An interesting guided visit to Seoul’s largest most important ancient Buddhist temple, for spectacular scenery and observing some classic traditional artworks.
Doseon-sa was founded around 1100 years ago just beneath the three main peaks of Samgak-san, Seoul's sacred and prominent guardian mountain, by one of Korea's greatest Buddhist masters.
It has remained the most religiously important monastery of the Seoul area ever since; it is almost always crowded with sincere Buddhists. It has several unusual features that will be pointed out and explained to your group. There is a large ancient standing Buddha statue designated as a national Treasure, being worshipped around the clock.
There are several unique shrines for great heroes of Buddhism and Koreans modern development, and a huge complex memorial for a great 20th-Century master. As this temple is built on a steep slope, halfway up on the edge of Bukhan-san National Park, some brief climbing is necessary on cement stairways; almost anyone can do it.
This tour will be led by David A. Mason, a well-known expert on both Korean Buddhism and Korea's folk-religion traditions, currently Professor of Korean Cultural Tourism.
He will thoroughly explain the history of this temple and its various buildings, shrines and monuments -- and tell many colorful stories along the way! We can meet at the Suyu Metro Subway Station (Light Blue Line #4), or I can pick you up at your hotel. We will take a taxi up the steep road to the temple.
If you wish to experience it, we can eat a basic vegetarian Korean lunch at the temple cafeteria at lunchtime, or eat other Korean meals at one of the good restaurants in the neighborhood below. Those who want to can enjoy a short hike on the steep but beautiful trails in the Park during the afternoon; maps, advice or guidance will be available.
Participants are encouraged to bring along simple snacks and beverages for themselves, whenever they would like (water is available from fountains and soft drinks are sold from vending machines at the temple). They should be prepared for any likely weather conditions, and should wear good walking-shoes.
Please take this opportunity to see and learn some fundamental aspects of Korean Buddhist and folk-Buddhist culture!
just the walking-tour with explanations
taxi fare ($8?) or other local transport, meal
Suyu Metro Subway Station (Light Blue Line #4) or hotel
Cancel up to the specified number of days prior to the tour start to get a 100% refund.
This deal can be cancelled for free up to 2 days before the date of the activity.
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