If you feel tired of super big city and too many things to do like drinking all night in Hongdae, Yes! Let’s leave for a quiet place, Gyeongju(경주), just 2 hours(by KTX) far from Seoul. You could breathe fresh open air from mountain and field. Your spirit could be relaxing in calm atmosphere of temples and beautiful nature. There are not many high buildings but full of traditional houses and big tombs looked like small hills all around the city. Gyeongju was a capital city in the Silla era for 992 years. That is more than 1,000 years ago. Therefore it is not weird even though you step on King’s tomb or see a ghost at night. Ha Ha
Do you think those are small hills? No. Tombs, but very beautiful! here Gyeongju is a kind of outside museum!
And also traditional old houses are everywhere in Gyeongju, I could feel calm nostalgia.
Gyeongju is a city of temple as well because the Silla believed in Buddhism as a national religion for whole dynasty.
The most famous one is Bulguksa Temple and Seokguram Grotto, but I have always been attracted to small and simple things.
So my favorite temple in Gyeongju is Chilbulam(칠불암, seven buddhas temple) in Namsan mountain where you could see awesome view and feel very calm.
Another temple Golgulsa(골굴사) is famous for Sunmudo, Buddhist martial arts. Many foreigners are training their mind and body with temple stay. They do show Sunmudo to people once a day in the afternoon.
Here in Gyeongju has alive local life in interesting local market, Seongdong market(성동시장) and Jungang market(중앙시장), those village markets are open bigger a five-day interval, sell everything from home grown vegetables to secondhand cloths.
As like most of small cities in Korea, in Gyeongju stores and restaurants close their door around 9PM. What can you do at night in Gyeongju? Go to Anapji pond(안압지) and see impressive night view. Then sleeeeeeep~~ yes. quiet good sleep city!
How to get Gyeongju(경주) from Seoul ->
1) Fast way : KTX train from Seoul station to ShinGyeongju(신경주) station , 2h10m , 47,100 won
2) Cheap way : Express bus from DongSeoul terminal(동서울터미널) or Gangnam express bus terminal(강남고속버스터미널)
to Gyeongju bus terminal, 4hrs , 20,400 won
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