Gyeongju is one of Korea’s must-visit tourist destinations that is home to a myriad of historic and cultural sites, events, and activities. This is the place that you should visit if you want a glimpse of the real Korea. Gyeongju, quite aptly known as a ‘museum without walls’, was the residence of the Silla rulers for more than 1,000 years, and it still has a number of remains and archaeological sites dating back to that period.
Apart from its rich history, Gyeongju is also popular for its charming landscape, the nearby mountains, hiking trails, springtime flowers, cherry blossoms, and forest areas. What further makes exploring this city very convenient is that the place is well-connected and most of the sites are at a walking distance from one another.
Given below are some tips and instructions that can help you have a great and fulfilling vacation at Gyeongju.
Best Time to Visit
Gyeongju has four distinct seasons, but due to its coastal location, there are temperature differences between the city and the inland regions in Korea. The best time to visit Gyeongju is in spring between March and May when the average temperature is around 12 degrees Centigrade (54 degrees Fahrenheit). The monsoon season usually starts late June and lasts till early August, and this is a season that you should avoid as typhoons are not uncommon during summer and autumn.
Getting Around in Gyeongju
There are a number of transport options available for tourists in Gyeongju. Depending on the destinations and the type of holiday you want to enjoy.
As most of the tourist spots are close to one another, cycling is a great option in travelling around Gyeongju, especially if you enjoy physical activity. There are a number of bicycle courses across the city, so you need to make sure you stick to the right course; traffic can sometimes be a bit of a problem in Gyeongju.
Bicycles can be hired by the day or even by the hour from a number of rental shops.
Gyeongju is well connected by local buses, both regular and deluxe, which travel throughout the area. You can find buses to each and every tourist destination in Gyeongju, and this is a great way to travel within the city especially for travelers who are on a tight budget.
Taxis are another good option, but drivers usually only speak Korean. Choosing this mode of transportation works best when you can afford it and need to cover maximum ground within a limited time frame. One thing that's worth noting here is that you need to have all your destinations written down in Korean so you can show the relevant address to the driver when you board the cab. Rates often hover around 70,000 won to 100,000 won for five to seven hours.
Good to Know/Tips
Gyeongju offers a lot of hiking opportunities to tourists, so make sure you pack comfortable clothes and sturdy walking shoes for your trips -- that's assuming that you are interested in hiking. Either way, do not forget your camera and other accessories as Gyeongju is a colourful place with a number of beautiful spots where you can capture great photographs.
Mosquitoes may also be a problem, therefore carrying mosquito repellent and following other necessary precautions is a good idea.
Gyeongju also has a number of temples that you might want to visit. When you do, however, remember the following:
- Always enter the temple through the side door
- Always leave your shoes outside at the door
- Dress modestly
A few other points you should keep in mind in general are:
- Tap water should be avoided unless it is filtered, boiled, or disinfected
- It is also a good idea to select the places you choose to eat from carefully, especially when it concerns street food
- Take care while crossing the streets as there are a lot of scooters here and delivery boys tend to travel at high speeds
- Credit cards are accepted at major stores, but they may not be accepted at smaller shops therefore, make sure you have a good supply of cash in hand
- Tipping is considered offensive, so if you wish to express your gratitude, just say thank you and give a slight bow
- Gyeongju is a popular vacation spot. Therefore, if you are visiting Gyeongju during the peak season, make sure you visit the tourist spots early so that you can enjoy the sites without having to deal with the crowds.