Saturday, July 5, 2014

Haedong Yonggungsa Temple: At least One Wish Will Be Granted

The motto of Haedong Yonggung Temple is "At least one of your wishes will be answered here through your heartfelt prayers" --seems true because when you visit Haedong Yinggungsa Temple, you'll feel something unexplainable like a "spiritual high" especially for people who believes in Buddhist philosophy. Because of this belief that at least one of your wishes will come true, many people visit this temple.

The temple is situated near the sea unlike Beomeosa Temple or the other temples in Bangkok. Haedong Yonggungsa is known as the aquatic Buddhist sanctum and this temple preserves religious concept deeper than any other temple as the sea, dragon (who appeared in front of the Buddha), and the Great Goddess Buddha embody a harmony here.

Going to Haedong Yonggungsa Temple is quite a challenge for non-Korean speakers because the location is not tourist friendly. The road signs, bus stations, and some people living in that area does not understand English but if you follow the instructions below, you'll be able to survive haha just kidding :)

How to get there?
Ride subway and alight at Haeundae Line 2 Exit 7. Walk a few steps in front towards the bus stop and ride Bus 181 going to Yonggunsa Temple. 

Address: 86, Yonggung-gil, Gijang-eup, Gijang-gun, Busan
Operating Hours: 4am to 7pm
Admission Fee: FREE!

Note: There is only 1 bus going to the temple and each buses comes only once every 30 minutes. You need to tell the bus driver that you'll go down at the temple as there is no sign on where you'll get off. The landmark nearest the temple is a big restaurant with a lot of pictures (see photo below). 
Once alighted from the bus, go uphill and walk towards the temple which will take you around 20 minutes. Once you're near, you will see a lot of artifacts and food stalls near the entrance of the temple.
This is the restaurant where the bus will drop you. Beside this restaurant, you'll see a huge stone sign going to Haedong Yonggungsa Temple. Follow the sign but you need to "hike" a bit :) unless you hitch a ride!

Many people would come in this temple during New Year's Day to make a wish for the new year as people watch the sunrise. It is best to visit during Spring (early April) so the cherry blossom trees are in full bloom. April is also the birth of Buddha and the temple becomes very festive especially at night when the lanterns are lit.
Breathtaking view :)
You can throw a coin and make a wish in this pond or better if you throw it in the ocean.
Prayers for Buddha

This is definitely one of the most beautiful scenery in Busan. If I were to choose among the two temples, I would choose this one as Yonggunsa temple is located on top of the sea which makes it more beautiful. Same with Beomeosa, you will only stay there for a few minutes but you'll be able to take a lot of good pictures. However, going here will take you several hours due to the lack of transportation but since this opens at 4am, you can take the early morning bus at around 5am and go here so you can get back to the city by around 7-8am.

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