Bomun Lake has the forested Toham Mountain as its backdrop and attracts Korean families and elderly people from the city who are looking for some time away in nature. While you can visit the lake on a day trip, most stay in the Bomun Lake Resort, a tourism complex with several hotels, shops and restaurants by the artificial lake.
Follow the trail that circles the lake until you spot the lake’s iconic wooden bridge. Try to come when the entire lake is full of water, which is not the case year round, to get the best photos. It can take an hour to walk around the lake, so take good walking shoes. The lake’s other iconic landmark is a giant water mill, which is part of the parkland on the lake’s shore.
The kids will love the theme park, Gyeongju World, and other family-friendly entertainment venues near the lake. Let them zoom around in little electric cars that you can rent by the hour, or treat them to a duck or swan boat ride to see the lake from up close.
If you decide to stay in the Bomun Lake Tourism Complex itself, get up early to enjoy the lake views on a misty or sunny morning, when the water is still and acts like a mirror. Make sure to also come back at night because all trees will be lit up by colorful lights. Classical music plays over the speakers to enhance the magic.
There are plenty of cafés and restaurants that overlook the lake, so you can enjoy this view as long as you like, even on a cold night.
Bomun Lake is just to the east of the downtown area of Gyeongju and you can drive there or take a bus. The best time to visit is the cherry blossom season, which is in full swing in April.
Summer can get very sticky and hot and there is less to do around the lake as well, but autumn is great. That’s when the leaves of the lake’s maple trees take on many hues of flaming red, orange and yellow.