A girl holding a camera takes a photo of a beautiful temple. Soon she sits down on a bench to soak in the sun with her eyes closed. Is she on vacation? No, she is just enjoying a day trip. Have you ever gone on a short day trip? It’s easy during the semester. You don’t need a lot of time to schedule the trip. Now is the time for a short day trip holiday. Sieun, a Sookmyung Times reporter, recently went on a day trip to Gangnam, a famous area in Seoul.
Where to Go? How to Go?
Before setting out, the reporter planned the trip. She first looked at where to go for the day. Because she had just one day, she wanted to go somewhere nearby so that she could go and come in a reasonable time. Also, she wanted to travel on her own. Thus, she chose Gangnam because she didn’t know the area well and could get back and forth in good time. Also, the reporter’s friend who wanted to join the trip suggested Gangnam as he’d never been there having grown up in Yeonhui-dong.
The real planning began with research on Gangnam to learn about the area tourist attractions. She discovered, to her surprise, a famous Korean temple, Bongeunsa, was located in Gangnam and Seonjeongneung, the tombs for King Sungjong and King Jungjong. She was intrigued by the idea of there being a temple and King tombs in the middle of busy city area. In the end, the reporter decided to visit both Bongeunsa and Seonjeongneung. Fearing that she might also over look something by concentrating solely on those two places, the reporter referred to a map of Gangnam. She learnt that the Coex Mall was located near Bongeunsa. Coex Mall is a famous huge shopping mall that hosts an aquarium. She decided to drop by there as well. The final itinerary was Bongeunsa, followed by Coex Mall’s aquarium, dinner at Coex Mall, and lastly a visit to Seonjeongneung.
On March 1st, the reporter and her friend set out on their day trip. They took the subway to Gangnam by riding on Line 1 to Noryangjin station. At Noryangjin station, the two travelers transferred to Line 9 to Bongeunsa station. Fortunately, they were able to catch the trains relatively easily and didn’t have to wait long between transfers. The reporter was constantly nervous and full of tension along the route because the trip was a first for her to that part of Seoul. Luckily, she was able to get successfully from the subway station to Bongeunsa.
Bongeunsa, A Traditional Temple in the Heart of The City
Bongeunsa was built by the Buddist monk Yeonhoikuksa during the rule of Silla King Wonseon. It is over 1200 years old. The Bongeunsa placard was made by Kim Jueonghui, a very competent calligrapher who lived during the Joseon dynasty. Upon entering the temple, the reporter was surprised by the number of people who had come to the temple to pray. Nevertheless, despite the crowd, the temple was silent and calm. The reporter felt peace of mind. Although the temple wasn’t huge, its buildings were erected in a wonderful spread across the land and it had beautifully painted flower-print roof tiles. During the discovery of a temple in the heart of the city, the reporter expected it to be worn down and musty; however, it was not. In fact, the temple had city-like sky-scrappers and was surrounded by extra-tall buildings. Surprisingly, it fits in quite well. Feeling its warmth, the reporter hoped Bongeunsa would not lose its special feel for a long time to come.
Aquarium, Connecting the Sea and Land
After looking around Bongeunsa, the reporter was ahead Coex Mall, which was easy to get through gate 7 in Bongeunsa station. When the reporter reached the mall entrance, she was near the aquarium. Although the admissions fee was a bit pricy, she dare not pass up the opportunity to visit it. Thus, the two friends went to the aquarium excitedly. The aquarium was divided into 13 themes. The reporter followed the set course and visited each of the 13 themed areas while looking around at the variety of marine life. The 13 themed areas were: the Story of Korean fish, a Korean Garden, Fish in Wonderland, the Amazon, Marine lab, a Mangrove and Beach, the Living Reef, an Ocean Kingdom, a Marine Mammal Village, a Deep Blue Square, a Deep Blue Sea Tunnel, a Garden of Jelly Fish and a Penguin’s Playground. Each themed area of the aquarium was charming, but the reporter was most attached to two themed areas in particular: the Garden of Korea and the Fish in Wonderland. In the Garden of Korea, she discovered a beautiful fish called the blood parrot which looked like a red maple leaf. In the Fish in Wonderland area, fish could be seen swimming in bowls made from familiar household items. It was an amazing experience to the reporter.
Seonjeongneung, A World Heritage Site Near us
After having enjoyed her time at the aquarium, the reporter went to Seonjeongneung station. It wasn’t far from Coex Mall. Although Seonjeongneung is situated beside the road, it was surprisingly silence and people strolled about the area pleasurably. Seonjeongneung consists of Seonneung, tomb of King Sungjong, Queen Junghyun, the wife of King Sungjong and Jeongneung, the tomb of King Jungjong, the son of King Sungjong. The tombs were not big nor were they fancy. The reporter felt that if there hadn’t been any sign board information, most people would have only thought them to be small hills. She felt pity for the man who once was king, but now lay buried along the side of the road.
Enjoy A Day Trip
Gangnam may be a familiar place to many people, but to this reporter it was a new world. At first, when planning her trip to Gangnam, our SMT reporter feared the result of her one-day trip. However, after going on her day trip, she realized that day trips are the perfect escapes. Paulo Cuelho, a famous novelist in Brazil, said, “Travel is always related with courage, not money.” Everyone knows how hard it is to take an extended holiday; however, enjoying a day trip is enough to gain a new point of view and peace of mind. Use your day wisely. Leave your home one day and set off on a day trip.