Busan photos

South American Flair in Gamcheon


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A trip to the Gamcheon Culture Village was one of the stranger excursions we’ve undertaken during our time in South Korea. This neighborhood in the west of Busan has dedicated itself to art, with murals, sculptures and installations that occupy entire houses. Visitors are taken on a tour which snakes through narrow alleys and ends at an observation deck with an amazing view over the city.


Haedong Yonggungsa Temple


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Haedong Yonggungsa (해동용궁사) is unique among Busan’s Buddhist temples in that it lies not in the mountains, but on the seafront. It was founded in 1376, during the Goryeo Dynasty, and completely destroyed during the Japanese invasions. The current construction dates from the 1970s, but the temple has remained a major center of worship. In fact, I can’t imagine it being any more popular.


Tiny Monks, Big Temple

If any monks still live at the Haedong Yonggungsa Temple–an ancient and sprawling holy site on Busan’s Northeast coast–they kept a low profile on the hot Saturday afternoon I visited.  I don’t blame them–a few hundred camera-toting tourists descending on the grounds doesn’t spring to mind as ideal company for a meditative moment.

But I did spot these guys taking refuge… 

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They appear to be engaged in a study session of sorts.  I guess if you’re going to devote your life to the pursuit of spiritual enlightenment, learning the ropes on a shelf built into a rock wall beneath a massive metal dragon is the way to do it.

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