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 →

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 →

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 →

Hampyeong’s Herptile Eco Park

Hampyeong which is about an hour away from Gwangju, Jeollanamdo, is well known across Korea for its annual Butterfly Festival. Few people, even locally it appears, know about Hampyeong Herptile Eco Park (함평파충류생태공원 ). It’s hard to miss though once you arrive into the area of the Eco Park as the building is shaped like a giant albino Burmese python (they have a live one inside!). I have not been able Continue Reading →

Dolmeori Beach in Hampyeong South Korea

Only about an hour drive away from Gwangju, Dolmeori Beach in Hampyeong is one of the closest beaches to the city. We usually make it out to the beach a couple of times a year but like many beaches along Korea’s west coast extremes in the difference between high and low tide can make it difficult to catch a good day for swimming. When the tide goes out at Dolmeori Continue Reading →

Gamami Beach – Great Beaches in South Korea!

*Update June 21, 2016* – Photos of the new water park added! Nearly every weekend, especially once the snow is gone, we try to take a road trip locally. Traveling with a 3 year old who has a ridiculously early wake up time, we usually head out early, travel 1-2 hours from Gwangju and spend the morning at our destination. After lunch when it starts to get too hot and the crowds Continue Reading →

Hwaeomsa Temple in South Korea for Buddha’s Birthday

On the weekend of Buddha's birthday each spring, festivities are held at the temples all across South Korea. The temples around the country hold events for the entire family. There are performances, ceremonies, free food and lots and lots of colorful lanterns! Though all temples, big or small, will have some sort of event or lantern display, some are better than others. After recieving a recommendation from a friend, we made our way Continue Reading →