Impressions of Korea
Korea is most often associated with the brutal conflict of 1950-1953 that nearly catapulted the planet into a third world war less than a decade after the second one had come to an end. Instead, it caused the separation between North and South, as a permanent scar, visible, tangible, aching, chilling: this is the sensation of a visit to the Demilitarized Zone, overlooking the North Korean hills and settlements, so close by and yet so far away. Fortunately, Korea is also so much more, with its other, less dramatic but equally impressing contrast between the extreme modernity of the high tech applications or the bustling neon nightlife in cities like Seoul and Busan and the deeply rooted traditions reflected in tumulus tombs in Gyeongju, contemplative temple complexes hidden in the Songni mountains and medieval defence walls encircling the city of Suwon.
Before visiting the place of your choice:
Surroundings of colourful forest, mountain tops toyed with by fast moving clouds, monastic serenity: a mystical place. But Haein-sa is also something more: it is the depository of the Tripitaka Koreana, the collection of more than 81,000 wooden printing blocks, in which monks of the 13th century carved the entire Tripitaka, the Buddhist Sanskrit scripture. The Tripitaka Koreana is the world’s most complete and oldest fully preserved version of the scriptures of Buddhism.