Monday, January 16, 2012

Sacheon, South Korea

I spent my second free day in southern South Korea taking a tour of Gyeongnam area around the city of Sacheon. From Busan, it's really easy to get to Sacheon by taking a bus from the Sasang Intercity Bus Terminal.  Last time I visited this terminal in November 2011 it was a mess, mostly dirt and construction.  Now it's all new, glass roof with nice and easy-to-read signs. 
Once you get to Sacheon you will find there is no really good way to get around, bus services are more people who live in the area and not for tourists.  So a couple of friends and I hired a taxi to drive us around to a bunch of different sites.  In areas like this, a taxi is a practical way to get around, the 5 hour tour cost around $30 each.
The first stop was Goseong Dinosaur Museum, below is how a pimp dinosaur walking a beach in South Korea would have looked 100 million years ago.
The museum was fun, I have not seen dinosaur stuff since grade school.  Other than a pamphlet in English everything in the museum was labeled in Korean (except for no photograph signs).  The pamphlet described the fossil below as a herbivore that lived in asia during the Mesozoic era, but did not say what kind of herbivore it was.  I'm guessing this is the prized fossil at the museum.
Outside the main hall was a large dinosaur park full of dinosaur sculptures.  The park included a walk to a nearby rocky shoreline, a location where many footprints were found.
After leaving the museum, the taxi driver took us to Nosan Park, outside the Palpo Raw Fish Town.  Below is a view looking out from the port.  This body of water is also the Hallyeo Maritime National Park, so I guess the fishermen need to motor out beyond those mountains before they start fishing.
This gazebo was located at the point of the park that jetted the most out into the waterway.
Next stop on the tour was Baekcheonsa Temple, a well known in this area for having a laying down buddha.
These things were all around the main hall above.  They spin.
Below is a court yard at the base of the temple, kind of the lowest point in the complex.
Korean temple bell.
Here is the famous laying down buddha, it difficult to tell but this statue is huge.

Walk-ways between buildings were covered overtop with lanterns, I assume this would be beautiful at night.  At first I thought they were candles and would be difficult to light up, but it turns out the monks are using light bulbs.
This is one of the last stops on the tour, it's a grave site that dates back to the 2nd Battle of Sacheon, 1598, that took place during the Japanese invasion of Korea.

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