Gorgeous Gurye, our home in Korea…

We have been fortunate enough to live and teach in Gurye for the past 3 years. It is in the south most province (Jeollanam-do) of the Korean peninsula. It is considered to be one of the more rural areas of Korea, and you know what that means – natural beauty, little to zero noise, serenity!

Sometimes I think we take for granted what we have right here on our doorstep. We love our lifestyle and we cherish each and every moment we get to spend in this beautiful area that we are calling home for now.

Here is a glimpse of what we have on our doorstep:

Where does it lead?

Where does it lead?

And yeah, we do live in the east. East = temples. And we have some amazing ones!







Saseongam temple at Osan mountain.

Saseongam temple at Osan mountain

This is a unique temple, stilted and built against a rock face. It’s a nice hike up, which rewards you with some brilliant views once up there.

Gurye_[Sep2013]_0008 Gurye_[Apr2014]_0013





Gurye_[Sep2012]_0004Main temple housing a ‘national treasure’ – a huge, 40-foot buddhist banner/tapestry.

Hwaeomsa 38

These 4 photos is of our ‘mother temple’ – Hwaeomsa. It is just on the outskirts of Gurye, at the foot of Jirisan mountain.

Lanterns is up to celebrate Buddha's birthday

Lanterns are up to celebrate Buddha’s birthday

This is a little higher up in the mountain from the Hwaeomsa complex. It has scenic view down into the valley.

Choneunsa Temple.

Choneunsa Temple.

Piagol valley - beautiful in fall





We even have a ‘beach’. It’s next to the river though, about 150m x 80m in size. In autumn, the Piagol valley turns all the shades of orange and red you can imagine.

Osan Hike 1 Gurye_[May2014]_0016





Farmer in rice field

Farmer in rice field

No one has a higher work ethic than the farmers in South Korea. They tend their land and crops 7 days a week, usually without any outside help.

Gurye's English slogan: "Road to Nature"

Gurye’s English slogan: “Road to Nature”

Gurye_[Dec2012]_0006 Gurye_[Dec2012]_0005





Winters are white (at least for a while) and cold!

View of our town from the mountain behind our apartment

View of our town from the mountain behind our apartment

Gurye_[Apr2014]_0015 Gurye_[Apr2014]_0014






It’s sometimes the small things in life…

Gurye_[Nov2014]_0020 Gurye_[Nov2014]_0021





Gurye_[Nov2014]_0022Our park next to the river – there’s a huge lawn, and a lot of trees to get a nice hammocking spot.


A lot of ‘old’ still in use in town, like this wall surrounding a small monastery

Entrance to monastery

Entrance to monastery

We can’t imagine ourselves living anywhere else but here. This truly feels like home by now!



If interested, here is a short but beautiful video giving more information on Saseongam temple

15 thoughts on “Gorgeous Gurye, our home in Korea…

  1. Hello There! I am from Jinju, in Gyeongsangnamdo, and for the very first time, 2 friends and I are going to drive to Gurye tonight! We have been looking for locals willing to give us the skinny on the area – recommended restaurants and accommodations. I just found this article – BEAUTIFUL PICTURES! Getting excited to visit! Any chance you would be willing to help us out with some information?

    Many Thanks! ~ Jackie

    • Hi Jackie! As for restaurants and accommodation… You know the deal in Korea… I really can’t recommend something spectacular – we have lots of small local restaurants, a Mom’s Touch, few chicken and pizza places, kimbab nara’s, you’ll get something πŸ™‚

      See & do: Sandong area, where the annual Sanseyu Festival is – nice for picnic next to stream, and if it tickles your fancy, there’s an awesome spa. It’s huge – you have the regular scrub/sauna public room, you then dress in the ‘uniform’ you get on entry to use outside in the various pools.

      Go hiking somewhere in Jirisan mountain – Nogodan Peak is a favorite. There are lots of trails.

      Visit the resident temples: Hwaeomsa is really beautiful. Also nice to take some snacks and chill next to the stream (there are some nice pools to swim when warm enough…). There’s also an eco tourism Moon Bear center – they aim to restore the Jirisan wild bear population. Up at Osan mountain (basically in Gurye), you can visit Saseongam temple (as seen in blog). Nice views and hiking up there also – one of the most unique ones we’ve encountered. People paraglide from there almost daily… Choneunsa is also nice – next to a big lake and on the way to Nogodan Peak (at base of mountain).

      Enjoy your stay here. We’ll be out of town camping on the west coast!

  2. Hi Kurt!

    Really stunning pictures!

    We are thinking of making a trip to Gurye in the next couple of months and wondered where is the nicest place to see beautiful rice fields?

    Any tips on the most picturesque villages?


    • Hi Sarah, sorry I’m only coming back now – life’s been a bit crazy past few months.

      The rice fields are all around, but my favourite is just past the entrance to Hwaeomsa temple in the direction of Hadong. You’ll pass the terraces on your left and right!

      All the best, K

  3. Hi Kurt! im so in love with the video of Saseongnam Temple. Is there a guided hike offered around the area for this? or was this your own trail? Thanks

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