View from the top of Old Man of Coniston hike in Lake District National Park, England.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Preston, Lancashire, England.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Wyke, West Yorkshire, England on May 29th!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

A temple with a view

We had stayed up late last night (past midnight!) with Tom and Elicia. Great conversation, and a few laughs too. They're a fun young couple with a fantastic future ahead of them. Anyhow, 8:00am came around pretty fast, and they still had to go to work. We were up pretty much just in time to say goodbye to them, but thankfully we didn't have to rush off anywhere.

We've been going pretty much nonstop since we arrived here just under two weeks ago, but of course we're only here for 28 days and we don't want to waste any of our time.

Despite that, this morning we stayed in the apartment and relaxed. Actually, we were doing further internet research and figuring out how we're going to get from here to Busan on Saturday morning. And, trying to contact some couchsurfing hosts for our future travels both here in Korea and for when we arrive back in the United States.

It's been a little frustrating though. Couchsurfing is a fantastic resource to meet people around the world and have somewhere to stay, but many people in this part of the world simply don't have the space in their home to supply sleeping space for visitors. And, sometimes people don't respond to requests as quickly as they should. Anyhow, we've met some great people through the program, so we'll obviously continue to use it.

It was almost noon when we left the apartment. We decided to go to the Hyangiram Hermitage, a Buddhist temple that's built into the side of a mountain overlooking the sea. It's a bit of a hike to get up there, and a 45 minute bus ride (#111, 113, or 116) just to get to the base.

Ruth, with one of the turtles at the entrance.

We've learned that there are usually lots of stairs at a temple.

Some of the trail goes through crevices in the rocks!

This is the exit of the crevice. Good thing I'm a skinny guy!

Starting to get a view. Uphill, every step of the way.

It was tough to get a photo of the temple buildings that also showed how high up on the side of the mountain we were.

Again, wonderful decoration.

I wanted to ring the temple bell! Pretty sure that it would have been frowned upon.

I spotted this dolphin way down below.

No idea if these are 5 years old, or 500 years!

This temple has a turtle theme.

Again, very cool how it's all built into the huge boulders on the side of the mountain.


There weren't many people there, and that was a good thing. But of those people who were there, many of them were praying so I didn't feel right taking pictures of the main temple. We only had to pay 2,000 won ($2.20) to enter, so it wasn't a big deal, but really there wasn't a lot to see. You kind of wander around for 10 minutes, and we found a bench to sit on overlooking the ocean where we had a snack. But other than that, we felt like there was something missing.

Then, we found the trail...we were only half way up!

Yep, another 410 meters (1/4 mile) to go! All of it uphill.

Wow...what a beautiful area.

And a beautiful day!

We almost hiked to the next mountain in the background!

Yeosu is surrounded by 317 islands. 49 are inhabited, and  268 are uninhabited.

Relaxing at the top.

We came to a three way intersection where we could have continued and hiked up the next mountain as well. But it was already getting on towards 4:00pm and we didn't want to be late. So we took the detour back down to the parking lot to catch the bus back to town. The bus cost 1,200 won ($1.30) each for the 45 minute drive.

Dried squid anyone?

These stands are all selling Kimchi.

We took the bus all the way into town and went to a huge grocery store. Frustrating thing is not knowing what stuff is, and not having anybody to ask. We're surviving, but the food issue is a bit of a challenge! We bought some chicken breast and potatoes and Ruth is making some kind of stir fry thing for us all tonight. Quite a change from Korean food!


  1. Wow, that's quite the hike. Awesome decorations.
    The food challenge is really all of that. Tough to know where to start when there's no hint of what something is. I'll stick to German, French, Dutch, Russian, Slovenian.....

    1. If it wasn't for the gluten free problem the food wouldn't be an issue because there are a lot of things that we would eat but unfortunately a lot of their food contains gluten and not knowing which foods we are choosing makes it rather hard to find things that are gluten free.

  2. I absolutely love the colors of the Temple. I can't image who painted it or how much time it must have taken to complete the job. It is gorgeous!

    Kevin, you make me very nervous when you stand that close to the edge of the rock. But, I must say, the view is fantastic!

    1. We thought the same thing, we also wondered how often it has to be repainted to keep the colours so bright. The temples really are beautiful!

      He makes me nervous sometimes too!

  3. Cool header pic! I don't think I could eat the squid.

    1. Thanks Judy! I am not sure that we could eat it as well but we would probably give it a try if someone offer us some.

    2. They shred it and eat it as a snack as well as dried fish. I tasted both and actually liked the dried squid better. It's not fishy tasting at all, since its marinated in a kind of teriyaki seasoning it has a lot of umami. They call it Korean jerky!
      I know what you mean about grocery shopping, it's frustrating! There's no way to identify what's in a package unless there's a photo on it, and forget about figuring out ingredients!

    3. That may actually be what we bought in Wando. We thought we were buying shredded dried fish but this is a little more rubbery, it still tastes OK but it kinda feels like you are chewing on a bunch of rubber bands, lol! We like the dried fish and it's a great snack to carry around with us.

      When you have a food allergy it makes it even worse. I think we are going to have to carry around a copy of the Korean symbols for wheat and barley, especially and a magnifying glass so that we can study the ingredient list.

  4. Kimchee is good for digestion if you can find some that is not too spicy!

    1. Yes, we have heard that it is good for digestion. Every meal that we have had out pretty much serves it to you. I think that it has only been once or twice that it was super spicy.

  5. At one point I was planning a trip to Korea with my sister, but she decided it would be to hard for her since she can't eat wheat. Or at least she can't eat American wheat--she walked the Camino de Santiago last year and discovered that she could eat the wheat in France and Spain. (So apparently in her case it's not the gluten, but maybe just something else about American wheat? So weird. Somebody needs to look into this!) Anyway, I'm now planning a family trip with my husband and two kids, and we're hoping to go to Hyangiram. I think the kids will enjoy all the crevices.

    1. I agree, that something has been done to change the chemistry in the wheat here in North America. I have heard of others people that haven't had as many issues with wheat in Europe. We found it a bit difficult at first with the gluten in food in Korea but we soon learned of several dishes that we could eat without any gluten so we were happy.

      We really enjoyed our trip to Yeosu and to Hyangiram Temple. We really wished that we had more time to spend in that area. I am sure the kids would love it there.


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