Travel Blog #7 – Dogapsa Temple.

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A historic, and cultural haven, a temple stay at Dogapsa Temple (도갑사) in Yeongam (about a 50 minute bus ride from Gwangju, plus another 10-15 minute ride in a taxi) was both what I needed, and didn’t know I wanted.

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I am not a religious person by any means, but I do have a deep fascination with Buddhism, with it being one of the oldest religions (or perhaps the oldest), and the concepts it embodies. This stay taught me a lot about the praying ritual, the history of Buddha, and the daily practices of a buddhist monk.

Before going (and after) to the temple, there was this wonderful coffee shop my friend brought me to. I love shops that are well designed, and this place definitely wins all my votes.

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Most people know how rare it is to find decent coffee in Korea!

There is something you should know about this temple. At this temple specifically (might be the only one!), is a great brother/sister combo. The sister is one of the monks that is in charge of the temple stay, while the brother is the temple stay manager. Being incredibly nice and such wonderful people would have been enough, but their grasp on the English language really puts this stay over the top. They were one of the many highlights of this trip. (there weren’t any bad memories at all haha!)

The day consisted of praying, meditation, and a tour of the surrounding area, which obviously includes the temple itself. The meals were all vegetarian (Korean vegetarian is quite good!), and tea service with dried radish tea was an absolute delight.

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There is something magical about meditating in a place, where no cars are driving past, and that you can hear the river rushing, the wind blowing, the birds singing, and the leafs shuffling. I am certainly not someone who meditates daily (or at all), but this experience just might change me. I don’t think I have ever been this relaxed. No timetables, no rushing, no deadlines.

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Remember to take off your shoes outside whenever you go into any room/temple!

Anyways, here are the rest of the pictures. I really recommend everyone to go. It is worth the trip to Yeongam.

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The nights are incredible. It is pitch black, and well, who doesn’t like a blanket of stars?

IMG_6721 IMG_6680 IMG_6679 IMG_6675 IMG_6667 IMG_6663 IMG_6659 Families praying for their families and friends.

Oh, did I not mention? There was also a group of elementary school kid that stayed with us. I made a few new friends (친구), who might be the most adorable friends I have.

IMG_6783IMG_6784At the end of this temple stay, you are given a postcard, to write to anyone you want (including yourself), and they will send it 1 months-1 year later.

And with everything I did this weekend, and all the memories I received, the one thing that stood out to me, was how much I smiled, and laughed in those 24 hours.

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Protecting the life in the earth, air, wind, and hell.

Until next time,

Richard T.

Trainee Polymath

Travel Blog #6 – Muju-gun

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추석 (Chuseok) is a major harvest festival that celebrates good harvest, and is usually celebrated by visiting their hometowns, family gatherings, and a traditional korean feast. I used this trip for a totally different reason, and went on a trip to Muju with a group of friends.

a 4 hour journey from my apartment in Naju, all the pictures, and information I’ve gathered informed me that this trip would be extremely peaceful and involve a lot of adventure. it definitely proved truthful, and made some new friends out of it too!

Muju is a famous city to go skiing in, and as such, there were a ton of ski shops in the area. However, it was the wrong season so everything was closed, and was very quiet around the area…which is exactly what I like.  We did a lot of barbecues (almost burned my eyebrows off, thanks Rachel), river rafting (of sorts), hiking, and took the gondola up to one of the mountains. Great view, great friends, and a great weekend overall. This trip yields no complaints from me!

As usual, I am not very good with words, so I will just show pictures instead. Also I realize this post has been quite overdue, but what can I say? I’m lazy and slow. Deal with it :).

IMG_6430This is the pension we stayed at. Very clean, accessible and well located. The cherry on top is the nice family that owns it. The daughter , with her superb English helped us arrange our river rafting, and many other things.

IMG_6467IMG_6465Good company makes for a good time.

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 Just some the sights you’d find in Muju-gun. Roadside vegetable gardens, weird stick men, and ALL the nature.

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If hiking is your thing, this is the place to be. Gorgeous views, clear, clean rivers to play in, and lots of sitting areas fit for large groups randomly placed throughout.

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 While you are here, might as well head to the Muju Resort and take the gondola up to the top of the world (not really). There you will find a wonderful view, with fresh air and more tourists you are willing to interact with. Tip: Bring a frisbee.

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 Oh, and perhaps enjoy the life around you. You only get one.

Until next time,

Richard T.

Trainee Polymath

Listen to the Beat. (#1)

I thought I would share some of the music I listen to, as it’s often a little different from what other people listen to.  Many of them are covers. Some are oldies, some are pop. It’s pretty much everything I fancy.

Anyways, if you are like me, who needs music to be productive, maybe you’ll enjoy this!

My First Youtube Playlist.

Oh. and the next blog (Muju-gun) will be up soon…I have been sidetracked on other things as of late. Sorry!

 

English Experiment – First post!

The four groups (Hot6, It’s Me, Fall In K-pop★, Spam) have all written their first post! Since this is a contest, all the links will be private, and you can check out as many of them as you want! None of the grammar was corrected, and they wrote it all by themselves, including the pictures.

So, click on the following links below and learn something new! Do me a favor and share it with your friends too! (I would like a good outcome of views so they are encouraged 😀 )

Hot6 – The Prettiest School Uniforms in Korea

Spam – Ice Bucket Challenge (What It’s About)

It’s Me – Popular K-pop Groups

Fall In K-pop★ – Got7 (Introductions)

Fall In K-pop★ – Got7

Do you know Korean K-pop star GOT 7?

We will introduce Korean K-pop star GOT 7

ABC1

Name: JB  (IM JAE BUM)

Birth: 1994.01.06

Ent: GOT 7 of JYP

Personality : Grop leader / 179cm / 66kg / main vocal

ABC2Name: young jea (choi young jea)

Birth: 1996.09.17

Ent: GOT 7 of JYP

Personality: 177cm / 61kg / vocal

ABC3Name: Mark

Birth: 1993.09.04

Ent: GOT 7 of JYP

Personality: 175cm /59kg / Rap

 

ABC4Name: JR (Park jin young)

Birth: 1994. 09 .22

Ent : GOT 7 of JYP

Personality: 178cm / 64cm / vocal

 

ABC5 Name : Jackson

Birth : 1994. 03 .28

Ent : GOT 7 of JYP

Personality: 174cm / 63kg / Rap

 

ABC6Name: Bam Bam

Birth : 1997. 05. 02

Ent : GOT 7 of JYP

Personality: 170cm /52kg / Rap

 

ABC7Name : You Gum

Birth : 1997. 11. 17

Ent : GOT 7 of JYP

Personality: 182cm / 68cm / vocal

 

Got7 picture

ABC8
Ye rim’s favorite K pop singer Got 7.