Tuesday 27 March 2012

A small gem in Seoul

 I recently met a friend from home who was passing through Seoul and he told me about a tourist sight in his guidebook that listed nothing more than a picture. We found out where this elusive place was on a free tourist map, but he didn't have enough time to visit it. Last week was my school's birthday and I was afforded a day off, so I decided to check it out. The sight is Bongeunsa Temple. It's next to the Coex shopping mall and convention centre at Samseong station (green line 2). This temple complex was build to re-introduce Korean buddhism and give people a place to worship after the Joseon Dynasty made Buddhism illegal bringing a confucian law and faith system to Korea. It was a lovely bright but very cold day. There is an impressive statue of buddha who looks out from the back of the complex at the temples and the large skyscrapers beyond. There were people milling about all around and different worship or meditation sessions in the large and small temple buildings. A great place to wander around in peace and get some respite from the manic city whirring around outside. Go out of exit 6 and walk along the main road until you reach a crossroads, turn left and then cross at the zebra crossing opposite the temple complex.

Buddha and a space for meditation in front complete with cushions to borrow.

A very shiny floor.

Shoes outside one of the main buildings

Plastic lotuses

I still find it strange to see a swastika on a religious building.

The front gates

Vibrant colours in the temple
Afterwards I wandered through Coex to get lunch. I liked the look of these fish.

I took a detour back to the station and stumbled upon what turned out to the Royal Tombs at seolleong station. Closed on mondays though.

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