Leaving Gongju after a meal, we head southwest to Buyeo County and spend some time at Busosan Fortress. Its green-canopied gravel paths and river overlooks draw a lot of crowds, and can lead to salmon-like walks against never-ending rapids of people. We dejectedly walk to the car and remember there’s one more stop before going home. The weekend isn’t over yet and we drive towards Buyeo’s collections of tombs that took me back to our weekend in Gyeongju.
Buyeo Tombs and Grassy Fields
This travel guide is part of our series on South Korea Travel and East Asia Travel. It was originally created on Jun 20, 2015. It has been maintained and updated (as of December 28, 2018) to reflect current viewpoints and travel trends.
How to see the Buyeo tombs
- If traveling from Seoul, take an intercity bus from Seoul Nambu Terminal to Buyeo’s Bus Terminal.
- From there, take local Bus 701 or 709 to Wangneung Parking Lot Bus Stop. It should take about 20 minutes to get there from Buyeo Terminal.
- Walk across the street to the entrance and enjoy! The entrance is across the street.
- Open from 8 A.M – 6 P.M. throughout the year and closes at 5 P.M. during the Winter (November – February)
- Phone Number (Korean) – +82-41-830-2511-2
Road signs agree with the GPS and all of a sudden, there’s no confirmation but our trusty machine says this is the end. There’s nothing but a big field and what looks like a tomb in the distance. Parking the car on the side of the road isn’t a big deal in Korea, especially not in the countryside.
We get out and walk through a small garden that resembles a disused rice plot and walk towards the faraway tomb. There’s some ugly construction on the opposite side but I don’t care because in front of it, there’s a massive patch of green. I’m home, walking through fields while remaining mindful of snakes and bugs. The mountains in the background are as green and beautiful as ever.
Then we see a tour group full of kids heading towards the tomb and I’m back in Korea. Eventually, I notice that this isn’t the only tomb in the place and that it’s just a demo. These burial mounds “are believed to be” for kings from the Sabi Period of the Baekje Dynasty (538-660), and they’ve thankfully (for visitors) made it through all these years.
Taking a right and over a small bridge, we find them. Seven royal tombs all grouped together in a beautiful collection, overlooking the most beautiful field I’ve seen in years. Why am I so amazed by this? We both do a quick dive and just lay there like kids would for hours until their parents shout that it’s time to go home.
We’re not alone and that’s okay. Kids and adults alike are walking around and in love with this place. Just lying in that field doing snow angels, I’m in heaven. I remember childhood days when life wasn’t so serious and full of worry. Just like any kid, I’d go outside and rough up my body and clothes. Anything less would be failure.
This is the perfect end to the weekend, I say. We sit in the grass and snap silly photos of each other just enjoying the rest of this moment. Tour groups of kids walk by and tell them about the long-gone Baekje. One child ignores his guide and runs around for a bit, until finally giving in and coming back to the group. I feel you, kid. I’m right there with you. Keep running!
Seeing that field and feeling more than okay in it, I know that it’s time to go home. That’s too bad, because it was good to get away for a minute and be kids again. Gongju helped me realize why I’m living in Korea but right now, I’m forgetting about the everyday routines that control me these days. Surrounded by streams of information and worry, I’ve become too serious. The Buyeo tombs give me a chance to act ten years old again in a massive field with nothing to see but that and the clear blue sky above.
It’s great to be a kid again.
Do you live like a kid sometimes? Do you need moments like these?