Buddha’s Birthday 2015


One of my favorite times of the year in South Korea is during the Buddha’s Birthday celebrations. It is a time where you get to see people celebrating something that is not commercialized or tacky. Everything is decorated with a sort of quiet charm and for the most part everything is sort of quiet.

Over the past few weeks I have visited several temples in the area to get footage for an upcoming cinemagraph video project. I must admit that I really did enjoy getting out and shooting at these great temples. I learned a lot from these past few week and I hope that you can get something out of what I learned as well.

Siem Reap in Photos

Chiang Mai, Thailand

0. Cover
This is my final Asian blog past for the foreseeable future. I can’t say I won’t be returning, it has been an incredible journey of learning, adventure and self-discovery for the last four and-a-half years, and I scarcely believe that it has been that long, neither that it is over. I mentioned in my last post what I will be moving onto so I won’t repeat myself here, but it is safe to say that I only plan to continue the recent themes of my life, just in a different part of the world.


If you’re in Busan in the weeks leading up to Buddha’s birthday, Samgwangsa is a must see. The Seomyeon temple, while beautiful in its own right, becomes amazing during this time of year, when it is decorated with over 10,000 lanterns to celebrate.  Not only did Ric and I have an awesome time wandering through the temple and taking photos, we also got to climb out a window (!) onto the temple’s roof to photograph the vista with like 50 other folks who were visiting on the day we were there.  As we climbed out onto the narrow roofway and began to take in the sight that lay before us, a photographer looked over and said, “Welcome to the Temple.”

Welcome, indeed. 

Junggwangsa Temple 2014

Winter Hiking in South Korea: Part 2 통도사, 비로엄, 영축산 and 신불산 (Tongdosa, Biroam, Yeongchuksan and Sinbulsan)

Weekend in Fukuoka

In three words:  clean, orderly, delicious.

Definitely not Korea.

Ric and I spent a long weekend in Fukuoka, Japan, a large-ish city about a thirty minute plane ride from Busan.  After some intense haggling with Immigration at the airport (apparently, they frown upon you not making hotel reservations before arrival), we spent three long summer days wandering the city.  Here are our observations.

1)  Immigration was right.  We should have made a hotel reservation.  The weekend we chose to come to Fukuoka was also the weekend the city hosts a countrywide youth soccer tournament.  Finding a hotel was challenging, though we did end up at a great place that served free ramen and had a spa on site.  But it didn’t come cheap.

2)  The country (like Korea) is a startling mix of ultramodern and practically ancient.  It made for some beautiful photos.

I went to Sengbulsa Temple (성불사) in Cheonan. While it is a...

I went to Sengbulsa Temple (성불사) in Cheonan. While it is a modest sized temple, it has beautiful views of downtown Cheonan. Most people go to the much bigger Gakwonsa Temple (각원사), but these places are within walking distance of each other. Take bus 24 from the opposite side of Shinsegae, to the end of its route.

I went to Gakwonsa Temple (각원사) in Cheonan. Everything at this...

I went to Gakwonsa Temple (각원사) in Cheonan. Everything at this temple seems to be done on a grandiose scale, including the massive, bronze Buddha. Foreigners refer to it as “giant Buddha” or “big Buddha).

Zen on a Bike, at a Temple, in a Stream and in a Bowl of Bibimbap

Some cynical person named “They” once said there is no such as a free lunch. Which, in the case of Tongdosa is true–unless you live in Yangsan.


Located roughly two hours from the Yangsan subway station (by bike, the mode we took on Sunday) …

Syndicate content

Koreabridge - RSS Feeds 
Features @koreabridge     Blogs  @koreablogs
Jobs @koreabridgejobs  Classifieds @kb_classifieds

Koreabridge - Facebook Group