I may not as religious as my parents be and may not share the same beliefs as you do, but I firmly hold on to my beliefs and spirituality. So, why then a person like me would likely choose to visit a place like this? Well, when I was still a student in Japan and whenever my friends and I visited a temple or a shrine, I always found myself with inner peace and serenity. So, amid the hustle and bustle of corporate life, I took this solo trip in early October to re-energize myself and I thought the best place I could at least spent my solo trip is finding my inner peace and serenity in a place like this.
Haedong Yonggung Temple, Busan, South Korea — One of my reasons in travelling to Busan was specifically to visit this place, though the host in my hostel recommended this temple as a must-see the moment I checked and settled in. Since I arrived in Busan around 4pm I opted to visit the temple early in the morning since I figured its best to sight see while basking the morning sun.
The Haedong Yonggung temple is located near the east sea. Founded by the monk Naong. According to its history, while the month Naong was praticing asceticism at Bunhwang temple in Gyeongju, Korea was hit by a draught that made the crops burn to death and many suffer from famine. Then, in his dream, appeared a sea god that said if the people built a temple at the edge of Bongrae Mountain and prayed there, all sufferings will go away. After the dream, Naong went to visit the area where the temple is now located, and saw that there was a mountain in the front and sea as its backdrop which means if people say there prayers in the morning they will be answered in the evening. The Haedong Yonggung temple is believed to be 1 of 3 Sacred Places related to Goddess Budhha. This temple preserves religious concept deeper than that of any other temple ever as the sea, dragon and the Great Goddess Buddha embody a harmony here. (information taken from http://www.yongkungsa.or.kr/en/)
How to get to The Haedong Yonggung Temple
Take Line 2 (green line) of the Busan Subway to Haeundae Station (해은대역 no. 203). Use Exit 7 and catch Bus 181 from the bus stop just outside of the station exit. The bus runs every thirty minutes. Fare is 1,000 won.
From Haeundae Station it’s a twenty-five minute bus ride to the entrance of Haedong Yonggung Temple. It’s a 1km walk from the bus stop to the temple proper. You’ll see a sign pointing the way. Admission to the temple is free.
For those who does not speak or understand korean, when getting on the bus, sit on your right side so you can easily look for the sign and when to press the stop button. It would be easy since most of tourist and elderly koreans get off on the same stop to visit the temple. You may opt to look of a huge stone signage that looks like this for easy reference:
Let me take you to The Haedong Yonggung Temple thru my lens:
The courtyard where the 12 zodiac sign statues are located as if guarding the golden gates
The golden gate and the pathway leading to the tunnel
The beautiful 108 steps/stairs, which symbolizes the 108 sufferings in Buddhism leading to the temple
The details of Lotus Temple
The motto of Haedong Yonggung temple is “At least one of your wishes will be answered here through your heartful prayers.”