Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Samhwasa Temple in Mureung Valley, Donghae, SK

So this past weekend, the Fulbright Commission in Seoul paid for all of the ETAs to have a weekend vacation in Donghae. Donghae literally means "East Sea," and it is a little town considered "rural." Of course our walk through the downtown area made Donghae look much more like a city in American terms. But we've come to realize that Korean designations for urban, suburban and rural are very different.

Anyway, we got to visit a Korean Buddhist Temple in the beautiful Samhwasa valley. The Valley is very narrow, but filled with giant boulders and cliffs. Trees and other lush flora flourish on the rocks, and water runs down the valley from every spot. It's very lovely.

Here are some pictures:

Samhwasa Buddhist Temple in Mureung Valley, Donghae, South Korea

An awesome creek-thing ran through the middle of the narrow valley. There were lots of huge boulders everywhere and waterfalls all fell into the river from both sides of the valley side!

Fun rapids! And dry bedrock to relax on...

So these are all pictures of the Mureung Valley. We visited a Buddhist Temple, Samhwasa Temple, in the valley. We also walked all around on some of the hiking trails and took in the beauty of the valley! Hiking is THE national past-time of South Korea (besides drinking....seriously), so there were lots of fun paths to explore!

The rest of Donghae was great too! We visited the cave in the center of town - they had only discovered it in 1991. We had to wear hard hats and everything because the ceilings were so low, but it was a fun time. At the very least, it was nice to get out of the humidity.

Surprisingly, our single day on the beach was filled with great weather. A lot of us were expecting it to rain, but it was super sun-shiney! And we all got burned. The boardwalk was also a great hangout at night. We stayed at the Grand Tourist Hotel in Mansang, the most northern part of Donghae. The hotel was owned by the same people who created Jungwon, so we weren't quite able to escape the odd marble-mansion architecture. But it was a great stay!

On our way back to Goesan on Sunday (we took nice Jungwon buses to and fro), we winded our way through high mountains to a little museum. A more strange museum I've never known...There were lots of great pottery pieces and artifacts, but there was also a whole giant fake cave. Strange... But we had bibimbap afterwards for lunch and that was great.

Camp Fulbright is well underway, and I've already taught my first class. It went pretty well, but I still have a lot more to learn and practice!

The weather is now sunny and great in Jungwon, but since camp has begun I haven't gotten a chance to go out and take pictures. I'll get to it sometime...

But in the meantime, I might have post on Seoul soon...Although all the ETAs are going in a few weeks, a group of friends and I might try to swing our own visit this weekend! So the next post might be very fun... Stay tuned!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Meredith,
    Wow! This sounds like my kinda place, Mureung Vally. I love to hike, mountains and their national past-time! Hahahaha..
    Sounds like you are really doing well and we wish you the best.