Sunset From Somaemuldo Island in Korea

Lighthouse Island Dongdaeseom or Lighthouse Island is connected to Somaemuldo by a strip of rocks during low tide. But at high tide rocks are submerged and the island sits on its own. Some say the rock formations look like a dinosaur. I say it’s one of Korea’s greatest natural wonders.

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Bridge to Paradise: A Korean Temple Stay at Magoksa

 

The sound of monks chanting echoes through the forest. Birds chirp in the trees. The humming sound of cicadas lowers and rises in waves. At the end of a tree-lined trail is a stone bridge covered in white lanterns known as Paradise Bridge. It crosses over a lazy stream where water bubbles over smooth stones. On the other side is a temple, sitting right in the middle of it all, where it has for centuries.

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Video: Buddha’s Birthday at Samgwang Temple in Busan

Busan | South Korea

Om mani padme hum or “Praise to the jewel of the lotus,”plays on the speakers outside a temple in Busan. The 2,500-year-old chant is one of the most important mantras in Buddhism. All around, a thousand multicolored lotus lanterns sway in the breeze. The sun melts below the mountains above. As if on cue from the smiling big-bellied man himself, the lights inside the lanterns turn on. The bright colors pop against the deep blue of the night sky. If this is what nirvana looks like, then I can’t wait to get there.

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George W. Bush Was Here: Nurimaru APEC House

It’s not much of a claim to fame, but yes, “Dubbya” and a handful of the world’s most powerful had a summit meeting in 2005 here. The website for the building says, “The name Nurimaru APEC House is created by combining the Korean words nuri (“world”) and maru (“summit”), and “APEC House,” which refers to an APEC conference hall.” What they don’t tell you is that if you go in the bathroom on the second floor, you can see where The Man scribbled “GWB was here” on the wall.

About the photo

This is one of the most iconic images and structures in Busan. Not only do you have the APEC House, but you also get the Gwangan Bridge in the background. To get to this point just go to Dongbaek Island, next to the Westin Chosun Hotel by Haeundae Beach. There is a path that leads out to the house.

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