3D2N Gyeongju and Andong

Gyeongju is small city with population of 264 thousand. Gyeongju is located in the southeast of South Korea. It was the capital of the 1,000-year-long Silla Kingdom (57 BCE - 935 CE) and is known for its extensive historical remains from the Millennium Kingdom. The 8th-century Bulguksa Temple features twin stone pagodas, a series of wooden staircases and a large bronze Buddha. Nearby Bulguksa temple, Seokguram Grotto houses a towering seated Buddha and offers panoramic views of the sun rising over the East Sea which is part of Pacific ocean. 

Andong is called "the Capital City of the Korean Spirit". The city based on the Confucianism. Interesting thing is it looks very conservative but also very open to 'change'.  Andong and Gyeongju city is famous for plenty of UNESCO World Cultural Heritage. The Hahoe village is well known where the Queen Elizabeth Ⅱ visited in 1999. Haehoe village is the best village preserving traditional culture of Korea. 

Or guide will pick you up in the lobby (on the first floor if lobby in not on the first floor) of your hotel and drive to the southeast section of Korean peninsula, the tour site. Then you will visit destinations in Gyeongju city and Andong city according to the itinerary below. 

You will be transferred back to Seoul and be dropped at your hotel after tour. 

Tour Description

 

 

{Day 1}  - Transfer and Gyeongju tour

Transfer to Gyeongju from your Hotel in Seoul, Incheon or Suwon city.

 

 

{Day 1}   - Gyeongju city tour

Gyeongju National Museum 

Gyeongju National Museum is loved by visitors and residents alike as it houses numerous historical and cultural artifacts of the Silla Dynasty (57 BCE - 935 CE). Gyeongju National Museum is making efforts to contribute to the community and re-establish its identity as a museum by making efforts to provide lifelong learning opportunities and improve management.

 

As a significant cultural center, Gyeongju National Museum not only strives to preserve, exhibit, and research the rich history and culture of Silla, but it also strives to take a leap forward to become a cultural multi-complex center by promoting international exchange opportunities, social education programs, and a variety of special exhibitions. 

Thousands of treasures from the excavated tombs and Silla dynasty area are displayed and preserved here. 

Donggung and Wolji (East Palace and Weolji)

Gyeongju Donggung Palace (East Palace) and Wolji Pond were the secondary palace site which was used for the palace of the Crowned Prince along with other subsidiary buildings and it also was the banquet site for important national event and important visitors. Wolji used to be called "Anabji". 

 

After the fall of Silla, the site was abandoned and forgotten. The pond was referred to as "Anapji" instead during the time of Goryeo and Joseon period. In the 1980s, pottery fragment with letters “Wolji” (a pond that reflects the moon) carved onto it was found, revealing the true name of the pond. After the discovery, the site has been renamed to the current Donggung Palace and Wolji Pond.

Tumuli Park (Daereungwon, Cheonmachong, Tomb of King Michu)

Tumuli park is the complex of Silla dynasty Kings' tombs or upper class tombs, it is looks like park as the name say. There is Daereungwon and Cheonmachong Tomb in the central section of the park area. 

Within Daereungwon Tomb Complex is Cheonmachong Tomb (Ancient Tomb No. 155), which was excavated in 1973. A total of 11,526 artifacts were discovered within the tomb, including Cheonmado, an artwork considered to be highly valuable as it is Korea's first artwork to be excavated from an ancient tomb. The flying horse shaped mud guard of the horse was founded during excavation so it was called Cheonmachong which means 'flying horse tomb'. 

Cheonmachong Tomb consists of a wooden coffin placed inside an underground chamber mounded with boulders and earth, characterized as a typical upper class tomb of the Silla period. The mound has a height of 12.7 meters with a diameter of 50 meters, and consists of a layer of rocks collected from streams. 

 

 

Cheomseongdae

Cheomseongdae is the oldest existing astronomical observatory in Asia. Constructed during the reign of Queen Seon-deok (r. 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. 

Cheomseongdae was built in a cylinder shape with stones 30cm in diameter. 362 stones were piled up to make 27 levels. Roughly 4.16m up from the bottom there is a 1㎡ square entrance and a space to hang a ladder under it. 
The inside is filled with soil up to the 12th level, and the 19th, 20th, 25th, and 26th levels all have long rocks hanging on two areas, shaped as the Chinese letter '井' (jeong). 

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.

 

{overnight in Gyeongju}   - first night

 

 

{Day 2}   -  Gyeongju city tour and Andong city tour

 

Seokguram Grotto

Seokguram grotto is man-made small cave. There is generous, beautiful Buddha statue in this cave. The official name of Seokguram, National Treasure No. 24, is Seokguram Seokgul. This was established in 751. Because of the master piece of the artist, construction and Buddhism theory it is regarded as the most beautiful temple grotto. The grotto, located on Tohamsan Mountain, is the representative stone temple of Korea.

 

Designated as a 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 Kingdom (57 BC - AD 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 Kingdom, 918-1392), Kim Dae-Seong had Bulguksa Temple built for his parents in his current life, and Seokguram Grotto for the parents of his former life. 

Inside the round-shaped main hall are the Bonjon Statue, Bodhi-sattva and his disciples. The Bonjon figure wearing a generous smile is seated on the stage engraved with a lotus flower design. The rounded ceiling looks like a half-moon or a bow and has a lotus flower decorated cover on it. There is saying that at the sunrise from the East Sea, the sun ray make triangle among Sun, Bonjonbul Buddha statue and King munmu grave in the sea. 

 

Bulguksa Temple

Bulguksa Temple was built in 528 during the Silla Kingdom, 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 rebuilding the temple in 751 during the reign of King Gyeong-Deok (r. 742-765) and completed it in 774 during the reign of King Hye-Gong (r. 765-780). Upon completion, the temple’s name was changed to Bulguksa. The Temple is the representative relic of Gyeongju, South Korea 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. So many tourists visit here even though it is far from Seoul where the capital city of the South Korea. 

 

Bulguksa Temple underwent numerous renovations from the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392) to the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), but was burned down during the Imjin War (Japanese Invasions, 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. But it is still survived. 

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 Dabotap Pagoda (National Treasure No. 20), Seokgatap Pagoda (National Treasure No. 21), Yeonhwa-gyo & Chilbo-gyo Bridges (National Treasure No. 22), Cheongun-gyo & Baegun-gyo Bridges (National Treasure No. 23), Seokguram Grotto (National Treasure No. 24), the Golden Seated Vairocana Buddhist Figure (National Treasure No. 26), the Golden Seated Amita Figure (National Treasure No. 27), and Saritap Pagoda (Treasure No. 61). 

Tranfer to to Andong city from Gyeongju city

Hahoe Village

Hahoe Village is home to descendants of the Ryu clan of Pungsan and is well-known for its traditional houses.

 

Birthplace of renowned scholars of the Joseon Period (CE 1392 - 1910) such as Gyeomam Ryu Un-ryong and Seoae Ryu Seong-ryong, the village became even more famous after Queen Elizabeth of England visited on April 21, 1999.

Hahoe Village (translating to “Village Enveloped by Water”) gets its name from Nakdong River, which flows around the town’s perimeter. The village is located at the foothills of Hwasan Mountain, an offshoot of Taebaek Mountain that rises up to the east. The center of the village is populated by large tile-roofed houses belonging to the Ryu clan, adding their own unique charm to the surrounding thatched roofs.

The village boasts exquisite scenic sights: the elegant Nakdong River flowing around the village. In addition to breathtaking scenery, it offers delectable local delicacies. Try the Andong Soju (distilled alcoholic beverage), Heotjesabap (a type of Bibimbap eaten by the nobles), Andong Gangodeungeo (salted mackerel), and Andong Guksu (noodle dish).

Hahoe Village, along with Yangdong Village in Gyeongju, was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List under the category of “Historic Villages in Korea” on July 31, 2010. 

Byeongsan Seowon

Byeongsanseowon is a Confucian academy that was established by esteemed Confucian scholars to pay tribute to the memory of Seong-nyong Yu (1542-1607) who was well-respected for his writings and personality. His mortuary tablet is enshrined at this school.

 

Confucian schools enjoyed many freedoms under the Joseon rule around the time of 1863, students and scholars of the school were exempt from taxation and other expenses.

 

There was 'big cleaning removal' of Confucian school during the rule of Daewongun (famous father of king Gojong , 1820 ~ 1898] in 1868. However Byeongsan Seowon was one of 47 places in all of Korea and 2 in Andong those are not destroyed, because it was worth to remain. 

 

The same Nakdong-gang River is situated just in front of the Confucian Academy by making fresh water sand beach. 

Buyongdae Cliff 

Buyongdae is a cliff about 64 meters high situated where the Taebaek Mountain Range ends and it is just across the Nakdong river from the Hahoe village. Therefore, can get a bird’s eye view of the Hahoe Village. Meaning lotus, the name Buyongdae is said to be given for Hahoe Village’s configuration like a lotus flower.

 

{overnight in Andong}   - second night

 

Woryeonggyo Bridge (Moon light bridge)

Woryeonggyo Bridge (387m in length and 3.6m in width) was opened in 2003.  It is the longest footbridge made of wood in Korea.

The Bridge harbors' a tragic yet beautiful legend about a wife who made a pair of Mituri (hemp shoes) out of her hair in heartfelt yearning and condolence for her late husband. In commemoration of her pure and noble love, the bridge was designed in the style of Mituri. At the center of the bridge is Woryeongjeong Pavilion.

 

Bongjeongsa Temple   - oldest wooden building Geurakjeon

There is oldest wooden building in Korea in Bongjeonsa temple, Geuknakjeon Hall is that buidling. While reconstruction work was being done on Geuknakjeon Hall in 1972, records were discovered which is stating the hall was repaired in 1363. This discovery gave concrete evidence that Geuknakjeon Hall is the oldest wooden building in the nation.

Bongjeongsa Temple is believed to have been built in 672 by the Great Buddist Monk Ui-Sang. However, other documents seem to state that Neungin Daedeuk, a disciple of Monk Ui-Sang, established the temple.

During the Korean War, many documents related to the temple were destroyed, so much of the history has been lost.

Tranfer to to Seoul city from Andong city

 
 
 
Accommodations - listed hotel or similar 

Gyeongju

Hotel Swiss Rossen or similar ★★★ (Gyeongju) 
Address: 465-37, Bomun-ro, Gyeongju-si 
Homepage: http://www.swissrosen.co.kr

Andong

Hotel Andong Grand or similar ★★★ (Andong) 
Address: 346-84, Gwangwangdanji-ro, Andong-si 
Homepage: http://www.andonggrandhotel.com

 
 
Tour Itinerary

{Day 1} 

08:30               Pick up in the lobby (Seoul) 

                       (1st floor if lobby is not

                        on the 1st floor) 

08:30 - 14:30   Transfer to Gyeongju city 

14:30 - 17:30    Gyeongju City Tour 

                        {overnight in Gyeongju} 

{Day 2} 

                        

08:30               Pick up 

08:30 - 12:00   Gyeongju City Tour 

12:00 - 13:00   Transfer to Andong  

13:00 - 15:00   Andong City Tour 

                      {overnight in Andong)

{Day 3} 

09:00               Pick up

09:00 - 12:00   Andong City Tour 

12:00 - 17:00   Transfer to Seoul

17:00               drop off at your hotel 

 
Tour Pricing

Tour Rate (price per person)  

Inclusions

  • All admission fees to tourists sites 

  • Local English-speaking guide service 

  • Transportation service during tour 

  • Hotel Pick up and Drop off Service in Seoul 

  • Accommodations 

Exclusions

  • Personal expenses

  • Meals and beverages 

Remarks

  • If you want to start/finish at Incheon airport, extra $60 per one way transfer 

  • Maximum passengers 5 people with small to medium sized hand-carry luggage (No large size luggage) 

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