If you go to only one temple during your stay in Korea make sure it is the Haedong Yonggung Temple.
A trip to the nation’s only ocean-side temple will be memorable both for its unique setting and for its breathtaking costal views.
The Haedong Yonggung Temple was built all the way back in 1376 by the Buddhist teacher known as Naong during the Goryeo Dynasty. The temple includes a three story pagoda which is surrounded by four lions ‘representing’ joy, anger, sadness, and happiness.
How to get to Haedong Yonggungsa Temple
The Haedong Yonggungsa Temple is a short trip away from the popular Haeundae Beach on the east side of Busan. Take the 181 Bus and get off at Yonggungsa Temple Bus Stop.
Haedong Yonggungsa Temple guide:
Once you hop off the bus you will have to walk 15-20 minutes until you reach the temple. The route is clearly labeled so there is no risk of getting lost in the Busan wilderness.
As you approach the temple entrance, you will be greeted with a road which is filled with interesting souvenir shops and tasty street food stalls. The path is also lined with several statues including the 12 Zodiac Stone Figures.
You will see a collection of miniature monks scattered around the temple area. These mini monks are offered to the temple by worshipers when their wishes come true.
One item which caught my eye was the bronze plates on sale. I hadn’t seen these anywhere else during my time in Korea. The idea behind the bronze plates is that wishes written on them have a higher likelihood of being granted.
While exploring the temple make sure to take the ‘stairs’ down to the shore in order to get a unique view of Haedong Yonggung.
We also recommend visiting the temple early due to the mid-day crowds and advise you to bring shoes with a strong grip if you plan on venturing onto the rocks.
4:00 am – 7:00 pm