South Korea
Gyeongsangnam-do

Here you’ll find travel reports about Gyeongsangnam-do. Discover travel destinations in South Korea of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

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16 travelers at this place:

  • Day12

    Suncheon Bay Wetland & Strand

    June 12 in South Korea ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    Heute morgen hieß es dann auschecken und zum Suncheon Bay Wetland. Dort angekommen ging es über Stege bis zu einem Berg, an dem oben ein wunderschöner Aussichtspunkt ist. Von dort aus kann man über das gesamte Wetland gucken und wir haben dort auch zum ersten Mal in dem Urlaub das Meer gesehen (abgesehen von der Landung am Flughafen).
    Danach ging es für uns weiter zur nächsten Unterkunft, welche am Meer liegt. Den Abend verbrachten wir am Strand und hatten ein seafood korean bbq.
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  • Day13

    Auto fahrt & Bambus Wald

    June 13 in South Korea ⋅ 🌫 21 °C

    Geplant für den Tag war eigentlich am Strand liegen, ins Meer gehen und entspannen. Da uns aber 23 Grad zu kalt dafür waren (trotz Sonnenschein) entschieden wir uns dafür einfach mir dem Auto los zu fahren und die kleine Insel Geoje zu erkunden. Natürlich haben wir mehrere kleine Stopps gemacht, am Strand und Aussichtsplattformen.
    Im Süden der Insel angekommen entschieden wir uns wieder richtig Norden zu fahren, zu einem Bambus Wald (diesmal hoffentlich wirklich).
    Dort angekommen sind wir ein wenig durch den Wald spaziert und haben am Ende noch in einem Kaffee etwas getrunken und eine Kleinigkeit (Muffin & Eis) gegessen.

    Nach dem Abendessen hieß es dann wieder Sachen zusammen packen, denn morgen geht es weiter.
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  • Day39

    Haeinsa Temple

    October 5 in South Korea ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Another DIY hotel-provided breakfast of eggs & toast, before heading to the bus station and catching a 2 hour bus back eastwards to Daegu. Killed an hour or so of time before our bus to Haeinsa Temple, today's main destination. This is the largest and most important Buddhist temple in Korea, and as usual is located up a mountain in a remote area, surrounded by creeks and forests. We were going to do a temple stay, spending the night at the temple with the monks.

    As we got on the bus there were a couple of other foreigners and then suddenly - Arlette and her sister, our French friends from the other day! Funny coincidence. They were heading for the same temple to do the same temple stay program. Arrived at about 2pm after a long uphill walk from the bus stop, and checked in after a bit of confusion over where to go.

    The program didn't start until 4pm, so we headed over into the temple itself and checked it out. The main highlight (and the reason it's a World Heritage Site) is actually because of two pavilions at the back of the temple that hold a genuine national treasure: the Koreana Tripitaka. The Tripitaka is a collection of Buddhist sutras, mantras and other writings, sort of like a bible I guess. This version, carved with Chinese characters onto a series of 81,000 wood blocks dates back to the 12th century and is one of the most incredible works of literature in Asia. Apparently there's about 52 million characters hand-carved into the wood, and the whole project took 10 years to finish.

    The pavilions were purpose-built a century or so later and have several cool features. The windows have an unusual open-slat design, allowing air circulation and consistent indoor temperatures. The shelves sit a foot above the floor, which is made from lime, sand, salt and charcoal to prevent moisture build-up. The blocks are packed tightly together so that insects can't get in, and everything is still is fantastic condition. The system works so well that even a purpose-designed modern facility built in the 90s was found to be inferior, and plans for moving the blocks were abandoned.

    After exploring the temple and seeing the pavilions housing the blocks (you obviously can't go inside), our program started with a 30 minute intro session where we learned about temple manners. We didn't have to wear robes, just a yellow vest which made me feel like a council worker. We had 30 minutes to socialise with the others - there was about 20 people doing the stay. Us, the two French women, an Israeli couple, and a big group of Germans who seemed to be on a tour.

    5:30pm was dinner with the monks which was taken in silence, except for Arlette who as I said reminded me of Marie, and the Israeli man who seemed to quite like the sound of his own voice. Food was very bland temple food, plain rice, kim chi, boiled sour cabbage, an odd dish of white beans that had a half-cooked consistency, and a spicy cabbage leaf dish. It was emphasised to take what you will eat, because you're expected to finish! So I was a bit careful, filling up on rice but managing to stomach the stuff I didn't like.

    After dinner we watched a drumming session as a series of monks hammered on an enormous drum (the skin was probably 3 metres diameter), followed by 10 minutes of bell ringing on a huge building-height bell. Next up was meditation practice, where a young female monk guided us in meditation techniques. It was a bit tricky for me since sitting on the floor is ultra-uncomfortable, but at least the meditative walking part was a bit easier!

    From here it was back to our rooms for lights out at 9pm. Men and women can't cohabit, so we each had our own little room. These were quite newly built, with a very comfortable bed - much better than the sleeping on the floor with 40 people that I'd feared! Felt strange going to bed this early, but there wasn't much else to do!
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  • Day40

    Last Day in Korea

    October 6 in South Korea ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    Our temple stay continued with a fairly typical Buddhist monk wakeup time: 3:50am! They have another drumming ritual starting at 4:07am precisely, so we had to be up in time for that. Much the same as last night, though still quite cool to see. This was immediately followed by morning prayers and meditation in the main hall of the temple, so we followed our guide in.

    I'd figured out that if I folded the prayer cushions three times I could sit high enough to be cross-legged on the floor without much discomfort, so that's what I did! I'm pretty bad at meditating, but it was really cool to sit in the same room as all the monks, seeing them all in lotus position, still as statues. Listened as they went through the ritual singing and chanting, then the worst part which was 10 prostrations before the Buddha. Basically a burpee, you start in a standing position, bow and then kneel before bowing to the floor so that your knees, elbows, nose and forehead all touch the ground. Then you rise to a kneel and stand again. Ten times. I guess if you're meditating properly the pain isn't noticeable.

    Prayers finished, we had an hour before breakfast at 6am which I used for a bit more merciful sleep. Breakfast was much the same as dinner, though less spicy and with a soybean soup that had squishy rice cakes in it, a bit like gnocchi. I wouldn't call it tasty, but it was nice enough. Temple tour at 7am with a monk, though we were mainly revisiting spots we had already seen yesterday. We got to go inside the tripitaka pavilions, but you can't see the actual blocks and no photos are allowed inside.

    A little free time which we used at the coffee machine to load up on caffeine and chat to the others. At 8am we had a woodblock printing session where we got to print our own copies of the Heart Sutra, the same way copies would be printed from the tripitaka. The woodblocks are of course just imprints of what you want to put on the paper, and the Chinese had this printing technology centuries before Gutenberg. His innovation was the idea that having lots of letters meant you could quickly and easily change what was being printed each time. The Chinese, of course, with thousands of characters, didn't have that luxury!

    Last step on the program was chatting with a monk over tea. It was the same monk who had guided us with the meditation the previous night, and it was nice to see her in a slightly less formal setting. Very surprised to learn that she had been at the temple for 30 years, and had started the process when she was 9, so she was at least older than us! But I guess with the shaved head and the genetic "Asian women don't wrinkle until their 50s" thing, she didn't look more than 25.

    The session was nice, but a bit frustrating too because of the language barrier. She spoke a little English and even though our guide interpreted for us, Arlette kept asking odd tangential Marie-style questions (with an additional language barrier since her English was only okay), and the Israeli man kept asking questions by talking about his favourite topic - himself.

    And with that, we were done! Packed up, said goodbye to everyone and hurried down the hill for the 12pm bus back to Daegu, where we got another bus south to Gimhae. This was a flying stop, as there was a tentative WHS to visit here - Tumulus mounds! Ancient burial mounds from kingdom that even pre-dated the Silla. There wasn't much to see in either the museum or the mounds themselves, just a lot of locals walking their dogs around the mounds since it was a sunny Sunday afternoon in a large park. The highlight was probably when we saw two dachshunds! But at least we've been and ticked it off, as Korea will probably push it through in the next couple of years.

    From Gimhae we got an hour-long local bus into central Busan, second-largest city in South Korea. Gimhae is basically a satellite city, sort of like Penrith I guess. Our hotel was downtown near the train station which must have been a good idea when we booked, but it was a long way from the bus station and the airport, both of which we actually needed, so it wasn't a great choice in the end. The room was nice enough, and we passed the evening working before our traditional final meal in a country: McDonalds.
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  • Day96

    Tongyeong

    March 10, 2018 in South Korea ⋅ ☀️ 9 °C

    The next overnight stay we have in Tongyeong. After our arrival we have done a short walk through the city and found some great wall paintings.

    Der nächste Stop auf unserer Rundreise ist Tongyeong. Hier werden wir die nächsten zwei Nächte bleiben. Nach unserer Ankunft sind wir noch ein bisschen durch die Stadt gelaufen und haben ein paar coole Wandmalereien gefunden.Read more

  • Day97

    Hallyeohaesang National Park

    March 11, 2018 in South Korea ⋅ ☀️ 13 °C

    We had a nice drive around the island of the Hallyeohaesang National Park today. The views to the coast and all the small islands around was really great. The only problem was that nearly all parking lots were full on the way so it was hard to stop anywhere. Next time we better do it weekdays and not on a Sunday.

    Funny thing: I found a Nimbus 2018. After flying around I received an invitation to join the Gryffindor Quidditch Team ;)

    Wir haben heute die Hauptinsel des Hallyeohaesang Nationalparks umrundet. Die Aussicht aufs Meer und die anderen Inseln war wirklich cool. Das einzige Problem war, dass fast alle Parkplätze unterwegs voll waren und wir daher nicht überall anhalten konnten. Nächstes Mal machen wir es dann wohl besser unter der Woche.

    Auf einem Hügel hab ich dann noch einen Nimbus 2018 gefunden. Habe ihn natürlich direkt ausprobiert. Kurz danach wurde ich für das Quidditch Team von Gryffindor nominiert ;)
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  • Day97

    Mt. Mireuksan

    March 11, 2018 in South Korea ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    In the afternoon we decided to go up the Mt. Mireuksan, but because it was late already we took the gondola. Up there we had another great view to the city and all the islands around.

    Am Nachmittag haben wir uns dann noch dazu entschieden die Gondel auf den Mt. Mireuksan zu nehmen. Von dort hatten wir dann nochmal einen großartigen Blick über die Umgebung.Read more

  • Day98

    On our way to Busan - Windy Hill

    March 12, 2018 in South Korea ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    Some more impressions from Geoje Island. It was very dusty today, but it still looked great.
    At around 7:30 tonight we have arrived in Busan. The traffic was crazy in the city. I will never complain about the traffic in Cologne again.

    Ein paar weitere Eindrücke von Geoje Island. Es war heute wieder einmal sehr diesig, weshalb die Sicht nicht ganz perfekt war.
    Gegen 19:30 Uhr haben wir dann Busan erreicht. Der Verkehr in der Stadt ist wirklich verrückt. Ich werde mich nie wieder über den Verkehr in Köln beschweren!
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  • Day98

    On our way to Busan - Mundong Falls

    March 12, 2018 in South Korea ⋅ 🌬 13 °C

    Today we left Tongyeong and on our way to Busan we visited Geoje Island. We found a very nice water fall on a campground. Would be really nice to stay there overnight in summer.

    Heute haben wir Tongyeong wieder verlassen und uns auf den Weg nach Busan gemacht. Auf dem Weg haben wir uns noch Geoje Island angesehen und dort einen coolen Wasserfall gefunden. Im Wald direkt am Wasserfall ist auch ein Campingplatz. Im Sommer könnte man hier mal übernachten...Read more

  • Day32

    Haein-sa Temple

    October 29, 2017 in South Korea ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

    This was a big day, with many photos taken. Choosing six won't be easy.

    The day starts with a short walk down the street. I take a local bus to Seobu Bus Terminal, where I buy a ticket for Haein-sa. What troubles me is coming back, as the buses have no numbers or English signage. And I have no internet access. That's a problem for later in the day though.

    We hit the road, travelling west towards the Gayasan National Park. It's around 90 minutes in all to get there. When we reach the national park, the road winds around as we ascend. Around 7 km before the temple the bus stops at the Tripitaka Koreana Theme Park. The tripitaka comprises ancient Buddhist scriptures that are incredibly well preserved. I'm not sure what a theme park named after them would be like, hopefully it's not like Disneyland!

    The drop off point for the temple is around 500 metres before the bus terminal, saving some time and energy. It's still an uphill walk to the temple complex, par for the course really. The autumn scenery is stunning here, I think it's probably the best time of year to come.

    There is a crowd here, being a Sunday, but it becomes even busier later on. Not surprising as Koreans aren't morning people and it takes some time to get here. I notice a roped area that people walk through. It's a practice by which they pray or meditate as they walk.

    I have no information on the complex so can't identify the individual buildings. Once again I look at the artwork in the eaves and marvel at how well preserved they are.

    Once I've done a full lap of the complex, I take a look at the adjacent forest. There is some good hiking here. Although I'm wearing hiking pants and boots I'm not really equipped for a serious hike. Nevertheless I head off towards the Sangwangbong peak, which is 4 km away.

    The hike goes through some pretty terrain in the lower reaches. As the trail ascends, I notice a more wintry appearance to the trees as leaves are scarce on them. There are plenty of leaves on the trail though.

    The views I was hoping for don't come to fruition as it becomes hazier, windier and colder as I ascend. After midday I come to the final scramble over rocks to get to the peak. Yeah, no, not doing that. The wind would make it too uncomfortable to spend more than a minute there. Instead I find a windbreak in some rocks and have my lunch.

    It's now after 1pm and it's a long way back to my Daegu hotel. The weather also looks like it's deteriorating. In spite of my usual descending concerns, I rush back to the temple complex. Even from there, it still takes time to get back to the main road as there is a crowd of people coming the other way.

    Back on the road, I start walking towards the bus terminal. I pass a bus stop and notice a German couple who were on my bus in the morning. At the bus terminal I buy a ticket back to Daegu but have no idea which bus to take at the various platforms. Fortunately I find help from a man who may have been a bus coordinator. He takes me to a platform where a bus is waiting and confirms with the driver that it is bound for Seobu bus terminal.

    So we board in a few minutes and I have a window seat. There's still some time until the 3:20 pm departure so the bus fills up. Eventually people have to stand in the aisle. We depart and make our first stop at the bus stop 500 metres down the road. Quite a few people board and then have to stand, including the German couple. The wife is not happy at this, but she does get a seat around 30 minutes later.

    It's slow going on the road due to traffic congestion. This eases when we pass the theme park and a number of people depart the bus. Slow progress still back to Daegu, it's around 5 when we reach Seobu bus terminal. I'm not sure where the bus stop would be to return to the hotel, but a metro stop is nearby. It's the less direct way back home, but at least I know where I'm going.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Gyeongsangnam-do, 경상남도

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