Land of Tea and Exile: South Jeolla Province

Saturday, November 23, 2013 - 8:00am to Sunday, November 24, 2013 - 8:00pm
South Jeolla Province
199,000W for members and 239,000W for non-members
Tour Leader: 
Brother Anthony

Leaving Seoul, we will first drive down to Muui-sa temple at the foot of beautiful Mount Weolchul-san, passing near the O’Sulloc tea fields as we arrive. This temple has some beautiful mural paintings dating from the very start of the Joseon era. The soaring, rocky mountain itself is the place where the monk who later wrote Korea’s most famous tea-poem, the Ven. Cho-ui, had his defining enlightenment experience and in later days he went there with the great scholar Dasan on picnics from Gangjin.
From there we will drive down to Haenam and visit the birthplace of the famous scholar and poet Yun Seon-do (1587~1671) where there is a fascinating modern museum devoted to his whole clan, before driving to the beautiful Daeheung-sa temple, where the Ven Cho-ui lived for much of his life, building a small hermitage, Ilchi-am, above it in 1828. Some decades earlier, another monk from Daeheung-sa, the Ven Hyejang, had gone to live in Baengyeon-sa temple in Gangjin, and there he befriended Dasan. We will see the stupa containing the ashes of the Ven. Cho-ui, visit the main temple, and if there is time those who wish may walk up the (rather steep) path to Ilchi-am (a 20 minutes hike up). Then we will drive to Gangjin where we will have supper and spend the night.
Gangjin is the place where Dasan Jeong Yak-yong, one of Korea’s greatest scholars, spent 18 years in exile in the aftermath of the anti-Catholic persecutions of 1801. Many of his most important works were written in Gangjin. After meeting the Ven. Hyejang at Baengyeon-sa temple, he realized that wild tea was growing nearby and in the following years he developed a new method of tea-drying and drinking, which he taught to Cho-ui.
After a Korean breakfast, we will first visit the former home of the poet Kim Yeong-Nang (1903-1950), best known for his poem about the peony. We will also pause to see a reconstruction of the poor inn where Dasan spent the first years of his exile. We will then walk up to the steep path to the Dasan Chodang (Dasan's main dwelling during his exile), after visiting a museum dedicated to Dasan on the way. From there we will walk along a mountain path (800m) to Baengyeon-sa (White Lotus Temple), where Dasan first met the Ven. Hyejang and our bus will be waiting for us near the temple. We will drive to the Gangjin Ceramic Museum and a shop selling the celadon pottery for which the region was famous in earlier times. We will have lunch in Gangjin.
Outside of Gangjin lies the Pyongyong Fortress. It is here that, for more than seven years, Hamel and the other exiled Dutch sailors "had been rather well settled, according to the fashion of the country, with houses, furniture and small gardens" (Hamel's Journal, p. 23). The fortress wall is slowly being restored. In the center of the nearby village stands a Gingko tree which is more than 800 years old. Hamel and his men certainly would have sat down in the shade of this very tree. The historic link has led to the current sister city relationship that Gangjin enjoys with Hamel's hometown in the Netherlands, the city of Gorkum.
Finally, if time permits, we will visit Borim-sa temple, where the Ven. Cho-ui made the caked tea that had such an impact among the high-class scholars in Seoul in 1830.

Our bus will leave at 8:00 a.m. Saturday, from the Yongsan Post Office (Subway, Line number 4, blue line, Sinyongsan Station #429, exit #1). The return is slated for Sunday around 8:00 p.m. The cost of the excursion is W199,000 for members and W239,000 for non-members. This includes transportation, entrance fees, overnight accommodation, Saturday ‘full-course’ Korean dinner, Korean-style breakfast and lunch on Sunday. You may bring a packed lunch for Saturday's drive down or you may purchase something at a highway rest stop. Please tell us if you are a vegetarian or have dietary restrictions, or if you must have a bed rather than a Korean ondol room. Rooms are booked for double occupancy, if you wish to sleep alone you will have to pay the full rate for the room.

Reservation deadline: Monday, November 18, 2013

NAME____________________________________ MEMBER________ NON-MEMBER_________
NAME____________________________________ MEMBER________ NON-MEMBER_________
PHONE NO. (MOBILE) ______________________ (OFFICE / HOME) ________________________
Please make your payment by November 18 to the following account:
Shinhan Bank Account #100-026-383501 (RAS-KB)

Contact Us

Royal Asiatic Society Korea Branch
Room 611, Korean Christian Building, Daehak-ro 19 (Yeonji-dong), Jongno-gu, Seoul 03129
[03129] 서울시 종로구 대학로 19 (연지동) 한국기독교회관 611호

Office is normally open as follows:

Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays & Saturdays:
                                   10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Wednesdays & Thursdays: 2:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Please call before your visit.
Phone (02) 763-9483 FAX (02) 766-3796

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