Sunday, June 17, 2012

Bongeunsa Temple and Cherry Blossoms in Yeouido

I meet up with friends and we visited Bongeunsa 봉근사, a Buddist temple in Gangnam 강남 and across from COEX Mall. A little back history: It was built in 794, reconstructed in 1498, mostly destroyed by fire in 1939 and then later in the Korean War in the early 1950s. Now it has been mostly restored and is a large tourist destination spot.

For someone who's not even Buddhist I took tons of pictures. Perhaps I was just overly eager to share and also it was a beautiful day. It finally felt like spring!

Spring flowers and cherry blossoms along the road, just outside of Gangnam Station 강남 역



Display of large Buddhist figures...I think these might be entrance door gods?? (By the way, you can see me in the reflection, keke.)


Entering the temple. You kind of get an idea of how spacious the temple grounds are since this is just the walkway to enter.


The temple actually consists of several buildings. Sorry I was quite clueless and can't tell you what each building was since I just wandered around.


There must have been some special event because there were tons of people there...but again, no clue and my friends who took me there were also clueless. XP


Now this is more like it...my more picturesque scene of spring in Seoul!






Inside of a smaller building with more figures and a golden Buddha figure.


You can see the painted murals on the walls.


Pretty ceiling.


Spring flowers, spring flowers! 봄 꽃



Huge, huuuuuuge Buddha stone statute. My camera didn't quite capture the grandness of its scale but you can kind of image from seeing how small people look in the pictures.


Ahahahaha I'm not ready for an obligatory tourist picture of me. XP


Statue to the side of the large Buddha statue complex. There was also a dragon statute nearby, but no idea why I didn't take a picture of it. I guess because once you see an Asian stone statute of a dragon, you've kind of seen them all. (I see them at the Asian malls here, keke.)




Temple Bell...why did I not know this was a temple bell at the time so that I could have gone closer for a picture? Oh yeah, because we were on our way out and friends were already walking way ahead of me. Tourist woes. (jk)




On our way out.


Stream with big fishie.



We headed  across the street from COEX Mall for a lunch. Someone came up with the idea of eating...fast food for lunch since they had plans for dinner at a Chinese American restaurant, which I passed on (Chinese American food in Seoul? thanks, but no thanks). I shared a chili cheese dog and poutine fries. This is probably the most un-Korean food I ate in Seoul, keke.


Afterwards I picked up some strawberry pastries at Paris Baguette. I really liked Paris Baguette in Seoul. I've been to a couple here in Cali since and so far, it's just not quite the same (still good but much less variety).

Strawberry and whipped cream pastries and custard cups, mmm yummy.


Drool-worthy cake selection! I must have one...or two...or three of those the next time I'm in Korea, kekeke.


After our brief stop at COEX Mall, we went to Yeouido 여의도 (Yeoui Island) at the Han River for the Cherry Blossom Festival. My friends wanted to sit and have a little picnic of snacks on the field in front of the National Assembly Building 국회의사당.


*cough* not enough cherry blossoms *cough, cough*


Truthfully, I was a little disappointed since I didn't see a whole lot of cherry blossoms. Spring arrived late in Seoul and a lot of the trees were barren. I'd read afterwards that there were street foods etc. but I didn't get to see or try any the festival because it was very, very crowded so my friends didn't want to walk around. It also got a bit chilly so we left to part ways for dinner.



On the bright side, I did get to see more cherry blossoms before I left Seoul! I still have more posts to share from Seoul, but I'm going to try to pace them out with my usual blog posts so that it won't be too monotonous. Unfortunately, my computer's been painfully slow so I need to add more memory. Hopefully that will happen this week, otherwise, Seoul posts might be the only ones that I can readily post until then. 마안! (Sorry!)

20 comments:

  1. Very nice set of snaps! You made me giggle a few times at your commentary of the photos! XDAhh I never know which room is which in those temples either. I feel a bit bad if I don't pray to the buddhas in there though even though I'm not really buddhist, my grandma says it's rude if I don't say hi. So that's literally what I do, just say hi, and bow a little/ LOL!

    MMmm Paris Baguette I think is much better in Seoul! We have it in Shanghai but everything comes out a little bit too dark for my liking...it's not really burnt, but it's just more brown than what I'd normally eat. I once told the employees that they over-baked their produce, and she was like "No we don't. We have a guidance sheet which tells us exactly what shade to bake to, and this is it.' I was like 'WTF the orignal korean ones are't this colour...' and she insisted that she was in the right. =_= Silly moo.

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  2. Ahh I'm glad I made you giggle! hehe I feel bad because I know we should be respectful and are expected to be in awe and appreciate the architecture and artwork but...it's kind of hard when you don't know what's what, lol. Aw I love that your grandma said you should say hi! That is indeed good manners, hehe. I also said "hi." ;)

    Ohh how interesting that they over-bake at Paris Baguette in Shanghai. Maybe to distinguish that it's Korean...err...French-Korean? I wonder why Paris Baguette in China & the US can't be more like the ones in Seoul. But I envy you because you can bake!! Cakes and Asian breads too. You don't need a bakery, hehe. We have a Taiwanese bakery here that often has lines that queue up outside the door!If I was in Shanghai, I'd love to eat lots and lots of Chinese food and try all the bakeries there! XD

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  3.  Ahh if you ever decide to visit Shanghai I hope I will be there when you are! I can take you to eat in all my favourite places!!! :D

    Aww you flatter me, I am not *that* good at baking. If I had a bakery near me I would seriously just go there. Unfortunately we don't have any Asian bakeries in my city at all! I need to travel an hour or so by train to the nearest city to get some (Nic Nic's home city!)...so all the more incentive for me to make it myself if I want to eat.

    Ahahah you didn't seem disrespectful! Dont worry :)

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  4. I'm not buddhist either, but I also like going to temples. They are so pretty.

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  5.  Aww agreed. I've been to a few different temples and they've really varied from humble to more decorated, but I definitely like the serenity. =)

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  6. That would be awesome! I'd definitely love to go to Shanghai, Hong Kong and Taipei someday. Anddd I'd definitely need somewhere to take me around to eat and shop since I don't speak/read/understand a lick of Chinese/Mandarin/Cantonese. :3

    Don't be so modest about your baking! Home baked goods are still the best. I love the aroma and you know exactly what the ingredients are & how much of everything, and it's fresh out of the oven! (I may have just made myself hungry.) ^_^

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  7. OMG! The place is wonderful! I love the cherry blossoms tree.. <3
    I wish we have that here in the Pi too :)

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  8. WAAAAH. It's so beautiful!!!! >.< I miss seeing serene places like that~ I especially love the photo with your reflection, a very cute and.. memorable photo :P  

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  9. I wish for that too! The only thing is that it's a little hard to predict when they bloom, especially if you have to travel to see them. On the other hand, PI has great beaches!

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  10. How beautuful the flowers and Korean temple, i have never seen the unside of Korean temple before. Thank you for sharing.

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  11. Vivien SchönherrJune 18, 2012 at 11:21 AM

    omg the place looks so awesome *O* and the photos too <3 such a nice blog :3 followed :)

    xoxo

    adazzlingfairytale.blogspot.co.at

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  12. Hahaha reach up highhhhh and take the photo like a good Asian tourist!
    My mum and I are also guilty of going to temples to pose and take photos.

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  13.  Lol! I played my role. ^_^ I guess it's pretty much mandatory to visit at least one temple while in an Asian country, keke.

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  14. Aww thanks! It's funny, if I didn't see my reflection in the picture I would have forgotten how big those statues are. Then again, if I'd known, I would have posed for my reflection! =P

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  15. it looks really beautiful there! Your Seoul posts are so useful since I'm actually going there on SUnday!! short trip but going to make the most of the time there :D

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  16. Omgosh yay!! I'm excited for you. Are you going with hubby? What do you have planned so far? I'm guessing Myeongdong? kekeke

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  17. Lovely pictures! Too bad that at that time you didn't get to see cherry blossoms in full bloom. We had that problem in Fukushima because the weather was too cold this year. Glad that you got to see it later though. We did catch it in full bloom in Tochigi.

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  18. super jealous =( i really want to go there as well !

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  19. Aww thank you! It's so hard to predict, especially when planning to travel! I'm glad you were able to catch it in full bloom in Tochigi! =)

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  20. Aww I hope you can someday soon! I waited like 2 years, lol, but hopefully you won't have to wait as long, kekeke.

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