A Hike To Namsan Mountain in Gyeongju National Park
South Korea is known for its stunning mountains and the endless amount of well maintained hiking trails. Wherever you are on holidays in Korea, you will always be able to find a great mountain trail around. The hike to Namsan Mountain in Gyeongju National Park is a little different as the whole mountain is classified as UNESCO. If you’re looking for things to do in Gyeongju off the beaten path then going to the Gyeongju National Park is perfect! Read on to find out more!
Gyeongju is a historic city located in the southeastern part of South Korea. Known as the “museum without walls”, it is filled with numerous cultural treasures and artifacts from the ancient Silla Kingdom, which ruled over the Korean peninsula for nearly 1,000 years. The city is home to many UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Gyeongju Historic Areas, Bulguksa Temple, and Seokguram Grotto. Visitors to Gyeongju can explore the city’s rich history through its many temples, pagodas, royal tombs, and museums. In addition to its cultural attractions, Gyeongju is also surrounded by natural beauty, with the Namsan mountain range offering hiking opportunities and stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
Quick Facts About Gyeongju National Park
Gyeongju National Park is a stunning natural reserve located in the city of Gyeongju in South Korea. The park covers an area of over 135 square kilometers and is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including endangered species such as the Asiatic black bear and the flying squirrel. The park is also famous for its rich cultural heritage, with over 200 historic sites scattered throughout the area, including temples, tombs, and ruins of ancient kingdoms. Visitors can explore the park’s many hiking trails and take in breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape, which includes mountains, valleys, and streams. Gyeongju National Park is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in nature, history, and culture.
- The park was first designer as a national park in 1968 and it is Korea’s only historical national park.
- The Gyeongju National Park contains 7 different mountains: Gumisan, Danseoksan, Hwarang, Seo-ak, Sogeumgang, Namsan, Tohamsan and Daebon. These sections are not connected to each other. The different parts of the national park are connected with public buses.
- Namsan Mountain has the most remains dating back to the Silla Dynasty. Remain that can be found in the park are pagodas, Buddha statues and rock carvings, temples and much more.
Things To Know When Planning A Trip To Gyeongju
- What To Pack For Gyeongju – Gyeongju is much warmer that the more northern regions of the country but as it located close to the sea, it does have cold winds. Check what to pack for Gyeongju here.
- Travel Adapters – The outlets used in South Korea are the same ones as mainland Europe. Be sure to pack the right adapter, when coming to Gyeongju. Find out more about travel adapters here.
- Korea Itineraries – Make the most you trip by preparing the best travel itinerary for your needs. Check the best Korea itinerary here.
- Gyeonju Hop-on Hop-off – The daily Gyeongju tour bus brings you to all the best touristic destinations including the national park of Gyeongju. Check more info here.
- Transportation Card – If you are planning on traveling using public transport, then the T Money transport card is the way to go. This transport card can be used on all city buses. Buy card here.
- Foreigner Discounts – There are quite a few different tours available in Gyeongju specially tailored to foreign travelers. The best websites to use are Trazy or Klook.
- How To Get To Gyeongju – Getting to Gyeongju from major cities in Korea like Seoul, Busan, Daegu, Pohang or Ulsan is easy by bus or KTX. More info on getting to Gyeongju here.
- 4G Internet – The easiest way to stay connected while in Korea is by purchasing a 4G WiFi egg. These have to be ordered online and can be picked up at the airport upon arrival. Check more info here.
Korean hiking culture is deeply ingrained in the country’s social fabric and has been for centuries. Known locally as “san-shin,” hiking in Korea is not only seen as a way to stay fit but also as a way to connect with nature and spiritualism. Korea’s mountainous terrain and diverse natural landscapes have made hiking an extremely popular activity, with many trails and routes catering to hikers of all levels. Hiking is also a social activity in Korea, with many groups of friends, families, and coworkers embarking on group hikes together. Along with the stunning natural scenery, hikers can enjoy various amenities along the way, including rest areas, tea houses, and even traditional Korean temples. Overall, Korean hiking culture is a unique and enriching experience that combines nature, physical activity, and community.
Hiking To Namsan Mountain Gyeongju
It is easy to spend a couple of week in Gyeongju and enjoy all the city has to offer. Visiting the Gyeongju National Park is a must when in Gyeongju more than 3 days.
Namsan Mountain in Gyeongju is known not only for its scenic beauty but also for its cultural importance. It is believed that Park Hyeokgeose Geoseogan (박혁거세 거서간), which is the founder of the Silla Dynasty, was born at the foot of Mount Namsan.
Namsan mountain is home to over 100 temples, 80 stone Buddha statues and 60 stone pagodas. The mountain is often referred to as an open-air museum. The national park has loads of hiking trails starting from each side of the mountain. The hikes in this mountains are some of the best of Asia!
1. Seven Buddha Hermitage
One of the most popular and beautiful routs is the hike to the Chilbuam Hermitage or the Seven Buddha Hermitage which is located on the top of Bonghwa Valley. Along the way, you’ll see many Buddha statues, pagodas and eventually come end at a small temple and a stunning Buddha carving.
Korean Buddhist people hike this mountain and pray for their family in front of the seven Buddha statues. If you’re lucky the a monk will be in the small temple and you can have traditional Korean tea with him. His English is not very good, but he is extremely friendly.
The walking trails are well maintained and signs are places all along the path. Which makes it very easy to navigate without getting lost!
2. How To Get To Namsan Mountain
The Seven Buddha Hermitage hike starts and stops at the same point, which is perfect when coming by car or bus. The car park and bus stop are located in the same location, a 15 minute walk away from the hiking trail.
Address car park: 경상북도 경주시 칠불암길 6 (남산동)
How to get here: Take bus 11 from Gyeongju bus terminal or Gyeongju train station towards Bulguksa temple. Get off at Tong-Iljeon Memorial. The bus ride should take 30 minutes and cost 1700 won. To return to Gyeongju, just take the same bus in the opposite direction.
From the parking follow the signs to the entrance of the park, this will be around a 15 minute walk.
There are tours running on Namsan Mountain during the weekends. The tours are only in Korean. Book here.
At the entrance you might have to write down your name and phone number. This is as a security measure in case of forest fires.
Water fountains, rest areas and public toilets can be found along the way.
Pack some snacks and drinks as there are no convenience stores or shops along the way to the top of the mountain. Only at the parking, some restaurants are located.
Other Things To Do In Gyeongju
- Bulguksa Temple and Seokguram Grotto
- The Tumuli Park and Cheomseondae Observatory
- Martial Arts in Gulgulsa Temple
Frequently Asked Questions
Gyeongju National Park has many great hiking trails, but some of the most popular include the Bodeokam Hermitage Trail, Namsan Mountain Trail, and Seokguram Trail. Each of these trails offers unique views and experiences, so it’s worth researching them in advance to decide which one is right for you.
When hiking in Gyeongju National Park, it’s important to bring proper gear and supplies. This can include sturdy hiking shoes, comfortable clothing, sunscreen, insect repellent, plenty of water, snacks, a map or guidebook, and a first aid kit. You should also be prepared for changing weather conditions, so consider bringing a rain jacket or extra layers.
Yes, there are several safety precautions to keep in mind when hiking in Gyeongju National Park. First and foremost, always stay on designated trails and obey any signage or warnings. Be aware of your surroundings and watch out for wildlife, including snakes and bears. It’s also a good idea to hike with a buddy or let someone know your planned route and expected return time. Finally, be mindful of your physical limitations and take breaks as needed to avoid overexertion.