A Hike To Namsan Mountain Gyeongju
South Korea is known for it’s amazing mountains and the endless amount of well maintained hiking trails. Wherever you are in Korea, you will always be withing an hour of a walking or hiking trail. The hike to Namsan Mountain Gyeongju is a little different as Namsan mountain is clasified as UNESCO.
Namsan Mountain in Gyeongju is known not only for its scenic beautify but also for its cultural importance. It is believed that the founder of Silla, Park Hyeokgeose Geoseogan (박혁거세 거서간), was born at the foot of Namsan Mountain.
Home to 100 temples, 80 stone Buddha statues and 60 stone pagodas, Namsan Mountain is dubbed as an open-air museum. One of the popular attractions of Gyeongju’s Namsan Mountain is the Chilbuam Hermitage or The Seven Buddha Hermitage which is located atop Bonghwa Valley.
From Gyeongju bus terminal it took us approximately 20 min by car to the parking (Next to the Tong-Iljeon Memorial) at Namsan Mountain. (By bus it will take about 30 minutes and costs 1700 won. You can take bus 11 to Tong-Iljeon Memorial.) Once arrived at the car park, you’ll have to walk 20 minutes to the entrance of Namsan park.
It was quite a pleasant surprised that we had to write down our names and phone number when entering the park in case a fire would break out. They’re taking security and safety quite seriously. From the entrance of the park, it will take about an hour and 30 minutes to the top of the mountain. The walking trails are very well maintained and are suitable for kids. To come back you can choose to take the same trail back to the car park or go over the mountain to the other side. There will busses from there that can take you back to Gyeongju.
At the top of the mountain you will see a small temple and many Buddhas carved into the mountain walls. Korean Buddhist people hike this mountain and pray for their family in front of the Buddha statues. If you’re lucky, you will be able to have tea with of the monks who comes here every single day. His English is quite limited but he is very kind.
Since all paths are really well indicated, it is not difficult to navigate. As long as you follow the signs, you will surely reach your destination. We would definitely recommend this trip to families.