If you have plans to visit Korea I'd definitely recommend a short stay in Daegu. It's the perfect place to break up your journey between Seoul and Busan splitting the 5 1/2 hour ITX journey into two more manageable chunks. The main reason to visit Daegu is to check out Haeinsa Temple and, if you have time, Donghwasa is also worth a visit. As you can imagine at the tail end of nine solid months in Asia Nick I had visited more than a handful of stunning temples ranging from small local temples in Taipei where we were privy to Chinese New Year celebrations to the temples of Angkor Wat in Cambodia. We were pretty temple fatigued and, if I'm totally honest, not 100% up for making the bus journey out to Haeinsa but, as soon as we arrived, we were so glad we'd made the effort to keep pushing on through our burn out.
Haeinsa temple is a ridiculously beautiful complex located in the Gaya mountains. On the day we visited the sky was blue and the clouds were fluffy - it made us forget all about our less than lovely hostel in the city centre! Haeinsa is home to the Tripitaka Koreana, or buddhist scriptures, which are made up of 81,350 hand carved wooden blocks. My knowledge of Buddhism is pretty lacklustre so I can't tell you much more about it without quoting from Wikipedia but as you'll see from the pictures below this is a gorgeous place to visit and whether you're into Buddhism, Korean history, or just up for finding peaceful places to explore on your travels I'm confident that you'll enjoy it.
As well as wandering, taking pictures, and finding shady spots to sit and take in the atmosphere I met and took photos with some lovely people from the Japanese and Korean friendship society. It was super adorable and I really enjoyed chatting to them about my love for both countries. If you'd like to spend more than a few hours exploring this amazing temple and the surrounding grounds then Haeinsa offers a temple stay programme where you can immerse yourself in Buddhist culture and (probably) eat some delicious vegan temple food.
As I mentioned in my last blog post I'm currently in Scotland so expect some posts on Glasgow, Edinburgh, and the Scottish highlands soon. I'm going to be housesitting for a friend in Edinburgh as of Monday and I'm excited to be reunited with decent wifi (campsite wifi is always a disaster) so that I can upload some new photos to the blog. I'm also thrilled about having a cat to love on because I've been experiencing some serious cat withdrawal symptoms (including frantic scrolling through the Cats Of Instagram account and attempting to lure every street cat I spot towards me for strokes) since leaving Japan Cat Network. I'll be exploring Edinburgh tomorrow, say hi if you see me, and I hope y'all have a great weekend, catch ya on the flip side!