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Jirisan National Park
Jirisan National Park spans three provinces in South Korea: South Jeolla, North Jeolla and South Gyeongsang Provinces. It offers some of Korea's best hiking and is the beginning of the Baekdu Deagan Ridge which extends all the way to Baekdusan on the border of China and North Korea. It has 12 peaks which are over 1000km with a 40 km ridge. The highest peak is Cheonwangbong (1915), which is South Korea's second largest mountain. There are 20 peaks over 1,000 meters above sea level and 15 hills, and there is the origin of three rivers.
There are regular train services to Namwon on the Jeolla Line, which connects Seoul and Yeosu. Saemaul (Super Express) trains take four hours and cost 23700 Won for first class seats and 19600 for second class. Mugungwha (Express) trains are more frequent, taking an extra half an hour and costing 17100 / 13500 Won depending on class.
Express buses run to and from Seoul's Express Bus Terminal only. The terminal is located in the north-east of the city.
Inter-City buses connect Namwon to Jeonju, Gwangju, Daegu and Hwaeom-sa. The terminal is located a ten-minute walk from the train station.
Hwaeom-sa is a great temple located on the western edge of Jirisan National Park. The bus from Namwon takes one hour, costs 2600 Won and leaves from stand number four.
This is a branch temple of Haein- sa. The entire temple grounds have been designated South Gyeongsang Province Monument #114. Although reputed to have been built by prist Yon-Gi during the reign of King Chinhung (Silla Dynasty, 1392-1910), no records exist as to when it was actually built. The present temple buildings were rebuilt by priest Kim Pomil in 1959.
Jiri076 During the Joseon period, the nine-story pogoda was one of the greatest towers in Korea. Other structures, esoecially Taeungjon Hall, Sarijon Hall, and the Bell Pavilion, all have striking architecture and decorations. At present this temple is used for Zen-Buddhist meditation.
Jiri136 The 2 km valley leading from outside the temple entrance is a breathtaking combination of rocks and stream and has several scenic spots. Yongso (Dragon Pool) is where a dragon is said to have hidden for a hundred years before it finally ascended to heaven. Somaggol is where King Kulgong, the last king of Karak, subsisted on cattle feed. Wangsan (King mountain) is so named because a king climbed over its Mangdonghae (Lookout Hill). Tojanggul is where army staples were stored during ancient times. The trail along the valley leads to some of the most beautiful areas in Jiri-san including Mujadchigi falls, Chibalmok Cabin, Soribong Peak, and Cheongwangbong Peak.
These falls are located between Chonghak Peak and Paekhak Peak, about 2 km east of Ssanggye-sa. It is great waterfall, 60 meters high and 3 meters wide. The amount of water is constant throughout the year andt is used for ice ridge climbing in winter.
This gate (designated South Gyeongsang Province Tangible Cultural Property #127) is named for Kumgangnyoksa, the two guardians who guard against evil spirits entering the temple grounds. This gate has a gabled roof with simple brackets, double tiered eaves, and windbreaks on the gables. It was built by Priest Chingam-sonsa in 840, reconstructed by Priest Pyogam in 1641, and extensively repaired by Priest Kosan in 1979
December - January
January - February -> 0(°C) - Spring
August - October -> 31(°C) - Summer