Death Defying Winter Wonderland Trip to Koyasan, Japan

While we were staying in Osaka, Japan we wanted to make the approximately 2 hour daytrip to Mount Koya (Koyasan). In 816 Mount Koya was settled by the monk Kukai in a 800 meter high valley among the 8 peaks of the mountain. The area is home to more than 100 temples and it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We were mainly interested in seeing Okunoin Cemetery. We had seen atmospheric Continue Reading →

Visit Gochangeupseong Fortress in Gochang, South Korea

Just shortly after our visit to Damyang fortress we found out that there is another fortress in our area. Gochangeupseong Fortress (고창읍성) in Gochang, Jeollabukdo is about an hour from Gwangju, Jeollanamdo. Unlike Damyang fortress which is on the mountain top, Gochang fortress, built in 1453, is right in the residential area of Gochang. Just park your car, walk around the corner and you’re there! Once inside the gate there Continue Reading →

Boseong’s Green Tea Plantation Light Festival

Boseong in Jeollanamdo, South Korea is currently holding their annual Light Festival. The lights are on display this year at the Korea Tea Culture Park and at Yulpo Beach. Some other small displays are spread throughout the community. If you are driving from Yulpo Beach towards the Tea Park be sure to look at the mountain on the left! There is a huge light display of Admiral Yi Sun Shin Continue Reading →

Mysterious Unjusa Temple of 1,000 Buddha and Pagodas

The South Korean temple, Unjusa in Hwasun County is a bit of a mystery. No one is quite sure who the founder is but it is estimated to have been built sometime between 57 BC and 935 AD. Originally the temple had more than 1,000 Buddha statues and 1,000 pagodas but today only 91 stone statues and 21 pagodas of various sizes remain. They can be found around the temple Continue Reading →

Hike to Geumseong-Sanseong Fortress in Damyang, Korea

We love Damyang, South Korea! There are so many things to do in the area, the food in the region is fantastic and there is bamboo everywhere. Over the years we have visited a fair number of times but had somehow completely missed Geumseong-Sanseong Fortress (담양 금성산성) until Compass Korea included it in the list of 7 Must See Places Near Gwangju This Fall. We had been feeling pretty frustrated Continue Reading →

Memories of our Camel Safari in Jaisalmer, India

Recently our trip to India has been coming up in conversations for a variety of reasons over and over. The trip was a personal reward for completing my master’s degree and was also going to be our last big trip before we tried to start a family. Possibly the biggest highlight of the trip was the camel safari we took in Jaisalmer just across from the Pakistani border. We had started Continue Reading →

Gwangju International Community Day!

The Gwangju International Center is yet again helping to organize the Gwangju International Community Day (GIC Day). It will be held October 15th and 16th, 2016 at the Gwangju International Center (Saturday) and the Asia Culture Complex (Sunday) downtown. Put on by both local and international residents of the city, this multi-cultural event is now in its 22nd year in Gwangju, South Korea and features a talent show, concert, cultural and community booths as well Continue Reading →

7 Must See Places Near Gwangju this Fall

                This summer has been a long and unbelivably hot one but fall is in the air! Maybe you're looking for a place to see the fall colours or somewhere to visit over the Chuseok holiday. The Damyang House, Compass Korea  and Family in Faraway Places  have you covered with our favorite places to visit near Gwangju, Jeollanamdo during the autumn season in Korea! 1. The Continue Reading →

Photos of Songgwangsa Temple in Fall

Website: http://songgwangsa.org/ Admission: Adults 3,000 won, students 2,000 won, seniors and children under 7 free Address: 100 Songgwangsaan-gil, Songgwang-myeon, Suncheon-si, Jeollanam-do   Travel Time: Car 45 min – an hour. Bus 1 hour and 30 min. The direct bus to Songgwangsa leaves from Gwangju Express Bus Terminal (U Square) every hour.  All images © 2013-2016 Jessica Solomatenko

Imagine Your Korea! Beautiful Autumn Baegyangsa Temple

고불총림 백양사 Website: http://www.baekyangsa.or.kr/ Admission: Adults 3,000 won, students 1,200 won, children 700 won, babies FREE Address: 1239, Baegyang-ro, Bukha-myeon, Jangseong-gun, Jeollanam-do 전라남도 장성군 북하면 백양로 1239 (북하면) Travel Time: Car 35 min, bus 1 hour. It is considerably longer during peak season! Take heavy traffic into consideration. Bus: From Gwangju Express Bus Terminal (U Square) there is a direct bus to Baegyangsa which takes around an hour. During the peak season it is best to Continue Reading →