Destination: Yongmunsa (Yangpyeong, Gyeonggi-do)

Not to be confused with the surrounding Yongmunsan Resort (용문산관광지), Yongmunsa offers a thousand-year-old tree just outside of a temple founded as the Silla dynasty was ending. It seems a bit disingenuous to put an amusement park right next to a Buddhist temple, but there it is.

Destination: Sambul-am / Mangwolsa (Namsan, Gyeongju)

Author's note: A huge thanks and shout-out to Sherwin over at www.gyeongjublog.com for showing the Lady in Red and I around during our visit.

Destination: Manbulsa (Yeongcheon city, Gyeongsangbuk-do)

Author's note: A hat tip to Sherwin at gyeongjublog.com for writing about this temple first.

Destination: the biggest Buddha in Korea (Nammireuksa, Gangjin, Jeollanam-do)

Author's note: A hat tip goes to Brian in Jeollanam-do for discovering this place and sharing it with the K-blogosphere.

The middle of nowhere seems the best place to place a Buddhist temple. Far away from the distractions of the world and sounds of the city is this fine example, neatly divided into two sections for your viewing pleasure. The first half seems a bit older compared with the immaculate condition of the second half - and the connecting road is a bit... incongruous.

Destination: Lotus Lantern Festival (2010) - part 2

As promised, the Lotus Lantern Festival Parade - part one of the festival is here if you missed it. The Lady in Red and I found some seats on an underground market entrance; unless you're in the front row you'll need to be above the standing crowd.

Destination: Lotus Lantern Festival (2010) - part 1

As in years past, the 연등회 (Yeon Deung Hoe, or Lotus Lantern Festival) is an excellent, if overly touristy, chance to learn more about one of the world's oldest religions. A folk festival that has origins in the Goryeo period continued as the Lantern Celebration in the Joseon Dynasty (광등노리), and continues as a social festival to this day. The religion and reverence, however, seems to get lost amidst the hubbub of making paper lotus flowers, candles, and a hundred other things.

The event started in the afternoon, with dozens of tents offering arts, crafts, and information.

Destination: Seokguram Grotto (Gyeongju)

Destination: Bulguksa temple (Gyeongju)

Author's note: A version of this story has been published on 10 Magazine's website.

Destination: Pagyesa (Daegu)

As part of Palgongsan Provincial Park, Pagyesa is one of many destinations spread out across the mountain. First built in 804 by a priest named Simji (not Simba, you Lion King obsessed reader), it was renovated in 1605 by priest Gyegwan and 1695 by priest Hyeoneung. With several Daegu Tangible Cultural Properties, 17 buildings and a lot of karma, it's worth the uphill trek to reach. Just don't bring a backpack full of stuff with you - even after the bus reaches the parking lot it's a hike of 1.1 kilometers. Uphill.

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