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South Korea

Curious what backpackers do in South Korea? Discover travel destinations all over the world of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.
  • Our afternoon was spent exploring this centuries old temple saying back to 751. As a world heritage site the scale of the temple buildings is huge and the grounds are kept in pristine condition. The temple is much larger than any we saw in Japan and the stunning Autumn leaves were simply captivating.

    To our surprise the areas surrounding Busan have been a lot greener with fruit, flowing cherry trees and many more in abundance even in city areas. A large percentage of the streets are fully tree lined and make the tourist sites something special.

    The construction of the temple itself began in 751 but was burned by invaders in 1593 because it was used as a volunteer militia base. It was abandoned until 1969 when the initial 4 year restoration began. The site has 11 smaller sites within the same compound and is set on stunning grounds with a small water feature and beautiful gardens upon entry. The afternoon visit was truly worthwhile.
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  • After arrival in Busan on the cruise we disembarked and boarded a bus bound for the Gyeongju area which is around about 60 minutes drive away. Busan is Koreas main trade port and so the trip was on massive highways which consisted of major bridges (one was a 360 degree banked on ramp on an uphill going up around 10 stories high). The city is huge with massive apartment buildings and huge port infrastructure.

    Upon leaving the main city we were greeted by a very mountainous area which was very lush and the highway took many tunnels which reminded us of Switzerland. Being Autumn here the trees were stunning and surprisingly plentiful. As it turns out the famous Japanese blossom is actually Korean. The cherry trees lined the streets for a large part of the journey and I can imagine it would make a stunning site in spring.

    Our first stop was the Cheonmachong Tomb area where the tombs from the silla dynasty are found. After a short walk through a beautiful park area we arrived at the site of one of the excavated tombs which is open to visit with replica relics inside. The tombs themselves look like giant ant hills with grass covering them (very hobbit like). Walking inside you see the sheer scale of the tombs and get an understanding for how advanced the people of the time were with stunning gold, bronze and iron artefacts preserved for such a long time.

    The tomb is also known as the heavenly horse tomb and is 157 metres in circumference. It dates back to the fifth century with a total of 11500 artifacts which have been excavated.

    From here we went to the Gyeongju national museum where we could then see the original artifacts which were excavated. It was a truly lovely way to spend the morning taking in the history.

    Lunch was up next with a beautiful buffet at a local restaurant. This was then followed by a traditional Korean show
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You might also know this place by the following names:

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