Dotted with historic temples and grandiose park reserves, this region is the cultural epi-centre of the country. Gyeongju listed as one of the world's 10 most important ancient cultural cities by UNESCO is where you'll find the venerated remnants of the longest running state in Korean history, the Silla kingdom. Andong, the gateway to Confucian teachings and Korean traditions. Still guided largely by Confucian rules, this area is considered one of the more conservative regions in South Korea.
Geographically it is bordered by Sobaek-san, a mountain range that includes Songni-san, in the north and in the west. And in the east before meeting the sea are the Taebaek Mountains that reaches from North Korea.
The Gyeongsang province including the south as well as the north have a distinctive accent that many Koreans consider harsher than let's say the Seoul accent. The accent has more tones to it and sounds more rhythmic. It may be compared to how Japanese sounds.
There's an international airport in Daegu with limited connections to China and Japan. Other international flights come to Busan and Seoul, and the KTX high-speed train passes through North Gyeongsang on its way between those cities. There's also several normal-speed train lines in the province, and buses run just about everywhere.
Gyeongju City tours - has 4 courses that vary greatly. Would recommend taking course 2. It hits the main attractions such as Bulguksa, the Gyeongju National Museum, the Seokuram Grotto, etc. It costs 14,000 won. Call Cheonma Tours at 82-54-743-6001.
Shilla Millenium Park - is in the Bomun Lake Resort also at Gyeongju. The park lets you experience how it must have been like to be in Korea over 1000 years ago. You can sleep at a traditonal Korean palace from the Silla period. Opening hours are 10 am to 9 pm during weekdays and 10 to 2 during weekends. The entrance fee is 20,000 won. Go to their website at www.shillamilleniumpark.com
Not normally distinguished for its food, the region's best known regional speciality is the Andong jjimdak — chunks of chicken with potatoes and transparent noodles in a sweet and spicy dark sauce. Andong, the city rich in Confucian traditions, is where you will find restaurants that serve the dish.
Also from Andong, the best known beverage would be the soju and the sikhye. You know what soju is (refer to South Korea page) but Andong's version of sikhye has a little twist. Normally a cloudy white colour, the drink is made with the omnipresent red pepper powder in Korean cuisine which makes the liquid pink and the taste a little spicy. Best drunk with peanuts or pine nuts.