goto content

Add my Favorites Home LogIn Sign Up My Page FAQ Sitemap K-mice LANGUAGE

h1 Title print


Share |
Best Gyeongju 3Night/4Days Course
▒ Course Description

Day 1: Travel from Seoul to Golgulsa Temple in Gyeongju – Temple Stay and Seonmudo Experience at Golgulsa Temple
Day 2: Temple Stay and Seonmudo Experience at Golgulsa Temple
Day 3: Temple Stay and Seonmudo Experience at Golgulsa Temple– Visit to Site of Gameunsa Temple & Underwater Tomb of King Munmu
Day 4: Visit to Bulguksa Temple & Seokguram Grotto – Gyeongju National Museum - Anapji - Banwolseong - Gyerim – Cheomseongdae – Kuro Ssambab Restaurant (Lunch) & Daereungwon, Travel from Gyeongju to Seoul

This tour consists of a 3-day, 2-night visit to Golgulsa Temple to experience Seonmudo, a traditional Buddhist martial art that originated in India 2,600 years ago, plus a 2-day, 1-night visit to ancient cultural and historic sites in Gyeongju. The city of Gyeongju is an internationally acclaimed cultural and historic area with numerous examples of ancient architecture designated as World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO, such as Bulguksa Temple and Seokguram Grotto.
▒ Photos and Overview of Course & Links for More Information
Gyeongju 4-day/3-night Tour - Day 1

Travel from Seoul to Golgulsa Temple in Gyeongju
Gyeongju Express Bus Terminal

9 am
At the Seoul Express Bus Terminal, which connects with Subway Lines 3 and 7, we caught the 9 o ’clock bus (Bus fare is 24,200 won / Ride takes 4 hours 15 minutes) and arrived in Gyeongju at 13:15. Outside the Gyeongju Express Bus Terminal (small and old, but cozy) we found a tourist information center and the building housing Cheonma Gwangwang, operating the Gyeongju City Tour Bus.
The Tourist Information Center staff can provide useful tourist information in Japanese, English, and Chinese. Be sure to pick up some of the various maps and tourist information leaflets available in English.


We took bus 100 (bus fare is 2,000 won) for the 40-minute ride to Andong Samgeori (Andong Intersection), the location of the bus station serving Golgulsa Temple. Bus stop announcements are in Korean only, so if you don’t speak Korean, tell the driver you are going to Golgulsa Temple, and he will tell you where to get off. You can either show him a note saying “골굴사”, which is Golgulsa Temple in Korean, or say “Golgulsa”.
< List of Tourist Information Centers in Gyeongju >


1.Gyeongju Express Bus Terminal +82-54-772-9289 (English, Japanese, Chinese) / Location: in front of Gyeongju Express Bus Terminal
2.Gyeongju Railway Station +82-54-772-3843 (English, Japanese, Chinese) / Location: in front of Gyeongju Railway Station
3.Bulguksa Temple +82-54-746-4747 (English, Japanese, Chinese) / Location: in front of Bulguksa Temple parking lot
4.Gyeongbuk Tourism Promotion Center +82-54-745-0753 (English, Japanese, Chinese) / Location: next to the Wellich Chosun Hotel in Bomun Lake Resort Complex

< Common information >
Operating hours: 08:30~18:00
No closing days

Take bus 100 or 150 at the bus station across from the Gyeongju Express Bus Terminal. The ride takes about 40 minutes and the fare is 2,000 won. From Andong Intersection, you have to walk for about 20 minutes to Golgulsa Temple. Just follow the signs for the temple, and you won’t miss it.
→ Click here for map of Golgulsa Temple

Temple Stay and Seonmudo Experience at Golgulsa Temple (Day 1)

3 pm
As requested by Golgulsa Temple, we arrived at 3 pm and were assigned to our rooms. Small rooms are fine for two or three persons and larger rooms for larger groups. There are clean, spacious shower facilities and a restroom on each floor, and there were no complaint from any of the guests.

Once the rooms were assigned, it was time for ullyeok, the temple monk’s daily chores. Since the stay is meant to replicate everyday monastic life, everyone had to take part in the chores. But the work was not so laborious as to disturb the main practice itself.

After ullyeok, it was time for a quick wash and dinner - vegetarian, as are all temple meals. After dinner, we participated in a ritual before a statue of Buddha, and then began learning about Seonmudo, a program available only at Golgulsa Temple. The session lasted for about an hour and thirty minutes, but we were so immersed in the beautiful dance- like movements of Seonmudo that we lost track of time. After the training, we washed and went to sleep. The 9:30 bedtime seemed early, but knowing we had to get up at 4 in the morning, we were soon fast asleep.

Click here for more on Golgulsa Temple
Morning of Day 2 and Day 3
Gibelini Baptiste

4 am
At Golgulsa Temple, the day begins at 4 am. Even though it was summertime, the darkness of the early morning still enveloped us. Remembering the dreadful penalty, we woke each other up. If you oversleep and miss the early morning ritual, you must skip all your meals for that day and do three thousand bows. Moreover, everyone sharing the same room must also do without meals - a strong incentive not to oversleep.

After a quick wash, we offered our prayers to Buddha at 4:30 am, and then engaged in a one-hour meditation. We sat cross- legged and immersed ourselves in meditation. In the beginning, it was rather difficult to sit that way, but after concentrating for a while, the mind was clearer and the spirit composed.


At Golgulsa Temple, the day begins at 4 am. Even though it was summertime, the darkness of the early morning still enveloped us. Remembering the dreadful penalty, we woke each other up. If you oversleep and miss the early morning ritual, you must skip all your meals for that day and do three thousand bows. Moreover, everyone sharing the same room must also do without meals - a strong incentive not to oversleep. After a quick wash, we offered our prayers to Buddha at 4:30 am, and then engaged in a one-hour meditation. We sat cross- legged and immersed ourselves in meditation. In the beginning, it was rather difficult to sit that way, but after concentrating for a while, the mind was clearer and the spirit composed.

After the meditation, we went out for the morning walk, which can be either inside or outside the temple grounds. If you ever visit Golgulsa Temple, make sure to go see the Golgul-am Maae Yeorae Jwasang, a Buddha relief cut into a huge rock (Rock Cave Hermitage of the Maae Yeorae Seated Buddha), designated Treasure no. 581. Due to the soft quality of the rock, however, a large part of the lower half and bust section of the relief has been worn away, but the part above the bust is still in good condition. From the mountaintop where the Buddha relief is located, we caught a bird’s-eye-view of the sea of Gampo and the mountain ranges that wind around Golgulsa Temple. It was one of those rare magic moments, and we could feel our hearts open. If you visit Golgulsa Temple, don’t miss a chance to see it. After the morning walk, we had breakfast, and then, another Seonmudo session for about an hour and a half, followed by the ritual offering. What we thought would be a long time passed quickly, and soon it was time for lunch.

We started the afternoon schedule with the daily chores from 2 to 5:50. Then the new trainees arrived. The rest of the day was a repetition of the previous day.


*< 2-Day/1-Night Schedule of Golgulsa Temple Stay and Seonmudo Experience >
- All extended stays, i.e. 2-nights 3-days, 3-nights 4-days, or 1-month stay, are based on a repetition of the 2-day/1-night schedule below.

Day 1 15:00

Room assignment and Ullyeok (cleaning and other chores)

17:50 Dinner
19:00 Ritual offering and 108 bows
19:30 Seonmudo training (1 hour 30 minutes)
21:30 Bedtime
Day 2 4:00 Rising
4:30 Morning ritual offering
5:00 Meditation and Zen breathing
6:00 Walk and hiking
6:50 Breakfast
8:30 Seonmudo training (1 hour 30 minutes)
11:00 Ritual offering and 108 bows
11:50 Lunch
14:00~ Ullyeok (cleaning and other chores)

< How to participate in the Temple Stay and Seonmudo Experience at Golgulsa Temple >
Application for the Temple Stay and Seonmudo Experience at Golgulsa Temple is not taken by phone or fax. You must sign in by filling out an application form in English or Korean and send it by e-mail. The participation fee is $40 or 44,000 won. You can pay in cash at the temple.

1.Tel: +82-54-745-0246, +82-54-744-1689
2.Fax: +82-54-746-0172 (English)
3.E-mail: d-kumgang@hanmail.net(English)
4. Download Application Form
5.Temple Stay website (includes Golgulsa Temple):http://eng.templestay.com
Interview

We conducted brief interviews with some of the foreigners who took part in the Golgulsa Temple Stay and Seonmudo experience.


Reporter : How did you find out about the Seonmudo experience at Golgulsa Temple?
Judith Vastenburg (Holland):
(After seeing the reporter’s name card) I read some information about the program at the www.visitkorea.or.kr website and signed up for it.
Kimberlee Hampson (Yun-mi Lee / Korean American):
I also applied through the www.visitkorea.or.kr
Reporter : That’s very good to know. Mr. Baptiste, I hear that you have also been to the Shaolin Temple in China. How long have you been there and how long will you be here?
Gibelini Baptiste (France):
I stayed in Shaolin Temple for about a year, and have been at Golgulsa Temple for about four months now.
Reporter : Have you experienced any inconvenience during your stay here?
Gibelini Baptiste (France):
Apart from getting up at 4 in the morning, nothing is so difficult.
Reporter : You can’t have meat here. How do you feel about the meals?
Judith Vastenburg (Holland): I am vegetarian, so I like it better here.
Kimberlee Hampson, Gibelini Baptiste, Logea Jean- François:
The food is good. I have no problem with that.
Reporter : Jean- François, I hear you have been at Golgulsa Temple for almost a year now. What do you expect to get from this experience?
Logea Jean- François (France) : Peace of mind.
Reporter : What is the biggest advantage of the temple stay?
Gibelini Baptiste (France) : Learning the martial art of Seonmudo.
Reporter : I hope you will all get what you want from this temple stay program.
At Andong Intersection, or Girimsa bus stop where you got off bus 100 to come to Golgulsa Temple, take bus 150 and get off at Gameunsaji.
Fare: 1,300 won / Ride: 10 minutes
Day 3, Afternoon

Temple Stay and Seonmudo Experience at Golgulsa Temple (Day 3) - Site of Gameunsa Temple & Underwater Tomb of King Munmu


1 pm
After lunch, our 3-day, 2-night stay at Golgulsa Temple ended, so we packed our bags and left a little after 1 o’clock. We headed back the same way to the bus stop where we had gotten off bus 100, and got on bus 150 to Gameunsa Temple. (When going to the Gameunsa Temple site from Golgulsa Temple, do not take bus 100.) Gameunsa was built in the 7th century BC. Today, only two 13.4-meter high stone pagodas remain, which are designated as National Treasure no. 112. The pagodas are admired for their balance and their proportions. In fact they are considered to be as refined as the Seokgatap and Dabotap pagodas at Bulguksa Temple, which are considered the zenith of Korean pagoda art.

The construction of Gameunsa Temple was begun by King Munmu as a supplication to Buddha, in hopes of driving out marauding Japanese pirates. King Munmu did not live to see the completion of the temple, but on his death, he asked to be buried in the East Sea near Gameunsa Temple so that he could defend the country as the dragon guardian of the East Sea even after his death. The burial site is called the Underwater Tomb of King Munmu, located on Gampo Beach about 15 minutes’ walk from Gameunsa Temple. If you prefer, take bus 150. The 3- to 4-minute ride costs 1,300 won.

Gyeongju Park Tourist Hotel

After visiting King Munmu’s underwater tomb, we took bus 150 and moved to the Gyeongju bus terminal. Since we were planning to visit Bulguksa Temple early the following day, we decided to spend the night at the Gyeongju Park Tourist Hotel, conveniently located next to the bus terminal. The Gyeongju Park Tourist Hotel offers clean, air conditioned rooms and shower facilities at an affordable price of 55,000 won.


After leaving our things in the room, we took a taxi to “Sugyeong” (near Daereungwon) a restaurant famous for glutinous barley rice meal. Glutinous rice is added to the barley rice to make it sticky and flavorful. A complete meal comes with seven different wild greens, such as bellflower, dropwort, and bracken. Try mixing various herbs in the rice with lots of dressing and sesame oil. It’s really delicious. You will also be served side dishes like roasted saury, bean paste soup, and Korean omelet roll. Housed in an old hanok, or Korean traditional house, the restaurant has a unique ambience. After dinner, we took a cab and came back to the hotel.

Click here for more on the Site of Gameunsa Temple
Click here for more on the Underwater Tomb of King Munmu
* < Sugyeong Restaurant >
Tel: +82-54-772-3369 (Korean)
Operating hours: 7:30~22:00
Price of glutinous rice set meal: 6,000 won
Location: near Daereungwon

< Gyeongju Park Tourist Hotel >
Tel: +82-54-742-8804 (Korean)
Room rates: Twin room 55,000 won (Mon.~Fri.) / 61,000 won (Sat., Sun.) – Rates may change during high season. / Breakfast is not included.

< Transportation expenses >
*Bus 150 (Underwater Tomb of King Munmu à Gyeongju Express Bus Terminal) / 60 minutes / 2,800 won
*Gyeongju Park Tourist Hotel <-> Sugyeong restaurant roundtrip taxi fare: 3,000 won
Take bus 10 or 11 at the bus stop across Gyeongju Express Bus Terminal, and get off at Bulguksa Temple bus stop / Fare: 1,300 won / Ride: 40 minutes
Day 4

Bulguksa Temple & Seokguram Grotto
Bulguksa Temple Seokguram Grotte

8 am
Because there are many local and foreign tourists visiting Bulguksa Temple and Seokguram Grotto, it is best to start early in the morning. Designated as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage, Bulguksa Temple and Seokguram Grotto are must-sees when sightseeing in Gyeongju.

Seokguram Grotto sits atop a mountain accessible by shuttle from Bulguksa Temple (15-minute ride on shuttle bus 12). There is a bus every 40 minutes from 8:40 to 16:40, with the last bus leaving at 17:20. Catch the bus in front of the tourist information center located in the parking lot of Bulguksa Temple. It is best to decide as soon as you arrive at Bulguksa whether you will see the temple or the grotto first, since there is only one bus every hour. It takes about an hour and a half to two hours to visit both the temple and the grotto.

Click here for more on Bulguksa Temple
Click here for more on Seokguram Grotto

Take Bus 10 at the bus station in front of Bulguksa Temple and get off in front of Gyeongju National Museum (Fare: 1,300 won / Ride: 30 minutes / 8 minute interval).

Gyeongju National Museum - Anapji - Banwolseong - Gyerim – Cheomseongdae


11 am
Gyeongju National Museum (sightseeing 90 minutes) – 5-minute walk – Anapji Pond (sightseeing 10minutes)- 3-minute walk – Banwolseong Castle Site (Experience and sightseeing 20 minutes)- 1-minute walk – Gyerim (sightseeing 10 minutes)- 5-minute walk – Cheomseongdae (sightseeing 5 minutes)- 10-minute walk - Daereungwon (sightseeing 40 minutes)

All the tourist sites mentioned above are close to each other and also close to downtown Gyeongju. For more information and photos, click on the names of each tourist site. Together with Bulguksa Temple and Seokguram Grotto, these destinations are must-sees for anyone visiting Gyeongju.

First, we visited the Gyeongju National Museum, which preserves the thousand-year history of the Silla Dynasty (BC 57∼AD 935). Then, we saw Anapji Pond, which represents the typical garden architecture of the Silla period. We also experienced archery, horse-riding, and traditional games at Banwolseong, an ancient crescent-shaped mud fortress. Afterwards, we passed by Gyerim forest, the birthplace of Silla Dynasty kings, and visited the Cheomseongdae Observatory, the oldest in Asia.

It was a fantastic walking tour, but after two hours of sightseeing, we felt quite hungry. Since it was time for lunch, we headed to a restaurant famous for wrapped rice near Daereungwon.

< Banwolseong Archery Experience >
Age 13 and over -3,000 won / Age 12 and below -2,000 won
< Banwolseong Horse-riding Experience >
Age 13 and over: 5,000 won / Age 12 and below -2,000 won
< Banwolseong Traditional Games Experience >
Age 4 and over: 1,000 won

From the entrance of Daereungwon, turn right and walk for about 2 minutes.

Kuro Ssambab Restaurant (Lunch) & Daereungwon


1:30 pm
Kuro restaurant specializes in wrapped rice served with twenty different side dishes at a large table. The side dishes are made with vegetables and ingredients that vary with the seasons and are mainly fresh, enticing for health-conscious guests.

There are parrots and many other birds in the restaurant, giving it a unique ambience. Displays such as Korean dolls also add a special touch.


After lunch, we went to visit Daereungwon, the burial ground of royal families and nobility who governed during the Silla Dynasty. The site possesses a mystical ambience, with huge grave mounds rising from the landscape. A visit takes about 40 minutes. The admission to Daereungwon is 1,500 won (for ages 19 - 64).
Click here for more on Daereungwon

< More about Kuro Ssambab Restaurant >
Wrapped rice set meal (single menu): 8,000 won
Tel: +82-54-749-0600 (Korean)
Address: 106-3, Hwangnam-dong, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbukdo
Website: www.webtown.org/kuro/ (Korean)
Operating from 11 am and 9 pm Closed on Chuseok and New Year holidays

There is a bus that runs between Daereungwon and Gyeongju Express Bus Terminal. But the local people told us that the bus had many stops in between. So we took a cab. It turned out that the distance was so short that it costs us only 1,500 won for basic fare. There is an express bus running from Gyeongju to Seoul Express Bus Terminal every thirty minutes from 6 am to 6:30 pm. We took a deluxe express bus at 4 pm. The fare is 24,200 won.
< Total Expenses Incurred _ As of August 2005 >
Express bus, Seoul → Gyeongju: 24,200 won
Bus, Gyeongju express bus terminal → Golgulsa Temple: 2,000 won
Day 1 lunch: All-natural grape juice 350ml – 1,600 won / Sandwich – 1,600 won
3-day/2-night Temple Stay at Golgulsa Temple: 88,000 won
Bus, Golgulsa Temple → Gameunsaji: 1,300 won
Taxi, Underwater Tomb of King Munmu → Gyeongju bus terminal: 2,800 won
One box of 10 Hwangnam bread: 5,000 won / Milk 500 won
Sugyeong restaurant glutinous barley rice meal: 6,000 won
Taxi, roundtrip, Gyeongju Park Tourist Hotel <-> Sugyeong restaurant: 3,000 won
Gyeongju Park Tourist Hotel accommodation: 55,000 won
Bus, Gyeongju express bus terminal → Bulguksa Temple: 1,300 won
Roundtrip shuttle bus, Bulguksa Temple <-> Seokguram Grotto: 1,300 won * 2 = 2,600 won
Bus, Bulguksa Temple → Gyeongju National Museum: 1,300 won
Admission to Bulguksa Temple: 4,000 won
Admission to Seokguram Grotto: 4,000 won
Admission to Cheomseongdae: 500 won (Ages 19-64)
Admission to Gyerim: 500 won (Ages 19-64)
Admission to Anapji: 1,000 won (Ages 19-64)
Admission to Gyeongju National Museum: 400 won (Ages 24-64)
Archery at Banwolseong: 3,000 won
Kuro wrapped rice meal: 8,000 won
Admission to Daereungwon: 1,500 won (Ages 19-64)
Taxi, Daereungwon → Gyeongju express bus terminal: 1,500 won
Express bus, Gyeongju → Seoul: 24,200 won

Total : 243,000 won
< TRAVEL TIPS >

1. One of the famous specialties of Gyeongju is hwangnam bread, which can be purchased at the express bus terminal, Gyeongju railway station, or the Hwangnam bakery near Daereungwon. Each bread costs 500 won.

2. The base fare for taxis in Gyeongju is 1,500 won. In Seoul, it is 1,900 won and in Busan, 1,800 won. Taxi fares vary in different regions in Korea.
< Tourist Map of Downtown Gyeongju >
Date   07/11/2008



Quick Menu

Reservation