October 13, 2011

Gayasan National Park

I got an extra day off work from the holiday last week, so I decided to finally wander over to see Haeinsa. This temple has been on my list since I first arrived to Korea, because of the Tripitaka Koreana - oringinal Buddhist texts on wooden printing blocks. The monks still sell prints from these blocks, and they are stunning. Even better, this famous temple is in Gayasan National Park. What could top off an enlightening morning than an exhilarating afternoon?

Currently, I'm working on an article for Daegu Compass. When that is published, I will include a link, as it will go into more detail than my blog entry will.

Getting there from Daegu is incredibly easy. Take the subway to Seongdangmot (on the red line). Leave exit 3, and go to Seokbu Bus Terminal (you really can't miss it). The buses take about 1.5 hours to get there. Here is their bus schedule:

When you see this sign, hop off the bus, and follow the crowds to the temple. Getting home to Daegu, head back to the stop, look across the street, there's a cute little stand with a man selling return tickets. Here is their schedule:

This is where the texts are stored, and there were no pictures allowed. Of course, I did buy several prints as souvenirs.

The trail is 4 km from the bus station, you walk towards Yongtapseonwon, and then follow the trail. There is only one main path from this area, and it takes about 2.5 hours up, another hour down. Sanwangbong and Chilbulbong are two peaks .2 km away from each other, so make sure to see both!

View from Bongcheondae (a big rock with a good view):

On the right, this is the sketchy rock path that starts with .2 km from the peak. Several Korean hikers tried to talk me out of going, but I decided I had to attempt it. I suggest wearing good hiking boots and bringing a friend with you, for safety reasons at the very least.

Video from the summit of Sangwangbong:

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