Destination: A tour of Boryeong (Chungcheongnam-do)

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The city of Boryeong is most widely known for the Boryeong Mud Festival – a raucous party not like the spring break at Cancun. A few other side attractions are mentioned in the brochure, but for the most part most go unvisited by a mass of foreigners. They might be forgiven for thinking this area has little to see; remember that Korea has quite a history to offer, with plentiful destinations and attractions to match.

I was recently invited on a tour of the town, as a interested party in the Pine & Tiger Association. Our numbers were small, but when combined with a group of Koreans also joining us, we filled the majority of the bus.

Our first stop was a museum dedicated to five people martyred for their faith – 갈매못 (Gal Mae Mot). During the Joseon Dynasty, French tried to use Catholicism as a pretext to gain control of the country. Saint Daveluy Antoine (a Bishop), Huin Martin Luke (a priest), Ometro Peter (a priest), Whang Seok-du Luke (a leader of the laity) and Chang Joo Ki Josep (another leity leader) were executed here on March 30, 1866 – perhaps notheworthy (or ironic?) in that it was Good Friday.

The next stop was 충청 수영성 (Chungcheong Suyeongseong), a stone-and-earth type of fortress. Originally constructed in 1509, the fortress protected Chungcheong’s navy and watched offshore movements. The only surviving gate, Manghwamun, is pictured above. The nearby port was used during the Joseon Dynasty while trading with China. While the area is undergoing renovation and excavation in some parts (as above), it’s likely to maintain its rustic charm.

One of the few buildings remaining inside is 충청 수영성 진휼청(Chungcheong Suyeong Jinhyulcheong) – used for lending and collecting crops in lean years. Since the building fell out of use, it was used as a private house until bought in 1994 and made to look original again. The fortress also holds a officials guesthouse outside (complete with several monuments) and a seperate monument to General Gyegeum of the Ming Dynasty, who defeated a Japanese invastion and moved to the Jeolla province.

After a filling seafood lunch, our next stop was a famous inkstone maker’s shop – 김진한 (Kim Jin-han). Designated Intangible Cultural Property #6 in December 1997, Mr. Kim’s shop is one part awards and one part inkstones – getting to be a master means collecting your share of plaques and certificates along the way.

Mr. Kim hard at work in his shop.

Our final destination of the day – the site of Seongjusa (temple). The site first held Ohapsa (literally Black Bird temple) during the Baekje dynasty, where prayers were offered for the souls killed in war. During the 9th century, Prince Hun asked Monk Nanghyye-hwasang (800-880 AD) to build the temple. The temple served as a school for seon (Zen) during the end of the Unified Silla period, but was destroyed during the Japanese invasions in the late 16th century. While no buildings have been reconstructed, a number of stone pagodas and a National Treasure await all the same.

A five-storied pagoda, albeit one without a sarira. The four steps below each story champion the assumption of a latter 9th century construction.

A unique arrangement in Korea – three three-story pagodas, side-by-side-by-side. No one seems to know why they were arranged this way, although each is unique and considered a treasure.

The creme da le creme – 성주사 낭혜 화상 백월보광탑 (Seongjusa Namhye Hwasang Baekwolbogwangtap Designated National Treasure #8 in 1962, the stele / tombstone is made from 오석, or obsidian. It pays tribute to Buddhist priest Nanghye Hwasang Muyeom, who is an ancestor of Joseon Dynasty King Taejong. He spent 20 years in China learning Buddhism and serving the poor and diseased. After receiving his inga (certificate signifying one’s enlightenment), he returned back to Korea in 847 A.D. and spent the next 40 years at this temple.

It’s worth noting that the area, while relatively tourist friendly, is also relatively undiscovered. Sure, most English teachers have heard of the Boryeong Mud Festival, but there’s other sights happening the other 50 weeks of the year.  Public transportation is available, but you’re better off with taxis or your own car.

Directions to Boryeong: a couple of dozen Saemaeul (2nd-class) and Mugunghwa (3rd-class) trains arrive at Daecheon station every day. Once there, a bus stop is out front, and a taxi stand is along a main road.

Ratings (out of 5 taeguks): How do I rate destinations?
Ease to arrive:
Foreigner-friendly:
Convenience facilities:
Worth the visit:

Creative Commons License © Chris Backe – 2011
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

This post was originally published on my blog, Chris in South Korea. If you are reading this on another website and there is no linkback or credit given, you are reading an UNAUTHORIZED FEED.

The city of Boryeong is most widely known for the Boryeong Mud

Festival – a raucous party not like the spring break at Cancun. A few

other side attractions are mentioned in the brochure, but for the most

part most go unvisited by a mass of foreigners. They might be

forgiven for thinking this area has little to see; remember that Korea

has quite a history to offer, with plentiful destinations and attractions

to match.

I was recently invited on a tour of the town, as a interested party in

the Pine & Tiger Association. Our numbers were small, but when

combined with a group of Koreans also joining us, we filled the

majority of the bus.

Our first stop was a museum dedicated to five people martyred for

their faith – 갈매못 (Gal Mae Mot). During the Joseon Dynasty,

French tried to use Catholicism as a pretext to gain control of the

country. Saint Daveluy Antoine (a Bishop), Huin Martin Luke (a

priest), Ometro Peter (a priest), Whang Seok-du Luke (a leader of the

laity) and Chang Joo Ki Josep (another leity leader) were executed

here on March 30, 1866 – perhaps notheworthy (or ironic?) in that it

was Good Friday.

The next stop was 충청 수영성 (Chungcheong Suyeongseong), a stone

-and-earth type of fortress. Originally constructed in 1509, the

fortress protected Chungcheong’s navy and watched offshore

movements. The only surviving gate, Manghwamun, is pictured

above. The nearby port was used during the Joseon Dynasty while

trading with China. While the area is undergoing renovation and

excavation in some parts (as above), it’s likely to maintain its rustic

charm.

One of the few buildings remaining inside is 충청 수영성

진휼청(Chungcheong Suyeong Jinhyulcheong) – used for lending and

collecting crops in lean years. Since the building fell out of use, it was

used as a private house until bought in 1994 and made to look

original again. The fortress also holds a officials guesthouse outside

(complete with several monuments) and a seperate monument to

General Gyegeum of the Ming Dynasty, who defeated a Japanese

invastion and moved to the Jeolla province.

After a filling seafood lunch, our next stop was a famous inkstone

maker’s shop – 김진한 (Kim Jin-han). Designated Intangible Cultural

Property #6 in December 1997, Mr. Kim’s shop is one part awards

and one part inkstones – getting to be a master means collecting your

share of plaques and certificates along the way.

Mr. Kim hard at work in his shop.

Our final destination of the day – the site of Seongjusa (temple). The

site first held Ohapsa (literally Black Bird temple) during the Baekje

dynasty, where prayers were offered for the souls killed in war.

During the 9th century, Prince Hun asked Monk Nanghyye-hwasang

(800-880 AD) to build the temple. The temple served as a school for

seon (Zen) during the end of the Unified Silla period, but was

destroyed during the Japanese invasions in the late 16th century.

While no buildings have been reconstructed, a number of stone

pagodas and a National Treasure await all the same.

A five-storied pagoda, albeit one without a sarira. The four steps

below each story champion the assumption of a latter 9th century

construction.

A unique arrangement in Korea – three three-story pagodas, side-by-

side-by-side. No one seems to know why they were arranged this way,

although each is unique and considered a treasure.

The creme da le creme – 성주사 낭혜 화상 백월보광탑 (Seongjusa

Namhye Hwasang Baekwolbogwangtap Designated National

Treasure #8 in 1962, the stele / tombstone is made from 오석, or

obsidian. It pays tribute to Buddhist priest Nanghye Hwasang

Muyeom, who is an ancestor of Joseon Dynasty King Taejong. He

spent 20 years in China learning Buddhism and serving the poor and

diseased. After receiving his inga (certificate signifying one’s

enlightenment), he returned back to Korea in 847 A.D. and spent the

next 40 years at this temple.

It’s worth noting that the area, while relatively tourist friendly, is

also relatively undiscovered. Sure, most English teachers have heard

of the Boryeong Mud Festival, but there’s other sights happening the

other 50 weeks of the year.  Public transportation is available, but

you’re better off with taxis or your own car.

Directions to Boryeong: a couple of dozen Saemaeul (2nd-class) and

Mugunghwa (3rd-class) trains arrive at Daecheon station every day.

Once there, a bus stop is out front, and a taxi stand is along a main

road.


 


 

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