Sanbang-san [Mountain-Room Mountain] (with "mountain-room" refering to its famous cave seen below)
is within sight of Jeju-do's southwest coast, and dominates the region.  In the photo above, its twin main
temples can be clearly seen:  the new Bomun-sa (on the right) and the older Sanbang-gul-sa (left).
Mt. Sanbang-san and the
Temples of Jeju's Southwest Coast
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<---cave
Gwanmyeong-sa
Sanbang-gul-sa & Bomun-sa
A popular old myth says that a mighty hunter was
shooting arrows at the white deer near the peak of
Halla-san, but missed and shot the Halla Spirit in the
buttocks.  The angry Halla-san-shin ripped the peak of
the mountain off (leaving the Baek-rok-dam Crater) and
threw it at the hunter.  It fell here on the SW coast,
crushing the hunter to death.  However, he was then
reborn as the (female) San-shin of this small but
prominent mountain.


The Sanbang-gul [
Mountain-Room Cave], high
up on the slope above those two temples (a steep
15-minute climb on stairs) is the only cave-shrine on Jeju,
and has long been famous for Buddhist worship.  The
Goryeo Dynasty zen monk Hye-Il (964~1053) lived here
for some time.  Fresh water continuously falls at its rear,
and collects in pools up the stairs; visitors drink it and
make prayers before it.  Old stories say that if you drink
three sips of it, you will enjoy longevity in good health.

People say that the Sanbang-San-shin mentioned above
(a.k.a.
San-bang-gok) became fully enlightened as a
Bodhisattva of Compassion, and this water is the tears
that she constantly cries for all the pain of this "ocean of
suffering" world.
The spectacular view from Sanbang-gul Cave
On the lovely coast just
south of Sanbang-san
is the memorial with
model-ship for Henrik
Hamel, the Dutch sailor
who was ship-wrecked
here in 1653.  He
became the first
European to live in
Korea (spending 13
years as a prisoner),
eventually returning
home to write the first
Euro-language book
on this country.