Most temples in Korea are built near mountains. Haedong Yonggungsa Temple is unique in that it is situated near the sea. The colorful temple sits on rocky outcrops facing the East Sea amidst crashing waves making it postcard perfect for photography. A perfect place to view sunrise I’d surmise. I’m a night owl so dawn is a privilege I could not afford. We arrived around 10am by which time the temple was already awashed in harsh sunlight barely suitable for vibrant photos.
Built more than 600 years ago, Yonggungsa has endured a long and chequered history. According to history books, it was built by the great Buddhist teacher Naong during the Goryeo Dynasty. It was destroyed during the Japanese invasion of Korea in the 16th century and rebuilt in the 1930s. It was renamed Haedong Yonggung Temple in 1974.
The temple complex is huge. Good footwear is advised as there are many steps to descend and ascend before you get to the temple. Admission is free and it is open from 5am to sunset all year round.
We got here by taxi from our hotel in Haeundae (₩9800). Cabs are relatively inexpensive in Busan so figured it is better for the four of us to share a cab rather than taking the bus here which entails a 20 min walk from the bus stop.
Address: 86, Yonggung-gil, Gijang-eup, Gijang-gun, Busan
부산광역시 기장군 기장읍 용궁길 86
3,000 won for vehicle (15 seats or less)
5,000 won for vehicle (16-25 seats)
7,000 won for vehicle (25 seats or more)
For more info Tel: +82-51-722-7744