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Korea, Gyeongju Bulguksa Temple – Beautiful Moments

Korea, Gyeongju - Bulguksa Temple
Written by Duke Stewart

For Directions to Bulguksa Temple,

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It’s below my story so how about you read that first?¬†ūüôā¬†


Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.Yogi Berra

Walking up the hill from a¬†neighborhood of seedy hotels to the steps of Gyeongju‚Äôs Bulguksa¬†Temple only took a moment. We get inside this¬†hugely popular temple as early as possible. Even a 9am arrival doesn’t¬†spare us from the people and tour groups that are swarming to begin their day here.¬†Elusive shots of monks provide a momentary challenge as they all emerge and head to work at the same moment on this bright and sunny morning. These men’s¬†ceremonious lives are something that most of us will never know and getting a look at them casually walking through the chaos marks¬†a brief jumpstart to our morning. Where are¬†they going¬†and¬†can¬†we join them? They disappear and indicate the answer is likely a big¬†No¬†before a new wave of people cover up the trails of these men’s presence. Hopefully I can watch them walk again in less-crowded circumstances but that won’t happen again today.

Crowded, Still Beautiful and Quiet-Enough

We walk¬†around snapping shots wherever the crowds are¬†not while admiring the beauty as much as one can on this¬†day. The perfectly blue sky is going to bring tons of people here and we’ve got some more stuff to see in Gyeongju. I look back before moving on¬†because of these fond memories strolling around¬†Bulguksa. Crowds never¬†take away from beautiful scenes like those¬†in and around the main halls. Bulguksa temple is a wonderful¬†representation of Korean Buddhism, a religion I¬†admire and will never¬†properly understand. This is a¬†place worth visiting if not for people-watching because there are tons of¬†daily¬†visitors both foreign and Korean. This site gives¬†a glimpse at yet another version of Korea far away from the skyscrapers and craziness found just a stone’s throw away.

Still quiet enough for this peace-seeking traveler.

Do you have a favorite quiet place that you like to visit? 

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Korea, Gyeongju - Beautiful Moments


 

Directions to Bulguksa (Courtesy of Korea Tourism)

Last Updated on Nov. 11, 2015

Train travelers can reach Bulguksa Temple from¬†Seoul but Busan is a closer option. More info on Train timetables can be found here.¬†From Gyeongju Station,¬†follow Hwarang-ro Street (ŪôĒŽěĎŽ°ú) and take Buses 10 or 11 from the stop¬†in front of the post office. The bus will take about an hour but will stop¬†at Bulguksa Temple (Ž∂ąÍĶ≠žā¨). Those traveling by Bus will start¬†from Gyeongju’s Intercity/Express Bus Terminal.¬†Buses 10 and¬†11 stop there as well and you should catch it across the street from¬†the terminal. That trip is also about an hour to Bulguksa.

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About the author

Duke Stewart

As a recovering Expat, I write about Life through Travel and want you there with me through captivating stories followed by guides on how to do the same. My work has been featured in various magazines throughout Korea and in online publications including the awesome Hipmunk.com. I am also a nerd and love to point out a situation's similarities to any of my favorite movies, books, or tv shows. You've been warned:) Follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for daily updates.

12 Comments

  • And I was just about to strike all the tourist spots of Korea off my list! Damn. As long as they explain and don’t preach, I’m game for any temple, church or monastery. My quiet place has to be home though. There’s nothing like home.

    • Definitely go to Bulguksa if you can. It’s a beautiful temple but gets crowded almost as soon as it opens. I guess that’s all of Gyeongju though. Anyway, thanks for commenting! I hope you enjoyed the read!

  • This place looks gorgeous! There are quite a few quiet places and parks near where I live. I always enjoy visiting them. so relaxing.

  • I like your writing style Duke, and the way your thoughts meander.

    Isn’t it ironic how as ‘visitors’ (one amongst hundreds more often than not), we yearn for the crowds to disperse for that iconic shot, when in fact we are contributing to the crowd in the first place?!

    We loved Bulguksa and its gorgeous gardens. It’s easy to see why so many others love it as well ūüôā

    • Thank you for your kind words Andrew. I feel like you’ve hit it on the head. I’m trying to view things from a different perspective and that can prove hard at times.

      Bulguksa was a pleasure to visit. Wouldn’t mind a revisit on a weekday, to be honest. Those weekend crowds can be a bit overwhelming.

    • This temple is worth the trip but beware. It WILL be crowded. Almost more so than some of the others I’ve visited. It’s important for a variety of reasons and Gyeongju is touristy to begin with. Hope you enjoy! Thanks for the kind comment.

    • Montana has always seemed a beautiful place to visit, from photos and stories I’ve heard about it. Great to know you had that place as an escape from the chaos. Do you ever revisit? Thanks for the comment.

  • In 2008, I flew across the country to Oregon to my grandma’s house in the outskirts of a small town called Tillamook. 20 minutes away from the beautiful rocky shore and with snow-capped mountains in sight. The land and trees were the deepest shades of green ever. We soaked up the sunsets at the beaches. Walked the roads enjoying the beautiful foliage. Visited an amazing waterfall, then headed back to the house to eat fresh oysters or my Italian grandfather’s homemade lasagna. After dinner, coffee and cake. Then it was time for a game of canasta with my grandparents and drinking beer from a local brewery. That was when the deer and raccoons showed up at the back porch for their daily feeding of bread.Nights filled with laughter and great conversations. Then going to bed to wake up and do it all over again. I only got to visit once, but that is my place of peace. I hope to go back.

    • So this was on the Pacific Coast? It sounds like a beautiful place. Oregon is always on my list of sites to see. I hope you get to go back. Thanks for commenting, Elizabeth.

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