Posted by: rbbadger | May 3, 2009

What shall I do this weekend?

Well, we suddenly found our days with a four day weekend.  We learned relatively lately that the school system was going to take Monday off, as Tuesday is Children’s Day, one of the national holidays of Korea.  Also, the Gyeonggi Province Hagwon Association was encouraging everyone to take the Monday off, so instead of going into work on Monday, I won’t actually go in until Wednesday.  (A hagwon is a private academy.  I work for a hagwon.)

I am trying to figure out what I should do.  I had thought about going to Haeinsa, the large temple in Gyeongsangnam-do with features the complete set of Buddhist scriptures carved into woodblocks, but I am also toying with the idea of going back to Gyeongju again. 

Today, I visited Bongeun Temple in the Samseong-dong area of Seoul.  They were having a special exhibition of lanterns in honour of the Buddha’s Birthday festivities.  It really is a very impressive temple and definitely much grander than Jogyesa.  Jogyesa is in downtown Seoul and hemmed in on all sides by buildings.  Built in the early 20th century, it is not therefore surprising that it should be so small in comparison to other temples in Korea.  While it is the headquarters for the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, it is not the most aesthetically pleasing of Korea’s many Buddhist temples.  It is still a favourite of mine, though. 

You saw images of Jogyesa which I posted a while back.  I will soon be posting photos of Bongeunsa.  Bongeunsa was founded towards the end of the eighth century.  It is famous for a couple of things, one of them being possessors of the last calligraphic work of Kim Jeong-hui, better known as Chusa.  Chusa was a highly tallented calligrapher working in the late Joseon dynasty.  In fact the small hall decorated by Chusa’s calligraphy was one of the only things to survive the fire of 1939 and the Korean War.  Bongeunsa occupies some pretty desireable real estate, given that it is located in one of the priciest areas of the city.  The area of Seoul that is now south of the Han River boasts some of the priciest real estate in the whole country.  However, it is a haven of tranquility and while walking through the beautiful gardens, it is easy to forget that the COEX Mall is just across the street.



  1. So have fun whatever you decide to do with your days off. Happy Children’s Day!

  2. I hope you have a great long weekend. 🙂 I’m looking forward to pictures. Oh, and thanks for posting the MythBusters hwacha. I enjoyed watching that. We’ve been watching Mythbusters online at Netflix lately and the boys love it too. 🙂

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