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North Gyeongsang

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Asia : East Asia : South Korea : North Gyeongsang
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North Gyeongsang [1](경상 북도 Gyeongsangbuk-do, 慶尙北道) is a province of South Korea where Buddhist traditions of the Silla kingdom and the centre of Confucian philosophies meet.

map of north gyeongsang

Cities

  • Ulleungdo - remote scenic island in the middle of the sea
  • Andong - home to the Hahoe Folk Village and Confucian teachings
  • Gyeongju - the former capital of the Silla kingdom
  • Daegu - the largest city in the province
  • Pohang - largest port city in the East coast where ferries leave for Ulleungdo and important industrial city
  • Gumi - largest inland industrial city considered the mecca of the Korean electronic industry
  • Gimcheon - the city where a number of beautiful parks are spreaded, famous temple, Jikjisa, is located and industrial area is well combined together.

Other destinations

Buddha of Medicine at Gatbawi, Palgongsan Provincial Park
  • Dokdo - east of Ulleungdo, a small disputed island rich in natural resources beneath the sea
  • Juwangsan National Park - smallest of the national parks, known for its striking funny shaped limestone peaks and clear waterfalls
  • Cheongnyangsan Provincial Park - remote with little crowds even in peak season, also one time residence of several notable scholars, kings and holy men
  • Palgongsan Provincial Park - sprawling forests, near Daegu, it's home to numerous cultural assets

Understand

sunrise over King Munmu's Tomb

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.

Talk

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.

Get in

Daegu train station

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.

Ferries run from Pohang to Ulleung-do.

Get around

Buses and taxis

See

Bulguksa

Most of the attractions are naturally around the historically rich Gyeongju.

  • Bulguksa - representative relic from the Silla Dynasty
  • Goryeong Daegaya Historic Site - west of Daegu, it features historical remains of the Gaya confederacy that flourished for 520 years during the Three Kingdoms period
  • Hahoe Village - a well preserved, living, functioning traditional village from the Jeoson era based on Confucius traditions
  • Seokuram Grotto - one of the world's finest shrines of Buddha. Both Seokguram Grotto and Bulguksa have been inducted into the list of World Cultural Heritage sites from UNESCO.
  • Buseoksa - home of the second oldest wooden structure and head temple of Hwaeom sect

Do

  • 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

Eat

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.

Andong jjimdak

Drink

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.

Stay safe

Get out

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