Trip to Gyeongju, trip plan, planning of overnight trip to Gyeongju

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Trip to Gyeongju, trip plan, 
planning of overnight trip to Gyeongju

Now I’m going to unfold the story about Gyeongju that I visited for an overnight trip last Thursday and Friday.

It was not that lengthy a trip, but rather just an unexpected quick trip based on a sudden decision in the dead of night. It was an overnight Gyeongju trip with Nam Pyo-ni who has never been there, even on a school trip. It was pleasant and fulfilling, but exhausting because of a tight schedule. Strengthening of the body!!! Now it is the most urgent mission to me. Oh, no, It’s going to rain…

The spur-of-the-moment trip exposed us to the transportation problem. Oil prices made us hesitate to use the car, so we decided to use the public transportation.
Of course, the railway fare was beyond our capacity, naturally leading us to use buses, premium express bus.


The fares are as follows

Gangnam Express Bus Terminal ↔Gyeongju
General 19,000 KRW (one way)
Premium 29,000 KRW (one way) 


Not prepared for a trip schedule and lacking any ticket, we arranged a short tight schedule.
A journey of one night and two days means to us we’re going to make a fruitful tour that for two days. We got up really early to take the bus-the first bus for Gyeongju. And you can guess what would happen. We both were dead with sleep on the bus.

When we got to the Gyeongju bus terminal, we dropped by a tourist information center, got a map and planned our trip by asking some questions.
We hadn’t plan ahead but we could make up a detailed itinerary without wasting time, thanks to the staff’s kind explanation.
They even let us know public transportation info and schedule.

After outlining our first day’s trip plan, we had some trouble in figuring out next day’s schedule because it was not easy to make a plan to look around different spots with minimum movement at the minimum cost without a car.
It was at that point that we found out about the city tour program.


Gyeongju City tour

It is organized into 4 courses and you can get on the tour bus at the nearest stop to where you stay. Usually you can tour from 5 to 8 spots.
The tour guide accompanying you not only explains historic sites but also brings all kinds of news of Gyeongju.
A minimum of 5 people have to apply to have a tour. Also, additional seating is not provided for children under the age of 5.
You need to make a reservation at least a day in advance.  

Adult 15,000 won
Juveniles 13,000 won
Child 11,000 won
Each passenger has to pay for his own admission fee and lunch.    

In my case, I chose course 1 and paid lunch and individual admission fee of 11800 won.
 City tour for 2 persons: 30,000 won + admission fee(1 course) 23,600 + lunch 12,000= total 55,600

If we had traveled along without the tour bus, we probably would have had to take a taxi because of our luggage and wasted time in the traffic due to inefficient movement.
The city tour saved us time, traveling expenses, and troubles (hang-ups). Above all, I could travel various scenic spots comfortably.  
I would like to strongly recommend the city tour to esteemed elders, or people who don’t have plans or much time.

Accompanying tour guide

It was great. Our tour guide told us the historical background that cannot be found in printed tourist brochures. Moreover, various news stories of Gyeongju city were fun and interesting so we never got bored despite the lengthy courses.

The weak point of this program? The course that I chose (1) was too tight because it is designed to visit as many sites as possible within limited time. When we had completed the course, it made us exhausted and, at the same time, amazed at guide’s physical strength.   

When we arrived at Gyeongju, it was around 11 o’clock and it was past noon after checking the tour info and city tour reservation. We decided to have lunch and searched a restaurant through a smart phone.
On the way to the restaurant, I saw a signpost at every bus stop that made me realize I was in the renowned tourist city, Gyeongju. It was very helpful information for foreign and regional tourists lacking detailed plans.

It is difficult to find a high-rise building in Gyeongju. Because many tombs and artifacts that were buried while the Shilla ruled the country for 1,000 years are still found everywhere, high-rise buildings are not allowed.

Actually, we encountered many tombs on the way to a restaurant. A few of them were identified but most of them were not identified. The scenery of Gyeongju mixed with historically significant royal tombs situated alongside/beside modern houses lends an air of mystery. 

I found this one restaurant by asking around. There’s no especially delicious food that can represent Gyeongju city. Among numerous restaurants, many tourists recommended this haejangguk place run by grandmas. I would like to introduce this place separately once again later. 

After having the haejangguk, we got on bus number 10 heading to our lodgings, the Bomun tourist complex. It was easily recognizable on the bus route map, so anyone could get there by bus with no problem.   

Whichever tour site you go to, you will seek for a tourist information map for the first time. Being a tourist city, Gyeongju keeps user-friendly brochures. We had already planned the 2nd day of our trip on the city tour, so we made a plan for the afternoon on the first day.
Rain was expected, so we decided to conclude first day by looking around the Bomun tourist complex near our lodgings. It was not easy to move around outside due to bad weather and we were tired because of lack of sleep during the previous night. 

Where we got off from the bus was right in front of the Gyeongju expo. We had planned to stay at a hotel called Lagoong across from Gyeongju Millennium Park so we wanted to stop there but the gate was closed. It was different from what I had heard; I thought it was supposed to be opened.

I felt something lacking but we decided to look around the area opposite from Gyeongju Millennium park. While we were crossing a bridge with composure, we saw wild ducks leisurely swimming in the river.

There are Shila Millennium Park and Hotel Lagoong in the Gyeongju Bomun tourist complex. We planned to stay at the Lagoong so we decided to take a walk through the park. We still had some time before the 2 o’clock check-in but the park admission fee was too high so we made our way back.

We got to know that the guests of the Lagoong can use it for free and there was a gate connecting inside of the indoor garden.

My husband was staring at trees for a while saying that some trees looked like trees in the picture by Gogh.
They were three big splendid looking trees. These trees still had thick leaves, even though it was already well into autumn. 

 We could still enjoy the color of fall in Gyeongju yet. It was the first time to have a trip with my husband since we had gotten married. When I look back, we had never set out on a trip in the fall. 

’Lagoong’ was the traditional Korean-style hotel where we stayed during this trip. It is famous for the dramas such as “Misil” and “Man over flower” that were filmed at this hotel. It looks fine at the outside and we were struck with admiration when we were assigned a room.

Did queen of Silla use this kind of bed? I’ll reveal the remarkable interior of the hotel slowly.

When you become a guest of hotel Lagoong, you can get into Shila Millennium Park without any charge. It is a theme park to show the entire history of Gyeongju at once.

This is a performance showing twice a day. It was little bit childish but it would suit children or foreigners. 

It was worth watching the filming going on in the Park. Many historic dramas such as Warrior Baek Dong-Soo and Gye ba were also filmed at this place.

Here is the first destination of second day city tour. I tried to take a picture like the picture on a history textbook as closely as possible. How does it look? Is it similar?
The drizzle made it a bad day for photography.

Here is the Bunhwangsa Temple. This place looks simple but it has lots of stories.

Cheonmachong Tomb

This place displays excavated artifacts from an ancient tomb although some of the items are imitations so that the genuine articles can be kept safely in another place. 

This is the Gyeongju National Museum. It inspires my old memories again.
It seemed more grand and enormous at that time, but, as I’m getting old, this time I couldn’t get that much feeling.
Because I have seen so many large and spacious places, 

Do you see the Divine Bell of Queen Seondeok the Great?
 It is commonly called “Emille Bell” but that is not the correct name.
 I hope it is called by its proper name from now on. 

This is the Gyeongju Anapji.
It is one of the best picture-taking spots to many photographers and DSLR users.
I was eager to take good pictures but the weather was not on my side.   

This is the only well-known Gyeongju food, Gyeongju bread.
Chalboribbang is alsopopular but I tried it before so I only tasted Gyeongju bread this time. It was delicious. 

This was the final destination, Cheomseongdae Observatory.
It is tilted slightly like the Leaning Tower of Pisa because it is located on ground that inclines to one side.
The sad reality… It should be preserved better in the future.

 That’s my trip around Gyeongju.
 Though it started with no plan, I had a meaningful trip and wound up exhausted by the journey’s end.


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