These past few months have been really busy for us at our jobs. I wish we had more time to make posts and I am sorry that we haven’t been writing as much as usual. We have been working a lot and we finally decided to take a weekend trip out of the vast city of Seoul and head towards the Korean countryside for some much needed R&R. All we wanted was to see no highrises and to just relax in a place that didn’t have millions of people. We chose to visit Andong after reading a lot about the traditional charm that it offers and we set out at 5:30 am on Saturday morning to go into Seoul and catch a three hour express bus to Andong. (For information and directions, head to the bottom of the post!)
When we finally arrived in Andog, it was everything we were hoping it would be. There is a small city, but most of the major attractions are just outside of the most populated areas. We immediately hopped on another bus headed towards Bongjeongsa, a very old, not to mention the largest, temple in Andong. After riding for about fifteen minutes, the bus announced that the next stop was the temple, and so we disembarked along with another girl about our age. We stood outside watching the bus drive away and started looking around and wondering, “where’s this super big temple?”. The girl approached us and said that the bus announcement had been wrong and according to her phone’s GPS, the temple was still bit further up the road. Excellent.
She was kind enough to offer to call a taxi and share the ride with us the rest of the way. However, being that the place is kind of in the middle of nowhere, the taxi driver was having a hard time locating us. So we just hung out and waited, taking pictures of the fields and accepting gifts of homegrown apples from a nice old lady who was pushing her cart full of them past us. About twenty minutes of waiting, and we were actually able to hail a taxi that was on it’s way back down from the temple.
After arriving at the temple, we hiked to the top and explored the grounds of one of the oldest temples we have ever visited in Korea. The legend goes that a monk flew a paper crane and it landed at Bongjeongsa, and so they built the temple there. The structure of the buildings are very unique and simple. We had a really good time wandering around the area and taking pictures.
Click to enlarge!
Around lunchtime, we hiked back down to the entrance and ate at a restaurant/bed & breakfast that served jjimdak, one of our favorite meals, which Andong happens to be famous for. We ordered for two, and what they brought out was a huge platter enough to feed an entire family and STILL have left overs. We ate what we could and waddled towards the bus stop to head back into town.
Directions from Seoul to Andong: