Behind the stamp (Paju local revenue stamp)


Highway 1 leads northward from Seoul to Kaesong and then to P’yong-yang, connecting two ancient capitals of Korea with the modern one. A few miles from the Seoul city limits, a smaller road leads east towards Uijong-bu, and about two miles from Highway 1 there is a narrow gravel road headed north, up the steep slope to a pass. At the top of the hill one has a magnificent view of Kwangton Valley; in the distance two white specks above the trees indicate the site of two immense figures of bodhisattvas … the distance is three miles. The road winds down the pass, across and sometimes along the little river until a small parking area is reached. 

From here, a footpath leads to the crest of a granite outcrop, from which the figures were carved nearly nine centuries ago. The last few yards of the path go above and behind the figures, but this is a sacred area, and one must get permission before climbing there. Vulgarly referred to as “Mamasan” and “Papasan” by many of the U.N. personnel who saw these, and the very recent third figure called “Baby-san,” the statues survived the war with little injury.

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