The road to “Land's End” at Haenam, Jeonnam province, stretches parallel to a mountain range that takes the traveler toward Mount Dharma (489m, 1'604ft).
Mihwang Temple is said to have been built in 749 by the Most Venerable Uijo. A golden man appeared in his dream and told him to build a temple where a cow lay and didn't stand again. Uijo obeyed the revelation by building Tongkyo Temple where the cow first lay down and then Mihwang where the cow finally lay down. The size and elaborate craftsmanship of the temple's main hall, Daeungjon, inspire awe in the devout and laymen alike. Carved into its four foundation stones are unique classical inscriptions symbolizing fish, crabs and octopus. A leisurely walk past the Daeungjon leads to the Budojon, a shrine in which stand 27 relic stupas of the great monks of yore. The relief carvings of crabs, cranes, turtles and squirrels on the stone stupas provide a visual feast.
A short hike toward Munbawijae, one of the peaks that make up Mount Dharma, leads to a natural spring that gushes from a monumental stone facade. It is called the Golden Spring, or Keumsaem, since it reflects the brilliant golden-fingered dawn of the morning sun.
The village of Haenam is particularly famous for its dried seaweed. It is produced on seaweed farms using uncontaminated ocean water. Jade carvings are another specialty of the area, as the nearby Okmaesan is famous for its good-quality jade quarry.
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