Showing posts with label temples. Show all posts

Trip to Gyeongju


Before the Joseon dynasty, there was once an ancient kingdom referred to as Silla. It was composed of three kingdoms that unified the Korean peninsula. Gyeongju was its capital and it became one of the prosperous and wealthy city of its era. Political instability had contributed to its decline until it was succeeded by the Goryeo dynasty.


There were two options on travelling from Busan to Gyeongju, it is a choice between bus or train. You can easily catch the train from the Busan Train Station and the bus from the Bus station one subway stop from Beomeosa. If you ask me, it is better to take the bus since the bus station in Gyeongju is in the middle of town compared to the train station which is located on the outskirts. If you count local traffic, it is another 45 minutes of travel time.

After we got off the bus station, we are all hungry and would like to start our second leg of our trip with a full belly before heading back to Seoul. We chose this non-descript place that serve the usual Korean food. We ordered a simple Seafood Pancake and Tofu Stew. But while we are waiting for our main meal, here is the ban chan (side dishes) spread they provided us. This is local food at its best.


Beomeosa Temple

Beomeosa Temple means the temple of heavenly fish. It is said that a gold fish came from the sky and settled on the well on top of Mount Geumjeongsan.


The original temple was built 1,300 years ago until it was lost during the Japanese invasion in 1592. It was renovated in 1713 and became one of the most delicate architectures in the Joseon era.


Korea Series: Gakwonsa Temple

This wasn't on our list on our itinerary. It so happened that we found an English magazine with a photo of a giant Buddha centered at the foot of a mountain. It looks so majestic and we want to see it. From my out of date guidebook, it says that it would be accessible by the subway. Sounds easy, right? The trip took about 2.5 hours but if you use the local train (like taking the express train), it took us about 1 hour. I heard that if you take the KTX (the speed train) it will only take about 30 mins but it will drop you off on the different train station next town over.

We got off in train Cheonan station. The train station was small not as slick as the one in Seoul but functional. You could tell that we are really far removed from the city life when you see squat toilets on public restrooms. We took Exit 1 and on the bottom of the stairs is a tourist information. They gave us information on the bus number we need to take and where we would be able to catch it. We were told that we would be able to use our subway T-card so there is no hassle fumbling for cash.