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The Gyeongsang provinces are Korea's most traditional by far - though increasingly hard to track down, here it's possible to stumble across farming practices or village rites long dead elsewhere in the land. Much of this is owed to the influence of the Silla empire, which ruled from Gyeongju for almost a thousand years; studded with grassy tombs and ornate temples, this repository of regal riches remains the most appealing city in the land. Nearby Andong is also becoming popular as a base from which to dive into the Gyeongsang countryside; on its fringes are the former Confucian academy of Dosan Seowon (which boasts views so beautiful that ...

The Gyeongsang provinces are Korea's most traditional by far - though increasingly hard to track down, here it's possible to stumble across farming practices or village rites long dead elsewhere in the land. Much of this is owed to the influence of the Silla empire, which ruled from Gyeongju for almost a thousand years; studded with grassy tombs and ornate temples, this repository of regal riches remains the most appealing city in the land. Nearby Andong is also becoming popular as a base from which to dive into the Gyeongsang countryside; on its fringes are the former Confucian academy of Dosan Seowon (which boasts views so beautiful that they're featured on the thousand-won bill), and the earthy folk village of Hahoe, whose inhabitants eschew modern luxuries in favor of tradition. Quirky, characterful Busan - Korea's second city - is perfect for those now itching for some urban action, while travelers who want to get even farther away from it all can head for Ulleungdo, a tiny but precipitous island in the East Sea which boasts just a couple of settlements of any size, and scarcely a stretch of level road.

Norbert Paxton
About the Expert

Norbert Paxton is the author of the Rough Guide to Korea and contributor to the Rough Guides to China and Vietnam.

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Norbert Paxton for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Summer days can be sweltering in Gyeongsang; spring and fall are the best times to visit.