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Anapji Pond, Gyeongju

Anapji Pond
(1,200px version here)

About the author: Just the administrator of this humble blog.

  • Sonagi

    Your photo does a nice making a boring place look appealing or maybe the grounds have been spruced up a bit since I was last there about ten years ago.

  • http://www.lostnomad.org/ Nomad

    One question: Any bass in that pond?

  • Sonagi

    I seem to have left out a word from my first post, so I’ll try again:

    Your photo does a nice JOB making a boring place look appealing or maybe the grounds have been spruced up a bit since I was last there about ten years ago.

  • http://www.zenkimchi.com/FoodJournal ZenKimchi

    Really? Anapji was one of my favorite places in Gyeongju. I especially liked the “Mr. Roger’s Palace” model in one of the pavilions.

  • globalvillageidiot

    [DELETED. Reason: Response to off topic commnet.]

    Wish I was chillin’ at that pond right now. Just a sort bike ride from the forest of the Kims, if memory serves. Great photo. The motor show in Ilsan will have to suffice for me this weekend. (Rumor has it there should be some photo worthy material there too.)

    “Korean food causes cancer.”

    We’ll find out at some point, won’t we?

    “Korean air makes you sick.”

    Actually, yes it does these days. I’m sure that minus the pollutants, Korean air would be fine.

    “Korean places are boring.”

    Mostly no. Korea is many things, but seldom is it boring. Certainly not Anapji Pond and most other places in and around Gyeongju. Gyeongju is great, especially in the spring!

    “Korean music is all copied”

    K-Pop, for the most part, is. I think that more traditional stuff like ‘pansori’ (or even ‘trot’) is pretty original.

  • Sonagi

    [DELETED. Reason: Response to off topic comment.]


    ““Korean food causes cancer.”

    We’ll find out at some point, won’t we?”

    Korean food doesn’t cause cancer. Salted, pickled, and cured foods, especially those containing sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite, have been linked with gastrointestinal cancers.

    “Korean air makes you sick.”

    Actually, yes it does these days. I’m sure that minus the pollutants, Korean air would be fine.

    Rural air in Korea is refreshing. It is the air in major cities like Seoul that are polluted and unhealthful. Seoul’s air is especially problematic because the city is located in a bowl surrounded by mountains, so dirty air gets trapped.

    “Korean places are boring.”

    Mostly no. Korea is many things, but seldom is it boring. Certainly not Anapji Pond and most other places in and around Gyeongju. Gyeongju is great, especially in the spring!”

    As I mentioned in the first post, my last visit was TEN YEARS AGO. Gyeongju and the surrounding area are indeed lovely in spring, and I am looking forward to seeing Sanshinseon’s photos.

    The commenter of post #5 appears to be extremely sensitive and overreacting to a few remarks about SPECIFIC things and places in Korea, not Korea in general. Seoul is not all of Korea. Korean food is much more than pickled vegetables and salted fish. Gyeongju has so many more attractions besides Anapji Pond.

  • R. Elgin

    I’m curious where you stayed during your visit to Kyongju Robert. I found that the cheaper hotels were taken over by bus loads of out of control high school and middle school students that would raise hell all night long. The only solution to this problem that I could figure out was to spend the money and stay at the expensive hotels in the area so as to avoid the students.

  • http://www.san-shin.org sanshinseon

    Or, just avoid the downtown, Bulguk-sa and Bomun Lake areas — there are plenty of quiet motels in quiet areas north, south, east and west of the city; tho if you don’t have your own car logistics could be a problem…

    Anapji is really nice, as said, evocative in the right weather and sunlight conditions — but can be seen as “boring” because it’s artificial, kinda “dead” — nothing real or cultural going on there. If they’d hire some pretty young women to dress as Shilla princesses, sit in those pavilions playing gayageum and bamboo flute all day long, and let the tourists lounge around the pavilions on cushions with cups of rice-wine, and enforce quietness on all visiting children, it would be a far better tourist-site, might attract many. Especially if they had it open in the evenings with those features; just imagine sitting there in a silk robe with your Shilla-ceramic-cup in hand, as the gentle music plays and one girl dances, watching the full moon rise…!

  • Sonagi

    ‘tho if you don’t have your own car logistics could be a problem…”

    I solved the problem by hitching a ride on a tour bus the first time I went and taking city buses on subsequent visits. You can also rent bicycles somewhere in town.

  • R. Elgin

    . . . If they’d hire some pretty young women to dress as Shilla princesses, sit in those pavilions playing gayageum and bamboo flute all day long, and let the tourists lounge around the pavilions on cushions with cups of rice-wine, and enforce quietness on all visiting children, it would be a far better tourist-site, might attract many. Especially if they had it open in the evenings with those features; just imagine sitting there in a silk robe with your Shilla-ceramic-cup in hand, as the gentle music plays and one girl dances, watching the full moon rise…!

    You know, you have a good point since that sort of sensibility would make Kyongju more of a real attraction other than what it is now. They would have to keep out the mobs of students that flow through the place by the bus-loads too but then that would mean the local officials would have to get serious about it all.

  • http://21cseonbi.blogspot.com sewing

    I thought I’d seen everything in Gyeongju, but how did I miss something as big as Anapji Pond? I thought it was something that had only existed during the Shilla era, for some strange reason. Thank you for giving me something new to see the next time I’m there!

  • http://21cseonbi.blogspot.com sewing

    Sanshinseon wrote:

    “If they’d hire some pretty young women to dress as Shilla princesses, sit in those pavilions playing gayageum and bamboo flute all day long, … watching the full moon rise…!

    Sounds like the enraptured protagonist of the song Sillaui Dalbam.

  • http://www.san-shin.org sanshinseon

    > I thought I’d seen everything in Gyeongju

    Mah man, you can’t NEVER see all that is of interest in Gyeongju — unless maybe you spend your whole life there — i don’t think even ol’ Ed Adams got to the end of it… I keep trying, but.

    Just a few years ago i discovered Wonwon-saji, an important site but i’d overlooked, never even noticed it on a map…

  • R. Elgin

    (from the web description)

    Gyeongju Wonwonsaji

    Historic Site No. 46
    Location : 2-1, Mohwa-ri, Oedong-eup, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do

    This place is the temple site where Wonwonsa temple was built by General Kim Yu-shin and others to protect the country. The temple is believed to have been built between the 8th century and the 9th. Here remain a stone lantern, a stone trough, the golden house site, and a lecture hall site. There remain 4 stupas which appear to have been erected during the Goryeo period.

  • http://www.san-shin.org sanshinseon

    Well, that’s a dumb description, you can see what i mean about the inadequacy of info on these sites — two of those “4 stupas” are pagodas (the other two are /budo/) and one has the /ship-iji/ [12 animals of Oriental Zodiac] carved on its base, extremely rare, one of the half-dozen or so ancient such cases in the nation… I think it’s probably 9th-Cen, not Goryeo — IMHO.

  • http://21cseonbi.blogspot.com sewing

    There’s a tomb southeast of Bulguksa that has various exotic statues lions, monkeys, and/or the like, as I recall. Can’t think of the name offhand, but it’s in the Lonely Planet guide to South Korea (at least the edition from a decade ago).

  • http://www.san-shin.org sanshinseon

    You may be thinking of the Gwae-neung [square tomb] that has a great guardian-statue collection, one of the best, southWEST of Bulguk-sa — just to the south of the intersection of the road to Bulguk-sa Area with the National Highway.

    > the Lonely Planet guide to South Korea
    > (at least the edition from a decade ago).

    If you mean the 1997 ed, that’s the one i was co-author of :-)

  • http://www.san-shin.org sanshinseon

    Re: #14 again:
    > This place is the temple site where Wonwonsa temple was built
    > by General Kim Yu-shin and others to protect the country. The temple
    > is believed to have been built between the 8th century and the 9th.

    Gawd, that’s actually dumber than most such listings — General Kim Yu-shin is firmly 7th-Century, so that makes no sense. Surely they mean it was founded by Kim and then rennovated / expanded 200 years later in the 9th Cen (common occurance), which is when those pagodas were built; Adams calls them 9th-Cen which makes sense to me — proto-Goryeo, not “during Goryeo”. My personal theory: reconstruction was done and pagodas were built by Doseon-guksa his own self!

  • http://21cseonbi.blogspot.com sewing

    Hey, I remember seeing your name in the book! (Where it is written as “Shinseon San”—just joking.) Yes, it was Gwaeneung, but the main tomb was round, as I recall…

    I should thank you…on one trip a couple of years ago when I couldn’t think of anything new to see in Gyeongju (heh—or so I thought!), we discovered Oksan Seowon and nearby Yangdong in the LP guide, which I was then able to recommend to Sperwer about a year ago when he was looking for places to see. They were both very nice.

  • http://21cseonbi.blogspot.com sewing

    …”Very nice” is an understatement. Oksan Seowon was superb. (And no, I don’t make it a habit of relying on 10-year-old travel guides to get me around! Not after my second trip to Korea in 1999 took me on a fruitless 90-minute subway trip to Suwon in a vain search for the narrow gauge Suin-seon railway line that had been disbanded a couple of years previously. ;) )

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    R. Elgin—I stayed at the Hyundai Hotel on Bomun Lake. Which was nice. Very nice.

  • http://www.san-shin.org sanshinseon

    > Yes, it was Gwaeneung, but the main tomb was round

    right, the top mound is, but the stone base is square, which is unique — probably because it’s not the tomb of a king, but of a very high-ranking aristocrat who was buried with near-kingly honors — Adams thinks it was Prime Minister Kim Dae-seong, builder of Bulguk-sa and Seokkur-am! It has /ship-iji/ Zodiac figures carved on panels on its base, but they’re in poor condition, the ones on Gen Kim Yu-shin’s tomb are much better.

    > discovered Oksan Seowon and nearby Yangdong
    > … They were both very nice …Oksan Seowon was superb.

    Yeah, they’re great — i put them in the LP guide because Gyeongju can be overly-Buddhist, you can get burnt-out on so many only-Buddhist Shilla artworks, so those sites make for a really nice Neo-Confucian / Joseon “break”…

  • R. Elgin

    You ‘da man Robert. I kept pointing to that hotel but my crew got cheap on me.

  • http://21cseonbi.blogspot.com sewing

    Hey, I’ve stayed there, too!

  • http://www.san-shin.org sanshinseon

    I’ve stayed there, too — on somebody else’s dime, nice sure. don’t think it’d be worth the price to stay there on my own budget, tho…