Here I am super-duper excited to tell you all about Anapji Pond, and I find out it’s a man-made, artificial pond. Well…uh-oh.
Regardless, I’m excited to tell you all about the culmination of our magnificent tour with some wonderful people from Dong-eui University. These students took us on a fantastic tour around Gyeongju. Before making it to Anapji pond, we had visited the Royal Tomb of King Silla, Bulguksa Temple, the Seokguram Grotto, and many delightful places in between. I wasn’t entirely sure why we were having a McDonald’s dinner before heading back to Busan. but once we stopped in the parking lot of this famous landmark, I knew we were in for a special night.
I feel like I took the same photo over and over again, but the majesty of this part of the palace of ancient King Silla (who’s grave we had seen earlier that day) was overwhelming from that side of the pond. I was exceptionally happy to have crossed Bulguksa Temple and the Seokguram Grotto off my bucket list, but never expected to enjoy my time at a busy, bustling, noisy, touristy pond quite this much.
Wikipedia describes this place: “”During the era of King Munmu, a new pond was made in the palace and flowers and birds flourished in this pond”. There is also mention of a royal reception held by King Gyeongsun in 931, when Silla was already crumbling. After the fall of Silla, the pond fell into disrepair for many centuries. The name Anapji appears in the 16th century Joseon era document Augmented Survey of the Geography of Korea(hangul:동국여지승람, hanja:東國輿地勝覽) with the explanation that King Munmu made the pond with Taoist aesthetics.”
It wasn’t incredibly easy to learn or remember all the details pertaining to King Silla, King Jeoson, or Anapji Pond. I really just enjoyed walking around this pond, seeing the part of the palace lit up, and enjoying the atmosphere of this very random historical Korean spot in the middle of nowhere, Gyeongju. If you have a chance to take a guided tour I certainly would not miss it, especially if it’s guided by 2 talented Korean photographers, a Waygookin professor, and a Suji Onni 😉