When in Korea, a trip to Busan is a must – especially for first-timers. Apart from the usual Busan attractions such as Haeundae Beach and Jagalchi Market, Busan also has a couple of well-known cultural attractions. Haedong Yonggunsa Temple is one of them. It is also known by many as the Temple by the Sea. Haedong Yonggungsa Temple is a perfect place to visit to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Haedong Yonggungsa Temple
Most mountains are usually situated in the mountains, but Haedong Yonggungsa Temple is one of the larger temples in Korea to be set on the seaside.
The temple was first built in 1376, destroyed during Japanese invasions and rebuilt in the 1930s. In 1974, the head monk, while practising 100 days of intensive prayers, was said to have seen the Great Buddha of Mercy wearing a white gown flying on a dragon heading up to heaven during his 100 days of prayer. That is why the temple was renamed to Haedong Yonggungsa, which translates to Korean Dragon Palace Temple.
The temple is also one of three temples devoted to the Goddess of Mercy.
Is It Worth Waking Up At 5 AM to See the Sunrise?
Yes, it is worth the time. Despite its location and difficulty in reaching the temple, Haedong Yonggungsa Temple is one of the best places to see the sunrise. It is a popular spot among Koreans during New Year’s, where they flock to watch the first sunrise of the new year.
There is a flight of stairs that leads to the temple, 108 steps to be exact. These 108 steps represent the 108 sacred prayers of Buddhism.
However, on the way to the temple, there is an exit on the left which leads to a platform where you can catch the sunrise and see the temple in a beautiful morning sunrise glow.
Where Is Haedong Yonggungsa Temple
Haedong Yonggungsa Temple is located on the far east side of Busan, even further than Haeundae. Even from central areas of Busan, the temple takes more than an hour to reach. But it doesn’t matter which hotel you’re staying in Busan, because we guarantee the view is worth the journey.
The nearest subway station is Jangsan station, and it is still quite a distance to the temple. The best way would be to hire a taxi that brings you directly to the temple entrance.
However, buses are also available. You can take bus 1001 or Haeundaegu 9 from Jangsan Station and it’ll stop right outside the temple.
If you’re intending to chase the sunrise, a taxi would be the best option as buses do not run that early. Use the KakaoTaxi app if you have difficulty getting a cab. There are also several Airbnb options near the temple, so a one-night stay near the temple is a good way to catch the sunrise.
That being said, avoid any non-essential travel during the Covid-19 period. Practice social distancing and proper personal hygiene. You can always travel later, but if you’re experiencing some wanderlust, take a look at some of our other Korea Travel Articles:
- Busan Attractions To Visit For That Ultimate Healing Experience
- There’s a Dangerously Appealing Café Right Beside the DMZ in South Korea
- Bask in the Grandeur of Seoul’s Autumn At These Spots No One Told You About