Where to stay in Gyeongju to discover ancient treasures

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Where to stay in Gyeongju to discover ancient treasuresToday we arrived in Gyeongju by bus. From Busan it is a ride of one hour by a luxury tour bus and it will cost you approx. €3 (US$3.25) per person. In the past Gyeongju was named Kyongju being the capital city of Shilla Dynasty from 57 BC – 935 AD. Nowadays this city has approx. 275.000 residents and is known for many cultural and historical attractions to be visited. Gyeongju is often referred to as “the museum without walls”.
Here we booked a traditional Korean guest house named “Sa Rang Chae”. It is one of the first guest houses in Korea. A friendly couple and dog are the owners and will do their utmost best to make your stay as pleasant as possible. They help you in English, Japanese and Korean (of course) languages. Breakfast is free and there is a large kitchen when you like to cook your own meals. It is a great place to meet other guests, play a game and to share your stories.
We choosed this guest house because of the central location between the Express bus terminal and the city center/train station at north side and many nearby ancient areas at the south side. Here we stayed few days to visit Gyeongju and the Unesco World heritage locations which can be reached by bus easily.

To discover the nearby located historical places it is best to rent a bike because as not all sites can be reached by car or bus and going just by foot would take much time. The locations further away can be reached by bus or car. The owner of the guesthouse pointed us at a rental shop at the nearby marketsquare. We got two small bikes with a high seat and we received a business card of the shop owner in case we got a “bang”. Because the shop owner did not speak any English, calling him by phone in case of a flat tire would not be of big help anyway. However, it does described the physical state of the bikes as well as the friendly local people willing to be helpful to tourists.
Smiling and bowing we drove off. Bicyclists usually ride on the sidewalk at a red marked area. however this area is also used for bus shelters and street vendors, trees and parked cars. Sometimes cycling is kind of tricky but we managed to go around without any issues (and without any flat tire).

We did not cook at the guesthouse but we went for dinner in a nearby Byulchaeban restaurant. They serve a good variety of Korean food and we enjoyed our “Pork Buldogi”. After the order was taken within four minutes the table was loaded with approx. 26 bowls of different dishes. The main course was spicy stir-fried meat prepared at our table. It is a large lettuce leaf with rice and other vegetables and sauces rolled into a package. Very tasty and sure to be recommended.

The railway station, Express bus terminal and city center with many other restaurants are in walking distance.

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Sa Rang Chae guesthouse: 35.835992, 129.212268
Byulchaeban restaurant: 35.833149, 129.210554
Express bus terminal: 35.838459, 129.202936
Railway station: 35.844387, 129.217715
shopping street with restaurants: 35.842099, 129.212651
Bike rental shop: 35.835211, 129.215333
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Express bus terminal
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Bike rental shop
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Sa Rang Chae guesthouse
Sa Rang Chae guesthouse (in Korean and English)
238-1 Hwangnam,Gyeongju, South-Korea
phone:+82-54-773-4868
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shopping street with restaurants
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Byulchaeban restaurant
Byulchaeban restaurant (in Korean only)
77 Cheomseong (hwangnamdong), Gyeongsangbuk-do, Gyeongju, South-Korea
phone: +82-54-773-3322
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Railway station
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About Author

Travel Photographer, Writer/blogger & Planner for Japan, South Korea, China, Taiwan & other Asian countries. Since 2001 he visited a number of Asian countries like Mongolia, China, South Korea, Japan, Tibet and Nepal. There he enjoyed centuries of history and culture, local habits and beautiful locations. By this website www.myAsiaTravelguide.com he shares his experiences about these trips for a number of Asian countries to inspire other travelers.

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