Gyeongju – Bulgaksa Temple

The most famous Buddhist temple in S. Korea.

Built in 751AD the temple complex really is very impressive. UNESCO clearly agreed as it declared it a World Heritage Site back in 1995.

Built on the side of Mount Toham, it is a complex of temples, buildings and gardens all with great views over the valley. We arrived by bus at the base of the park and walked up through yet more blossoming cherry trees in the park before the main gate. Even though it was not especially warm, it was one of the few sunny days we had in Korea and the place was filled with picnicking Korean families.

Picnics under the Sakura
Picnics under the Sakura

The temple itself is similar to some we have visited in Japan as are the gardens which are so beautiful and seem to mimic the natural landscape in a way that only the Japanese and Koreans seem to be able to do.

This really is a great place to wander around for a few hours. It is very popular with Korean tourists and we didn’t see another western face the whole time we were there.

Time for us to leave Gyenogju and Korea. We have a 01.30am flight the next day.  We jump on a bus in the pouring rain and head not to the airport but to the high speed KTX train station 20 mins out of town.


The KTX train takes us virtually from one end of the country right into Incheon Airport at the other. It leaves and arrives exactly on time, the whole journey taking less than 3hours. There are screens in the carriage which show we are hitting speeds of up to 300kph. Give me this method of travel over the hassle of flying any day! The fare of $50 U.S. was incredible value for money.

Wish we had allowed more time for Korea!

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