a fountain in the lake!
The next night, we went to Gyeongju to the Anapji pond - do you think it's nicer during the day or at night?
It wouldn't be a culinary lab trip without stopping by a popular cafe our friends would research beforehand based on Tasty Road and food blogs - they decided to stop by Venzamas. As you might have noticed, I love modern architecture, so I really enjoyed the set-up and interior design. Seeing the bingsu again makes me crave one really badly...
Then we visited the National Museum, where our friend's father arranged an English tour for just the 3 of us, the tour guide was a retired man who spoke very good English, he must have spent his entire retirement learning and practicing it, and I suppose that might have been one of the reasons why he volunteered for the museum. Or maybe because he enjoyed embarrassing foreign girls by emphasizing all the sexual messages supposedly hidden in the museum objects... The crown will be familiar to all the fans of Queen Seon Deok drama!
And our last stop, the house of Choe family. This family was extremely rich for many generations, while also preserving noble character and not being involved in political scandals. It was supposedly achieved by recognizing their noblesse oblige and living according to 6 rules:
1. Regard yourself as being transcendental, and take a stand of aloofness.
2. Receive other warmheartedly and keep friendly relationships.
3. When there is nothing to do in particular, have a bright mine and get rid of evil thinking.
4. In case of emergency, be brave and face it. In dealing with a difficult task, show some courage.
5. If goals are achieved, don't be too proud of your own ability. Despite being successful, don't be showy, but remain modest.
6. Even in the face of failure or frustration, remain calm.
This could be easily published today among all the advice targeted to graduating millennials, young executives and aspiring company founders too, huh?