I probably could have spent a week in Gyeongju and still not seen every temple, museum, or palace in the city. Looking at a tourism map of Gyeongju made my head spin, there were countless places to see. When it came to temples, I chose Bulguksa Temple and the Seokguram grotto. Seokguram is a temple where a Buddha figure is carved into the rock of the grotto.
I took the KTX train to Gyeongju from Cheonan-Asan station. I only had a regular weekend to see the city and I didn’t want to spend an extra five hours on a bus that would probably get stuck in traffic on the way there.
Gyeongju really goes out of its way to make it easy for tourists to get around. A lot of the bus stops had maps in English and many of the buses announced their stops in Korean and English. It took about 45 minutes to get to Bulguksa from Gyeongju by bus.
After I left Bulguksa, it was another short bus ride up a mountain to Seokguram. Even though it was short, it was also…thrilling? It was a good thing I don’t get car sick easily. The bus driver actually yelled at some loud people talking at the front of the bus and told them to be quiet so he could concentrate.
Once you arrive at the top of the mountain, you walk along a trail to the tiny temple by the grotto. Inside the building is a huge Buddha carved into the rocks. There was an old security man sitting inside the temple sitting next to a huge sign that said “no pictures”. It would be hard to sneak one in while security is sitting right there.
You could see the ocean from the top of the mountain. I’m so glad I visited during the picture perfect Fall weather.