South Korea



The Gu-insa Temple is nestled in the hills a three hours south of Seoul. It is possible to go there to meditate for one day, a month, or more.



The Temple


Korean temples are a lot more colorful than those in Japan.





Food and lodging are free, but donations are welcome. The urns you see are for storing pickled vegetables, a staple of Korean food. Pickles, rice and bean curd soup are the basis of the monastic diet.



Magoksa Temple


Magoksa is an ancient temple in central South Korea.



Roof Tiles


If you make a donation to the temple you can write a message on a tile that will be used during restoration of the roof. One hundred or more years later someone might read it.



The Last Samurai


For the five days I spent traveling around the countryside of Korea I found only two people with whom I could communicate. One was a Korean employee of IBM who could speak English and the other was Dr. Yongho Jeung, who was fluent in Japanese. I met him in Gongu, near Magoksa. Dr. Jeung, who is 86, grew up during the Japanese occupation which ended in 1945. During the occupation all Koreans were forced to learn Japanese in school. He said that it had been almost twenty years since he last communicated in Japanese, but he did quite well.




Fortress Walls


This is what remains of the fortress walls of Gongu.





A parade was being held when I arrived in Buyeo. I am not sure about the era of this dress.



Meeting the General


I met this college student who was dressed up as a medieval Korean warlord.



Korean Folk Village


The Korean Folk Village is in Suwon, about one hour south of Seoul.



Horseback Archery


There was a spectacular display of equestrian skills, including horseback archery.



The Kids


At every tourist attraction in Korea there will always be large groups of exuberant, well-scrubbed children on school excursion eager to pose for a photo.



Traditional Entertainment


Clowns like this were apparently popular entertainment in rural Korea decades ago.



The Bride


There was a reenactment of a traditional Korean wedding at the Korean Folk Village.





Although Korea is called the land of the morning calm, the sunsets can also be quite spectacular.