There was only one thing on our schedule were you could pick what you wanted to do. After breakfast we were given the option of fishing, canoing, boating, kayaking or visiting Naksansa. I picked Naksansa and after some initial confusion because it wasn’t on my schedule I made my way with about ten or so coworkers to the base of the mountain where Naksansa temple is.
Naksansa temple is buddhist temple that is over 1,300 years old. It’s near the beach, has a great view of the sea, and is open all year round. It’s 3,000 won per person to enter and open from 6:00-8:30 but last admitance is at 7:30 pm. Naksansa also offers temple stay programs.
When I signed up for going to Naksansa temple I did so because I can go canoing or kayaking anywhere (those were my back up choices). I thought everyone would hike up to the enterance and we’d explore together a bit like we did at Baekdamsa, but what actually ended up happening is the majority of my coworkers stayed at the town at the foot of the mountain and drank 막걸리 (Makgeolli). There were only about four of us who went up, the middle school foreign teacher, two of my coworkers at the elementary and myself. At the enterance however I was the only one who wanted to go in so they sent the other foreign teacher with me and didn’t continue into the temple, just telling us we had less than an hour before we had to be back down and catch the bus.
At the top of Mount Naksansa is Haesugwaneumsang, a giant stone statue that’s 49 feet tall ( 15 meters). And getting to it quickly within our short time frame was stressful. But we made it and the view from around Haesugwaneumsang is lovely.
We didn’t have enough time to climb the mountain, sight see, and get back down the mountain in time. Following the path to Haesugwaneumsang spit us out on the wrong enterance of the mountain and made us late trying to figure out how to get back down. It was stressful, but I really enjoyed the peaceful temple and I’m sure there were things we missed because of our time frame.
I also learned during this trip that in Korea, specifically Gangwon provence where Pokémon Go works, that temples are great places to play Pokémon. There’s always a gym, tons of Pokémon, and there were many Pokéstops at Naksansa.