City Spotlight: Gyeongju, South Korea

Gyeongju, South Korea

April 2015

Length of Visit: 1.5 Days

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Lodging: Sa Rang Chae Guest House

Rustic and fun. If you’re interested in staying in a traditional hanok with undol floors, this is an inexpensive and centrally-located place. Spring for the private bathroom.

Can’t Miss Sights and Tours

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+ BULGUKSA! I cannot express how much I enjoyed visiting this temple complex. It’s a short bus ride from the center of Gyeongju, and it was magical. I was actually almost in tears throughout a lot of our visit because of its beauty and the power that I felt there. It was amazing.

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+ Daerungwon – The tumuli park where Silla royalty were buried. It’s quiet and peaceful, and immediately next to Sa Rang Chae if you stay there. Check the hours ahead of time if you want to visit the tomb.

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+ Cheomseongdae Observatory – In the middle of a public park, this is neat to see if for no other reason than that it’s the oldest observatory in East Asia.

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+ Anapji Pond — Partially-reconstructed site of the Gyeongju palace complex. It’s not expensive, and was quiet and lovely. I think it would be exceptional if you can go during the lotus season.

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+ Gyeongju National Museum – This is where all of the artifacts from Daerungwon and Anapji are housed. It’s well-signed in English and has an overwhelming number of artifacts.

Great Food

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+ Sukyoung Sikdang – This meal was amazing. L and I still talk about it. It was an amazing selection of food for USD$ 24.00, and the pajeon and bibimbap and wine were so good that I crave them any time I think about them. Do yourself a favor: if you happen to be in Gyeongju, eat here every night.

Overall

Gyeongju is the historical Silla capital of Korea, and it is a historical treasure-trove. Everything we saw was impressive, and it was the highlight of our trip to South Korea in my opinion. I would gladly go back to see more of the area, and even to revisit some of what I saw this time around. Simply outstanding

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