Kyongju (sometimes spelled as Gyeongju) is one of the hidden gems of Asia and some of the oldest ruins are found there.
It’s located on the coast of the southern tip of Korea and dates back to the Silla Dynasty. Many poeple call it the “museum without walls” since everywhere you walk, you are coming upon some lovely temple, pagota, or palace.
This city inspired me to write two books and I would love to go back and walk through it’s ancient streets. There is so much history and richness in its past.
Places of Interest
- Seokguram grotto– From the temple, take a bus trip up the mountain. On a clear day you can see the ocean.
- Bulguksa temple– This Buddhist temple was built in 548 and then redesigned in the 8th century. It’s really striking with it’s archetecture and design.
- Yangdong Folk Village
- Kyongju is also where the Hwarang warriors were trained during the Silla era.
- Kyongju National Park- excellent hiking the trails
- Cheomsongdae- an ancient observatory built during the reign of Queen Sondeok in 634. See picture below.
- The Mound tombs which are like smooth grass hills with hidden tombs inside. (see the picture at the top of this heading)
- Actually, there is sooo much to do but these are just a few highlights!
Places to Stay
- We stayed at the Hilton which was nice but a bit sterile.
- Check out Gyeongju Guesthouse, Hanjin Hostel, and Sa Rang Chae Guesthouse
- My husband stayed at a Buddhist monastary when he took a group of students as part of their tour of the area. Apparently they woke the whole group up at 5 am to do a long run through the mountains and then rigorous training. I don’t remember the name of this monastary, but I thought it was pretty cool!
Here’s a video clip from YouTube: