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Gyeongju UNESCO World Heritage Sites and History Full-Day Tour with Lunch

Highlights
  • Full-day Gyeongju UNESCO-listed sites and history tour
  • Explore the UNESCO-protected Bulguk Temple and Seokguram Grotto
  • Discover Gyochon Traditional Village, the royal tombs at Daereungwon, and more
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Gyeongju UNESCO World Heritage Sites and History Full-Day Tour with Lunch
From US$179.99
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  • Overview
  • What to Expect
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Overview
Explore the UNESCO-listed sites and other must-sees of Gyeongju on this full-day tour. Once the capital of Korea’s Silla kingdom, Gyeongju offers numerous attractions, some outside the city, making it difficult to see them independently in one day. This tour covers them all, including the UNESCO-protected Bulguk Temple and Seokguram. Includes entrance fees, lunch, pickup and drop-off at Gyeongju and Busan hotels and Haeundae subway station, and the option of upgrading to a private tour.
What to Expect
Itinerary
This is a typical itinerary for this product

Stop At: 신라왕궁영상관

Tourist can enjoy short film of Shilla Kimdom dynasty.

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Cheomseongdae Observatory, Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do

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.

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Donggung Palace and Wolji Pond

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.
Imhaejeonji
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.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Gyeongju Gyochon Traditional Village, Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do

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.

Duration: 45 minutes

Stop At: Daereungwon Royal Tomb

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.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Seokguram, Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do

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.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Bulguksa Temple, Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do

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).

Duration: 1 hour
Reviews (54)
1 - 5 of 11 reviews
Reviewed 2 days ago
Amazing guide

Booked for a group tour and ended up being alone with my wife. Beth, the tour guide, was amazing. She was very knowledgeable with regarda to the history but was also kind at sharing information on modern customs and information. Her English was also up...More

Date of experience: April 2019
Thank Willcote2245
Reviewed 12 March 2019 via mobile
Super and very accommodative too

My wife and I booked this tour with Busan Tourism Center and we were lucky to get Beth as our guide. My wife had been wanting to visit the Gyeongju area for a long time, and this tour covers some cool and interesting sites (I...More

Thank Scenic826774
Reviewed 10 February 2019 via mobile
Great intro to Shilla history

We booked a tour via TripAdvisor. Originally meant to be a shared tour, but as it was off peak we ended up having a great day out in a private tour with just our family. Our tour guide, Steve, was fantastic. He let us go...More

Thank rolal461
Reviewed 11 November 2018
Highly recommend this tour

We organized a full day tour of Gyeongju UNESCO sites with Busan Tourism and were lucky to have Beth as our guide. We felt she showed us the best of Gyeongju, was prompt and gave us such insight into Korea as well. She was great...More

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank KimofOz
Reviewed 2 November 2018
Great day out in the country!

Second trip to Busan this year with the wife, and we decided to do our tour a second time with Steve of BTC (not to be confused with the lesser known k-pop band, BTS). He did not disappoint, and Gyeongju is a great day out...More

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank wanderfast
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Questions & Answers
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Securityman70
4 February 2019|
Answer
Response from kathysS6302RB | Reviewed this property |
You need to ask the company. I waa booked for a second different tour, but because they only had my reservation, they asked if I wanted to pay for a solo private tour which was double the cost. I declined. If they haven’t... More
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Jessica S
17 January 2019|
Answer
Response from kathysS6302RB | Reviewed this property |
Around 4:30/5:00, if I correctly recall. You're not rushed on the tour, and go to an excellent Korean buffet lunch where you can try a lot of different Korean dishes, some that I have never seen at a luncheon (I'm Korean... More
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Securityman70
3 December 2018|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from KimofOz | Reviewed this property |
I would send them an email and ask the question - they may be picking up someone else along the way.
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