Blogs from Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea, Asia


Asia » South Korea » Gyeongsangbuk-do » Gyeongju August 15th 2018

Dear All Greetings from a small city in the south of South Korea, called Gyeongju. It may be small today, but is actually a very important historical site in the whole of Korea, as it was once the capital of the ancient Shilla kingdom. I had originally planned to write my next entry from my next destination after this one, Andong, as I currently have three places to visit in quick succession, spending two nights in each rather than three. However, I have a bit of free time now, and feel I would like to write a blog entry about my time here in Gyeongju. I last wrote about to leave Busan, and on Sunday morning, made my last long metro journey northwards, to the end of the number 1 metro line, to the Express Bus ... read more
Bulguk-sa Buddhist Temple
Wolseong-gongwon Park, Gyeongju
Seokguram Grotto, Gyeongju

Asia » South Korea » Gyeongsangbuk-do » Gyeongju January 30th 2017

Suzanne here... Before our trip I'd read up about Korean New Year and had been led to expect total travel chaos the day before. So I was worried we'd struggle to get a bus to Gyeongju, and even if we did the traffic would be horrendous. In reality the bus was half empty and we breezed there in an hour. I'd also read that it's a big time of year for tourism so had booked The Apple Motel before even leaving England. Again, there was absolutely no need to worry. Still, it did seem to fascinate the owner who was very pleased to finally meet the people who had booked a room in a standard little small town motel six months in advance! He even called over another member of staff to tell her how long ... read more
Anapji pond
The Emille Bell
Gyeongju National Museum

Asia » South Korea » Gyeongsangbuk-do » Gyeongju September 25th 2016

We arrived in Gyeongju, which is in the south-east of Korea, about 5 hours after leaving Seoul. The drive was quite pleasant as the roads are decent. There are a lot of fixed speed cameras in Korea apparently; and they're all signed which means that drivers seem to go as fast as they like between cameras and then slow down rapidly just before a camera and then speed up again.. Pretty sure that's not the point of the cameras. After checking into our hotel we headed out to grab some food. Scott had noticed a Chinese restaurant on the drive to our hotel and had his heart set on that so we set off hoping that they would still be open despite it being 8pm. They were open but we're not entirely sure if that was ... read more
Seokguram Grotto
Seokguram Grotto
Seokguram Grotto

Asia » South Korea » Gyeongsangbuk-do » Gyeongju June 20th 2016

In Gyeongju in the south east of Korea. (I’m disposing with the “South” in South Korea. Just easier. I’m not sure the North would understand, but I’m not going to worry about it.) The town is a nice relief from Seoul’s 10 million population, with a population of just about 250,000. It’s said to be a great outdoor museum. Arrival was by very comfortable bus with reclining seats and leg rests. About 3.5 hours. Korea is small. My hotel, Apple Motel, is just a few blocks from the bus station and a short walk downtown and to the sights. The town is the center of the Silla kingdom. It began in 57 BC and lasted to 935. About 1000 years. Tombs of the Silla kings and other notables dot the town. They’re obvious as large grassy ... read more
Kimchi Choices
Bulguksa Temple
Glass Necklace from Silla Tomb

Asia » South Korea » Gyeongsangbuk-do » Gyeongju October 11th 2015

Sunday 11th October 2015 We arrived at the Express bus station early for our 3 hour journey South East to Gyeongju. The bus wasn't something I was particularly excited about as it was very cheap costing approx £12 return each so didn't hold many high expectations. Having said that, when we boarded we were more than pleasantly surprised. The Bus was set out like an airplane with just 3 seats per row and each seat reclining back almost flat with a leg support. Plenty of space around the soft leather seat. For the next 3 hours we slept. Gyeongju was recommended by a few forums and guides we had read. It is about 30km inland from the east coast and is a place where lots of all kings and generals are buried and surrounded by countryside. ... read more
Bulguska Temple
Autumn leaves
Bell tower

Asia » South Korea » Gyeongsangbuk-do » Gyeongju July 24th 2015

After Andong, it was a quick 1.5h bus ride southwards again to the former capital of the ancient Silla kingdom, now known as Gyeongju, a popular weekend getaway and holiday spot for locals, and known as a sort of museum without walls. Gyeongju boasts a rich history as the former capital of one of the three ancient kingdoms of the Korean peninsular, and today boasts a couple of Unesco Heritage sites in the form of tombs of its ancient royals, temples, as well as the Anapji pond, a beautifully landscaped garden with a pond whose shape is said to resemble the East Asian coastline. Distinctive mound-shape tombs (reminiscent of the Chocolate Hills in the Visayas in Central Philippines) continue to dot the city even today, as Gyeongju continues to pull in the crowds, especially domestic weekenders, ... read more
Bulgoksa Temple
Cheomseongdae Observatory
Erm is that enough kimchi for one person?

Asia » South Korea » Gyeongsangbuk-do » Gyeongju April 10th 2015

"Our suicide rate is the highest in the world and our birth rate is the lowest", he said. "He" was a middle-aged Korean office clerk, going by the name of Mr. Ryan. I met Mr. Ryan in the lobby of the hostel in Busan, the ROK's second biggest and slightly gritty harbor city in the south of the country. "I have an interest in democracy", he said to a young Hong Kong girl working on her laptop. Recalling the recent umbrella revolution in Hong Kong, he explained his view of similar issues in the ROK. "There is no freedom here" said Mr. Ryan. "Every day we have protests and you never hear about them. Jeju Island, for example, is being sold out to the Chinese and people complain. Nothing happens. There is no democracy in South ... read more

Asia » South Korea » Gyeongsangbuk-do » Gyeongju June 21st 2014

21st Jun: Our train left Suwon station around ten to nine. After a quick sandwich and coffee for breakfast and planning what we would do while we were in Gyeongju, we napped away the rest of the journey. The KTX station Sin-Gyrongju is not in a great location. It's about a twenty to thirty minute bus journey from the city centre. Armed with the bus times to Yangnam for tomorrow, we hopped on to a bus to the city centre. There are loads of buses coming and going from the station, so even though it is in the middle of nowhere, it is well connected to the city. The bus journey was fairly quick and painless. We got off at the regular train station, and located our hostel, that was a five minute walk away from ... read more

Asia » South Korea » Gyeongsangbuk-do » Gyeongju April 21st 2014

Warning: This is another boring entry about a boring city. Perhaps it's not a boring city. Maybe I was just homesick and lonely so that has clouded my judgement. Nobody else checked in to Santa's Guesthouse. It would have been nice to have someone to talk to. The sites to visit today are a bit far from the hostel and I can’t walk going there. I went to the tourist office and I was given the option to either bike or take the bus. I was too tired to bike and get lost so I decided to take the bus. I also considered just buying a bus tour if its cheap enough. Turns out it costs 20,000 won and if I take the bus it would only set me back 6,000 won. I’d rather risk getting ... read more
Bulguksa Temple
Bulguksa Temple

Asia » South Korea » Gyeongsangbuk-do » Gyeongju April 20th 2014

I need to snap out of my negativity and remember the reasons why I came to Korea in the first place. I love history. At least I think I do. Gyeong-ju is Korea's open air museum with lots of history. So I should be loving this experience. I picked Korea because Korean pop is very popular in the Philippines. Korean songs make it to the top of the weekly countdowns on the radio although nobody understands them. I love Korean movies. I love their type of humor. They can make you laugh without being rude and obscene. I'd hate to be one of those prissy tourists who always complain so I'll put on my happy face. That the landscape is not as stunning is not a problem. You don't get to choose where you're born and ... read more
Cheomsangdae Observatory
cherry blossoms

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