For our last ACCE field trip, we travelled to Gyeongju City, ancient capital of the Silla kingdom. And with such rich historical value, it is no wonder that the Bulguksa Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site!
Again, I'm not going to list down the history of the temple, but just keep in mind that its grounds were huge with an air of serenity and had very pretty landscaping.
Being a Buddhist temple, there were plenty of customs and structures that the Chinese could identify with. Just wondering, would the gods hear you if you said your prayers in Mandarin?
There was this area were many mini stone towers were constructed. Legend has it goes that the higher you stack, the more likely your wish will come true. But beware, if it topples in the process you will suffer bad luck for god-knows-how-long. Thankfully, my tower (left, 2nd picture) was as steady as I had left it.
Lush greenery on frozen lakes. Told you it was pretty already.
Before we head for lunch, we made a pit stop at a local souvenir shop. Too touristy for my taste, but what interested me was this row of bungalows opposite the road beside a lake. The Koreans told us that during summer, these houses are rented out to students for drinking parties, completed with barbecues and dips in the lake. I almost felt sad thinking of our chalets.
And then our tour bus stopped in the middle of nowhere (to me, at least) for lunch! We were told that this tiny restaurant was popular for their traditional spread of vegetarian food. My stomach groaned a little at the word "vegetarian" but oh well, why not?
I don't usually describe food as pretty, but the word aptly says what they served here!
The colourful, chewy rice cakes had vegetables encased into them, while the wobbly rice pudding was appetising with a splash of their red bean paste. Both are firsts for me!
Nothing better than a hot pot of Kimchi Soup in the cold weather, while the Lotus Leaf Rice bore much resemblance to the Chinese version, albeit lighter and more earthy-tasting.
Dessert was a simple affair of fresh fruits and Green Tea Red Bean Cake, though we were a little puzzled about why crunchy garlic toasts were served last. Made really good snacks though.
If Singapore had a restaurant located in such wilderness, it would just die out within a week (with Sunset Grill being an exception, I think). But the business here was certainly more than brisk. Food over location!