Thursday, 13 September 2012

HAEDONG YONGGUNGSA, BUSAN, KOREA

해동용궁사 . 海東龍宮寺 . 海东龙宮寺


Getting There

From the Haeundae Station 해운대역 (Subway Line 2) Exit 7, we walked to the bus stop near the exit (the bus stop is directly opposite the Haeundae Station). Took Bus 181 for about 20 mins and dropped off at "Yonggungsa Temple" stop. When you see the brown signs along the road, you'll know that the stop is approaching!

Bus fare - Adults 1200 won / Child 350 won (regular fare; discounted fares apply for those with the transportation card)

View of Haeundae Station from the bus stop
Only 2 buses here - to take Bus 181
Yonggungsa Bus Stop - all you see is just this sign
Look out for the brown sign
 
From the bus stop, there is a long walk in, uphill somewhat, to get to the Haedong Yonggungsa Temple. Although it was only a 10-min walk, it had felt longer because it was a hot day and there were no shelters along the way. I grumbled to Mom as we walked, and looked on with envy at other people who had taken a taxi to the temple.

The start of the long walk in

Taxi / car drop off point

A short walk past these gift and snacks shops to get to the Temple entrance

 
The Temple Entrance
 
I saw the 12 zodiac stone figures when I entered, and there were also many other figurines and even a pagoda. Mom got us some drinks from the vending machine here and we took a short rest after all that walking.




 
Pass the yellow-walled doorway with a sign that says "觀音聖地", we went down a flight of steps lined with stone lanterns to the next stop. I saw some buddha statues along the way too.

 
Mom had me pray to this one for my studies!


The First and the Best Scenic Stop
 
According to the sign, it says that this is the best photo-stop. And it is!


Small space in which to get the best shot

Mom tried to stitch the photos to give a good picture ...
The view to the left

Golden Buddha

We took the left path down to see the golden buddha that sat gleaming in the open.

 


108 Steps and the Half Moon Bridge
 
Another scenic feature.

No, I did not count the steps although I can count



The Temple Grounds


 

Some people drank straight from the scoop
which Mom said was unhygienic
Cute figurines




Dark underground prayer cave
  
Mom pointed out the colourful roof of the main hall



Taking a Break
 
For me, one of the highlights was this - ice cream and popsicles on a hot day!

Small temple cafe with a great sea-view
I like this one better
 
Red bean ice cream - like our potong
 


Various flavoured popsicles!


Lunch Near the Temple
 
By the time we finished, it was lunch time, and Mom suggested that we try the Korean-Chinese restaurant (용궁각) near the end of the gift shop alleyway. It was very tasty but Mom ordered too much!
(There is also a toilet at the restaurant.)

Price stated is per person, so a 1-person serving is good for 2 people
Seafood Jjajangmyeon - this is a 3-person serving.
Can't tell from the picure but it was huge!
Sweet and sour pork - to be eaten together with the jjajangmyeon

Leaving the Temple
 
From the bus stop opposite where we first alighted, we took Bus 181 again but this time, we sat all the way to Centum City (about 45 mins) and at the same bus fare. I was tired so I slept all the way in the bus.
 
The Bus 181 route
Alight at this bus stop for Centum City
 
Notes from Mom
 
  • Clean toilets at the temple, but there is no soap provided and only cold-water taps
  • Limited food options other than the Korean-Chinese restaurant mentioned above, and a few smaller restaurants and cafes dotted around the area
  • There is one small gift shop at the temple where prayer beads, books etc are sold; otherwise you can check out the gift shops lining the temple entrance
  • Well worth a visit for its view and unique temple location, although it is not as historically and culturally significant as the Beomeosa Temple 범어사.
  • According to the temple website (Korean only), there is a shuttle bus service from designated pickup points and at fixed timings to the temple (1000 won per person one-way). Please verify with the Busan Tourism Office before taking!
 
  
About the Temple
 
Operating Hours:
   4am - 7pm

Admission:
   Free


Later in the afternoon on this day, we visited the Busan Aquarium. Read about our visit to the aquarium here.



13 comments:

  1. Your blog is very informative and useful. I plan to go Busan and Seoul in 2 weeks' time and this is a great help. Thanks very much for documenting your trips in such detail. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful time in Korea!

      Delete
  2. Going to Busan in few months time, still searching for info. As last your blog let me have some places to visit instead of just shopping. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy to know that we can help, and I hope you will have a great time in Busan!

      Delete
  3. So helpful thanks 4 sharing..we go 2 Korea next week n first land at Busan.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for sharing your experience in Busan, I will be there in 2 weeks...
    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  5. Nice post, just a quick question: are the bus stops also announced in english? Do the bus drivers speak a little but of english? How would a tourist (who doesn't speak Korean at all) know where to get off? Thanks in advance :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mom: Thanks! Afraid I can't remember if they announced the stops in English, but I am sure the drivers do not speak English.

      Some tips that I often use:
      - Write down your destination in Korean and show it to the bus driver, and they will usually call out to you when your stop is here
      - Approach the other bus passengers for help, and most of the time, at least one person would be happy to point out when you should alight
      - Road signage often come in English and Korean so keep a lookout
      - Sometimes, I just take the cue from the other bus passengers who are also tourists. If most of the them are alighting at that stop, it must be the right one!

      Also, the travel hotline 1330 is a lifesaver because they can help to interpret if you get lost or need help. Get connected, and pass your phone to the nearest Korean that you can find, and they will work out some way to help you. And I speak from personal experience :-)

      Enjoy your trip!

      Delete
  6. Hi there! I'm going to Korea in 2 weeks time and found your post. It was very informative! However, i still have a few questions to clarify.

    Going to the Aquarium, the aquarium itself is at Centum City? If not, how do you get from the temple to the Aquarium? Do you have to take a separate bus from Centum City?

    Thanks in advance!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Busan Aquarium is not at Centum City. Yes, you can take the bus out from the temple to Centum City, and you can transfer to the train from there. I am not sure about buses from Centum City to Haeundae, but I think via train would be a better transport option.

      Or, you can take 181 back to Haeundae Station but i will need to confirm this.

      Delete
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