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Donggung Palace and Wolji Pond

Vacation Travel Guide
Gyeongju Donggung Palace and Wolji Pond showing a lake or waterhole and night scenes

This 7th-century royal residence with reflecting pond from the Silla Dynasty looks especially photogenic at night.

While in Gyeongju, you won’t want to miss seeing the Gyeongju Donggung Palace and Wolji Pond after dark, when the illuminated pagodas and trees are reflected in the water. The small complex is part of Gyeongju National Park and it’s a local favorite for scenic evening walks.

Donggung Palace, on the edge of the main Banwolseong palace site, was home to the crown prince during the reign of King Munmu. This monarch from the Silla Dynasty was credited with the unification of the Three Kingdoms of Korea.

The palace used to be referred to as “Imhaejin” or “Imhaejeon” and it was here that all the major banquets took place. The original palace and hoerang (corridor) are from A.D. 674, but the pavilion you see when you arrive is a reconstruction.

The palace’s large, manmade pond dates even farther back. During the days of the Goryeo and Joseon dynasties, the pond was known a Anapji, and many locals still call it that today.

This artificial lake likely served as the moat of a fortress that has since been ruined. When it was dredged in 1974, thousands of precious relics were dug up, as well as evidence that the pond used to have three islands and that more buildings had surrounded it. The islands have been restored since. One of the items that was discovered was a pottery fragment with “Wolji” carved onto it, proof of the pond’s original name because it means “a pond that reflects the moon.”

As you walk around Wolji, imagine the exotic gardens that once adorned the palace grounds. It is said that King Munmu renewed the pond based on Taoist philosophies and aesthetics.

To take a closer look at the artifacts found in the pond during the renovations, visit the Anapji Exhibition Hall in the Gyeongju National Museum.

There is an entrance fee for the Gyeongju Donggung Palace and Wolji Pond. Because it is located in central Gyeongju, the complex is easy to reach on foot and by taxi. While there isn’t a lot to see, it’s nice to experience its ambiance and take artistic pictures at night.

Top Hotels Close to Donggung Palace and Wolji Pond

Hwang Nam Guan
Hwang Nam Guan
3 out of 5
1038, Poseok-ro, Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang
The price is NT$1,800 per night from Aug 22 to Aug 22
Situated in Gyeongju, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Hwangnidan-gil Road and Donggung Palace and Wolji Pond. Shilla Daejong and Gyeongju Gyochon Traditional ...
4/5Very Good! (84 reviews)
"Le rapport qualité-prix n'est pas au rendez-vous. J'ai trouvé le prix trop cher par rapport a ce que nous avons eu. Par contre, l'hotel est très bien situé et c'est vrai que le soir les lumières sont belles. On peut faire les principaux sites touristiques à pied. Attention pas insonorisées, on entend ..."

Reviewed on 2019/8/21

Hwang Nam Guan
Soi Hanok Stay
Soi Hanok Stay
2.5 out of 5
22-6, Cheomseong-ro 81beon-gil, Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do
The price is NT$9,034 per night from Aug 10 to Aug 10
Situated in Gyeongju, this guesthouse is within 1 mi (2 km) of Hwangnidan-gil Road and Donggung Palace and Wolji Pond. Gyeongju Gyochon Traditional Village and ...
4.6/5Wonderful! (19 reviews)
"Very nice! Friendly, comfortable, good location, good breakfast."

Reviewed on 2019/8/1

Soi Hanok Stay
Yettle Hanok Stay
Yettle Hanok Stay
2.5 out of 5
9, Balgeunmaeul-gil, Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang
The price is NT$2,430 per night from Aug 16 to Aug 16
Situated in Gyeongju, this guesthouse is within a 10-minute walk of Gyeongju National Museum and Donggung Palace and Wolji Pond. Half Moon Fortress and Woljeong ...
4.6/5Exceptional! (68 reviews)
Busybody owner-no privacy
"Near main road. Isolated location from town but near a couple of tourist sighs. Owner proceed free breakfast which was kind. But I felt like I was in a military camp: woken and told many times to eat the breakfast. He kept repeating instructions (over five times). We got it the first time. He means ..."

Reviewed on 2020/12/1

Yettle Hanok Stay
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Donggung Palace and Wolji Pond

Donggung Palace and Wolji Pond


Best Lodging Options Near Donggung Palace and Wolji Pond

141 Mini Hotel
141 Mini Hotel
3 out of 5
141 Wonhyo-ro, Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang
The price is NT$1,271 per night from Aug 22 to Aug 22
141 Mini Hotel
Soi Hanok Stay
Soi Hanok Stay
2.5 out of 5
22-6, Cheomseong-ro 81beon-gil, Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do
The price is NT$9,034 per night from Aug 10 to Aug 10
Soi Hanok Stay
Hwang Nam Guan
Hwang Nam Guan
3 out of 5
1038, Poseok-ro, Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang
The price is NT$1,800 per night from Aug 22 to Aug 22
Hwang Nam Guan
Yettle Hanok Stay
Yettle Hanok Stay
2.5 out of 5
9, Balgeunmaeul-gil, Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang
The price is NT$2,430 per night from Aug 16 to Aug 16
Yettle Hanok Stay
Gyeongju GG Tourist Hotel
Gyeongju GG Tourist Hotel
3 out of 5
3, Taejong-ro 699beon-gil, Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang
The price is NT$2,149 per night from Aug 17 to Aug 17
Gyeongju GG Tourist Hotel
Gyeongju Sopung-gil Hanok Stay
Gyeongju Sopung-gil Hanok Stay
9-1, Bright Village-gil, Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang
Gyeongju Sopung-gil Hanok Stay
Doran Doran Guesthouse
Doran Doran Guesthouse
2.5 out of 5
165-10, Cheomseong-ro, Gyeongju
The price is NT$1,878 per night from Aug 22 to Aug 22
Doran Doran Guesthouse
Nadul Hanok
Nadul Hanok
2.5 out of 5
4-1, Jjoksaem-gil, Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang
Nadul Hanok
Wiyeonjae Hanok Stay
Wiyeonjae Hanok Stay
2.5 out of 5
7, Jjoksaem-gil, Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang
The price is NT$3,329 per night from Aug 12 to Aug 12
Wiyeonjae Hanok Stay
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.