Our first full day in Gyeongju began with the Yangdong Folk Village (a UNESCO site), though we didn’t plan it that way.
Change of Plans
We were gathering our things to leave the Tavo House when Kanye (the host) asked us where we were going. I don’t even remember our original plan at this point, but she quickly objected and told us that we should see the Yangdong Folk Village first. She told us what bus to take to get there and walked us to the bus stop. She even told the driver where we were going, turning to us and saying “He will tell you when to get off”. Even though we didn’t intend to go there first, Kanye was helpful and we ended up appreciating her recommendation.
We boarded the 203 bus which stopped a block away from the Tavo House, and went north for about an hour. Already on the non-touristy side of town, the buildings got smaller and the English signs became few and far between. Eventually, the bus driver looked at us in his mirror, yelled “English!” right before our stop, and then pointed. So we disembarked in middle of nowhere.
Getting to the Village
This was the sight that greeted us when we got off the bus. We were truly out of the city.
At this point, it’d be more of a hassle to go back, so we figured we might as well try find the village. We consulted our phones and found that the Yangdong Folk Village was down this path.
For the record, I do not know if this is the official way to the Yangdong Village. I think the guardrail on the left of the picture was the real road, but dammit, we’re being adventurous.
We found the remnants of a train that ran to the Yangdong Folk Village, but no longer does.
Eventually, we found the main gate complete with paved road and signage. By the side of the road were these beautiful wildflowers that were common throughout the country.
That’s one thing I will say about Korea: the foliage was sublime. If you’re going to do a similar trip to the region, I’d recommend going in April when everything’s in bloom. Later, we saw Cherry Blossoms and they were just as magnificent as I thought they’d be.
But I digress.
Yangdong Folk Village
The Yangdong Folk Village consists of 160 houses with tile and thatched roofs; an additional 54 houses are over 200 years old. You can see lawn chairs and orange construction pylons in some of these photos; some of the homes were still lived in.
Again, I met my arch nemesis: low doorframes (see what I did there?)
Again, for reference, I’m 6’3″. This door frame was not made for someone my height. The sarcastic hashtag “#eddie2tall4asia” had meaning once more.
Even Sarah had problems with the door height and she’s 5’7″.
The village seemed to be oriented around the center marshy area, and bordered on all sides by mountains…
A view down into the Yangdong Folk Village.
And lastly, more wildflowers. They were everywhere and beautiful.
This last photo is a good one to end on because after this, we went to where the Cherry Blossoms ran wild: Bulguksa Temple.