One Temple to Rule Them All

A couple of weeks ago, Haeundae beach looked like this at around 9ish in the morning.

That was when the beach was officially ‘open’, covered by parasols, thousands of people and beach police whistling at you when you dared venture into the water past your waist.

Now, not more than a couple of weeks later the beaches are officially wrapping up for the season.  We are scratching our heads in amazement as the hoardes have suddenly disappeared but the weather still looks pretty darn amazing!  So what does this tell us….

Be badass, swim when the beach is closed! No beach police in sight!!!

…but we digress….

Last weekend we decided it was time to not only take advantage of the waning beach season to enjoy the beautiful beach at Songjeong but also to check out the surrounding area.  A friend had clued us up that a couple of kilometres up the road lay a pretty cool temple, the Haedong Yonggungsa Temple 해동 용궁사.  Seeing as it was another glorious summer’s day, we took our friends advice and went for a stroll up the road.

After about 20 minutes, a couple of bottles of water and a lot of moaning from the male member of this team (“can’t we catch a taxi?!”) we finally arrived at the entrance of the temple.

The entrance was deceptively quiet but as we got closer there was a definite change as the hustle and bustle that is prevalent at so many Korean tourist destinations began to show itself.  Two spritely fellows greeted us as we arrived to join in the fun.

The pavements that led down a gentle hill were lined with dozens of vendors peddling snacks, drinks, trinkets, dried fish, medicinal herbs and votive offerings.

Passing through the market we stumbled upon an area abundant with stone statues.Similar to what we saw at the Haesindang Park (aka The PenisPark) , this area contained more carved stone animals representing the twelve signs of the Korean animal zodiac. This time though, these animals were more suitable for children.
While not phallic like the statues a couple of weeks ago H-J still went straight to the cock…..

Just past the zodiac statues we smelled incense and noticed an increase of people praying, rather than shopping. While the area so far was pretty touristy and commercial it started to have more of a feel that it was actually a place of worship.
We followed the path past a lovely family statue…entered a tunnel….
headed down some stairs…
 through the pine trees….and suddenly out of the cliff sprouts a stunning, sprawling temple.This place was the Tony Montana of temples! It had swagger, style, beauty, and shouted BOSS!Haedong Yonggungsa Temple (“Korean Dragon Palace Temple”) was founded in 1376 by a monk in the Goryeo Dynasty. The story goes like this; a monk had a dream where the Sea God showed herself and told the monk to construct a temple for the prosperity of the nation. He found this pretty cool spot overlooking the sea and bada-bing, one of the coolest temples we have seen in Korea! Choice!

The surroundings as you can see from our photos were spectacular. We could only imagine how awesome this place would be early in the morning, with no people and the sun on its way up (anyone reading this and planning to go… take the tip!).
From the bridge that led to the heart of the complex, folks were lined up making three pointers with coins. Dan hit the two out of two… H-J…well she needs some practise with her aim and at least 100,000 won worth of coins to make the shot (sad guy, but its true!)We crossed the bridge and arrived in the main temple. Pretty amazed at what was going on we both started running around checking stuff out and taking photos.Ah the beauty of multiple cameras…..
We found a bunch of lil’ Buddhas chilling…And a big golden one just happy to be there…Up some stairs took us to yet another impressive stone statue, along with some great views.
All this exploring was tough stuff, sun burn was starting to kick in (Dan, will you EVER learn?!) and the need for hydration was growing. Luckily there was a cheeky underground cave with a fresh water spring.And some really cool candles.Black and white… our cameras rule!!!!A full morning spent wandering the gorgeous grounds of the temple complex, it was time to head back to the beach to soak up some of more of the lovely summer day.  So a quick costume change for Dan, a drink from one of the copious vending machines and back to the water for us…Ps. A big shout out to the lovely Sonya for the AWESOME Hello Tiki t-shirt that H-J is rocking in this episode.  (You know me so well!)

Pps. A big apology for you all having to look at Dan’s not-so-stunning beach attire combo number 1.  He looks like a pirate that got dressed in the dark while holidaying in Hawaii.

Categories: Art, Korea, Photos, TravelTags: , , , , , , , , ,


  1. I went there in the winter and it was PACKED!! It’s gorgeous though eh? I went there on a rainy, cold day and it was still beautiful.

  2. why do those little buddhas have their bums up like that?!!

  3. Ok. I folded. Dan, you can do your victory dance now. I joined. Baaaaaaaaaaaa.
    Aren’t you guys little fuckin rock/blog stars. Who the hell are all these people???
    LOVED PENIS PARK. Holy CRAP do I need to go there and take some dirty dirty pictures of cock.
    LOVED that your wedding cake building picture was actually a damn good replica of the real thing, hahaha! Classic.
    I hope you bothered to get a Panorama function on your new camera… I will be watching and expect to see panoramic views or I will be UN following. You have been warned. 🙂
    Love you guys! Keep stayin alive and rockin it.

  4. Ok. I folded. Dan, you may do a victory dance now. I joined. Baaaaaaaa.
    Aren’t you guys little fuckin blog/rock stars, who the hell are all these people??? You can’t be more famous than MEEEEEEEEE?!?!?!?!!!!!!
    LOVE Penis Park. God DAMN do I need to go and take some dirty dirty pictures there. There were nowhere NEAR enough tongues and groping in your ones, what the hell???
    I hope you bothered to get a panorama function on your new cameras… I will be watching with baited breath for panoramic views, and be UN-following if these do not appear. You have been warned DAN. 🙂 One drawing you can get away with. After that, gone burgers. Haha.
    Loved the illustrated representation of the trip, and couldn’t believe how close they were to the real thing, haha! Wedding Cake Cave Museum… Jeedy mo cridy…
    Love you guys, keep stayin alive and rockin it.

    • Hello FOLLOWER! Well, where to begin?! In all honesty, there were a number more smutty pictures taken at the penis park – but we like to keep things somewhat R13 around here. Plus this way you might feel inclined to come and join us for another ‘go’ at the park! Lol. You could make one hell of a music video there…

      The odd panoramic picture turns up on our blog but waiting with baited breath isn’t potentially the best idea. While the new tripod will make them heaps easier to perfect, they are often SO overrated. And they don’t look that great in this format. We’ll make sure to slip the odd one for you though. Would hate you to un-follow and not be one of the cool kids anymore! Did you notice how famous we are?! Oh yeah, you did mention that…

      Cheers for the anniversary/birthday wishes! Both events were pretty low key village styles but we’ll be making up for that with one hell of a next mission. Fo’ rizzle.

      Love you heaps and no doubt we’ll be seeing more of your comments popping up on here from time to time! Good luck with your filming!!!


  5. By the way… if I joined here, does that mean you have to join FACEBOOK??? Yes, yes I think it does…

  6. Oh you are so making use of those cameras, you two!! Lovely lovely pics, and so awesome to see you are making the most of your time and seeing all the sights. A little birdie tells me you’re heading off to other foreign shores??
    Cheers, Elaine M x

  7. thanks for the post, interesting and entertaining as always

  8. What a beautiful, amazing place! Had to laugh at the beach thing – it´s the same in Spain, as soon as school starts most of the Spaniards won´t sunbathe or swim!

  9. YAY FOR THE T-SHIRT, It looks good buddy xoxo

  10. That is exactly what I’m building myself when I win the mega lotto jackpot!

  11. Thanks for stopping by and liking my post. Your post is fascinating and I love the Korea culture and sceneries. Warm wishes!

  12. Great photos and insights — I especially like the candle shots. Korea looks fascinating — I haven’t been there but it’s on the endless travel “to-do” list. Thanks for stopping by Travel Oops and liking the post about “tossing cookies” in a Dutch canal!

  13. You’ve got some great shots here; what a fascinating place.

  14. My favourite temple in Korea! Love the post 🙂 -A

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