Hwaseong Fortress

Hwaseong Fortress - UNESCO World Heritage Site

From the World Heritage inscription for the Hwaseong Fortress: Hwaseong is a piled-stone and brick fortress of the Joseon Dynasty that surrounds the center of Suwon City, of Gyeonggi-do Province. It was built in the late 18th century by King Jeongjo for defensive purposes, to form a new political basis and to house the remains …

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Jongmyo Shrine

Jongmyo Shrine - UNESCO World Heritage Site, South Korea

From the World Heritage inscription for the Jongmyo Shrine: Jongmyo is a shrine housing the spirit tablets of the former kings and queens of the Joseon Dynasty. The shrine is a symbolic structure that conveys the legitimacy of the royal family, where the king visited regularly to participate in the ancestral rites to wish for …

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Changdeokgung Palace Complex

Changdeok Palace - UNESCO World Heritage Site

From the World Heritage inscription for the Changdeokgung Palace Complex: In the early 15th century, Emperor T’aejong ordered the construction of a new palace at an auspicious site. A Bureau of Palace Construction was set up to create the complex, consisting of a number of official and residential buildings set in a garden that was …

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Seokguram Grotto and Bulguksa Temple

Seokguram Grotto and Bulguksa Temple - UNESCO World Heritage Site

From the World Heritage inscription for Seokguram Grotto and Bulguksa Temple: Established in the 8th century on the slopes of Mount T’oham, the Seokguram Grotto contains a monumental statue of the Buddha looking at the sea in the bhumisparsha mudra position. With the surrounding portrayals of gods, Bodhisattvas, and disciples, all realistically and delicately sculpted …

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Gyeongju Historic Area

Gyeongju Historic Area - UNESCO World Heritage Site

From the World Heritage inscription for the Gyeongju Historic Area: The Gyeongju Historic Areas contain a remarkable concentration of outstanding examples of Korean Buddhist art, in the form of sculptures, reliefs, pagodas, and the remains of temples and palaces from the flowering, in particular between the 7th and 10th centuries, of this form of unique …

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The Big Mac(Donald’s) Update

Since I last did a McDonald’s update, I’ve gained a lot of readers. For those who are new, I try to eat at a McDonald’s restaurant in every country I visit. McDonald’s in every country are just a little bit different as they adjust the menu to fit local tastes. Eating at McDonald’s is an …

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Goodbye, Farewell, Amen

Tomorrow I’m off to Hong Kong in the morning. My stay in South Korea wasn’t all I had hoped due to the weather. I still have a lot of things I’d like to come back and see some day. Today I was supposed to go to the DMZ. The tour group I was with drove …

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C-C-Cold Man

I’m freezing my ass off here in Korea. It got down into the lower twenties today (about -4 to -5 C). Thankfully, the place I’m staying is literally a block away from two of the places in Seoul I wanted to visit. My “cold weather clothes” consists of a t-shirt, a long sleeve t-shirt, a …

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Off to Gyeongju

After resting in Busan for two days, I’m off to Gyeongju. Gyeongju is a historic down in Korea and has two World Heritage Sites. I’ve been staying at Zen Backpackers in Busan, which is different than most places I’ve stayed in that it is an apartment on the 29th floor of a high rise building. …

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