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This blog is an amateur photographer's attempt to show how beautiful the world really is. He is drawn to the colors of nature like a moth to a candle light. What are showcased here are nature's grand display of colors at sunrise and sunset, beautiful beaches and off-the-beaten track locations in his beloved Philippines, waterfalls and some of nature's great sculptures, architectural gems, and other views from around SE Asia that he was fortunate to see at one point.

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June 5, 2008

yonggungsa temple, korea

A Japanese travel companion of mine often wondered what I do with my spare time after checking in early in Incheon airport during my return flights to the Philippines. His idea of whiling the hours away was getting a massage and checking out the rows of duty free stores. Mine was a bit different.

Temple Lanterns
Yonggungsa temple main prayer room

I usually go down to the arrival area and check out the transit tour booths. The 1 hour Yonggungsa temple tour is my favorite (tour just cost USD5.00) and I have taken it several times already.

Its a short 20 minute drive to the foot of Mt. Baekun in Yeongjong Island where the temple is located (Incheon is composed of small islands and the airport itself is on a separate island). Along the way you'll be able to see one of Korea's longest bridge connecting Incheon City to the Incheon International Airport.

I feel a deep sense of peace and calm whenever I'm there. Maybe its because nobody really goes there and I'm are usually "alone" during the tours (not counting the tour guide and the monks meditating somewhere of course). All you can hear are the chirping of birds, the gentle murmur of a nearby spring, and the crunching of gravel or fresh snow as you walk around.

Temple Lanterns
Colorful lanterns and traditional Korean roof paintings

I witnessed how the bell house had progressed from being just a wooden frame to finally containing a bell. I'm sure next time I'll visit it'll be already painted with the traditional Korean colors.

Unfinished Bell House

The most interesting thing about the temple is the presence of century old zelvoka tree. The male tree called Father Tree is already 1300 years old. (the temple was built by Reverend Priest of Wonhyo Daesa in the 10th year of reign by King Munmu of Silla Dynasty 670 AD)

Father Tree
Father Tree, 1300 years old

Mother Tree stands nearby. It is believed that a pair of male and female trees form a single tree. Legend also has it that Father Tree will only branch out towards Mother Tree. Couples who are unable to bear children often drink from the nearby spring and pray under the trees for blessing.

Mother Tree
Mother Tree

The short 1 hour I spend wandering the temple grounds is enough to rejuvenate me. Now I'm ready for the long flight home.
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Anonymous said...

Love that old tree. Yung naka side na low angle me pagka korteng tao sya. Maganda nga yung idea mo. For USD 5, sulit na rin sa time and you've taken home some snaps as well.

lagal[og] said...

onga, ang ganda nung tree, parang taong nakabend. the colors are very earthy. uy, btw, ganda ng bagong header mo bai :-)

Lantaw said...

thanks bai Ferdz and bai Oggie! Parang tao nga pero ang nakikita ko e babaeng buntis na medyo naka sideview hehe

escape said...

galing ng mga roof paintings. parang masyadong detalyado. at maganda nga talaga ang kahoy.

Lantaw said...

@dong - oo bro grabe ang attention to details nila. thanks for the visit!

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