General Info Busan * Seoul

Day 3: 18 April 2013

First lesson of the day: Don’t be late for the morning train! Timing is very important for travelers.

I had a tight schedule, but I was too lazy to go to the Haeundae train station early. I should’ve rode the 7 AM Mugunghwa train to Gyeongju, but I postponed until 10 AM. Then I was 2 minutes late that I had to wait until 12.10! Practically I wasted about 6-8 hours. I couldn’t change my schedule because I already booked DMZ tour for the next morning in Seoul. There’s no way I would come back to Gyeongju from Seoul. It would cost too much. The train from Busan to Gyeongju takes 1 hour. The express bus from Gyeongju to Seoul takes 4 hours and 30 minutes.

My own fault was a torture for my heart (literally). The bus intervals to Bulguksa temple and Seokguram Grotto made me running up and down the hill like crazy. I couldn’t get even few seconds to catch my breath. Thank God I didn’t die from heart attack. It takes about 40 minutes from the bus terminal to Bulguksa. The bus interval is every 20 minutes. It takes 20 minutes from Bulguksa to Seokguram Grotto. The bus interval is every 1 hour. The way from the road to the sites are pretty far. So I had to manage that I didn’t miss the first buses I could get, because I couldn’t be late for my bus to Seoul. I stroke the bell for luck and charity in Seokguram Grotto while waiting for my bus to the express bus station.

tourist from India in front of Bulguksa

tourist from India in front of Bulguksa

Seokguram Grotto

Seokguram Grotto from afar

strike the bell for luck under that pavillion

strike the bell for luck under that pavillion

strike as hard as you can for better luck

strike as hard as you can for better luck

I skipped Tumuli Park, a performance at Pomun Outdoor Performance Theater, and Yangdong Folk Village. I should be satisfied only visiting two of UNESCO world heritage sites in Gyeongju. I suggest you to stay one night here if you can, or if you want to be a wacky traveler like me, ask for the bus schedule on the tourist information booths.

I rode 6PM express bus to Seoul. The city bus terminal and express bus (inter-city) terminal are located side by side, so you don’t have to worry. There is also coin lockers to put your backpack while you’re exploring Gyeongju. The express bus will stop once at the rest area so you can go to the toilet or buy something to eat. REMEMBER you bus license plate number

the comfy express bus seats

the comfy express bus seats

I would stay at my host’s apartment in Gangnam area (Seoul). An art college student stopped me at the subway station on my way to Gangnam. He and his friend sold some hand made jewelries to make some money for their tuitition fees. I worked part time in college as well, so I decided to buy a necklace. My host then told me that the necklace worth the price. I only met nice and honest people in Korea so far.

Expenses (KRW)


Coffee (vending machine)



Mugunghwa train to Gyeongju


City bus




Seokguram grotto


Donation (striking the bell)


Express bus to Seoul


Snack (barley bread)


Bought a necklace from art student


Subway ticket



General Info Busan * Seoul

  1. Jasmine says:

    HI, can I check with you if I can buy the ticket from Mugunghwa to Gyeongu on the spot or do I need to pre book?
    Thank you.

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