South Korea Images

Bogildo Magic

 

I knew two things about Bogildo Island before pulling up to it on an old Korean ferry: it was covered in pine trees, and compared to the other West Sea Islands Norbert Paxton wrote of in the Rough Guide, it was a ”well-kept secret.”


Going South (and west, and north, and back)

Back home to my Busan pad after an eight-day vacay into the south of South Korea…land of islands, mountains (okay, this whole country is covered in mountains), volcanoes, trees so lush they appear to burst from the countryside, flat-stone, black-rock, and gold-sand beaches, caves and waterfalls, too much rice, and permed ajummas renting floor mats to stretch out on for the night.  


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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Air Dry and Gaeli

Nobody uses dryers here.  I kind of like it that way.  

The garments hanging off the rack in my apartment don’t look nearly as vibrant as these linens–lots of greys, blues, and whites have claimed the suitcase backpack closet this year.  But summer’s here, and I’m craving colour.  Perhaps the Korean towels drying in the sun have inspired?    

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Knock Knock

I’ve always liked brick.  But sometimes you need an afternoon wander through a big-city village North of the stream to discover doors intrigue you too.  And door knockers. 

Thanks, Bukchon.  You were my favourite part of Seoul.   

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Alone in the City

Approximately 1 million people in Seoul are homeless.

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Some gather in communities of 20-30.

Some brave their days in groups of 10 or less.

Some go it alone.

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If you live in Seoul, you can help.

Learn how to volunteer with the Itaewon Global Village Center here.

And discover ”Feed Your Seoul” through PLUR here.


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