May 21 is Buddha’s 2554th birthday and it is going to be our last holiday that falls on a weekday this year, not including Chuseok. As early as last month, I was thinking of spending this vacation in Gyeongju. It would’ve been my third time to visit the city but unfortunately my husband couldn’t say no to his older brother for an errand on Saturday and Sunday. Now we’ll have to spend the weekend in Seoul! I guess I’ll just check the free credit report for a business loan.
Anyway, I thought earlier to post pictures of Buddhist temples I’ve visited through the years, in time for Buddha’s birthday, but I got so busy. It isn’t too late and here’s one of my favorites: the Pagoda Temple of Maisan.
Maisan is located at Maisan National Park in Jinan, Jeollabukdo just a short drive from Jeonju and Muju. We went to this place on my mother’s second visit in Korea, sometime in August 2006.
From the parking lot, it’s a 20-minute walk to the main pagoda area. We walked along this quiet lake.
Maisan is literally “horse ears mountain” because of the prominent twin peaks of the mountain. An interesting tourist spot in the mountain is the “Tapsa” or Pagoda temple because of the numerous hand made stone pagodas in the area.
The stone pagodas at Maisan were made by the monk Lee Gap Yong, who lived from 1860 to 1957. He spent his nights making the stone pagodas from the stones native to the mountain without the use of mortar. There are almost a hundred of these pagodas.