Ibike Korea People-to-People Program





Photo essay: Gurye to Beolgyo


(70km, 45mi)
Points of Interest:  Nakan Folk Village (beautiful, historic walled village, well conserved), site museum

  Jucknaeri archeological site Jucknaeri archeological site: An excavation of the site by Chosun University found Paleolithic, Bronze Age and Three Kingdoms period relics. A sign at the site describes the differences in the items found in the four different Paleolithic layers.
  Wooden birds on poles "So-tae," wooden birds on poles.  Traditionally these marked the boundaries of a village and were for good luck.  Contemporarily the are used more as decorative art. I saw these in a couple locations.
  The bus system is very extensive.  A bus seem to find its way to almost every road in the country at least a couple times a day.  Here the bus shelter, shaped like a mushroom, is colorful, creative and playful.
  mix of farmland and green houses Greenhouse interiorA mix of farmland and green houses in the valley.  Green houses are generally large enough to operate a small tractor in and are used to produce a lot of vegetables.
  Farms on the valley floor and forest on the hillside More verification that the hills are wooded and the valley floor is used for agriculture and housing.
  Harvesting rice farm Cleaning beansThis couple (left) is working together to stack the straw from the freshly harvest rice.  A woman (right) uses the wind and the side of the road to clean the chaff out of her beans.
  Dike road Dikes roads and "tractor roads" are a feature of rural South Korea that are very handy as car-free, and consequentially much more care-free, bicycle facilities. Suncheon district.
  Stone bridge at Sonamsa One often cross a bridge over a stream approaching a temple for a symbolic cleansing.  When the water level  is right in the stream at Sonamsa, the stone bridge, with its reflection  in the pool below,  makes a perfect circle.
  Sonamsa (temple) Sonamsa (temple) is said to have originated from the Biro-am hermitage, built in 529 or 542.  The name Sonam derives from the large and flat rock on which two hermits used to play Paduk (Korean chess).

One of the prominent monk who live at Sonamsa was Master Uich'on (1055-1101).  After studying in China, upon his return, his mail goal was to try to reconcile the differences between the meditation oriented Zen school and the doctrinal Hwaom school, which had become almost completely alienated from each other.  To this end he revived the Ch'ont'ea school, which believed the study of Buddhist texts and the pursuit of meditation are complementary and should go hand in hand.

  Sonamsa (temple) In 1985, the temple established T'aekoch'omgrim to train Buddhist leaders and promote traditional Buddhism of Korea.  In this picture on the right, the shoes of dozen of novices can be seen outside the door of a pray hall.
  Sangsaho Lake The land of the morning clam. Sangsaho Lake.
  Naganeupseong Folk Village Naganeupseong Folk Village is a walled village that has been preserved and restored to maintain the heritage of the people.  The 1.4 km perimeter wall was started in the late 1300 to protect the people from Japanese pirates.
  The living museum is a very popular destination for elementary school classes.  There were a dozen buses full of students visiting at the time we toured.
  Government offfices, Naganeupseong Folk Village This is the government sections, which includes administrative office buildings and a guest house.  The buildings are much more substantial and the roofs are ceramic tiles. Naganeupseong Folk Village
  Traditional house, Naganeupseong Folk Village Naganeupseong Folk Village traditional houses had thatched roofs and a number of rooms with separate entrances. Besides the buildings there are people who dress in period fashions and demonstrate activities as they were done traditionally.  There is also a site museum with displays, artifacts and explanations.
  women in hanbok The folk village is a popular destination for Korean.  These two lovely senior women (left) were visiting with their family and consented to being photographed in their hanboks, the tradition formal dress of Korea.  The traditional dress for men (right) is also called hanbok.
  girls on swings Two young girls swing on a couple of super-size swings.
  Church under construction While almost every Buddhist temple we past seemed to have some kind of building, renovation or restoration project underway, this is the only Christian church I noticed that was an active construction project.
  Most towns of any size have a day care / nursery school / pre-school.  The reflects the change in the culture to two working parents, who are not in close enough proximity to grandparents to get daily child care.
  Fish market, Beolgyo Every town of any size seems to have a covered central market with a wide variety of goods available in large numbers.  Somehow the fish section of the market always seems the most photogenic, or at least the most visually unusual to the Western eye.  Once again, here is a fish vendor picture to document that I explored Beolgyo market. 

Gurye Wando

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