Haedong Yonggung Temple (해동용궁사) Busan, South Korea

A few weeks ago we had a friend/co-worker in town visiting from Taiwan.  As if almost by law I think every first timer to Busan somehow makes their way to Haedong Yonggungsa aka The Water Temple.  Maybe it's the recent rise in popularity of Tourist Trap Advisor in Asia, and the fact that it's # 1 or 2 on the list (last time I checked), but I like to default to the fact that it's just an awesome place.   Audrey and I first visited Headong Yonggungsa last June 2014 for Buddha's birthday.  At that time the entire temple was a glow and covered with lanterns for the celebration.  Truly an awesome sight to see, but with the lanterns gone the temple still does have an almost "romantic" charm to it.   I personally think anything built on the rocky shores of the salty sea is a magical place, but couple it with the culture and history of an ancient religion and you truly have something special.  

Built on the rocky shore of the salty sea in Busan, South Korea

If you happen to make it to Busan in your life time, especially if you know me and I'm still living here, I'll personally put you in a van and drive you to this cultural getaway.  Hopefully it will still live up to the hype as this last time we were there I could start to feel the spindly fingers of commercialization taking hold of the surrounding areas.   Anyways... without further ado... Pictures! 

Big Golden Happy Buddha 

I actually quite appreciate these rockstacks or cairn, you'll find them all over in the mountains of Korea, not nearly as pretty and polished as these ones, but still feats of minor megalithic engineering... 

Rockstacks (cairn) and a view of the ocean 

Something...something...something... everyday... Sorry folks that as good as my Korean is at this point.  Even typing in the first part to google translate just returns phonetic Korean, so unless you know someone who's fluent you'll just have to use your imagination.  I'm thinking they are students of the religion maybe and need to study it everyday??? But don't let me make up your mind for you! ;)  

Something to do with studying? I know 날마다 means everyday, but that's it. 

Standing at the highest point of the temple is this Great Goddess Buddha statue. 

The motto of Haedong Yonggungsa is "At least one of your wishes will be answered here through your heartful prayers."  Whether you believe or don't there is a sacred air to this place.

Well those are some of my favorites from the day.  I'll make sure to dump the rest on my flickr page.  As always feel free to ask me any questions you may have in the comments section or by shooting me an e-mail on the contact page!   Also, if you are interested in the history of the temple, here is a clearly written in Korean then translated to English 3-4 paragraph quick download for you!!

- Todd Farr