Our last major stop while in Gyeongju was Bulguksa Temple.
Our original plan for the day was to see Bulguksa Temple in the morning, giving us plenty of time to see the Seokguram Grotto. By the time the bus delivered us from the Yangdong Village to Bulguksa Temple, it was late afternoon and the park closed at 5:30pm. We didn’t get to see the Grotto, and that’s one of my greatest regrets from this trip. But the Bulguksa Temple was beautiful (and a UNESCO Heritage Site) and I’m glad we got to see it.
The first thing we saw on our walk from the bus stop to the temple was Cherry Blossoms. I could dedicate an entire post to pictures I took of Cherry Blossoms. I cranked my aperture wide-open to get a shallow depth-of-field and got as close as I could to some of the flowers. What I shot was some of my favorite photos I’ve taken so far.
And it wasn’t just one tree that was flowering. All of the trees had flowered and created a canopy over the walkways that made a mundane park look like something out of a movie.
I wish we’d packed a lunch so we could just sit there under the Cherry blossoms for a while. But we didn’t, so we pressed on.
Before we entered the Bulguksa Temple, we stopped at this statue. I wasn’t able to tell what it said, but it’s pretty.
The Grounds at Bulguksa Temple
In order to get to the Bulguksa Temple, we had to walk through the grounds first. That included this meticulously maintained bog.
And there was this sign. Look, I know what it’s trying to say, but this sounds like a Star Wars sequel.
Then we finally reached the Temple.
The interior was decorated with brightly colored paper lanterns. I didn’t catch for what occasion.
Around the back were several artifacts from the temple’s past use as a religious ground before it was mostly known as a tourist attraction.
All across the grounds were stacked stones.
Maybe I’m just bad at research, but I can’t find any Buddhist reason for stacking the stones beyond the obvious meanings; it’s a test of patience; it symbolizes balance and the inner way; it represents inner stability and peace built upon strong foundations. I don’t know. If someone has a better answer, add it to the comments.
As I said when I started this post, we ran out of time to see the Seokguram Grotto. And again, it’s something I’ll regret whenever I look back at this trip. So if you’re going to go to Bulguksa Temple, go in the morning as to allot yourself enough time to see the entire ground.
After Bulguksa Temple, we made our way back to Seoul and prepped to leave Korea.
This post is part of the #FarawayFiles group. To read more travel blogs like this, click on the image below to go to the wonderful host’s page, SuitcasesAndSandCastles.