Buyeo

An Unexpected Day Out

Pictures and Commentary

Judy, from the Beijing Trip, told me she had an offer from a friend to show her around Buyeo. Having nothing else to do, and knowing nothing about Buyeo, I wanted to go. Her friend wasn't available on the day, but a Korean wanted Judy to proof-read a text book she had created and Judy persuaded her to show us around. She decided to bring her family with her. The two boys were a lot of fun. We poked out tongues out at each other quite a bit.

No Description

We ate Kimbap for lunch. Kim means seaweed, and bap is rice, so you can probably guess what the two essential ingredients are in Kimbap. It's actually really good, and is one of the standard Korean snacks. Korean snacks are generally very healthy, as is most Korean food. To make up for it the kids eat a lot of candy. I've seen more fillings in the kids' mouths here than I'd like to quantify, despite the fact that they brush their teeth three times a day.

No Description

Buyeo was the last capital of the Baekje, one of three vying kingdoms that existed in the Korean peninsula in the 6th century. This may sound scholarly, but I have the Lonely Planet guidebook on my lap. Our first stop was the Buyeo museum, where they had scary wooden faces. More about these I do not know.

No Description

Inside they had their prized exhibit, an ornate incense burner. There was a TV crew touring the museum at the same time we were, and I managed to get a picture of the incense burner while it was being filmed and hence lit. There were also large Buddha carvings. The chap in the middle is just about life sized.

No Description No Description

My personal favourite. The roof tiles. The information tag said "Tile With Monster and Lotus Flower Relief". The card had the same message printed on it twice. Well, there are two tiles, after all.

No Description

The museum was a little disappointing, given that I'd recently toured a better collection in Gyongju, but it was interesting enough. We moved on to Gumnamji Pond, where we viewed the island and bridge which would probably appear much more spectacular if the day weren't so grey and miserable.

No Description

They did have a giant swing though. We had to wait ages for the kids to get off, but we got a turn in the end. It wasn't fair. I finally got a turn on the swing, and Judy couldn't push me as high as I had pushed her. I sulked for the rest of the day because my turn on the swing wasn't as good as hers.

No Description

While waiting for the swing we noticed a little bit of commotion in the car park, and some guys in period costume turned up, complete with horses. There was apparently going to be a TV series filmed there, but we didn't wait long enough for the cameras to turn up.

No Description No Description

They let the kids have horse rides, which was fun to watch. No-one got hurt, and it didn't all end in tears, but I was still sulking from the swing episode, so didn't want to go for a horsey ride.

No Description

The thing that struck me about the costumes was that they were made of foam-rubber and plastic. They looked like cheap children's costumes up close.

From the pond we moved on to Jeongnumsa, a small temple with what is reported to be the most beautiful pagoda (stone tower) in Korea. It was OK, but the tower seemed a little masculine to me to be described as beautiful.

No Description

We went up to the gates of the local mountain fortress. We wanted to see the cliff where the women of the Baekje empire threw themselves off to avoid getting ravished by the approaching Silla hoards in the last days of the kingdom, but time was short. I'm hoping to see that cliff another day.

Back