Once the capital of the ancient kingdom of Silla, Gyeongju is a coastal city in South Korea with a rich selection of cultural and historical attractions.
It's Silla heritage stretches back over 1000 years, with ancient sites, relics and ruins found throughout the city. The Gyeongju National Museum is home to countless treasures and the 23 ton Emille Bell cast in AD771. Gyeongju's other highlights include the scenic Anapji Pond, Tumuli Park which is the site of incredible giant grass-covered burial mounds and the ancient UNESCO World Heritage Listed Bulguk-sa Temple. Given the age of this temple, nearly 1500 years old, it is not surprising that most of it is a reconstruction. However both the foundation stones plus the pagodas are original.
Just out of town, dramatically located on the slopes of Toham Mountain, is Seokguram Grotto - another must see! This UNESCO World Heritage site overlooks the Sea of Japan and is described as one of the finest Buddhist sculptures in the world.
Gyeongju is the historical and cultural heart of South Korea, providing an unrivaled insight into the country's history, religion and culture.