* Adult 490,000won / $490 / per person
* Child 343,000won / $343 / per person / Child-under 10 year-old
Gyeongju National Museum
Movie Theatre street
UN Sculpture Park
* English Speaking Guide
* Hotel pick up Service, Transportation
* Entrance fee
* 50,000won per person is additionally charged on weekends (Fri~Sun)
Gyeongju is one of the most hitorical cities in Korea where the time goes all the way back to Silla Dynasty. It is often considered as the "Museum without walls" due to the fact that you're surrounded by Silla's never-fading spirit and its historical remains such as Bulguksa and Sukgeuram grotto.
Seokguram, located on Mt.Tohamsan, is the representative stone temple of Korea. The official name of Seokguram, National Treasure No. 24, is Seokguram Seokgul. Designated as World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1995, it is an artificial stone temple made of granite. The construction was started by Kim Dae-Seong (700-774) in 751 during the reign of King Gyeong-Deok (742-765) of the Silla Dynasty (57 B.C.-A.D. 935) and it was finished twenty-four years later in 774, during the reign of King Hye-Gong (765-780).
Seokguram is known to have been built with Bulguksa Temple. According to the history book Samgukyusa of the Goryeo Dynasty (the country that unified the Korean peninsula at the end of the Silla Dynasty, 918~1392), Kim Dae-Seong had built Bulguksa for the parents who were alive, and Seokguram for the parents of his former life.
Bulguksa Temple is the representative relic of Gyeongju and was designated as a World Cultural Asset by UNESCO in 1995. The beauty of the temple itself and the artistic touch of the stone relics are known throughout the world.
Bulguksa Temple was built in 528 during the Silla Dynasty, in the 15th year of King Beop-Heung's reign (514-540). The temple was originally called ‘Hwaeom Bulguksa Temple’ or ‘Beopryusa Temple’ and was rebuilt by Kim Dae-Seong (700-774), who started building the temple in 751 during the reign of King Gyeong-Deok (in power 742-765) and completed it in 774 during the reign of King Hye-Gong (in power 765-780). Upon completion, the temple’s name was changed to ‘Bulguksa.'
Bulguksa underwent numerous renovations from the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392) to the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), but was burned down during the Imjinwaeran War (the war following the Japanese Invasion, 1592-1598).
Reconstruction started again in 1604 during the 37th year of King Seon-jo’s reign (Joseon Dynasty) and was renovated about 40 times until 1805 (during the reign of King Sun-Jo, 1790-1834). After this time, the temple suffered serious damage and was often the target of robbers.
In 1969, the Bulguksa Temple Restoration Committee was formed and in 1973, Mulseoljeon, Gwaneumjeon, Birojeon, Gyeongru, and Hoerang (all of which had previously been demolished) were rebuilt. Other old or broken sites (such as Daeungjeon, Geungnakjeon, Beomyeongnu and Jahamun) were repaired.
Even today, Bulguksa Temple is home to many important cultural relics such as Dabo-tap (National Treasure No. 20), Seokga-tap (National Treasure No. 21) Yeonhwa-gyo* Chilbo-gyo (National Treasure No. 22), Cheongun-gyo,* Baegun-gyo (National Treasure No. 23), the Golden Seated Vairocana Buddhist Figure (National Treasure No. 26), the Golden Seated Amita Figure (National Treasure No. 27), and Sari-tap (Treasure No. 61).
Gyeongju National Museum
Gyeongju National Museum rests deep in tradition, with a history of about 90 years. Representing Gyeongju, which used to be the capital of Silla (BC57~AD935), the museum is where you can view the cultural history of Gyeongju district. The exhibition hall is divided into 4 large parts: the Main hall, Annex I, Annex II, and the Outdoor Exhibit Area (Museum Grounds). In the Main Hall you can see earthenware, and in the Arts and Crafts room you can see various artwork and craftwork. Gukeun Memorial Hall exhibits 666 artifacts, which are the personal collection of Dr. Lee Yang-Seon, donated to the museum for preservation purposes. Artifacts from the great tombs of the city of Gyeongju are exhibited in Annex I, the Gobun Gallery. There are many glittering accessories, such as golden crowns, crown ornaments, belts, earrings etc. You can experience the superb artistry from the Silla Period through these artifacts. Approximately 30,000 artifacts were excavated from Anapji Pond, the most significant of which are exhibited in Annex 2, the Anapji Gallery. The other galleries exhibit household goods. These various types of items show life in the Royal Court during the Silla Period. After the galleries, you can move on to the Outdoor Exhibit Area, which is the Museum Grounds. King Seongdeok’s Bell located there, is the most renowned of Buddhist temple bells. You cannot help but feel solemn as you watch the relic. There is also a variety of artifacts from royal palaces and temples exhibited here. Buddhist sculptures make up the majority of the stone artifacts. If you are a traveler interested in Buddhism or the magnificent culture of royal palaces, this is a place you do not want to miss.
According to the historical records of ‘Samguk-sagi,’ Anapji Pond was built during the 14th year of King Munmu (in power 661-681 AD) of the Silla Dynasty (57 BC-935 AD). Small mountains were created inside the palace walls, beautiful flowers were planted, and rare animals were brought in to create an exquisitely exotic garden fit for royalty. The pond was originally built in Wolseung Fortress (erected in 101 AD during the Silla period), but the fortress was destroyed and now lies in ruins. In 1974, an excavation project revealed large spherical shapes (measuring 200 meters in diameter and 180 meters in height) which indicated that 3 islands had been located in the pond. Thanks to these important findings and existing historical records, Anapji Pond has been restored to nearly its former glory.
Daereungwon Tomb Complex (Cheonmachong Tomb)
Large ancient tombs of kings and noblemen of the Silla Dynasty can be seen around Gyeongju at the Daereungwon Tomb Complex (Cheonmachong Tomb). There are twenty-three large tombs located here; the most famous being Cheonmachong and Hwangnamdaechong. In an excavation of the area in the 1970's, Cheonmachong was discovered with a painting of mounted horse. This painting is the only discovered painting from the Silla Era. You can also view the inside of Cheonmachong. There are 11,526 remains and crowns of the king inside the tomb demonstrating the lavish lifestyle of the king. Another tourist attraction is Hwangnamdaechong, which is the largest ancient tomb. It houses the bodies of both the king and queen and has over 30 thousand relics and gold accessories. The unique thing about Hwangnamdaechong is that the queen's tomb has more luxurious accessories. From that researchers have concluded that even the queen can have a high social position before marriage. You can feel the ancient culture of Korea 1,500 years ago when visiting these tombs.
Cheomseongdae is the oldest existing astronomical observatory in Asia.
Constructed during the reign of Queen Seon-deok (632-647), it was used for observing the stars in order to forecast the weather. This stone structure is a beautiful combination of straight lines and curves, and was designated as National Treasure No.31 on December 20th, 1962.
It stands 9.17m high and the base stone on each side measures 5.35m.
The Vernal Equinox, Autumnal Equinox, Winter Solstice, Summer Solstice and the 24 solar terms (also known as the astronomical solar year) were determined by the observation of stars. The pavilion stone is believed to have been used as a standard of deciding directions, north, south, east and west. The 362 stones used to build Cheomseongdae represented the 362 days in a lunar year.
Taejongdae Resort Park
Designated as a Busan monument, along with Oryukdo Island, Taejongdae (태종대) represents Busan, and is especially famous for its rock beach. Featuring its highest peak at 250 meters, there are forests of pine trees and other 200 varieties of trees. Taejongdae was named after the 29th king of Silla Dynasty BC57-AD 935), King TaeJong Mu-Yeol (604-661). King TaeJong had traveled to many places but this was the place he enjoyed shooting arrows.
Under the lighthouse of this resort is a rock called Sinseon Rock, named after the myth that gods and goddesses came down here to relax. At this rock is a figure called Mangbuseok, named after the story of a woman who waited for her husband who had been taken to Japan. Taejongdae is also famous for the ritual of praying for rain, performed when there are droughts, and rain on the 10th of lunar May is called the 'Taejong Rain'. On days with clear skies you can see Japan’s Tsushima Island from the observatory.
The Jagalchi Market (자갈치시장) is Korea's largest seafood market. After the Korean War the market solidified itself as a fish market. Most of the people who sell fish are women, so the women who sell here are called 'Jagalchi Ajumma,' 'ajumma' meaning middle-aged or married women.
This market represents Busan and is famous throughout the country. If you visit you can eat fresh raw fish right at the market. Even these days you can see women selling mackerel, sea squirts (ascidians) and whale meat on wooden boxes along the road.
Every year in October the Jagalchi Cultural Tourism Festival is held, and it is easy to visit because of the convenient transportation provided by the subway. The Jagalchi Market is where you can see the lifestyle of the indigenous Busan natives.
Busan Cinema Center
Busan Cinema Center is an official venue of the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) –one of the most popular film festivals in Asia—and has become a symbol of the festival itself.
From an architectural perspective, the center is a historic work that embodies the theories of deconstructivism while exhibiting a sense of formative beauty. The center’s ‘Big Roof’ is the largest roof in the world (2.6 times larger than a soccer field) and comes complete with 42,600 LED lights, which help create an unforgettable scene along with Suyeong River and Naru Park.
The Cinema Center consists of 3 buildings: Cine Mountain, Biff Hill, and Double Cone. The main building, Cine Mountain, has 3 theaters for screening movies and one performing arts theater, called ‘Haneulyeon,’ featuring the world’s best stage performances. Busan Cinema Center is said to be the first culture complex worldwide to combine movie theaters and a performing arts center in one building.
Busan Tower is a symbol of Busan that stands proudly 69m above sea level at a height of 120m. The top of the tower is modeled after the baldaquin of Dabotap Pagoda in Bulguksa Temple, Gyeongju. Beloved by Busan citizens and tourists alike, the tower offers a stunning night view and plenty to see, such as the Statue of the Great Admiral Yi Sun-shin, the Bell of the Citizens, a flower clock, the Museum of Musical Instruments of the World, and a bust of the Busan-based independent activist, Baeksan An Hee-je.
UN Memorial Cemetery in Korea
The UN Memorial Cemetery in Korea honors UN soldiers from 16 countries that were killed in battle during the Korean War from 1950-1953. This serene park spreads across a grassy plain area of 135,000 m2. Some of the sites and memorials include: Memorial Service Hall, Memorabilia Hall, 2 Turkish Monuments, Greek Monument, Australian Monument, British Common Wealth Monument and 2 ponds. The Memorial Service Hall and the Memorabilia Hall were constructed in 1964 and 1968 respectively. The citizens of Busan dedicated the Main Gate in 1966. There are many annual events held here, some of the key events include: April’s Tributary Ceremony of the Veterans of the Korean War, May’s American Memorial Day, June’s Korean Memorial Day, and October’s UN Ceremony Day.
Haeundae Beach (해운대해수욕장) is probably the most famous beach in the country. "Haeundae" was so named by scholar Choi Chi-Won (857~?) of the Silla Dynasty (BC 57~AD 935). When he was walking past Dongbaekdo Island, he was fascinated by it and left the carved words "Hae Un Dae" on a stone wall on the island. Haeundae is 1.5 km long, 30~50m wide, and spans an area of 58,400㎡. The white sand is rough and sticks easily to your skin. The sand of this beach is composed of sand that comes from Chuncheon Stream and shells that have been naturally eroded by the wind over time. Haeundae Beach is also famous for the various cultural events and festivals held throughout the year. At Haeundae Beach there is a Folk Square where you can enjoy traditional games such as neoldduigi (seesaw jumping), Korean wrestling, tuho(arrow throwing), tug-of-war and yutnori. There is also the Beach Culture Center and the Beach Library. Numerous people visit every year from June to August.
There are many islands named Dongbaekseom Island (동백섬) in the South Sea where dongbaek trees thrive. Among them, the Dongbaekseom Island in Busan used to be an island, but is now part of the mainland. Dongbaekseom Island is a very small, and many dongbaek trees and evergreens thrive there. At the top of the island, there is a statue and a monument of Choe Chi-Won, a scholar and writer during the Silla Dynasty (BC 59 ~ AD 932). The Busan Tourism Organization has declared Dongbaekseom Island Tourist Site No.46. The island also has Dongbaek Park (동백공원) and a 2.5 m high statue of a mermaid near the beach which many tourists can easily visit on their way to the beach.
Nurimaru APEC House
The name Nurimaru APEC House is created by combining the Korean words nuri (“world”) and maru (“summit”), and “APEC House,” which refers to an APEC conference hall. Collectively, it means “a house where the world summits gather together for an APEC meeting.”
Located on Dongbaekseom Island, which is noted for its beautiful, natural landscape accented by dense camellia and pine trees, Nurimaru APEC House has been used as a memorial hall and a prestigious international conference hall since the APEC summit meeting. Nurimaru, a 3-story building, is a modernistic expression of “jeongja,” a pavilion in traditional Korean architectural style. Its roof shape symbolizes the ridgeline of Dongbaekseom Island. Its interior design is a visual display of Korea’s creative traditional culture.
The terrace, which has a Korean wooden floor concept, towers over Oryukdo Island, Gwangan Bridge and Dallmaji Hill. Located near Haeundae Beach, it not only offers a spectacular view of the beach, but also has the appearance of a reputable international conference hall featuring both modern and natural beauty.