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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Haeinsa Temple Janggyeong Panjeon

Over 80,000 delicately carved woodblocks have been resting peacefully on the beautiful slopes of Gayasan for 750 years in buildings that let the air and the eyes of the visitor circulate freely.
Considered the Chinese buddhist canon, this Goryeo Tripitaka or Tripitaka Koreana) is actually a second edition : the original blocks (printing material carved 3.5 centuries before Gutenberg's Bible) were destroyed during a Mongol invasion in the early XIIIth century.
The contrast between the value of this treasure and the simplicity of its shell is striking but refreshing. The perfect reward after climbing a few steep flights of stairs under an unforgiving sun (I confess I used the bus shuttle to skip the hike from the parking lot).
Overlooking a sea of trees, the temple itself is quite welcoming and belongs to the Jogye order (HQs in Jogyesa - temple stay website :

Haein-sa and the Palman Daejanggyeong : , (check for the opening times : the Janggyeong Panjeon will be closed all year in 2010, a recess year)
10 Chiin-ri , Gaya-myeon, Hapcheon-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do

Seoul Village 2008

ADDENDUM 20090924 :

Even from space the area looks gorgeous :

View Seoul Village in a larger map

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Seoul Village goes Lively

Seoul Village opened a virtual spot on Lively (July 9th, 2008). Feel free to join this open space anytime.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Korea's 16 provinces and metro cities

South Korea has 9 provinces ("do") including the special self governing province ("teukbyeoljachi-do") of Jeju, and 7 metropolitan cities ("Gwangyeoksi") including the Capital, Seoul ("teukbyeolsi" or "Special city") - see map below :

. Busan-Gwangyeoksi :

. Chungcheonbuk-do :

. Chungcheonnam-do :

. Daegu-Gwangyeoksi :

. Daejeon-Gwangyeoksi :

. Gangwon-do :

. Gwangju-Gwangyeoksi :

. Gyeonggi-do :

. Gyeongsangbuk-do :

. Gyeongsangnam-do :

. Incheon-Gwangyeoksi :

. Jeju-do :

. Jeollabuk-do :

. Jeollanam-do :

. Seoul Teukbyeolsi :

. Ulsan Gwangyeoksi :

map : Creative Commons (Kahusi / ArnoldPlaton)

Seoul city advertising campaign

Thumbs up for the latest series of ads "Seoul, Soul of Asia" featuring 4 artists from key countries. A giant leap after Korea's tragical / comical spots with Park Tae-hwan.

Chen Kaige (China, Director)

Murakami Ryu (Japan, Writer)

Anucha Secharunputong (Thailand, Photographer)

George Winston (USA, Pianist)

Thursday, July 3, 2008

New Towns and preservation

Seoul Mayor OH Se-hoon is not so popular with New Town developpers and fellow party members such as CHUNG Mong-joon. New projects got stalled for not being enough environmental friendly (OH is pushing for more preservation, especially for green spaces) or "middle class" oriented.

I wish the urban soul were more respected as well. This city definitely needs a better ventilation and more streets to be upgraded, but whole areas are dying from minor but tragic losses in diversity, or because a secondary alley was bulldozed, a key detail destroyed, a unique perspective ruined.

In general, there is no trace whatsoever of the village that existed before the New Town. Promoters don't want potential buyers to be reminded this brand new and well serviced appartment complex used to be a slum or a sewer treatment center, but a city without history nor memory doesn't have any future.

People don't care now but they will. Appartments used to be consumer goods purchased for the brand and the short to medium term added value... status items as superficial as a car when it comes to defining who you are and how you live.

"Well being" is becoming an issue, but then again, totally vain. A check list of functions similar to a luxury pack on your car. More about "sounding / looking well" than about "being / living a good and sound life".

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