Thanks to one of my university’s trips for foreign students, I discovered the most beautiful temple in Korea. Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, located in Busan, lives up to the hype. Sitting along the edge of rocky white cliffs, it is truly magical.
What is Haedong Yonggungsa Temple?
Haedong Yonggungsa Temple is one of the three most sacred Buddhist Temples in South Korea. Just like most of the Goddess of Buddha Temples, this one is also located in the mountains. However, this one also has a wonderful view of the sea. It is also not so far from Haeundae Beach.
The temple has a motto, “At least one of your wishes will be answered here through your heartful prayers“.
The Story Behind the Temple
The temple was built in the year 1376, during the Goryeo Dynasty by a Buddhist teacher known as Naong. Its original name was Bomun Temple but it was destroyed during the Japanese invasion of South Korea.
However, it was rebuilt. The rebuilding process started in the 1930’s. By the 1940’s it looked as it does today.
Haedong Yonggungsa Temple
This temple is definitely not recommended for those who have trouble walking or are not a fan of hiking. The temple has a lot of stairs and they are quite difficult to navigate. Most of the stairs are made with natural stones, therefore their shapes and sizes are irregular. You need to be really careful of your steps when you are there. Other than that, the place is really beautiful.
The entrance itself is really beautiful, the perfect combination of natural and religious monuments. Yet, unlike many temples where you walk up from the entrance to get to the praying rooms and Buddha statues, here you walk down 108 steps to get there.
Once you walk down the steps, you will find a bridge called the Half Moon Bridge. This bridge faces one Buddha figure. Here a lot of people throw coins to make a wish to Buddha.
Once you continue walking you will encounter the main area, there you can walk around and pay your respects to the different Buddhas. From the Great Goddess Haesu Gwaneum Daebul, Buddha of mercy, you have to walk more stairs to pay your respects. There is also Yacksayeorae Healing Buddha and more.
How To Get There
If you are into walking long distances. You can ride the Haeundae Blue Line Park until the last stop, Jangasn Station. From here, you continue walking along the shore until finding the Temple. It is quite a long walk, so I recommend you wear some good shoes.
OR, you can go to Haeundae Station Line 2, walk to the bus stop and ride the buses 1001, 181, or Haeundae-gu 9 and get off at Haedong Yonggungsa Temple Entrance.
Note: If you want to continue with an adventure after being at the temple, Ikea and Lotte World are located near the Temple.
Haedong Yonggungsa Temple (해동용궁사) Address: 86, Yonggung-gil, Gijang-gun, Busan Korean Address: 부산 기장군 기장읍 용궁길 86 해동용궁사 Opening Hours: 05:00 AM - 07:00 PM