Buddha in the Mist
Two days after our arrival in Seoul, South Korea in 2008 we were whisked off to the mountains of Seoraksan in the eastern part of the country. The Sinheungsa Temple lies in the Seoraksan National Park. The giant 10 metre bronze Jwabul Statue is at the entry into the temple complex. A fascinating aspect of many of the temple sites is the hand-inscribed tiles that can be found nearby. Visitors can make a donation and leave a message, apparently in the hope of good health or fortune.
The trail to the Sinheungsa Temple crosses a stone bridge and follows the river to the temple gate. Inside the gate a courtyard is crossed to reach the temple. It rained the whole time during our visit and large puddles had formed in the courtyard. The colourful temple stood out from the damp green surroundings and overcast grey skies.
Further up the river valley is a large spherical rock called Heundeulbawi which sits on top of a larger flat rock into which Chinese characters have been carved. Heundeulbawi is about 5 metres high and can be slightly rocked with some effort.
The rain and mist added eeriness to the surroundings and helped to make the visit more memorable. The next day the sky was clear and the views from the top of the nearby cable car were clear to the horizon.