Sunday, 26 May 2013

Haedong Yonggunsa - Busan's Coastal Temple

During our recent trip to Busan, Angela and I visited Haedong Yonggunsa, a temple located just outside the city. It is one of the more unique temples we've visited in the country. Whereas most Korean temples are built in the mountains, Yonggunsa is situated on a rocky, windswept coastline, splashed by waves and accessible only via cliffside paths. As it was Buddha's Birthday, the whole complex was decorated in multicoloured lanterns, and the temple was packed with visitors, so much so that we had to line up for half an hour just to get in.

Near the temple is a marketplace where you can buy souvenirs and street food.
Statues representing the 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac.
This nine-tiered pagoda was built in memory of victims of car accidents. There is a black tyre right by the pagoda, where people can pray not to have a car accident. 
The path down to the temple.

Many people left donations at statues in and around the temple grounds.
Our first view of the temple.

Underneath the lanterns.

We climbed up a staircase carved into the cliffs and found some great views of the coastline.

Exiting the temple.
Haedong Yonggunsa is definitely one of the more distinctive temples you can find in Korea. It's also pretty easy to reach from Busan. We took taxis from Haeundae, and if it hadn't been for heavy holiday traffic, it would have been a quick ten-minute ride.

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