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South Korea

(November 22-December 9, 2002)


First Weekend: Daegu

Donghwasa Temple Temple, Mt. Palgongsan
Despite my jet lag, we managed to get out and see Donghwasa Temple in Mt. Palgongsan, just north of Daegu.

Buddha statue at Donghwasa Temple
Home to a huge standing Buddha in a courtyard built into the side of the mountain.

Donghwasa Temple from afar
A view from some of the hiking trails on Mt. Palgongsan near the temple.
No, Buddhist monks aren't Nazis. It's a reverse swastika, so maybe they're the exact opposite... "Antinazis?"

Later, exploring the city on my own...

Pigeons at Dalseong Park
Dalseong Park, a small public park and zoo built on the site of an ancient earthen-walled fortress.

Lions lounging at Dalseong Park
The Pride.

The old outer wall surrounding Dalseong Park
Walking along the old outer wall.

Gaggle of geese
The Troop.
Walrus chorus
The Chorus.


Second Weekend: Andong

About an hour's bus ride north of Daegu.

Jebiwon Buddha from below Jebiwon Buddha from the front Jebiwon Buddha from the side
The Jebiwon Buddha, just outside of Andong to the north.
The body is carved out of the mountain; the head and hat are separate rocks added later.

Park near Musil Folk Village
Small gazebo overlook
View over park and river
On the way to Musil Folk Villiage we found a cool park full of weird abstract modern art, with a cute little gazebo overlooking it all.

Thatched rooves of Musil Folk Village  Musil Folk Village cabins
Road and pagoda  Thatched huts and wall coverings
Unfortunately much of the actual village was in shadow by the time we got there.
But we did get to watch some folks working on re-thatching the roofs!

Sunset on the river with overhanging tree branches
Sunset on the river below the folk village.

Giant Ginkgo tree at Yonggieri

Sunday's main trek:
We took a bus out to a nearby town, and then hiked several miles through the mountains along a lovely narrow winding road, to visit Korea's largest Ginkgo tree.
It was transplanted to this location (Yonggieri) to keep it from being destroyed by the construction of a dam nearby.

Some nice local folks, who we couldn't actually talk with due to language difficulties, gave us a lift a short ways on the trip out, and then some others later drove us almost all the way back to town.
We were quite thankful, because the bus ride and the hike out took longer than we expected and it was already getting dark by the time we started heading back.

(OK, maybe we were just foolish - but we had to see that tree!!)


Third Weekend: Pusan

Korea's main port city, about an hour and a half train ride south of Daegu.

Saturday: The Pusan Aquarium is this amazingly cool waterfront building - built almost entirely under the beach. The entrance just looks like a small visitor's center sitting on the beach, but you go down an escalator and there are several levels of cool aquarium stuff below the water line...

Penguins swimming Aquarium diver feeding fish Transparent tunnel through aquarium
Penguins, divers, underwater tunnels...
Giant shark jaws
Plus the usual tourist gimmicks...
Hyundai minivan fish tank
And a new one: a minivan fish tank!

Dongbaek Park at night  Rabbits at Dongbaek Park
It was dark when we got out of the aquarium, so we took a quiet walk through nearby Dongbaek Park where we met some new furry friends.

Gwangan Bridge at night
The view of Gwangan Bridge from the park.

Sunday: It turned out wet and rainy all day, so what better time to go out slogging through the mud at a mostly-outdoor botanical garden?
(Geumgang Park, in Dongnae-gu)

Contorted leafless trees at Geumgang Park  Stairs through sculpted trees and bushes in Geumgang Park  Decorative cabbage arrangement in Geumgang Park 

Autumn colors and arched footbridge in Geumgang Park  Path and footbridges in Geumgang Park 

Geumgang Park greenhouse  Cactus plants in greenhouse  Greenhouse flowers 
Thankfully, not all of the garden was outdoors.

Chungnyeol Shrine  Pond at Chungnyeol Shrine 
Finally, Chungnyeol Shrine, a temple and war memorial to the Korean heroes of the resistance against the Japanese invasions.



Bryan Ford Updated Wednesday, 23-Mar-2016 16:19:34 EDT