Thursday, July 5, 2012


(does not include Seoul)

Park Hyatt – 51 Marine City 1-ro (Haeundae); 011-82-51-990-1234;; 200 minimalist rooms & 69 suites with floor-to-ceilings; bakery, spa & 2 restaurants.

HAPCHEON-GUN (Hapcheon County)
Sights & Sites
Haeinsa Temple – 122 Haeinsa-gil (Gaya-myeon, west of Daegu city); 011-82-55-934-3161; or; traditionally 1st settled in 802 by 2 monks (Ijeong & Suneung), who had just returned from China; name means “Temple of Reflections on Smooth Sea,” deriving from Buddhist sutra verse that compares Buddha’s wisdom to calm sea; in 13th Century, Korea at war with Mongols & Korean government, in exile on Ganghwa Island, commissioned Buddhist scripture copy in hopes of earning Buddha’s intervention; resulting Tripitaka Koreana (carved 1237-48, ancient text now stored on CD-ROM) is considered Asia’s best copy; destroyed by fire in 1817 (only Tripitaka library, built in 1488, escaped damage); rebuilt in 1818 during late Joseon (Choson) dynasty; UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 1995; Janggyeong Panjeon building notable as among oldest buildings constructed specifically (in 1400s) for artifact storage; main worship hall, Daejeokkwangjeon (Great Light & Silence Hall) houses Vairocana Buddha statue, carved in 1769.

MUJU-GUN (Muju County)
Sights & Sites
Deogyusan National Park Office – 411-8 Samgong-ri (Seolcheon-myeon; 011-82-63-3223-1745;; based around mountain range of same name; home to over 250 animal species; incredibly scenic at any time of year, with dramatic valleys, rock formations, and numerous waterfalls (most famous being Chilyeon Waterfall, which spills down through 7 ponds); worth hiking is portion of Baekdu-Daegan trail (

MVL Hotel – 111 Odongdo-ro (332-15 Sujung-Dong (3rd Wharf District)); 011-82-61-660-5800;
Jin Bok – near rotary, Jungang; 011-82-61-664-7555; boribop with small plates.
Sights & Sites
Dolsan Island – connected to mainland by Dolsan Bridge; mostly rural.
Hirangiram – Dolsan Island; one of Korea’s 4 Buddhist hermitages.
Odongo – camellia-covered island connected to mainland by wide walkway.

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