[Travel/Korea] Busan: Haedong Yonggungsa Temple (해동 용궁사)

Honestly, I created this blog initially to document my travels in South Korea, but I know I got carried away and ended up blogging mostly about Korean dramas instead. Haha, the problem is that I’ve been to so many places in Korea and I’ve seen so many dramas that I don’t know where to start.

While I wait for new episodes of my latest drama crack (Two Weeks) to air, I thought it’d be good to share some of my experiences in Busan, a port city in the southern part of South Korea, which is also where our lead characters in Two Weeks first met, hehe.

Though I only stayed in Busan for one or two nights, one of my favourite and most memorable places here has to be the Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, which can be loosely translated as the Dragon of the East Sea Temple.

I love seeing cultural places and natural scenery when I travel, so this place definitely left an impression on me for its historic and natural beauty. First constructed in the Goryeo period, it is one of the few temples in South Korea that is located by the sea.

(Left) A sign at the main road directs you to the temple. (Right) The long walk to the temple.

(Left) A sign at the main road directs you to the temple. (Right) The long walk to the temple.

Getting to the temple requires effort, unless you plan to take a taxi that is. After alighting from the bus, a signboard points you in the direction of the temple. After that, you need to take quite a long walk along a road with hardly any shade, which doesn’t bode well if you visit in summer (like me). The walk takes about 15 minutes, of which you will pass by some strange looking statues along the way.

Strange, and somewhat cartoonish statues you will see along the way to the temple.

Strange, and somewhat cartoonish statues you will see along the way to the temple.

You need to go down a flight of 108 steps to get to the temple, which means that coming back up on your return journey will be a tiring one. But all the effort is worth it because of the magnificent sea views you get to enjoy here. At the temple are numerous statues and pagodas, including a huge Goddess of Mercy that can only be accessed by…guess what, more steps! I didn’t bother climbing up since I’m not a Buddhist and the sights below are already breathtaking enough for me. Click on the thumbnails below to scroll through the pictures.

There are some street stalls here selling refreshments. This one in particular caught my attention with the pile of logs on the table, which are apparently used to make a kind of local drink. As strange as it may seem, the drink is surprisingly quite tasty, no kidding!


If you have lots of time to spare in Busan, I would recommend coming here. I heard that the scenery here is expecially beautiful here in spring when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. Hopefully I’ll get to see such a sight one day!


Opening hours: 4am-7pm

Address: 86, Yonggung-gil, Gijang-eup, Gijang-gun, Busan 부산광역시 기장군 기장읍 용궁길 86

Admission: Free

How to get there: Take Bus 181 from Haeundae Station (Busan Subway Line 2), Exit 7 and get off at Yonggungsa Temple (용궁사).


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