* Please CONTACT US FIRST for the available dates *
Full Day Tour of Gyeongju ( Course B ) w/ an English speaking tour guide
Departing from Busan or Pick up in Gyeongju is also available
Lunch and all Entrance fees included
Tour Van/Bus will pick you up from your Hotel/guest house if needed
Tour will start at 9 am to 5 pm ~ 6 pm
* $358.98 per person ( Age under 5 free )
* Minimum of 2 tourists required per day if not, it can be cancelled with advance notice.
** Government licensed and insured guaranteed
*** Photographer is available for free
**** prices are based on USD
Welcome to a fantasy world where you can take a time machine to go back to more than 1,200 years ago during the Shilla Kingdom. It is not yet another amusement or theme park offering so-and-so rides and performances. The park, devoted to the theme, captivates you with wonder service of personnel in Shilla costumes, mammoth open-air performances, based on the state-of-the-art technologies, and historically ascertained Shilla houses. Seek out adventures into the past and create pleasant memories in the Culture and Arts Village.
Tourist can enjoy short film of Shilla Kimdom dynasty.
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.
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.
Silla Culture Experience Center was established to offer various cultural programs featuring Gyeongju in the basement level between Daereungwon Tomb Complex and Cheomseongdae Observatory. Cultural programs include making chocolates in the shape of Gyeongju's cultural assets, making a golden crown, kite-making, Korean music performance, and more.
Silla Arts and Science Museum is located in Gyeongju Folk Craft Village, and displays miniature models of cultural assets in the region in order to promote the scientific principles of the cultural properties.
On the first floor of the museum are cultural items including Sillawanggyeongdo, unearthed relics from Hwangnamdaechong Tomb and a reconstruction of relics from Namsan Mountain.
The second floor houses a golden crown of Silla and Baekje, and Tripitaka Koreana of Haeinsa Temple. The basement has miniatures of Seokguram Grotto and Gunwisamjonseokbul in Palgongsan Mountain. Outside the museum, Gameunsaji and Cheomseongdae observatory are on display. The museum is unique for promoting scientific preservation methods of cultural relics based on a thorough analysis of their structure and genuine beauty.
Bulguk 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.
Bulguk 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.
Bulguk 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.
In 1969, the Bulguk 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, Bulguk 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).
Seokguram, located on Tohamsan Mountain, is the representative stone temple of Korea. The official name of Seokguram, National Treasure No. 24, is Seokguram Seokgul. 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. As the sunrise from this spot is quite beautiful, many people climb the mountain at daybreak.
Gyeongju World Culture Expo is a valuable cultural exposition which has attracted over 16.2 million visitors so far through eight runs since 1998. In particular, previous expos introduced: the harmony of traditional culture and ICT (Information and Communications Technology), Korean culture and global culture, abundant hallyu contents, and is the first cultural expo to showcase the theme of the Silk Road. The expo is expected to welcome visitors with various exhibitions, performances, and hands-on programs.
The tomb of General Kim Yusin (595-673) is Historic Site No. 21. It is located in a scenic area thick with pine trees, on the eastern hill of Songhwasan Mountain.
Known as the Hero of the Silla Kingdom, General Kim Yusin was the great grandson of King Guhae, the last king of the Geumgwan Gaya Dynasty, and the son of Seo Hyeon, a great general of the Silla Kingdom. Yusin joined the Hwarang (aristocratic youth military corps) at 15 and began dreaming of ways to unify the peninsula’s three kingdoms.
Kim Yusin gained his political foothold by establishing a strong relationship with nobleman Kim Chunchu and made a name for himself through his valor on the battlefield.
When Kim Chunchu eventually succeeded to the throne as the 29th king of the Silla Kingdom (changing his name to King Muyeol), Kim Yusin rose through the ranks and was eventually promoted to the extraordinarily high-ranking position of Sangdaedeung in the year 660 (7th year of King Muyeol’s reign). Kim Yusin then went on to defeat the Baekje Kingdom in cooperation with the Tang Dynasty, also later conquering the Goguryeo Kingdom in the year 668.
The Tang Dynasty turned against Silla after the collapse of Goguryeo, but was defeated by Kim Yusin’s army in cooperation with the armies of Goguryeo and Baekje. With the fall of the Tang, Kim Yusin finally realized his dream of unifying the three kingdoms and was appointed the highest government post in Silla in honor of his heroic achievement.
The tomb of General Kim Yusin is a large tomb measuring roughly 30m in diameter. The relief carvings of 12 Oriental zodiac gods (half man, half animal) stand guard around the tomb, brandishing weapons. The elaborately decorated tomb is second in grandeur only to those of royalty, further underscoring Yusin’s major contribution in unifying the three kingdoms.
The path to this tomb is also a sight not to be missed. The street leading up to the tomb is called Heungmu-ro, and has been selected as one of the 100 Most Beautiful Streets in Korea. The street is full of cherry blossoms in spring and is famous for being a great place to take a walk or go for a drive.
The Oreung Tombs (“oreung” meaning “five royal tombs”) have been officially designated Historic Site No. 172 and are the final resting places of four kings of the Park clan—King Park Hyeokgeose (founder of the Silla Kingdom), King Namhae, King Yuri, and King Jabi—and one queen (Queen Aryeong, wife of King Park Hyeokgeose).
To the east of the royal tombs lies Sungdeokjeon Shrine, which holds the ancestral tablet of King Park Hyeokgeose. Behind the shrine is the Aryeongjeong Well, said to be the birthplace of Queen Aryeong.
Large ancient tombs of kings and nobles of the Silla Kingdom 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 1970s, Cheonmachong was discovered with a painting of a 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 royal crowns inside the tomb, demonstrating the lavish lifestyle of the king. Another tourist attraction is Hwangnamdaechong, 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. 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.
Located in Gyeongju-si, Gyeongju Gyochon Village is a hanok village that allows visitors a look inside life of famous the Choi Clan. Visitors can see the House of the Gyeongju Choi Clan (Important Folklore Material No. 27) and try some Gyeongju Gyodong Beopju Liquor (Important Intangible Cultural Asset No. 86-3) inside the village.
According to the historical records of Samguk-sagi, Wolji Pond was built during the 14th year of King Munmu (r. 661-681 AD) of the Silla Kingdom (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 (built 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, Wolji Pond has been restored to nearly its former glory.
As one of the detached palaces of the Silla royal family’s main palace, this structure was used as the crown prince’s palace. Imhaejeon is historically the most important building on the property and records often refer to the whole area as ‘Imhaejin.’
An excavation resulted in the discovery of several buildings: Hoerang (corridor area) and five towers in the western part of the area. Some sites have been restored while others have been left in their natural state with only the cornerstones poking out from beneath the ground.
Gyeongju National Museum is steeped in tradition. Representing Gyeongju, which was the capital city of the Silla Kingdom (57 BC - AD 935), the museum is where you can view the cultural history of Gyeongju district. Exhibitions are divided into 4 large areas: the Main hall, Annex I, Annex II, and the Outdoor Exhibit Area (Museum Grounds).
In the Main Hall you can see earthenware, with various artworks and craftworks in the Arts and Crafts room. Gukeun Memorial Hall exhibits over 600 artifacts, which were the personal collection of Dr. Lee Yang-Seon, donated to the museum for preservation. Artifacts from the great tombs of the city of Gyeongju are displayed in the Gobun Gallery in Annex I. There are many glittering accessories, such as golden crowns and ornaments, belts, earrings, etc. You will be introduced to the superb artistry of the Silla Period through these artifacts.
Approximately 30,000 artifacts have been excavated from Wolji Pond, the most significant of which are exhibited in the Wonji Gallery in Annex 2. Other galleries in Annex 2 exhibit household goods. These various types of items show many aspects of life in the Royal Court during the Silla Period. After the galleries, you can move on to the Outdoor Exhibit Area, in the Museum Grounds. King Seongdeok’s Bell, located here, is the most renowned of all Buddhist temple bells. You cannot help but feel solemn as you gaze upon the relic. There is also a variety of artifacts from royal palaces and temples exhibited throughout the grounds. 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.
Bunhwangsa Temple was built during the year 634 and the third year of Queen Seondeok's rule, the 27th ruler of the Silla Kingdom. Prominent Buddhist priests Wonhyo and Jajang have resided at the temple.
As the temple has a long history, it once held many historical relics but most of them have been lost due to the Mongolian invasion and the Japanese invasion of Korea in 1592. The remaining relics are Mojeon Stone Tower, Hwajaengguksabibu (A memorial stone placed in memory of Wonhyo, a renown Buddhist priest from the Silla Kingdom), Samnyongbyeoneojeong (A well in which the three dragons that protected Silla were believed to reside), and Danggan Pillars.
Mojeon Stone Tower, the 30th National Treasure reaching a height of 9.3 meters, was built using bricks carved from andesite rocks. While the tower is presumed to be originally a 7-9 story structure, only 3 stories remain today. Danggan Pillars, two stone pillars that stand 3.6 meters high, are located at the entrance of Punhwangsa Temple. Danggan refers to flagpoles made of either wood, metal or stone that were used to hang flags which signified Buddhist festivals so that even people far away would be aware of them. The pillars are supported by stone turtles, a unique feature as most pillars do not possess such characteristics. There are also statues of Buddha displayed in the yard of Gyeongju National Museum. These statues were found in a well situated 30 meters north of the rear wall of Bunhwangsa Temple.