Here're a few questions that I need help with for Gyeongju sightseeing...
1) I wonder how much time we'll need for the usual sights? It would be extremely helpful if people who've visited could let me know roughly how long they spent at each place, so that I can figure out my itinerary plans. We're planning to go to Bulguksa and Seokguram (of course!), and also Gyeongju Museum, Tumuli Park, Cheomseongdae (and the rest of Banwolseong), Anapji Pond and Bonghwang-ro culture street.
2) Has anyone here taken the Seoul-Gyeongju free KTO bus before? Which of the 3 hotels would be best to stop at if I want to catch a public bus (which one?) to town, or to the university area NW from the town centre? The free bus stops at Hyundai Hotel, Hilton Hotel and the Concord Hotel / Commodore Hotel.
3) We're also thinking of going to Andong/Hahoe for a day. We'll take the overnight Jeju-Busan ferry which arrives at 0600, then train Busan-Daegu, bus Daegu-Andong and finally bus Andong-Hahoe. I hope to be able to reach Andong by 1030 at the very latest, is that realistic? I hope to make it in time for a bus or train to Gyeongju that evening. Will going to both Hahoe and Andong in 1 day be too rushed? If so, maybe I should start looking for a host in Andong.
Thanks in advance for any answers! :)
1) Depending on the time you arrive in Gyeongju, you can see it in a single long day. If you arrive after lunch time, you will need the following morning also. Since I'm assuming you will be there soon, the weather will be pleasant enough that you have a few options. I have some details on my page for the circular bus route that stops at almost all of your choice destinations. The others are within walking distance. Alternatively, outside of both the train and bus stations, there are bicycle rentals which you can pedal yourself around the entire town in a couple hours. The Bulgoksa temple is the furthest out of town, the bus is about ~20 minutes and the bike ride is ~40. The Grotto then requires either a ~45minute hike or a ~20 minute bus up the hill.
2) Sorry, I can't help you with the free KTO bus.
3) Even having my own car and driving to Andong/Hahoe, the full distance from Busan from 0600~1030 is not practical. Taking public transit, I honestly do not see you arriving before 1300pm. There are regularly scheduled buses between Andong center and Hahoe, requiring ~25minutes each way. Unless you want to visit a few more temples outside of the city, you will not need much time at all to visit Andong. Most of the city can be seen walking in the evening. Having been to Andong/Hahoe a few times, if you go straight to Hahoe (~1300pm) then return to walk Andong in the late afternoon/evening, you'll see all you want to. I have some more info on my pages.
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