There's always a different feeling when you make your way to a beach city and away from the inner land city; the atmosphere, the people, the clothes, the fashion, and even the food. A few days visiting family at the beach side city of Pohang 포항 gave way to a day of cruising through Gyeongju - a historic city not too far from the beaches of Pohang featuring some of Koreas most historic sights and delicious Korean (tofu) cuisine. Nestled between mountains or cities, each temple is a new experience. The serenity and peacefulness of them is something I sometimes take for granted in my everyday lives - and even if it's for a few minutes, I get to pray and let the quiet surround me.
Girimsa 기림사 and Bulguksa Temple 불국사
The welcoming temples Girimsa Temple and Bulguksa 불국사 Temple (UNCESCO World Heritage site) are located near each other - both of these colorful and breathtaking temples offers a little bit of everything to the wanderer. While Bulguksa temple is more crowded with tourists, both temples will give you a walk, nature scenes, and fresh air. Take the time to visit each individual building, read about the history, and take in the views. To indulge in your tourist side, drink a cup of tea and visit the souvenir shops to purchase a freshly scented wooden bracelet engraved with symbols. One of my favorite things to do when I visit temples is the art of stone stacking -- which will be featured in a later post.
These two vibrant temples were not taken for granted, and I took the time to see and take in everything - from the intricate designs on all the buildings, the nature, and even the calm and welcoming monks. As I touch a pillar or sit in a room alit with candles and surrounded by mini Buddha statues, I know history has won and will continue. When you learn about when these temples were build, you might be left stunned at their strength of endurance through time, and curious about the stories and people that have passed through the temples for endless centuries. During the months I have left here, I hope to see as many temples as I can.
My little escape from the 'real world' awaits in less than 2 days. See you soon Boracay.