I thought we could have another little trip together today, that is if you’re free?
After reorganising some files on my extremely crowded laptop, I came across old photos from a business trip to South Korea. Landing in Seoul and travelling down to the south of the country to Busan (Pusan).
(Map of South Korea with interesting facts ~ courtesy of U.S. Dept of State)
Although the trip was only for a few days and before my blog adventures began....I thought you might like to see some of the country with the few photos I have.
Its difficult to capture the true spirit of this fascinating complex country. But here are a few images...
First glimpse upon arrival into Seoul....
Although not actually staying in Seoul you immediately feel the energy. South Korea is a very forward-thinking country and has an insatiable appetite for technological advancement and a can-do attitude, which is very refreshing. No one knows where the country is headed, but it’s fast-forward all the way, which makes it so exciting. Its a country of endless possibilities.
Due to the trip being a business trip and not for pleasure, a speedy exit was needed in order to arrive in Busan which is located in the south of the country. The train journey time from Seoul to Busan used to take four hours but not anymore....Enter the KTX (Korean Train EXpress) situated on the Gyeongbu Line, which runs between the capital Seoul and the Southern port town of Busan.
Once you leave Seoul the countryside opens up to serene temples, picturesque mountains, lush rice paddies, and unspoiled fishing villages to name but a few things to see. Although once again time pressed on....(sigh)....maybe next time?
Arriving in Busan in record time....
The natural environment of Busan is a perfect example of harmony between mountains, rivers and sea. Its geography includes a coastline with superb beaches and scenic cliffs, mountains which provide excellent hiking and extraordinary views, and hot springs scattered throughout the city.
Busan enjoys four distinct seasons and a temperate climate that never gets too hot or too cold, which would suit many ~ me included.
Busan is the second largest city in Korea. Its deep harbor and gentle tides have allowed it to grow into the largest container handling port in the country and the fifth largest in the world. Hence the business trip!
The city's natural endowments and rich history have resulted in Busan's increasing reputation as a world class city of tourism and culture, and it is also becoming renowned as an international convention destination.
But finally a respite and a little sightseeing...whoohoo...
The Tongdosa Temple located in Busan.
The Tongdosa Temple is a very important Buddhist Temple. This temple holds the remains that are believed to be the man who invented Buddhism. Is it me or is he scary looking?
The Tongdosa temple is from the Ming Dynasty and, although much of it has been re-created because some of the wooden structures have not withstood the elements, a greater part of it is intact. Some of the buildings, the ones that are less elaborate are from the Shinto period when they did not use as much paint as part of the decorations.
The Tongdosa Temple is a working Monastery with over a hundred "monks" all of whom are men, although about 40% of the Buddhist Monks in Korea are women. There are no "Nuns" in Buddhism .. they are referred to as Female Monks or just Monks and are completely equal to their male counterparts...imagine that!
The Temple grounds consist of many buildings, each of which is a Temple to a particular Buddha.
There are Temples to the Buddhas of medicine, philosophy, knowledge, the only female Buddha (with her 1000 arms to protect the world as a mother would) and many more. The Buddhists can distinguish which Buddha is for which by the way the hands are held. These are beautiful statues of painting and each Temple holds an altar. In many of the Temples, a monk was presiding over prayers.
Maybe I should just leave you quietly to your contemplations whilst you visit....
Well someone's got to get home to cook dinner! Guess that would be me then.
I hope you enjoyed your quick tour. I know I initially hadn't any wish to holiday in South Korea but there is so much to see and do.
Please join me again when you have a minute to spare... Enjoy your day :D