Maisan National Park

Maisan1This time last week I was in Maisan National Park. It’s a couple of bus journeys south of Jeonju and, on a Saturday, very popular with Koreans.

The most famous (and prominent and remarkable) features are two domes of rock that stick out of the surrounding landscape. If you look at them from the right place, they’re supposed to resemble horses’ ears. There we go again, looking for animal likenesses in natural features. The domes are Maisan2‘conglomerates’, i.e. lots of individual rocks that have become cemented together. A path leads to the top of one but it was closed when I was there; if I could read Korean I might have known the reason why.

There’s a Buddhist temple at the foot of one of them. The main distinguishing feature is the large number of cairns. No, that’s not the right word – these might be piles of rock but they’ve been constructed with care such that they’re stable even though they’re so tall and thin. Lonely Plant tells me they’re the work of a Buddhist mystic. Yes, well, there wasn’t anything very mystical about the large number of visitors taking selfies (and there’s a word I’ve never used before) at the temple.

There are trails that lead into the hills, and it is very beautiful, even on a rare grey day.


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