2013 Travel Diary #10: Breakfast at Beopgyesa

Beopgyesa Temple, Jirisan, Sancheong-gun, Sunday 8 September, 8:30am. Breakfast is again in the kitchen, and as usual (because I’m a foreigner unused to sitting on the floor) I’m allowed to sit with my back to the wall. I’m encouraged to stretch my legs out straight, and pummel my thighs and massage my knees, which are already […]

2012 Travel Diary #19: Beopgyesa Temple and those Japanese feng-shui stakes

Beopgyesa Temple (법게사) is the highest in Sancheong County and at least the third-highest in Korea. The good people of Sancheong believe that Beopgyesa is the highest temple in South Korea, a claim which is supported by Beopgyesa’s entry on the Cultural Heritage Administration website, where the following text is to be found: “It is […]

2012 Travel Diary #16: Silla pagodas, Korea’s first beautiful village, and Nammyeong’s tomb

Sancheong, Gyeongsangnam-do, Thursday 29 March 2012. Today is the day we start the ascent of Jirisan, but first there’s a couple of local sites of interest that I need to visit. First, the two Unified Silla dynasty stone pagodas, which are now the only remnants of Dansoksa, a temple built in the middle of the eighth […]

What is the Donguibogam and what is in it?

Koreans usually have two choices when they have to visit a clinic: one is a medical clinic, employing western medicine for treatment; and the other is a traditional clinic, employing traditional medicine. There are many obvious differences between the two types, mainly concerning methods of diagnosis and treatment. Most importantly, the traditional medical clinic has […]

Donguibogam: Prevention before Treatment

The Donguibogam is a medical encyclopedia written by Heo Jun (1539-1615), a royal physician and renowned doctor, in the 16th to 17th century. People often say there has been no traditional Korean medicine (TKM) doctor greater than him since. The encyclopedia was registered at UNESCO as part of the ‘Memory of the World’ register in […]