Saturday, October 02, 2010

Gyeongju part 1

For summer vacation I decided I should try to see more of Korea while I'm still here. After the mud festival we headed down to Gyeongju. Gyeongju was capital of Korea, during the Silla Kingdom in the 7th to 9th centuries. Though a lot has been destroyed, there is still much to see. The most prominent being the tombs that are scattered within and around the city. Some are small, but some are quite large. According to a poster near the tombs, Tumuli numbers 90-114, and 151-155 (numbered during Japanese occupation) are earthen mounds. Larger ones have wooden chambers covered in stone and then earth while smaller tombs don't have mounds. One of the tombs that has been excavated, the Cheonmachong, (Heavenly Horse Tomb, named after ) is open to the public. The parks containing the tombs are quite large. Near the tombs there is a small forest. Inside used to be Banwolseong (Castle of the Crescent Moon). The only thing left is the Seokbinggo (a stone ice house) which has been rebuilt. Nearby is Cheomseongdae, which is the oldest astrological observatory in East Asia. Across from the main road we went to Anapji pond. It was made in 674 by King Munmu. The buildings burnt down in 935. The pond and 3 of the buildings were repaired and rebuilt in 1975 and many relics were found buried in the pond. From there we headed over to the Gyeongju National Museum. I love museums. I hated studying modern history in high school but I do love ancient and archaeological history.I think I started to make Zak crazy as every time I saw lotus flower pondseverywhere (lotus crops?) I would have to stop to take pictures. ESPECIALLY when a crane (the national animal of Korea) landed in one.Once back in the downtown area it was already well past lunch time and we were starving. We found an excessively cute (just my style) sandwich shop just off the main shopping street. It wasn't too expensive and the food and drinks were great. :) Definitely a possibility for another lunch. For dinner we found a nice little (sort of) Italian restaurant (also excessively cutesy) near the main shopping street near our hotel. Not too bad. The food was good but the house wine was one that I would probably use in cooking rather than drinking if I ever opened it at home.

1 comment:

Eva said...

Hi Laura!

I got your e-mail address from my father, who works with your father! I tried sending an e-mail to you but am getting notifications that it's delayed so I looked up your blogspot and couldn't find a contact link on here... so here I am leaving the below as a comment!

He said you have been teaching in Korea for 10 years? I am looking to teach in either Korea or China but am a bit worried about the legitimacy of the recruitment agencies. I initially was interested to only teach in China because I have been learning Mandarin, but the system in Korea appears to be less dodgy in general so I have been looking at positions there as well. Although you teach in Korea, do you know anything about teaching in China?

I have been contacted by several recruitment agencies and have gotten back to those who have good, up-to-date websites and who just in general seem legitimate. However, I was wondering if you might be able to give me some advice on particular schools or agencies I should pursue? Those I have been in touch with so far are: English World Recruiting Agency, Korean Horizons, ESL World and Planet People Co. This evening I spoke on the phone with a British man working with Korean Horizons.

Where in the country do you teach? I have been telling the recruiters I am interested in Seoul or Incheon, or one of the surrounding, medium-sized cities. I am definitely an urbanite, so although countryside positions pay more, I am looking for something in a medium to large sized city. I know Seoul can be quite congested though, so for the surrounding cities I am interested if they are commutable to Seoul and have their own centres for social life (not just suburbia).

I do not have a TESOL teaching certificate, but most of the positions do not require it and I have a Masters so that puts me at teaching level 2. I am most interested to teach university students, but teaching children is fine too. I also would like to teach in what is most similar to regular business hours; nothing beginning late morning or early afternoon which would go until mid-late evening.

If you have the time to get back to me about all of this, that would be most greatly appreciated! I am currently gathering all of my paperwork and would be able to get to Asia to teach in May at the earliest (sooner for China because they don't require all of the paperwork such as police check, notarized copy of degree from the consulate, etc., -with the Korean consulate in Vancouver and not in Alberta that will probably slow things down as well).

You can e-mail me back at evac94@gmail.con or just respond on here, whatever is easiest!

Eva :)