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The Buddha on the Hillside at Gwaneumsa Temple in Jeju-do Island.
Hello Again Everyone!!
Gwaneumsa Temple is named after Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion). This fairly common temple name in Korea is located on the northeast side of Mt. Hallsan. It’s believed that the temple dates back to sometime during the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392). However, there is very little proof that indicates the exact year of Gwaneumsa Temple’s construction. During the early 1700’s, when the Joseon royal court proclaimed Confucianism as the state religion, Buddhism suffered horribly from this policy decision. In fact, Gwaneumsa Temple was completely destroyed during this time in Korea’s history. However, in 1912, the temple was rebuilt by the Buddhist nun, Anbongryeokwan. It was later renovated and expanded in 1964.
You’re first greeted to the temple by a wide Iljumun Gate with a copper-coloured roof. Just beyond this is the pathway that leads up to the temple. The pathway is lined by numerous stone statues dedicated to Mireuk-bul (The Future Buddha), as well as towering cedar trees. It’s perhaps one of the most picturesque entryways to a temple in Korea. Slightly to the right, and just past the cedar trees, is a large statue dedicated to Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise). This large statue is surrounded by descriptive statues of various life-sized statues of guardians.
A little further up the trail, and you’ll see the Cheonwangmun Gate that houses murals dedicated to the Four Heavenly Kings. There are some more Mireuk-bul statues, this time housed atop stone spires, as well as a cave where monks once meditated inside it. Now, it’s a shrine for prayer.Before you enter the temple’s courtyard, you’ll see a beautiful koi pond with a brick pagoda in the centre of it. The Temple Stay building is slightly to the right as is the gift shop.
Finally, you’ll enter into the temple courtyard with the main hall, the Daeung-jeon, straight ahead. With its beautiful copper-colour roof, and paper lanterns out in front, it makes for quite the view. Housed inside the main hall is a triad of statues centred by Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha). He’s joined on either side by Munsu-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Wisdom) and Bohyun-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Power).
To the right of the main hall is the Jijang-jeon. Housed inside this double altar hall is a large green-haired statue of Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife) to the left and an intricately painted Dragon Ship of Wisdom mural to the right. To the far left of the main hall sits the bell pavilion, as well as a stout three-tier stone pagoda.
Housed slightly to the left of the main hall, and up a set of stairs, is the rather large Samseong-gak shaman shrine. The exterior walls to this hall are decorated with various murals including a painting dedicated to the Bodhidharma. As for inside this hall, and sitting in the centre of the main altar, is a rather long, but slender, mural dedicated to Chilseong (The Seven Stars). This painting is joined on either side by a mural dedicated to both Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit) and Doseong (The Lonely Saint), respectively. Perhaps the most interesting painting of the group is the mural dedicated to Yongwang (The Dragon King) with its vibrant colours and stoically seated king.
The final part of Gwaneumsa Temple that visitors can see is a large golden statue of Mireuk-bul sitting on top of a neighbouring hillside. He’s surrounded by a pantheon of smaller sized statues dedicated to various Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Slightly down the hill, and to the left, are a triad of larger stone statues dedicated to Gwanseeum-bosal, Munsu-bosal, and Bohyun-bosal, respectively.
Admission to the temple is free.
HOW TO GET THERE: You’ll need to take a bus towards Sancheondan from Jeju City. The bus departs every twenty minutes and the ride should last about 30 minutes. When the bus drops you off at Sancheondan, you’ll need to walk an additional thirty minutes to the temple. The signs should help guide your way.
OVERALL RATING: 8.5/10. Perhaps the most famous temple on Jeju-do Island, Gwaneumsa Temple has a lot for the temple adventurer to see. From its beautiful entryway to the koi pond, the temple has a lot of aesthetic beauty. And when you couple it with the large-sized golden statue of Mireuk-bul on the hillside, as well as the Dragon Ship of Wisdom and Yongwang murals, you’ll definitely need to make Gwaneumsa Temple a stop in Jeju-do!
The Iljumun Gate at Gwaneumsa Temple.
The beautiful entry path that leads up to the temple grounds.
Just one of the statues helps guide the way.
The Cheonwangmun Gate at the temple.
The meditative shrine cave at Gwaneumsa Temple.
The beautiful koi pond at the temple.
The view as you first approach the temple courtyard.
To the far left stand this three-tier pagoda and two story bell pavilion.
Straight ahead is the copper-coloured main hall.
The main altar inside the main hall with Seokgamoni-bul sitting front and centre.
To the right of the main hall is the Jijang-jeon.
The altar inside the Jijang-jeon with a large statue of the Bodhisattva of the Afterlife sitting all alone.
To the right hangs this highly elaborate Dragon Ship of Wisdom mural.
Up the embankment stands the larger sized Samseong-gak shaman shrine hall.
Housed inside is this colourful mural dedicated to Yongwang.
A bit up the hillside, and you’ll be welcomed by a golden Mireuk-bul.
Back at the entrance rests this beautiful shrine dedicated to Amita-bul.
He’s joined by this fierce guardian statue.
And this one, as well.
© KATHRYN GODFREY
Itaewon is the Foreigner area in Seoul. It is conveniently in the middle of Seoul. Close to City Hall, the palaces and the Financial districts yet only a bridge away from Gangnam and other trendy areas. A stroll into the main street in Itaewon will introduce you to the many tongues of the world. It is a place where there is a bit more English usage and one of the places where you are sure to get groceries from around the world. In the mood to try exotic food today? Tough enough to bar-hop through the night? Itaewon is the place to be. This weekend is the Itaewon Global center festival. It was just the place to be for a party!!!
The main street was blocked for traffic and it had the big stage with pyrotechnics and some cool music! Good way to introduce upcoming stars :)
|Dancing to the beat with the crowd in Itaewon.|
|Itaewon is the Spot to be this weekend!|
|Aww! Free hugs, Plastic wrap??? Lessons for what??? No wonder he ducked his face behind!|
|Where there is crowd, there is food|
|When you are full and content, what better to do than to shop?|
|Still, where else can you can check out the squid on the rocks?|
|Impress your date with the LED roses|
|Now, isn't that nice? Just hanging out with friends, chilling out with chums, just enjoying the music.|
|Another stage to keep the crowd's attention. Fashion from all around the world.|
|Yet another stage for newbies|
|K POP rules!!|
|Where there is a crowd, there is food, and where there is food, there is garbage.|
Reflective Teaching Blog Challenge – Day Two: Write about one piece of technology you would like to try this year, and why. What are you hoping to see of this edtech integration?
Mario Kart. League of Legends. Grand Theft Auto 3 and FIFA 3 Online. I polled my middle and high school Korean students a few weeks ago and these are their top favorite video games. This year I would like to use all of them in the classroom in some capacity.
Effective teachers cater to their students’ interests, and introduce content in ways that make it relatable to them. Especially when it comes to my male students, what better way to get them engaged than to play a clip of a pre-recorded game or a montage of epic moves? In a perfect world I would have access to my own game console (a PlayStation 2, an XBox, or a Wii) but for now I’ll settle for YouTube clips. Bottom line: I want my students to get excited about what they’re learning, and be motivated to think about/use English outside of class. Of course, the whole lesson cannot be spent playing or watching these games. But I really believe they have the potential to be a great jumping-off point or a cool way to sum up a lesson.
There are plenty of articles out there that further champion the use of video games in the classroom, but they’re moreso talking on an abstract level. I have yet to find very many great articles that spell out real and effective ways video games can be incorporated specifically into an ESL setting, so any suggestions of resources or personal recommendations would be greatly appreciated!
So far, I’ve cooked up one idea to use a pre-recorded FIFA 3 Online clip to segway into a lesson on colors. Students will watch the clip, and afterward I’ll introduce the color vocabulary. Then they’ll watch the clip again and write down how many different colored jerseys they see. From there, we’ll play some more review games to solidify acquisition of the color vocab and conclude with an activity describing their favorite team’s uniform! Thoughts? I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes!
This year the event will be start on Evening of 24th October and the major show will be held on 25th October as usual with the Gwangan Bridge as the background. Nevertheless, there will be another event such as the Concert that can be enjoyed in Busan Citizen Park on 24th October, so what are you gonna waiting for again, join us and book the place ASAP and enjoy the festival, not only the festival but also the laser light show directly after the festival.
Hope to see you soon~~
It’s finally happened. You’ve stuffed so much money under your mattress that you are having trouble sleeping at night. Is it time to open up a bank account in Korea?
Good question! Before you get started, let’s talk about what you need to know about having a bank account in Korea. After we cover the ins and outs of banking in Korea, we’ll give you a few banks to investigate. If you want to study Korean banking vocab, scroll to the bottom for common banking words. You can use them to impress the bank tellers when you stop off at your neighborhood branch!
So who needs this info? Do you? Maybe! This info may be useful if:
- You’re thinking about moving to Korea
- Will be moving to Korea soon
- Study Korean at a school and are only here temporarily
- Get paid from an employer overseas
- Want to brush up on your Korean banking knowledge
One thing to note here is that Korea is a rapidly changing country. With that said, the banking rules and requirements are constantly being updated. Use this info as a general guide, but make sure you call your bank first before you head in to open a bank account in Korea.
Here we go!
This is going to vary from bank to bank. Having an ARC (Alien Registration Card) will be the best and give you the most options for account functionality. For example, an ARC card may allow you to do online banking, get an ATM card, and transfer money overseas. If you don’t have an ARC card or are waiting for yours to be processed, most banks will allow you to open an account with a passport and an ID from your home country that hasn’t expired. A driver’s license or government-issued picture ID is best.
The closer you meet their requirements, the more choices you will have for your account.
If you’re ready to bring all of the fun and excitement of branch banking to your home computer, then you’ll be pumped about online banking! You’re going to need a digital certificate (공인인증서) in order to do online transfers, so make sure you sign up for one when creating your account.
Some banks have English menus for online banking, but menus are often limited. They will be fine for most normal transactions. Korean online banking is chock-full o’ security programs, so get read to do some serious add-on and plug-in downloading!
This is a digital file that identifies you so you can send money from your account. It’s an added layer of security to make sure nobody is trying to make you part ways with your hard earned cash. You can save this file to your computer, your USB, or your smartphone. Currently, it is somewhat challenging to transfer the digital certificate to your smartphone if you’re new to online banking. If that’s the case, make life easy for yourself. Try transferring the file to a USB drive (easier) and then work your way up to being smartphone savvy.
Online banking in your pocket, anytime you want! The banks first rolled out the apps in Korean only, but they’re slowly changing over to English menu options. If you’re feeling brave and want to study Korean banking vocab, then give the apps a shot!
If you love passwords, then having a bank account in Korea is going to be like Christmas coming twice in one year! For those only doing basic banking only, this won’t be an issue. If you plan to do online banking and use the ATM, be prepared to write your passwords down somewhere safe.
Most banks are open from 9am – 4pm. Some branches stay open later or have Saturday hours.
Many bank branches have ATMs that are open until midnight. Some places have 24 hour ATMs, but often they lock the doors after a certain time. Not to worry, there are plenty of ATMs all throughout Korea. They may not be your bank’s ATM, so be prepared to pay a small fee if withdrawing from a different bank’s ATM.
If you’re using your ATM card from another country, look for “Global ATM” signs so you can withdraw your cash from your international account.
Foreign Designated Bank (외국환 지정거래)
When you open a bank account in Korea, make sure to ask about 외국환 지정거래. This is extremely important! If you will be transferring money or using your ATM card outside of Korea, you will need to have one bank set up as your foreign designated bank. If not, you won’t be able to transfer money outside of Korea. Or even words, you may find yourself in a foreign country with no way to access your cash in Korea. You cannot have two foreign designated banks.
Service Charges & Fees
Most accounts don’t charge a service fee, and don’t require a minimum balance. You may have to pay a transaction fee depending on how you transfer the funds. Basically, the more labor-intensive for the bank, the more you’ll pay. Bank teller transactions will be the most expensive, followed by ATMs. Online banking have the lowest fees.
Ready to shop for banks? You’ll have plenty to choose from, so let’s get started with the big three that expats and visitors in Korea typically use. Give them a ring and see if they’re worth a visit!
KEB (Korea Exchange Bank)
Korea: 02-1544-3000 x8,9
Overseas: +82-1544-3000 x8,9
Notes: Expats love this bank. A little light on the ATMs.
Notes: ATMs galore. Online banking is improving.
Notes: Lots of branches, cater to expats and international visitors.
If you read to open a bank account in Korea and want to study Korean banking vocab before you chat with tellers, below are 10 must-know words.
Note: If you can’t read Hangeul yet, you can learn by downloading the free 90 Minute Challenge guide here.
What do you think is the best bank for expats? Let us know your favorite bank in the comments below!
Learn to read Korean and be having simple conversations, taking taxis and ordering in Korean within a week with our FREE Hangeul Hacks series: http://www.90DayKorean.com/learn
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