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Experiences in Asia

Cheongju

SOUTH KOREA | Sunday, 23 October 2005 | Views [1849]

Sangdangsanseong Fortress6

Sangdangsanseong Fortress6

On Saturday I travelled with a co-teacher to Cheongju, which is in the next province over called Chungcheongbuk-do. At 8am I got picked up outside my house, and after a few coffees, we were on our way. It took us three hours to get there with traffic and what not, but the day was really good weather wise, and the scenery was worth it.

I really liked Cheongju from the moment I set foot on it. The town is really tasteful, with nice parks and historical buildings set against a well developed modern city.

My culture levels had been in need of a top up due staying in Hongseong for the past few months, so I was glad that Cheongju is blessed with some decent cultural sites. On show here are such delights as the Early Printing Museum, which tells you about the Jikji, a book of Buddhist sayings that is the oldest book in the world printed with moveable metal type. It was a good thing that the museum had lots of information on it because unfortunately the book is not on show here, but in France, having been "acquired" by the French in 1853. There was also the Yongdusaji iron flagpole, which is the oldest and tallest iron pole in Korea.

Now, I know your thinking, 'surely that's enough culture for one day', but no. I wanted to see the Sandangsanseong. This is a large mountain fortress, with walls stretching around wooded hillsides with gates and pavilions. After another coffee, we hopped into the car and drove up the mountain before entering. We had a great time walking around the fortress and getting lost in the shrubbery. The walls reminded me of the Great Wall of China in Simmata - sections of walls with columns every part of the way where archers could be placed to repel invaders. 

Cheongju is also famous for  Sangdangjip, or black chicken in a broth of bark, roots and jinseng. After navigating around the fortress, we shuffled down to a restaurant and ordered the same. It was really delicious and the jinseng seemed to give my cold a kick, but unfortunately, the black chicken (which even has jet black bones) tasted like regular chicken. After that let down, and feeling rather tired, it was time to make the journey back to Hongseong.

New pictures uploaded in the gallery....... 

Tags: Adventures

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