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Haedong Yonggungsa, Busan, South Korea

Originally built in 1376, this Buddhist temple is not just unique in its beauty, but also its location.  Most Buddhist temples in Korea are located way way up in the mountains.  I suspect this was meant to be a defense against the historical Japanese penchant for invading Korea and burning them down.  Haedong Yonggungsa (“Korean Dragon Palace Temple”) though is different; it’s built right along the sea!

The beautiful Haedong Yonggungsa temple, set against the stunning cliffs of the East Sea.  The people on the bridge are trying to throw coins into a stone statue.  I think you get a son if you win.

While perhaps not the most historically significant temple in Korea, it definitely features a lot to do for the visiting tourist.  More so than any other temple I’ve seen, Korean street vendors (presumably, non-Buddhist) have expertly exploited the popularity of the temple to make money.  The path to the entrance of the temple is lined solid with food and souvenir vendors as far as the eye can see.

Once “inside” the temple, you’ll be awed by the stunning beauty of the temple pagodas, and the view out over the cliffs and across the sea.  Or you can rub the belly of the tarnished Dharma and increase your likely-hood of having a son.  Actually, I think just about anything you can do at Haedong Yonggungsa helps you get a son.

A giant golden Buddha statue. If you take a picture in front of it, I think it might help you have a son.

Whether you want a son or not, when you’re in Busan take a trip to the sea to see the incredible Haedong Yonggungsa temple.

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10 comments on “Haedong Yonggungsa, Busan, South Korea

  1. thebrianhealy
    August 18, 2012

    wow looks like a great place!

    • bucketdave
      August 19, 2012

      It is Brian. It was easily the most unique temple I saw in my seven months in Korea. That’s saying a lot, because I saw a lot of temples. Ha ha.

  2. kpsass
    August 20, 2012

    Great photos! I want to go here someday!

    • bucketdave
      August 20, 2012

      It’s definitely worth the trip! All of Busan is lovely. I think it was my favourite Korean city, because of all the colour and character.

  3. The Local Traveler
    August 23, 2012

    Love the pic of the giant Buddha

    • bucketdave
      August 23, 2012

      Yeah, it was definitely a hard to miss feature of the temple.

  4. Dale Quarrington
    August 24, 2012

    Great little article. Thanks for the link love. In part, Korean temples are situated up in mountains, but the other reason that most temples are up in the mountains is that during the Joseon period in Korean history (1392-1910), it was led ideologically by Confucianism. As a result, they destroyed Buddhist property, which included temples. So as a way to avoid this, a lot of the temples retreated towards the mountains.

    • bucketdave
      August 24, 2012

      Aha! This is a great bit of history for all of our readers. Thank you very much for your insight, Dale.

  5. rommel
    August 24, 2012

    Fascinating! That’s a lot of people eager to take a look at the temple. Just rightfully so, I always love the looks of temples. There’s one I’ve been to here in L.A :), but I want the authentic one like this one. 😦

    • bucketdave
      August 24, 2012

      This is the real deal. I also suggest Bulguksa in Gyeongju. That temple is as authentic as it gets. Search it on Google.

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This entry was posted on August 18, 2012 by in Busan, History, South Korea, Temple and tagged , , , , , , , , , .
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