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Mountain travel scenic routes offer scent of spring (3)

Posted April. 26, 2001 18:33,   


Chikchi-sa Temple in Kimchon

Of the passes crossing the Paekdu range on the Korean peninsula, Chupungryong has the largest traffic volume, and it stands only 221 meters above sea level. Few would feel that they have crossed a pass as it is so gentle. Crossing the pass, you will be greeted by the spring scenery of Chikchi-sa Temple in Kimchon.

Nearby attractions:

The Chupung Market opens every five days on the 3rd, 8th, 13th, 18th, 23rd and 28th of every month. You can enjoy a simple market environment with agricultural products on display.

Sonam-sa Temple on Mt. Chogye

Sonam-sa Temple is located at the southern foot of Mt. Chogye, which stands 884 meters high. The name of Sonam came from a flat rock (```am`` in Korean) on which Taoist hermits (```sinson``) played games of baduk (Japanese ``go``). Sonam is a composition of ``son`` from ``sinson`` and ``am.`` The Maehwa in the temple that blooms in early spring is very elegant, and the temple in April is painted into a fantastic landscape by various flowers to the extent of making the entire temple appear as a ``flower.`` Besides this beautiful spring scenery, there are a total of 18 precious cultural assets, including seven treasures such as the ``rainbow bridge`` across the clear valley water (Treasure No. 400), a three-story stone pagoda of the Silla Kingdom and the portrait of ``Taegak Kuksa,`` the highest rank of priest in the Silla period.

Nearby attractions:

This journey covers two famous temples, with the other being Songgwang-sa, and Mt. Chogye in Sunchon, where you can enjoy a leisurely walk in the beautiful spring landscape. It takes four to five hours on foot to finish the course from Sonam-sa Temple-Sonam Kulmokchi-Songgwang Kulmokchi-Honggol-Songgwang-sa Temple. This course is designated as a natural path for pilgrimage of the fatherland. Nakan Fortress is a folk village where visitors can experience the atmosphere of the Choson period. It takes 20 minutes by car from Mt. Chogye.

Min Byung-Jun, travel columnist < mbjbud@chollian.net >