Thursday, May 10, 2012

Silleuksa Temple Resort: Yeoju


Alongside the Yeoju Ceramic festival lies the Silleuksa Temple. Out of all the temples I have visited in Korea, thus far, this one proved to be very illuminating. I think what makes this one stand out from the others is that it resides next to the Namhangang river. But you will will also see that there are many treasures to be found on your visit, which add to the uniqueness of this place.

I started off by purchasing my ticket and taking a stroll by the river and through a shaded tree-lined path.




As you approach the temple you see a small place where you can write on a tablet, and then the fountain area.





The stroll around the temple grounds was full of familiar sights and with the lanterns up for Buddha's birthday on the horizon, things felt good.



I mostly enjoyed the twisted trees laid out here amongst the landscape.
Nearby was one of the pagoda shrines where visitors completed rituals.




Again another twisty tree, but this one projecting a really awesome shadow onto the sandy soil.

As I headed away from the temple grounds I found myself climbing a stone staircase only to to come to the top of a hill where a six-tier brick pagoda was standing. Apparently, this is one of only a handful of brick pagodas left in Korea, and it majestically sits above the river.





Above this lies a stele shrine where you can see a better view of the pagoda and river scene.


Walking around the shrine and heading downhill, you are set on a rock outcrop over looking the river. The wind blows a cool breeze and one's weary Seoul body is soothed. I really wanted to just sit out there all day, if it weren't for lunch calling me.



Alongside here was a resting pavilion where many a visitor sat and admired the scenery.



I took a seat at a nearby boulder / bench and took in the view and fresh air. On the opposite side of the river was an amusement park, which was starting to swing into gear. I could hear the thrilling sound of voices as they enjoyed their ride. But it wasn't loud enough to disturb the peace I felt while there.



Heading back, I noticed this amusing placard for the bathroom near the temple and also a nice little gift shop.


I would highly recommend heading out to Yeoju and visiting this temple resort area. For one you can see a bit of cultural history and another you can enjoy some great refreshing scenery. Perhaps, bring some friends and have a picnic if you feel like it.

To get here follow the similar instructions in my ceramic post. Or you can try to follow these instructions:

Dong Seoul Bus Terminal
A bus runs between Seoul and Yeoju (06:30-22:00) and takes 70 minutes. Catch a bus in the direction of the Silleuksa Temple Resort at the bus stop in front of the Yeoju Terminal or Yeoju Town; it takes only 10 minutes.

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