Baekyangsa temple in Naejangsan National Park, South Korea

Baekyangsa Temple Naejangsan National Park South Korea

Naejangsan National Park is known throughout Korea as one of the best places to see the Autumn foliage. As with all National Parks, it's huge! Even after living in Korea for over 3 years I only just found out that there are in fact two separate temples which are on different sides of the park, each falling in a different province. Naejangsan Temple is in Jeollobokdo (click here for a full post on how to get there) and then Baekyangsa Temple (featured in this post) is actually in Jeollonamdo and closer to Gwangju. 

Both temples are beautiful and offer spectacular scenery, but Baekyangsa was my favourite. They are pretty far from each other and unless you have your own car, it would be very hard to get to both in one day. Naejangsan Temple is quite a far walk from the parking lot where the bus from Jeongeup drops you off, but there are lots of food stalls and beautiful leaves to keep you occupied as you make your way up to the temple. The temple at Baekyangsa was a much shorter walk from the parking lot, and had a lot more diverse scenery, and was my favourite place to photograph.

If driving, I have posted the address below. We started at the Naejangsan temple parking lots and then drove the 35km to Baekyangsa temple. The roads weren't very well marked and the sign posts were very erratic. It ended up taking over 1.5 hours to make the 35km journey. You might have better luck by bus going from Gwangju, however as I haven't made the journey by bus I can't offer too much info on it. When in doubt, call the English Helpline (1330 from any cellphone) here in Korea, those guys and girls work magic and will help direct you where you need to go with bus times and other useful info.

There was ample free parking near the entrance to the National Park (W3 000 per person). From there the walk to the temple was beautiful, with lots of views of the mountains and streams.


26 Yaksu-ri, Bukha-myeon, Jangseong-gun, Jeollanam-do

Just a note

Dogs are not permitted in the national Park (although we did see a few little fluffy heads poking our of handbags and backpacks). #ShadowtheJindo is too big to hide in a bag and so had to stay at home for this trip. National Parks don't allow dogs, but Provincial Parks like Seounusa and Gaemsa Temple near Gochang are pet friendly as long as your dog is lead. 

The last snowfall

Last month we had so much snow here in Buan, South Korea that we were left wondering whether it would ever stop. The snow is beautiful, but driving in it is a nightmare. Freshly fallen snow is soft and fluffy, but the day after it's icy and treacherous. But we enjoyed the change from our mild winters in South Africa and had loads of fun playing with our pup in it (he must be part Husky as the snow is his most favourite thing, ever!).

Here are some photographs from the last heavy snow we had in December. I took a stroll up to one of the traditional temples behind my town (click here to see the styled shoot I did there in Summer last year with my very pretty South African friend, Roslyn). 

Gaeamsa Temple, Buan South Korea


One rainy Sunday afternoon, Farmboy and I took a drive out of town to visit one of the temples close by. I had heard that Gaeamsa temple was particularly beautiful during the Spring when the cherry blossoms are flowering. I have been told it is one of the quieter places to go to enjoy the pretty blossoms, without all the crowds that usually flock to places like Gwangyang and Jinhae.

It was a grey and gloomy day but Gaeamsa temple was still an interesting place to wonder around and take photographs. It's the middle of summer now so everything is beautiful and lush, with green colours all around. Inside the main temple, we were surprised to see the original architecture still in place, very old and worn down, but beautiful none the less. Most of the other temples we have visited have all been remodelled and look very new and have lost the authentic charm of their original structures. This temple still had that charm, and it was fascinating to see.

After strolling around we took a drive to Gochang (now that we have our little red car we are able to go wherever we's been a game changer for us!) for lunch and found a delightful retro inspired coffee shop for a well deserved slice of cake.

"Gaeamsa Temple (개암사) is a small, quiet temple built in 634 AD during the Baekje Dynasty. Historical records tell about three-year restoration campaign undertaken by the people of Baekje after the fall of the dynasty. Daeungjeon, the temple's main sanctuary, has been designated as Treasure No. 292. The building itself expresses both refined beauty and majesty as it stands in harmony against Ulgeum Rock, seemingly taking the role as its steadfast protector" Visit Korea


248, Gaeam-ro, Sangseo-myeon, Buan-gun, Jeollabuk-do 
전라북도 부안군 상서면 개암로 248 (상서면)

Gochang Fortress


This time last year Farmboy and I went off to explore the Gochangeupseong Fortress (고창읍성) in Gochang (Jeonbuk Province). It was a mere 40 minute bus ride from our town of Buan and cost W4600 each one way. We even had blue sky (the first blue skies we had seen since arriving in Korea 2 weeks before) which added to the natural beauty of the fortress.

The fortress was built during the early Joseon Dynasty. It is sometimes called Moyangseong, possibly because the Gochang area was called Moryangburi during the Baekje period.

It is surrounded by Bandeungsan, a guardian mountain to the east, and has three gates to the east, west and north, two floodgates, and a covering tower.

A stroll along the fortress walls brings you to a beautiful bamboo forest. Standing in front of it you feel dwarfed by the sheer size of the natural shoots towering over you. It was eerily quiet around the bamboo forest, giving the area a mystical ambiance.

The entrance fee for the fortress is W1000.

For more info here is a link for more information.

From Gochang Bus Terminal, walk towards Gochang County Office for about 500m.
Cross the Gochanggyo Bridge. Gochangeupseong Fortress is 150m ahead.

Korean Temple Styled Photoshoot

Korean Temple Styled Photoshoot by Roxy Hutton of CGScreative-05.png

My friend Storm and I had such a great time creating and styling the flower crown shoot we did a few weeks ago (click here to see the photographs) that we have decided to do another styled shoot. Our next model was a South African girl I met on a rooftop braai a couple of weeks ago, Roslyn.

I really wanted to incorporate something truly Korean into the shoot, so we decided to again shoot here in my small town. This time, at two of the local temples.

Roslyn, you were a pleasure to photograph and I had a wonderful afternoon chasing the light with you and Storm. Thank you for being our model, I hope you (and my readers) like the photographs!


We are going to make these styled shoots into something of a series here on the blog, often incorporating DIY elements into them (just like this flower crown). The next shoot is going to have much more of a summery, salty flair so make sure to check back here on the blog soon. I'll also be posting sneak peeks on the Facebook page soon.

Happy Friday everyone!