Haedong Yonggungsa Temple: Expert Guide & Special Tips

Haedong Yonggungsa Temple

Haedong Yonggungsa Temple in Busan is a beautiful coastal attraction with stunning sea views.

In this guide, I’ll provide step-by-step directions on how to get to Haedong Yonggungsa Temple and highlight the top 15 sights to see during your visit. Let’s start exploring now! 😊

Additionally, don’t forget to explore my 3 Day Busan Itinerary for a comprehensive overview of the city’s best attractions, ensuring you don’t miss out on any must-visit spots.

1. Haedong Yonggungsa Landscape along the Coastline

Haedong Yonggungsa Landscape Along the Coastline
The magnificent charm of the Haedong Yonggungsa Temple

The first thing that you should do is to capture the exterior view of the Haedong Yonggungsa Temple.

Bounded by gorgeous coastal scenes, it’s easy to fall in love with the unique aura of the place.

Get mesmerized by the beautiful combination of blue and green hues that encircle the temple. And be in awe with the elegant structure itself that stands like a palace along the coast.

2. The Entrance of the Temple

Main Entrance of the Temple
Take a closer look at the main entrance of the temple

As soon as you arrive at the main entrance of the temple, you’ll be captivated by the two standing golden dragon statues. This feature actually intertwines with the shrine’s history.

Centuries before, the head monk had an apparition of the Goddess of Mercy, who was then riding a dragon. That is why the temple was called the Haedong Yonggungsa, which refers to “Dragon Palace Temple” in Korean.

3. Daeungjeon Main Hall

Daeungjeon Main Hall
The popular Daeungjeon main hall

One of the famed spots in the complex is the Daeungjeon main hall. Built in the 16th century, this pivotal historical resource retained its original form even after many years.

Be captivated by the majestic design that features Dapo architectural style. Be sure you check out all the three compartments that make up this masterpiece.

4. Seawater Great Goddess Buddha

Seawater Great Goddess Buddha
The enchanting aura of the Seawater Great Goddess Buddha

A trip to Haedong Yonggungsa Temple won’t be complete without seeing the Seawater Great Goddess Buddha. Pay homage to the towering statue that was built in honor Haesu Gwaneum Daebu.

And if you look closer, you’ll see that the Buddha sculpture actually faces the sea. This relates to the belief that the goddess once lived in the ocean, riding on the back of her dragon.

5. Golden Jijang Bosal Statue

Golden Jijang Bosal Statue
The fascinating Golden Jijang Bosal Statue

Another must-see site is the Golden Jijang Bosal Statue. As a prominent figure among Buddhists in the country, the structure is a relevant part of the temple.

Capture this revered statue that sits grandly at the coastal section of the temple. And just behind it is the breathtaking ocean view.

6. Laughing Buddha Statue

Laughing Buddha Statue
The golden Laughing Buddha statue

Continue with your exploration and you’ll come across the Laughing Buddha statue. This is one of the many impressive figures within the temple complex.

Take a snapshot of the statue that sits between two golden figures and implore for joyful blessings.

7. Chinese Zodiac Animal Statues

Chinese Zodiac Animal Statues
An array of Chinese Zodiac Animal Statues

As you walk further into the temple vicinity, you’d see these Chinese Zodiac Animal Statues.

There are a total of 12 stone sculptures that represent a zodiac sign. These include a dragon, snake, rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, pig, rooster, goat, horse monkey, and dog.

Uniquely, these figures are stationed along the entrance, making it easy to see them.

8. Mini Monks Figures

Mini Monks Figures
Cute Mini Monks figures

While strolling around, don’t miss these Mini Monks figures that are displayed at a certain section of the temple grounds.

These adorable miniatures were purchased while some were donated by parents in return for their children’s successes.

So, if you spot this area, you may say a prayer and relay your intentions. Who knows, the goddesses and gods might grant your wishes!

9. 108 Stairs and Bridge

108 Stairs and Bridge
The elevated 108 Stairs and Bridge

One of the popular sights in Haedong Yonggungsa Temple is no doubt the 108 Stairs and Bridge.

From the name itself, the number of stairs represents the 108 mind delusions according to Buddhism beliefs.

While going down, make sure you appreciate the scenic views from afar! You can stop at one step to capture the beautiful scenery and simply marvel at the surroundings.

10. Buddha of Granting a Son

Buddha of Granting a Son
The unique features of Buddha of Granting a Son

If you want to conceive a male child, then drop by the Buddha of Granting a Son. This is a famous section among expectant mothers praying for a male gender for their kid.

After saying your prayers, don’t forget to rub the belly of the statue for good luck!

11. Eight-Story Pagoda

Eight-Story Pagoda
The towering Eight-Story Pagoda

Before descending the 108 stairs, you’ll catch sight of the Eight-Story Pagoda. And surprisingly, this gigantic structure is flocked by tourists who implore guidance for travel.

So, before going home, make sure you pop by this remarkable figure and say your prayers.

12. Wishing Pond

Wishing Pond
Ancient wishing pond

On the other section of the temple, you’ll find a wishing pond located below a bridge.

From above, offer your intentions and toss a coin. It is said that if you shoot the coin into the basin on top of the turtle, your wishes will come true!

13. Statue of Mother and Child

Statue of Mother and Child
Relevant statue of mother and child

Just like other figures in the temple, the statue of mother and child is a famed spot in the complex.

Many mothers visit this giant figure for divine intervention between them and their children.

So, pay your respect to the religious statue and recite your own prayers.

14. Statue of Buddha for Academic Achievement

Statue of Buddha for Academic Achievement
Designated statue of Buddha for Academic Achievement

Get on with the adventure and see the statue of Buddha that is crafted for academic achievement.

This is highly visited by students who want to pass their exams.

So, if you want to excel in your studies, remember to stop by this statue.

15. Bodhidharma Monk and Dragon Turtle

Bodhidharma Monk and Dragon Turtle
The majestic Bodhidharma Monk and Dragon Turtle

Cap off your temple journey by seeing the Bodhidharma Monk and Dragon Turtle. These two are prominent figures that make up the history of the shrine.

Often than not, visitors believe that both statues are a symbol of good luck. So, grab this chance and appeal to the gods for your wealth, career, and health.

Haedong Yonggungsa Temple Overview

Haedong Yonggungsa Temple Overview

Haedong Yonggungsa Temple captivates visitors because of its location. Unlike other religious sites, this is perched along the beautiful coastal section.

So, aside from seeing the unique spots within the temple, you’d totally love the scenic surroundings.

Plus, the sea breeze perfectly complements the serene vibes of this famous destination. So, wander around the historical structures while also enjoying the gorgeous scenery.

Official Website:

How to Get to Haedong Yonggungsa Temple

Hop aboard the Metro Line 2 to Haeundae Station. From there, you go out of Exit 7 and take Bus No. 181 to Haedong Yonggungsa Temple. This is 19 bus stops away from the temple and would take about 33 minutes to reach the place. As to the cost, prepare 1,200 won.

Another way is to ride Bus No. 1001 from Exit 7 of Haeundae Station. Compared to the previous options, this is 13 bus stops away from the temple. Meanwhile, the travel time is around 30 minutes and the bus fare is 1,700 won.

For better reference, below are the detailed steps to go to the temple.

How to Get to Haedong Yonggungsa Temple

Step 1: Take the Bus No. 181 or Bus No.1001 from the bus stop that is located in front of the Exit 7 of Haeundae Station.

Bus Stop Near Haedong Yonggungsa

Step 2: Get off the bus at the bus stop that is close to the Haedong Yonggungsa. You may then walk to the temple for about 8 minutes.

Easiest Way:
Join one of the famous bus tour 1 or bus tour 2 in Busan.

The bus tours can bring you the popular attractions in Busan with ease. These include Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, Gamcheon Culture Village, and Busan Skywalk. The first bus tour will also take you on the Songdo Cable Car.

Therefore, you can actually visit all these tourist sites in one day!

10 thoughts on “Haedong Yonggungsa Temple: Expert Guide & Special Tips”

    • You are welcome, Alice. Haedong Yonggungsa Temple is one of the most unique places to see in Busan. Hope that my guide can help you to plan a good trip to the temple.

      Wish you have a wonderful holiday in Busan. 🙂


  1. Josshi,

    Your guide is so comprehensive, thank you for the insights.

    I am wondering if it’s possible to still reach Yonggungsa Temple in time to catch the sunrise by using a mixture of public transport and taxi.

    My plan is as follows:
    – leave the hotel in downtown Busan to Heundong Station
    – take taxi from Heundong Staiton to Yonggungsa Temple

    Not sure what time is the earliest metro from Busan to Haeundae station?
    Not sure if early morning like 6.00am, there any taxi from haeundae station to the temple and not sure how much the taxi fare will cost?

    • Hi Albert,

      The train of Line 1 (Nampo Line) only start to operate at 5:53 AM based on the Busan metro train time table information.

      If you want to reach the Haedong Yonggungsa Temple at 6:00 AM, the only way is taking the taxi from the downtown of Busan to the temple. I think the price would be around 22,000 Won if you travel from Nampodong to Haedong Yonggungsa Temple. You may ask the hotel staff to help you to call the taxi driver to confirm the price from your hotel to Haedong Yonggungsa Temple.

      Hope that my suggestion able to help you. 🙂

      Wish you have a nice trip to Busan. 🙂


  2. Hi, from the entrance of the pillar to the Haedong Yonggunsa Temple, we will descend the stairs correct? So getting out we will have to climb up the same staircase where we got down? Or is the 108 stairs and bridge is for exit?

    • Hi Catherine, you’ll descend the stairs from the entrance all the way to Haedong Yonggungsa Temple. Yes, these are the same stairs you take when you want to leave the temple. You will pass through the 108 stairs and a bridge on your way to the temple.


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