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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sunday Hike to the Temple

Yesterday afternoon, I decided to hike up to the temple on the mountain behind my apartment. As I was hiking up the mountain, through the narrow alleyways of my neighborhood, I stumbled across this local joint.

There's no name for it... but one of the men said it was his "momma's house" and invited me to come every Sunday for Makoli (korean rice wine) and acorn jelly (which is absolutely disgusting)! This is me and Momma!

It's common for friends to feed each other in Korea. Everyone at my table kept trying to feed me the acorn jelly squares, which are absolutely vile! In Korea, when someone offers you food, it's extremely rude not to eat it, so I did the best I could!

Then... Momma came to my table with a smile on her face and handed me this ENTIRE plate of acorn jelly all for myself! It took everything within me not to throw up after eating one... much less an entire plate!

It was a really fun experience to hang out with so many of my neighbors! Unfortuatey, no one spoke a lick of English, but with the help of body language, the small amount of Korean that I knew and lots of hand motions we were able to communicate! When I could no longer eat anymore acorn jelly, or drink anymore Makoli, I said "goodbye and thankyou" and headed up to the temple.

This is the treeline road leading to the Temple! (About a 10 minute walk from my apartment)

Temple grounds

Main worship area...

The building which houses the temple kitchen, dining hall, and offices.

The dorm facility for the Monk's.

I'm not sure what the significance is of these tiny little statues, but they're cute none the less and can be found in nooks and crevises of the rock walls and mountains surrounding the temples in Korea.

This temple had four of these creatures, carved from wood, hanging from the roofline of the main worship building. I thought they were stunning!

Outside of the Monk's housing facility, looking down into my neighborhood.

Inside the main worship area of the temple, there are intriquite statues and wall hangings. I thought this one was beautiful. As a side note... there was no one in the room, so I took advantage of the opportuntiy to take a close look at everything! It was actually really cool.
One of my favorite things about this temple is the fact that you can't hear anything but the trees blowing in the breeze! It is completely quiet and serene, set up and away from the hustle and bustle of the city below. It's not huge, or extraordinarily spectacular, so there are not hundreds of tourists walking through, and the monks living here are happy to see you and don't mind if you take pictures. There were a few benches on the temple grounds that overlook the cityscape where I'd like to come back with my book! Maybe tonight after work! :)


  1. What a great post! It's stuff like this that is allowing you the "true" Korean experience, and not the touristy one.

  2. I think the little statues are to represent Buddha...I might be wrong tho