Mountains + Buddhist Temples = Awesome

So. Took me awhile. But, HEY: here comes my second picture-heavy post about my adventure through Korea with the Tank! (Here’s the first.)

You know you missed us.

So, here’s a secret: I like hiking. This is secretive mostly because I’m one of the least athletic people I know. I don’t mind exercising so much as I’m just too darn lazy to exercise. Combined with a heart rate that can jump from 120 to 180 in less than a minute, and I just rarely get enough motivation to get off my ass and get healthy. But hiking? Show me a gorgeous landscape, and I’m there. Even if it takes all day.

(Poor Tank. She’s one of the MOST athletic people I know, but she was very considerate of my incredible slowness.)

HOW ATMOSPHERIC, ONE MIGHT SAY.

Of course, the day Tank and I had set aside for hiking was super cloudy. (Also: hella humid.) But that actually was full of awesome because the trails were fairly empty, and the clouds lent a mysterious, romantic bent to something I’m already inclined to like: Buddhist temples.

Any of my minions ever visited a Buddhist temple? If you haven’t, I highly recommend it just for the smell alone. The incense is so gorgeous–insta-relax for me. I’m also fascinated by how similar Chinese, Korean, and Japanese Buddhist temples can appear at first, but there are little details that shift between the cultures. Even statues of Buddha/Boddhisattvas tend to change based on the culture, adjusting to more closely resemble those people.

Korean temples have a lot more blues and turquoise than most Mahayana temples in China and definitely way more than the Zen temples I’ve visited in Japan. (Zen temples tend to stick to plain wood rather than getting colorful, which has a charm all its own.)

But I wanted to highlight the serene quality to this temple Tank and I discovered, so I played around with saturation. Sorry. 😉

This auxiliary temple had a garden so the monks wouldn't have to descend to the main temple every day to eat.

Loff loff LOFF the carvings and colors on this.

As Tank and I walked to this temple, we heard a melodious chant. Because of the volume, we figured it was a recording, but lo and behold, when we climbed to the highest building, we ran into a monk chanting into a microphone! (Those monks are super tech savvy nowadays.) Dudes, it was so awesome. Guttural Buddhist chants are full of gorgeous; I can totally understand how the concept of Zen came about, because the length with which they can chant, the tone, the pitch, everything–it’s just mind-boggling. Tank sat and meditated with him for awhile, while I hemmed and hawed about taking a photo. (I ended up not doing it. SORRY.) But it was so soothing and just. I dunno. Fabulous.

And no mosquito bites! WIN.

I'm...not sure what this is.

View from the highest building, taken to the tune of an awesome, chanting monk. That's a lotus lantern in the foreground.

Next up (eventually): The Epic Ferry to Jeju, and Tank and Kat attempt to find a Waterfall!

😀 😀 😀

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