Searching for the Rabbit Monk at 표충사
One of our new hobbies is traveling to lesser-known temples by car! Before we had the car, we often went to obscure temples with Dale from Dale’s Korean Temple Adventures. He took us to some amazing temples that not many foreigners have been too, and we felt so lucky to be friends with him and live in the same neighborhood! Eventually, we wanted to adventure on our own, but every time we’d scope out a new temple on Dale’s site, it usually said it’s only accessible by car!
Now that we’re free from the shackles of public transportation and can drive on any dirt road we please, we have big plans for adventures around Korea. A lot of our plans surround seeing the many amazing temples in our corner of the country. We’ve mentioned getting interested in temples because of Dale in a previous video, and now we have exciting news to share! He has recently published a book called “Korean Temples: From Korea’s Southeast Corner” and it is available on Amazon in paperpack and for Kindle! We knew this was in the works for a while now and we’re so excited for him. We’re also excited to have a coffee table book full of temple information and high quality photos!
We had a chance to use the book on our recent day trip to Miryang, just 30 minutes north of Yangsan. My good friend Tatjana moved there recently and we wanted to see her new town and to check out one of the temples in her area! We decided on Pyochungsa 표충사, and having the book along on our trip was so helpful. Before I would print out the blog post from his website and take it along with me, but this time I marked the page and read it as I walked along the temple grounds. It reads like a walkthrough, is easy to understand and includes pictures and explanations of what some of the more difficult to understand terms mean.
The drive up to the temple was gorgeous. Once we got off the highway, we followed a road alongside a river all the way up to the temple. Along the river were numerous pensions and camping sites, and they were all full of people cooking over grills, playing badminton, and floating on tubes in the river! We’re planning on going back to do the same very soon.
The temple itself was breathtaking, sitting among the impressive Yeongnam Alps and surrounded by the lush green that makes summer in Korea so beautiful. We were so lucky the weather was nice, considering it is the middle of monsoon season. We even had a chance to play in the river before exploring the temple!
The Rabbit Monk
My favorite parts of the book are the myths and legends of each temple — they’re always so fun and interesting! This temple in particular has a fun legend about a rabbit monk that Dale actually saw with his own eyes! If you want to see the rabbit monk, check out his blog post and pictures from Pyochungsa.
As I said, we will be doing more of these temple adventures and I hope it inspires you all to explore and learn more about temples and Korea’s Buddhist past!