Whenever you think of South Korea you instantly think of Seoul, but there is a lot more to the country. Take for example the historical capitol of Korea Gyeongju, a must see when visiting South Korea in my opinion. During my stay abroad I visited this lovely town twice; once when I the sickest I’ve ever been in my life and another time when my personal photographer and lovely boyfriend Chris came over. Both times this South Korean town and it’s people impressed me beyond words.
Gyeongju is known for its cherry blossom. Unfortunately Chris and I missed the pink blossom, but some other threes were still in full bloom.
Gyeongju is not a major town like Seoul, but since most people explore it on bike it’s nearly impossible to see everything in one day. In this post I’ll be showing you some of the main attractions we saw. Here you see one of the tomb hills of Tumuli park; the entire park is filled with tombs like this. For an mapped overview of the town scroll down to the end of this post.
One of the tombs you can enter. It’s filled with relics that you can’t really take pictures of. The park is lovely but the inside of this tomb isn’t really worth a visit.
The tombs are surrounded by a large park thats filled with animals. Squirrels ran right in front of your feet.
Old Korean architecture is just so beautiful. I wish they would have incorporated more of it in the new buildings because most Korean apartment buildings that Seoul, and all the other towns, are full of are to say the least not very pretty.
You can easily spend one hour in this park just walking around and enjoying the nature.
Huge trees! I hope to one day visit Sequoia National Park in the USA to see some real big trees.
Chipmunk! I’m so glad Chris managed to snap a good picture of it, because in The Netherlands we don’t have chipmunks.
It was getting kinda cloudy, which is actually a good thing when taking pictures.
A Keukenhof imitation! In Gyeongju you can rent bikes to explore to town, which I think is a really nice way to get around. My opinion on this however is severely colored; I’m Dutch. Chris and I rented a tandem.
Chris was the one in front and I was so scared biking without having control over where we were going! Having a tandem is really nice though if you are with two people or any even numbered group.
Last but not least we ended up at Anapji Pond. Today it is a koi pond installation, but during the colonization of Korea by Japan the buildings you see here were destroyed. What you see here has all been rebuild.
I love the colors the Koreans use for their traditional buildings.
When I was in Gyeongju the first time I was very very sick, but because I was on an arrange trip I couldn’t really leave by myself. I went into this little restaurant called ‘Coffee and Buns’ right a cross of information point near the bus terminal and ordered a tea and a bun. When I left the owner noticed I was sick and gave me a free bag of freshly baked cookies and a cup of Korean herbal tea. Talking with hands and a few words English he told me that this was gonna make me feel better. I still ended up in the hospital after the trip, but the tea and his kindness did make me feel less miserable at that moment.
So if you go to Gyeongju go to this place (I forgot to make a picture of the front…) and order a bun and a cup of tea. It was the best bun I’ve ever eaten.
How to get there?
You can take an express bus from Seoul straight to Gyeongju, which will take around 4 hours and costs around 35 euro/46 dollar. Behind the bus terminal you will find a bike rental place. I forgot how much it costed but I know it wasn’t much. If you’re a type that doesn’t like biking or you want to see a bit more in a short period of time, renting a scooter is also an option.
On the map below you can see the route Chris and I biked. We started at the lady bug, then we biked to the tumuli tumb park which is represented by the butterfly, the flower field is the the little bee and the blue snail is the Anapji pond.