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Gwaneumam Hermitage – 관음암 (Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do)


The main hall at Gwaneumam Hermitage at Tongdosa Temple.

Hello Again Everyone!!

A Cinemagraph Tour of Buddha’s Birthday in Korea

Lanterns Blowing in the Wind from Jason Teale on Vimeo.

If you haven’t noticed recently I have been putting a lot of time and effort into cinemagraphs, which are pictures that have a small area that moves. Many people think that these images remind them of the newspapers in Harry Potter. I personally think that they are a great wait to really draw a person into the frame. Cinemagraphs can be either in-your-face, where you can see right away what is moving or more subtle where just a tiny part is moving. I feel each has their place and I really try hard to find that point of interest.

Buddha’s Birthday 2015


One of my favorite times of the year in South Korea is during the Buddha’s Birthday celebrations. It is a time where you get to see people celebrating something that is not commercialized or tacky. Everything is decorated with a sort of quiet charm and for the most part everything is sort of quiet.

Over the past few weeks I have visited several temples in the area to get footage for an upcoming cinemagraph video project. I must admit that I really did enjoy getting out and shooting at these great temples. I learned a lot from these past few week and I hope that you can get something out of what I learned as well.

Our 4th Chuseok in Korea, Part 2 – Busan & Yangsan

This is the 2nd part of our Aunt Kathy’s trip to Korea! You can read about the first part of the trip in Seoul here. Now on to Busan! I was really excited about the train ride from Seoul to Yangsan, because after years I’m still not tired of Korea’s beautiful mountains and countryside. It ended up not being as clear as it could have been but it was still a nice ride! As Seoul faded from our minds, we started focusing on the next couple days in Busan.

Tongdosa: Pine Trees Dancing in The Wind


Few places get to me as much as Tongdosa. I have always been a big fan of this place even before I came to Korea. I remember reading about it in a Lonely Planet although I can’t find it on their site. At any rate, I have been visiting here for over 10 years. When my parents came here they really wanted to see this place too and it is a great memory that I have of their trip here.

Winter Hiking in South Korea: Part 2 통도사, 비로엄, 영축산 and 신불산 (Tongdosa, Biroam, Yeongchuksan and Sinbulsan)

The Story Of…Tongdosa Temple


The famed Geumgang Gyedan Altar with the lotus shaped stone that houses the Buddhas partial remains behind the main hall at Tongdosa Temple.

Hello Again Everyone!!

I’m often asked what my favourite temple in all of Korea is, which makes sense because I run a website on Korean temples. For me, the answer is quite simple: Tongdosa Temple in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do. There are so many reasons why Tongdosa Temple is my favourite temple in Korea; so many of those reasons revolve around fond memories.

Botaam Hermitage – 보타암 (Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do)

The beautifully manicured courtyard at Botaam Hermitage at Tongdosa Temple.

Hello Again Everyone!!

There are still a few hermitages in and around the famed Tongdosa Temple that I have yet to post here on the website. And one of those hermitages, and the closest one to the temple grounds, is Botaam Hermitage.

Botaam Hermitage is a nunnery. In 1927 two nuns named Jaedeok and Hojeon built the hermitage. And in 1935, two nuns named Jeongun and Hojeon helped to enlarge the hermitage to its present size, which is a handful of hermitage buildings.

Zen on a Bike, at a Temple, in a Stream and in a Bowl of Bibimbap

Some cynical person named “They” once said there is no such as a free lunch. Which, in the case of Tongdosa is true–unless you live in Yangsan.


Located roughly two hours from the Yangsan subway station (by bike, the mode we took on Sunday) …

Spring Blossoms at Tongdosa


It is that time of the year again. Blossom time! While it is still a bit early you can still head out and get the jump on some prime locations. There are a few things that I will run over through this quick tour of my most recent trip to Tongdosa.


Sudoam Hermitage – 수도암 (Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do)

The main altar inside of the main hall at Sudoam Hermitage near Tongdosa Temple in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do.

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Video: Seochukam Hermitage

Hello Again Everyone!!

The last time I visited Seochukam Hermitage, at Tongdosa Temple, in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do, it was about two years ago and there was snow on the ground. This time, I went during the summer months, which made for quite the nice contrast. Also, I was extremely impressed by the colourful interior of the plainly decorated exterior walls of the main hall. Have a look and see what I mean.

Video: Baekunam Hermitage

Hello Again Everyone!!

With all the positive feedback about the first video from Buddha's birthday, I thought I would continue with regular video postings of temples and hermitages from all around Korea. While I'm certainly no professional, I hope you find them insightful and enjoyable.

This video is from Baekunam Hermitage, near Tongdosa Temple, in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do. It's one of the most picturesque hermitages on the temple grounds. And hopefully this video helps reveal the well hidden beauty of this hermitage on the side of Mt. Yeongchuisan.

Buddha’s Birthday Review

I love this time of year. I am not Buddhist but I do feel a great sense of calm when I am at temples, but sadly depending on the time you go, calm might not be achieved. However, this year I had a really great experience and even a personal tour of Junggwangsa.

Happy Buddha's Birthday 2012

Hello Again Everyone!!

This year, I decided to head over to my favourite temple in all of Korea for Buddha's Birthday, which just so happens to be Tongdosa Temple. Here's a unique look at one of Korea's most famous temples during the Buddha's birthday celebrations.

Geukrakam Hermitage – 극락암 (Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do)

The beautiful lotus pond at Geurakam Hermitage.

Baekunam Hermitage - 백운암 (Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do)

The gorgeously mountainous view from Baekunam Hermitage.
Hello Again Everyone!!
Baekunam Hermitage is one of the last hermitages I had yet to visit near Tongdosa Temple in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do.

Banyaam Hermitage – 반야암 (Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do)

The picturesque main hall, Banyabo-jeon, at Banyaam Hermitage at Tongdosa Temple

Anyangam Hermitage - 안양암 (Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do)

The foggy view from Anyangam Hermitage.

Biroam Hermitage -비로암 (Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do)

The monk dorm with the shrine hall on the right.  In the background is the beautiful Chiseosan Mountains with a heavy fog sweeping over them.

Jajangam Hermitage – 자장암 (Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do)

A painting depicting monk Jajang drilling a hole with his finger into the face of a mountain to create a home for the golden frog that lives at Jajangam Hermitage.
Hello Again Everyone!!!

Seounam Hermitage - 서운암 (Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do)

A view of Seounam Hermitage with Gochujang (red pepper paste) and Ganjang (soy bean sauce) jars surrounding it.

Destination: Tongdosa (Yangsan city, Gyeongsangnam-do)

Above: 증장천왕 (Jeungjang cheonwang), or the deva of the south gate, guarding with a dragon.

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