A trip to Gyeongju 경주, the capital of Silla

Authored by:
Sharon J.

Sharon J.

In early February, I took a 2 and a half hour KTX train ride from Seoul to Gyeongju, in Gyeongsangbuk-do which is towards the southeastern area of Korea. Gyeongju was the capital of Silla during the Three Kingdoms (57BC – 668AD) and the Great Silla Kingdom (668AD-935AD) which lasted for about 1,000 years, and was the fourth largest city in the world at the time. 

Even after the three kingdoms (Silla 신라, Baekje 백제, Goguryeo 고구려) unified, Gyeongju remained as the area popularized for international trade, commerce, and culture. Today, it is one of Korea’s greatest cultural and historical heritage sites - it was also named by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. 

Gyeongju is known as a living museum, or a museum without walls, as you can see sites and monuments wherever you go. It also suffered from Japanese invasions and was where one of the bloodiest battles occurred.

It was great to take some time away from the city and go more south, especially since the weather was a bit warmer than in Seoul. I recommend everyone to visit, but not without walking shoes, cute outfits to take pictures in, and a camera!

Here are some of the places I visited:

Gyeongju is famous for its various breads, but I found one shaped like a coin!
There are an endless amount of beautiful cafes, especially ones on the waterfront. This place had a gorgeous view and delicious pastries.

Woljeonggyo Bridge (월정교) has a beautifully vibrant red color, but also equally beautiful at night, when the lights come on!
Something I was surprised to see was this Starbucks, which had the historical look and feel both inside and outside!
Yangdong Folk Village (양동마을) has tours in different language where you can walk around a village (that people still stay in today) and learn about the meanings of the different building looks and the social structure. It was incredibly interesting and helpful!
This is one of the places we stopped by in the folk village. The tour guide described the structure of the house and what the various components meant.


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