Sunday, September 2, 2012

Shilla Millennium Park

After spending the weekend with Emma's family (guess who the "head" of that house is?), we drove a couple of hours north to Gyeonju, and spent the morning at Shilla Millennium Park - an historic experience amusement park.  Within this theme park were replica's of Shilla homes and artifacts, a craft village, the movie set of a Korean drama, and performance areas.  We practically had the whole park to ourselves, which was such a welcome and drastic change from the crowds normally experience.  School has started, and we were glad not to be there on a weekend.  Yeah, some things were a little cheesy but entertaining nonetheless.

The first show was the Art of Hwarang.  This art combines the skills of horse riding and martial arts, and was traditionally used in defending their kingdom.  It was a bit like the rodeos back in Houston, but with a definite Asian flare! 

We walked around the movie set and some areas depicting some of the great metropolises of the time including Baghdad, Constantinople and Tang (around 600 AD).

At the craft village, Emma and I tried our hands at making some pottery.  I enjoyed getting dirty and creating something, and although Emma was not too fond of having muddy hands, she was a pretty talented little artisan.

"Secret of the Heavenly Chest" was a grand performance on a huge outdoor stage.  It really was a spectacular show, with an elaborate set including working boats and ships, fireworks and water fountains, music and dance, and a storyline that we could follow without understanding the lines.

As we left the park, we saw this cool hotel with a pagoda cut out of the middle.  Now, leaving behind the man made historical sites, it is time to move on to see the "real" historical relics of the area.

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