Seobu-dong 232, Gyeongju City
North Gyeongsang Province, South Korea
The mercury was already climbing into the high thirties C. as we began our driving journey from the Gangnam neighborhood of Seoul to the southeastern province of North Gyeonggsang, specifically with the intent of spending a few days and nights in the coastal city of Gyeongju. Its a part of the country that I had never visited before despite its popularity with tourists interested in exploring the sights of some of the nation’s historic treasures, including many UNESCO World Heritage Sites. For those interested in food, the region also holds delivers on Gyeongju specialties that are known throughout South Korea, some of which I was able to indulge in and will report on in coming posts as I catch up on this summer trip…
Being it was my first trip on the highways heading down to this region, I was immediately struck by how beautiful and geographically interesting South Korea is outside of the major city center of Seoul. Low to mid-range undulating mountains curved their way along side the routes we traveled, all covered in lush green trees and shrubbery. Then we would enter some lower valleys that were home to smaller villages and towns that were supported mainly by agricultural industries, enabling us to see many rice patties, other crop fields and livestock facilities, no doubt the backbone of the many Korean barbecue restaurants you find in this country. If you have the opportunity to travel in the countryside here, I highly recommend it! With proper air conditioning and regular breaks frequenting the amazing rest stops along the way (that have everything from restroom facilities, restaurants, food stalls, convenience stores, etc.) and you are good to go – I really wish we had these kind of places in North America, as it puts the gas stands along the highways here to shame.