Sept 21, 2008 – Busan


We visited Hae Dung Yong Gong temple. It is another buddhist temple in Korea – there are a lot of them. This one differs from the last we have seen in that it is not set in the forest or up a mountain and isn’t a small hermitage on the shear face of a rock wall. This temple is set right on the coast facing the East Korea Sea. This temple would be exposed to the storms on the ocean and the “Dragon Sea”. It is a beautiful temple, the location is calming and serene. This was the busiest temple we visited. Probably because it is a weekend.

As we sat on the rock watching the ocean we were reminded once again about the kindness and generousity of the Korean people. A girl, probably around 10 years old, approached us with 2 halves of a peeled apple and offer it to us. Another family wanted to take our picture with their daughters who then shared their doughy sweet treats with us. We also got a picture of us with the entire family.

We spent probably over an hour traveling to our next location a migratory bird sanctuary. Korea is on the migratory route of many species of birds as they travel from their summer homes to winter locations. Birds migrate from places such as Alaska and Russia to India, New Zealand and Australia and places in between. The centre has a great interpretive centre, some English through it. At some points in the center you can control the CCTV cameras around the sanctuary to see was it going on.

The river where the sanctuary is located has a dam and fishway to help local species of fish travel up and down the river. The dam also provides some electric power as well as monitoring water levels. There is a small center explaining the importance of managing water in Korea as the only source of fresh water is precipitation. As we were leaving the centre the woman at the reception desk directed us to the interpretive centre for the bird sanctuary by actually walking us out of the building the pointing us in the right direction to see the birds. I think part of this was because she wasn’t sure that her instructions in English were clear so she wanted us to get going in the right direction.