Seoraksan National Park & Naksansa Temple

Our day started early when we met our fellow tour group at the meeting point to get our coach to Seoraksan National Park. The approximate 2.5 hour journey from Seoul flew by. 

Seoraksan (Snowy Peaks Mountain) National Park is located in the Gangwon province which is in the north eastern region of South Korea and is a UNESCO biosphere reserve.  Seoraksan reaches a height of 1708m at its highest peak called Daecheongbong Peak which is one of the thirty peaks in the national park. This makes it the third largest mountain of the country, the first being in Jeju Island known as Mt. Hallasan (approximately 1947m).

KTourStory was the tour company we decided to go with as we wanted freedom in exploring our chosen destination but we wanted the convenience of being taken to the place without having any worries about getting there and back. 

Our tour guide was lovely and gave us some quick facts about the national park before letting us know the specific time we needed to meet before we left for our next destination. We all quickly scurried off in different directions to explore the stunning surroundings.

In the case of my sister and I, we made a beeline straight for food. Sustenance first people.

Bibimbap, come to me.

With our energy back to full, we started to wander.

Seoraksan National Park displayed South Korean foliage in all its autumn glory.

If we had more time in South Korea, I think my sister and I would have loved to hike the peaks and explore the vast area for a couple of days but unfortunately, time was limited so we opted for the cable car this time round. Our allotted cable car time had arrived to take us to one of the peaks.

In awe of the insane view, the cable car whizzed us to the top. Well, we had to climb the rest of the way but we had the cable car do most of the work so no complaints!

We were so lucky with the weather on the day so I could have spent hours just staring at the view but the time came for us to leave so we made our way back down to our tour's meeting point.

A quick hop on the bus and a 30 minute drive later, we had arrived at Naksansa Temple. 

The temple's history began approximately 1300 years ago in the ancient Korean kingdom of Silla. It is home to some of Korea's national and cultural treasures. The buildings that stand have been rebuilt several times due to disasters that have hit the area, the most recent being a fire in 2005 that also destroyed the Naksansa Bronze bell. A replica now stands in its place.

The Goddess of Mercy, Gwanseum-Bosal is the Buddhist bodhisattva  (person who delays going to nirvana in order to help others first) linked to compassion. This statue was sculpted by Gwon Jeong-hwan and is the largest of its kind in Eastern Asia. 

This Korean Buddhist temple is one of few temples that look out to the East Sea. 

The seven story stone pagoda is Naksansa Chilcheung Seoktap. It was built in 1467 and it's said that a Buddhist rosary and magical bead are inside.

Located in Obong Mountain, Naksansa Temple is truly one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to. That and Seoraksan Park in all its autumn beauty.

Sadly, the end of the day had arrived and it was time to make our way back. However, not all bad as more Seoul adventures were ahead for us.
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