Haedong Yongung, the Temple by the Sea

Unlike many Buddhist Temples in Korea which are nestled in the mountains, Haedong Yongung sits right at the edge of the sea.  The Temple was originally built in 1376 by a Buddhist teacher known as Naong.  Sadly the temple was destroyed by fire during the Japanese invasion but was carefully restored in 1970.  This temple has a bit of a mysterious feel to it.  Before you see the temple you make your way down 108 steep stone steps that have bamboo on three sides so you aren’t really sure what’s in store for you.  DSC_4203DSC_4204.jpg

Once you make your way through the arches you step out into the open and are greeted by the blue sea and the temple itself.  It’s a little like opening a present, you have all this anticipation, then you see it, and it’s wonderful!  DSC_4205DSC_4212

Temples in Korea are typically similar in appearance so what sets a temple apart and makes it more enjoyable to me are the extra little touches, the decorations or statues, a feature that makes it unforgettable.  Obviously sitting right next to the sea makes this temple truly unique but it also has many “extras.”DSC_4209DSC_4219

By throwing a coin in the pot you’ll have a wish come true.  My coin didn’t land in the pot but a wish came true just by having the opportunity to be there.  Actually the motto of Haedong Yongung is “At least one of your wishes will be answered here through your heartful prayers.”DSC_4218.jpgDSC_4221DSC_4223DSC_4231

The view from near the large white Buddha statue.DSC_4232

Taken in the area before you make your way down the steps.  Or if you’re like me and just can’t wait to get down to the main temple, taken on your way out. lolDSC_4202DSC_4200

There is something really touching about this statue to me.  I’m not 100% sure what it signifies, sharing love and wisdom maybe, but I just really like it.DSC_4236

There is a decent sized market outside of the temple where you can buy food and gifts.DSC_4242DSC_4240

To get to the Temple we rode the subway to Haeundae Beach and then got a taxi.  It was about a 20 minute ride by taxi but absolutely worth it if you are in the area.  I would suggest if you go that you get there early.  We arrived around 9am and it was already a little crowded with more people streaming in by the minute.  The hours are from 5am-Sunset.  Enjoy!

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