Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Naejansan National Park And Jeongeup City

On Saturday Jihyeon's parents wanted to take me to Naejansan National Park and then to a premium Korean BBQ restaurant for dinner to celebrate my Birthday which is actually still a week away. The weather was cold and wet, but I wasn't going to let a little rain stop me from going outside.

Naejangsan is a famous mountain in the Jeolla-do province, and is said to be the best mountain in Korea for viewing the transition trees go through in autumn. Even though it was cold and raining, it was still a nice place to visit.

Jihyeon told me earlier that day "Koreans don't like to go out in the rain". If that is true, I dread to think how busy the park would have been had it not been raining. They had the road blocked off and we had to catch a (FREE) shuttle bus part of the way. This was the queue for the shuttle bus which departed every 3 minutes. There were people everywhere!

Waiting in line.

We just managed to fit on the bus. Jihyeon's parents had to sit in the stair well by the door.

We then had to walk up the road a bit further.

Then, we got to a small village where stalls and restaurants were lining the street for about 200m. Pictured here are the oyster shells from the restaurant. That's a lot of oysters! I wonder if there is a bin under there somewhere.

A disturbing cross dressing singer.

The train was getting heavier, so we decided to pay 1000won to catch a shuttle bus about 1km up the road.

Here is the gateway to the temple framed with autumn orange and yellow leaves.

There are three temples in Naejansan National Park, but since it was cold and raining we only checked out the 1st one along the 5km walking trail. Pictured below is Naejangsa Temple. It was first built in 636AD by Youngunjosa who was one of the founders of Korean Buddhism. In 1539 it was burned when an order was given by King Chungjong that temples should be abolished. It was then rebuilt in 1567 only to be burnt down again in 1951 during the Korean war. It was then rebuilt in 1971 when the area was designated a national park. 

Some people taking refuge and having a picnic under a stone bridge.

It's autumn!

Wet and cold, we got back in the car and drove to a small town called Jeongeup city which is famous for its Korean beef. As you drive through the town, just about every shop is a butcher shop. It is quite strange. The heavy competition means you can get a good deal on Korean grown beef (even so, it is still about 3 times the price as Australia).

Then, we headed across the road to a restaurant where you can B.Y.O. beef.

Mmmm. Beef.

We then went home and had some cake.

Look at my giant forehead. 

Make a wish~~~.

Even though the weather wasn't fantastic, I had a good day :). Time for bed.

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