Many people think the Korean world revolves around Seoul and for the most part it does, but Korea is so full of beautiful culture and what makes it unique and Korean. Located in the Southeast corner of the peninsula you’ll find Gyeongju which was once the hub of political and cultural life.
This city is a wonderful traditional place and the old capital of Shilla, one of Korea’s ancient three kingdoms. If you’re a history nut and traditional temple lover like I am, then you can’t miss this magical place in Autumn, If you like to hit up all the traditional hubs like I do, this is how you can spend the perfect autumn day with this awesome Gyeongju Itinerary.
Built in 528 of the Shilla Kingdom, this relic of Gyeongju was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. It is home to important cultural artifacts and treasures such as the Dabotop Pagoda, Yeonhwa-gyo Bridge and the Seokguram Grotto. I was most excited to see Bulguksa since I heard so much about it and I saw awesome photos of it on Instagram. There is an entry fee and with it, you can travel around the expansive grounds. In my opinion, the nature and the gardens around the temple were more beautiful than the main event. Since the temple is so old, a lot of the paint is peeling, but the red colors of the foliage make this place light up with beauty.
Cost: 5,000 won
When in Gyeongju eat the “famous” foods. One of the coolest things about Korea is that every place you visit will have the food it dons as the specialty of the region. This meal is served with loads of delicious side dishes and a small plate of beef or pork bulgogi.
Cost: 12,000 per person
The pond is now called Wolji after pottery was found with that name. The meaning is the pond reflecting the moon. Anapji is most beautiful at night when the flood lights come on, but it’s just as stunning during the day and even more so during the Autumn.
Cost: 2,000 won
For lovers and chasers of the stars, Cheomseongdae is the oldest astronomical observatory in Asia. It was used to forecast the weather and constructed during the reign of Queen Seon-deok.
Fun fact: King Naemul was the second king of the Kim family name. For those of you who don’t get the joke, most people in Korea have the common family name of Kim, Park, or Lee. He was an influential king who brought the technology of China to the Korean people. After his reign the throne passed down to his descendants.
Koreans knew what’s up because around 1,500 years ago, this was used a freezer and popular for the upper class. Once you descend the stairs, you can feel the cold and witness the scientific power the ancient Koreans had by giving the place a drainage system and coating the walls with limestone to prevent moisture from seeping in.
Fly a Kite and Wear Hanbok
Culture is not dead in Korea like many people think. The hanbok is such a beautiful part of Korean culture and Koreans are proud of who they are. They love to take photos at traditional places in their cultural clothes. Since most of the cultural places are located at the Wolseong Palace park, it’s also a popular place to fly a kite since the wind flows so easily through.
This famous landmark is awesome because in my opinion, there’s nothing cooler than a traditional Korean village. This place gives onlookers the opportunity to see how members of the Choi clan lived. While there, try some Gyodong Beopju Liquor or a glass making class.
Cost: free (except for the liquor and classes)
How to get there from Seoul: Take the KTX to Singyeongju Station신경주 역. Go out exit 1 and take bus 700 to get to all of Gyeongju’s main attractions.
Once the cultural and political hub of Korea, this amazing place has so much to offer and do. When are you planning your trip there?
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