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Guide to Gyeongbuk, Korea

Introducing Gyeongsangbuk-do

Photo by Jon Tamlyn

Discover the ancient temples of Bulguksa and Buseoksa. Take a ferry to the mystical islands of Dokdo and Ulleungdo. Get to grips with the Confucian principles of the Josean Dynasty in the historical city of Gyeongju. Gyeongsangbuk-do is a thriving cultural treasure-chest!


Bulguksa temple

Situated halfway up the west side of Toham Mountain, Bulguksa Temple is a world-class expression of Buddhist thinking and ideology.

Ulleungdo Island

Off the beaten track, windswept and enigmatic, Ulleungdo island sits 120 km east of the Korean peninsula. Ulleungdo is famous for hiking, fishing and its mysterious rock formations. The seafood here is world-class and the island is particularly beautiful in winter-time when it snows.


A coastal city tucked away in the southeastern corner of Gyeongsangbuk-do province, Gyeongju was the ancient capital of the Silla kingdom. It's a small city (under 300,000) by Korean standards but what it lacks in size, Gyeongju more than makes up for in culture and heritage. Koreans refer to Gyeongju as the 'museum without walls' and a visit here is a crash course in Korean history, culture and architecture!

Major cities

  • Andong (pop. 167,886)
  • Gumi (pop. 404,920)
  • Gyeongju (pop. 267,098)
  • Gyeongsan (pop. 240,708)
  • Mungyeong (pop. 77,391)
  • Pohang (pop. 514,000)
  • Sangju (pop. 105,607)
  • Yeongcheon (pop. 103,190)
  • Yeongju (pop. 113,926)

Next: Gyeongnam