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“Beautiful hike, Nice service... under construction” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Seokguram

Seokguram
999 Jinhyeon-dong, Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do 780-400, South Korea
054-746-9933
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$170*
and up
Ranked #12 of 52 things to do in Gyeongju
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Attraction details
Owner description: The eighth-century cave temple with a statue of Buddha looking at the sea.
Portland, Oregon
Top Contributor
217 reviews 217 reviews
89 attraction reviews
Reviews in 77 cities Reviews in 77 cities
204 helpful votes 204 helpful votes
“Beautiful hike, Nice service... under construction”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2013

The hike to the Seokguram Grotto was reason enough to see this site. A gentle meandering roadway surrounded by fresh air and beautiful woords, ending in a bit of a climb up rock stairs, led to what is a lovely little grotto... though currently somewhat hidden by restoration work. This restoration scaffolding makes the exterior of the building itself a bit disappointing for both viewers and photographers.
Observing the Buddhist service in progress when I arrived was moving and worth the time spent there. As I looked at the beautiful golden image of Buddha and listened to the melodic sounds, for a few moments I escaped the groups of people who passed behind me, noisy and oblivious. As a photographer, it was frustrating to be told I could not shoot a photo, even though the entire scene was behind glass. I suspect both respect and economics were equally at play here.
It would be a mistake to rate this site, based on the hassles of tour groups, taxis or other non-site related issues. I know they can affect your experience, but try not to let them make your decisions as you travel this beautiful country. The admission price is nothing (4,000 KW = about $3.90).

Visited October 2013
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FFB
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
15 attraction reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
“Nice hike”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2013

To get to the statue you must first either walk up the mountain or take a shuttle bus which takes about 15 minutes buts only drives every hour (do take a taxi if it's more then 5000 Won, they like to overcharge here!). The walk from the parking space to the statue is quite nice, especially in the fall or spring. Unfortunately the site is undergoing some construction which made the experience less exciting (Oct'13). You also can't see everything within the Tomb and only peak from the entrance, which makes a lot of details invisible to the spectator. If you visit Bulguksa you should also go here if you have time, otherwise i would not recommend it only to see the statue.

Visited October 2013
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Geoje, South Korea
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15 reviews 15 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Very disappointed”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2013

After waiting over an hour for the number 12 bus to arrive in front of Bulguksa Temple to take us to the grotto, we got fed up and jumped into a taxi that refused to drive us to the grotto unless we paid 20,000 KRW, which wasn't going to happen. Was going to give up, then found a taxi who agreed to drive us there for 10,000 KRW. It was a nice drive up to the grotto, however, when we got there, the views were honestly not as great as I was expecting. The place was also under reconstruction which took away any beauty of the place. Pretty disappointed after all the effort.

Visited November 2013
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Barcelona, Spain
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
45 attraction reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
“Ok”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2013

Lots of work being done so it distorts the view right now until Dec 31. It is an important Korean temple, and with a guide (free at tourist office) it makes it more meaningful but for me the walk up there, the entry cost (which is only 4000) and what you can see wasnt worth it for me.

Visited November 2013
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Geneva
Top Contributor
88 reviews 88 reviews
32 attraction reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
“Nice walk in the woods - grotto is under restauration”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2013

I had a nice walk in the woods from the entrance (approx. 600 m each way) and then up steps to the grotto with the Buddha. The Buddha itself isn't very big and I was a bit disappointed that one couldn't see the valley very well because of construction work. From Seokguram I walked down 2.2 km to Bulguksa Temple and that was very nice. Got a bit of a work-out because there are quite a few steps on the way.

Visited October 2013
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