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Published: November 17th 2014
Busan (Pusan) South Korea, Fish Market and Buddhist Temple
Off the ship and a loooong, windy, cold walk to our bus and a ½ day tour. We quickly find our way to the Ja-Gai-Ch’i or
Aunt’s Fish Market. It is named after all the women who started and ran the market during the Korean War in the early 1950’s. It still thrives today and is, by far, the cleanest fish market of all those we have seen and is the largest in South Korea.
There were three sections to the market… 1. raw fish used to make sushi/sashimi 2. live fish where locals buy fresh fish to take home, or to have cooked upstairs in the restaurants, and 3. the dry fish market where freshly caught fish are hanging out to dry. Our local guide said Korean people really like the dried fish because it lasts longer and is more versatile. They use the dried fish as an ingredient for other dishes. While it smelled like a fish market does, it was very clean with fresh water used to clean the stalls and walk ways.
We are getting pretty good at getting
Woman Sorting Fish
Fish Market, Busan, South Korea
across busy streets where the automobile, bicycle and motorcycle all have the right of way. So that’s what we do. We are told our bus is somewhere a few blocks away under a tall building with a P on it and a giant cricket painted on the side ;-) Yea we find it and jump on for a 40 minute drive to a Beomeosa Buddhist Temple. Initially, Cope kind of thought “Oh No, another temple”, but this one was really unique because it was in the mountains. We travel through hills and across bridges and go higher and higher into the mountains over Busan. A really beautiful and spectacular drive through heavily forested hills, up a mountain with incredible views of the countryside. The leaves are turning and it is like fall in Vermont ;-)
Once we were dropped off we still had a long uphill walk ahead of us. We walked uphill for about 20 minutes. Pretty chilly but quiet and lovely. Finally after about 100 steep steps over an arched stone bridge and a mountain brook, we reached the temple grounds. This is an active temple with about 100 monks living and working here. The
Temple was built in 678 AD, but has recently been rebuilt since an arsonist destroyed most of the buildings about 20 years ago. According to our tour guide, there are about 20,000 Buddhist monks in South Korea, and this Temple was very active with Monks studding and praying in several of the buildings.
Around the courtyard there were separate ornate buildings for schooling, praying, and meeting, eating and living. A stone obelisk was erected to memorialize the monks that have died at this temple over the years. Along the steep steps and walks there were ancient stone carvings and hundreds of cairns. Toward the back of the compound there was a bamboo water sprout with “holy water” coming from a spring in the mountain that is supposed to ensure a long life. Many of our group took a cupful, hopefully it will work ;-)
We made our way down the hill across the bridge and stream and past a woman roasting and selling chestnuts.
On our way back to the ship one person on the bus seemed to be worried about North Korea and kept asking how far it was to
100 steps, in mountains outside Busan
North Korea and the DMZ. Finally our tour guide said “You are very safe here as it is 550 kilometers away”. Experienced Asia travelers that we are now, and having been to the DMZ tunnels, we just smiled! ;-)
After we were dropped off back at the docks we had a looong walk in whipping cold winds down a very long dock. The line was long to check back into the ship and people were freezing as they waited. Fortunately we were only about 50 people back so fairly quick for us. Time for a cup of coffee ;-) Tomorrow: Nagasaki, Japan-Mitsubishi Ship Building Facility where the Pacific Princess was built!
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