After looking around Seoul, it was time to explore some historic temples in other parts of Korea! The first stop was at a place called Daegu, it is the fourth largest city (2.5 million) in South Korea.  Daegu was where the 2011 World Athletic Championships were held, and there were still signs around the town!

The next morning I travelled by bus to Mount Gayasan to see the Haeinsa Temple.  Shane told me that the first Buddhist temple here was built in 802, which is a long time ago!  Shane also said that Haeinsa is famous for the Tripitaka Koreana, which is where 52 million Korean characters are written on 81,258 wooden blocks!

Polly enjoying herself at the Haeinsa Temple

Shane told me that Haeinsa Temple means “Temple of Reflection on a Smooth Sea”, but I couldn’t see any water because it was in the mountains!

The next day we travelled to Gyeong-ju, and we visited the thousand year old Daereungwon Tomb Complex.  Shane said that these tombs for royalty and nobles were built in the Shilla Kingdom era, but I could not see any tombs, only hills; then Shane told me that the hills are artificial and that they are the tombs! I have never seen tombs like this before.

These artificial hills are actually tombs!

We then visited a very beautiful place - Bulguksa Temple, which has been a place of worship for 1500 years, but the buildings there now are only 300 years old.  At the front was a place called Cheongungyo and Baekungyo (Blue Cloud and White Cloud Bridges), but I could not hop up them, so had to enter the Temple by another way.

In front of the Blue Cloud and White Cloud Bridges at Bulguksa Temple

I was lucky because this was the best part of autumn in Bulguksa and the colours of the trees made me think I had walked into a magical land!

Polly admires the trees and buildings at Bulguksa Temple

When I was hopping around,  I found a place with piles of stones.  Shane told me that if a person makes a wish for the future, they will place a stone on top of other stones. Some of the stone piles were very high, and I was careful not to knock them over!

Place a stone and make a wish!

I spent many hours hopping around the Temple. Afterwards, we took a bus up Mount Tohasan, which is very near to Bulguksa Temple. We looked at the Seokguram Grotto which had some fine statues, and after resting for a little while, we walked down the mountain instead of taking the bus again. The coloured trees and mist were wonderful, and with few other people and no other frogs around, this made for a very special and peaceful time!

The wonderful scenery when walking down Mount Tohasan

Korea is a very beautiful country and the temples are lovely and relaxing places to visit.  Shane says this is one of his favourite countries, and I agree!

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One Response to “Polly 7 explores historic Korean temples”

  1. Wow! Amazing stuff from Shane and #7 again. I always look forward to your excellent posts.