Monday, January 21, 2013

[Tour/Press Article] Nogokdong Temples

Nogokdong Temples

Since I started biking the Geuhmogang River I noticed a very large temple complex climbing a mountain on the north side of the river, just east of the paldal bridge. The bike trail is on the south side of the river but I went along the north side to try to find the temple.

There is some agricultural land along the banks but unfortunately a highway runs parallel so I couldn’t see over to where the temple was. I had to cross back to the bike trail on the south side to be able to spot the temple.

The temple is actually in a small hamlet called Nogok-dong. The bridge to reach here will also bring you to a small island park popular with locals( It’s almost like a small country village as the community is isolated from the urban development of the rest of the city.

I couldn’t really see how to get to the temple as the orientations is lopsided and lots of houses were in the way. I could see it up the mountain so had to ask locals how to get there. One lady gestured to the hair shop and that I should follow the path from there. This led to a pathway that wound through the houses as it ascended the mountain.

As I went to higher elevations there was a good horizon view of Nogok-dong. There were also some ferocious dogs chained in the yards not used to seeing people here or very territorial.

I managed to reach the temple gate and was disappointed to find it was locked after all the trouble of biking and trying to find the place. There was however an outside wall I could walk around to get a better view.


As I reached the end I saw it continued to climb up the side of the mountain giving an elevated view down into the complex. I went up along one side taking pictures of the inside. I wouldn’t have been able to come in warmer months as it would have been swarming with wasps.


The complex was quite interesting with many buildings. After the main outer doorway this led into a garden facing interior buildings. The buildings climbed in steps to a brightly colourful painted building in the rear.

In the distance I could see a cemetary plot on the other side of Nogok-dong. Coming down I had to make my way past the ferocious dogs who had been barking madly the whole time I was there and trying to break out their chains as I passed.

The cemetery was easy to reach just behind the main street and a short climb. The outer building was closed but the cemetery was not walled so you could walk around inside.

There were two round tombs and stone figures, similar to some of the Joseon Royal Tombs. From this side of Nokog-dong there was also a view back of the first temple complex I had visited.

Coming back along the north side of the geumhogang river was another small temple just east of the paldal bridge. This however was locked also with a large guard dog inside so I wasn’t able to peer inside much.

Here is a map of where Nogok-dong and the temples are located and a link back to my earlier entry of biking the geumhogang river.

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