KTX Bullet Train to Gyeongju Tour

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 dynasty (BCE 57 - CE 935), and is known for its extensive historical remains. The 8th-century Bulguksa Temple features twin stone pagodas, a series of wooden staircases and a large bronze Buddha. Nearby, 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.

Our guide will meet pick you up in the lobby (on the 1st floor of your hotel if lobby is not on the first floor) of your hotel in Soul according to a schedule we will confirm and drive you to Seoul Station where you take a KTX train (High Speed Train) to Gyeongju. Riding KTX for 2.5 hours is also good experience. 

At your arrival at Singyeongju station, our local guide will pick you up and will go on to Gyeongju City Tour. 

After the Gyeongju City Tour, you will be transferred back to the Singyeongju station to take a KTX train back to Seoul Station. You will arrive at Seoul station in 2 hour 40 minutes.  

At your arrival at the Seoul Station, our driver will pick you up and drop you off at your hotel. 

Tour Description

KTX (High speed train, Bullet Train) - to an from Busan

KTX train is the high speed train (Bullet train) in South Korea connecting Seoul and provincial major cities. You can reach Busan, Gyeongju and Gangreung within 3 hours. KTX train tickets will be provided at the time of booking through e-mail.  

 

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). 

Tumuli Park

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.

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.

 

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.

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. 

Tour Itinerary

07:00               Pick up in the lobby (Seoul) 

                       (1st floor if lobby is not

                        on the 1st floor)

07:30 - 10:00   Transfer to Gyeongju 

10:00 - 10:10    Meet local guide at the Station 

10:10 - 12:00   Seokguram grotto  

                        

12:00 - 13:00   (Lunch) 

13:00 - 14:00   Bulguksa Temple 

14:00 - 15:30   Gyeongju National Museum  

15:30 - 16:00    Donggung and Wolji  

16:00 - 17:00    Tumuli Park 

17:00 - 17:30    Cheomseongdae 

17:30 - 18:30    Singyeongju station 

18:30 - 20:30   Transfer to Seoul

20:30 - 21:00    Pick up and 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 to Seoul Station with private vehicle

  • Hotel Pick up and Drop off Service in Seoul   

Exclusions

  • Personal expenses

  • Meals and beverages 

Remarks

  • itinerary depends on local status

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