Poor sleep on thin mats – up at 4:45. The call to prayer goes off at 5am and we walk up the hill to the meditation hall. Lots of bowing and kneeling with my forehead on the mat. We get a chanting sheet, but can’t figure out where we are on it. We also keep time with a stick and wooden drum.

After meditation prayers, it is time for walking meditation following the monk around and around a stone pagoda before going through the forest in silence. We finish up in time for a vegetarian breakfast.

The next Sunmudo training is at 9am. Turns out to be mostly yoga and breathing training. We say goodbye – it has been an interesting homestay experience, but the bed was very, very hard.

Our first stop today is Yandong Folk Village, a 500 year old village. This is still in use with 400 residents. We visit the inner courtyards of 3 homes, but cannot go into these homes. The exteriors are protected but the interior can be renovated.

The lower homes are made of thatched roofs where the laborers lived. The upper homes, where the owners lived, are more ornate and have black tiled roofs. In the yards we see pots of kimchi fermenting outside. In the winter, these pots are buried in the ground to ferment as the ground temperature remains constant.

We have lunch in the village, fish for Jackie, pork for me. Our lunches come with 16 side dishes of kimchi, clams, quail eggs, noodles, bean sprouts, vegetables and more.

Our next stop is the Cheomseongsae observatory located in Gyeonju. It was used for star observation to forecast the weather in the 7th century.

Nearby the Daereungwon Tomb Complex holds 23 burial tombs located in large mounds of rock and dirt with a wooden chamber in the center. Only one has been excavated with all its king’s gold, jewelry and horse saddle ornamentation on display. The rest of the burial mounds have not been excavated for superstitious reasons.

For dinner tonight we passed on the Korean BBQ and walked around till we ran across a restaurant with pizza. Even it came with 3 side dishes. It was delicious and a welcome change from rice.

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