Wonderful Korea – Gyeongsang

Aug 4, 2017 | Views: 248
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Gyeongsang, or Gyeongsang-do in Korean, is where many travellers will head towards if they wished to explore beyond Seoul. It is one of the eight provinces in Korea located on the south-eastern side of the country, and boasts huge mountain ranges, beautiful parks, and amazing islands.

King Hyeokgeose of Silla Dynasty

King Hyeokgeose of Silla Dynasty

This is the land where folklores, tales of heroes, and the ancient history of the Korean imperial kingdom are well-preserved. During the Joseon dynasty, Daegu was the provincial capital, and was the origin of the Silla Kingdom that ruled for almost a thousand years. Gyeongsang may no longer be the capital, but it continues to play an important role in modern day Korea, with half of the country’s presidents coming from this region.

Gyeongsang consists of five administrative divisions. Out of these five, three are independent cities, Busan being the largest, followed by Daegu and Ulusan, and two provinces, Gyeongsangbuk and Gyeongsangnam. These divisions are further divided into sub-regions. Gyeongbuk, which covers one-fifth of the country’s rural province, and Gyeongnam, which is the south-eastern-most province that connects to the sea.

 

History

Legend has it that the first King of Silla (also known as the Shilla Dynasty), Hyeokgeose, came from an egg that was sheltered by a horse. Hyeokgeose was discovered when a stream of light from the eastern sky shone on to the pure white horse that was protecting it. The local chiefs appointed Hyeokgeose as their king at the age of thirteen.

A painting depicting how King Hyeokgeose came into this world; from an egg that was sheltered by a pure white horse

A painting depicting how King Hyeokgeose came into this world; from an egg that was sheltered by a pure white horse

The Silla Dynasty was once a very powerful kingdom and was one of the Three Kingdoms that were competing for power over the peninsula of Korea. In total, the Silla dynasty had at least 56 different monarchs before it ended in 935. Their official religion was Buddhism, and during that time, the dynasty’s prosperity was shown through its arts and crafts. In the 16th century, they had in place a detailed social system called the golpuljedo, or ‘bone-rank system’. This system dictated the people’s clothes, marriage, where they could live, and what they could achieve.

King Munmu defeated Goguryeo Military and unified the Korean peninsula in 668

King Munmu defeated Goguryeo Military and unified the Korean peninsula in 668

Due to Silla’s geographical position being on the ‘wrong’ side of the peninsula, Silla became allies with the Chinese Tang dynasty, while Baekje allied to the Japanese. In 660, with help from China, Silla’s King Muyeol managed to overpower Baekje. A year later King Muyeol died and his son, King Munmu became the successor. He went on to defeat Goguryeo and unified the Korean peninsula in 668. This resulted in swift growth, but also caused the king to abuse his newfound wealth. He lost it all when the power of the nobility increased, and pressure from the unhappy populace increased. This led to the destabilisation of the kings’ power from the late 8th century onwards. In 927 Gyeongju was discharged. Eight years after that, King Gyeongsun handed over his power to King Taejo, and this brought the end of the Silla Dynasty.

Today, Korea is left with the Silla Dynasty’s rich legacy and historical heritage, evidenced through its unique jewellery, pottery, and majestic temples. In Gyeongju, the former seat of power of the Silla Dynasty is where you can find many royal burial mounds.

 

Location & Population

Map of Korea. Click on image to enlarge.

Map of Korea. Click on image to enlarge.

Map of Provinces in Korea

Map of Provinces in Korea. Click on image to enlarge.

The Gyeongsang Province is located to the west of the Jeolla and Chungcheong Provinces and on the north side of the Gangwon Province. To its south is the Korean Strait, and to its east is the Sea of Japan, better known as the East Sea by Koreans. It is surrounded by the mountains of Taebaek and Sobaek, with the Nakdong River flowing through it.

Gyeongsang is separated into two, North Gyeongsang (Gyeongsangbuk-do) and South Gyeongsang (Gyeongsangnam-do). The main cities of Gyeongsang are Busan which is the biggest city after Seoul, followed by Daegu, and Ulsan. Other cities include Pohang, Andong, Gumi, Gyeongsan, Gyeongju, Sangju, Yeongju, Gimcheon, Yeongju, Yeongcheon, and Mungyeong in North Gyeongsang. In the South are Jinju, Yangsanm Geoje, Tongyeong, Sacheon, Miryang, Gimhae, and Changwon, which is the capital of South Gyeongsang.

The population of South Gyeongsang is 3.344 million, and 2.7 million for North Gyeongsang as of October 2014.

 

Climate

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Due to its geographical location and being surrounded by mountains, North Gyeongsang is probably the hottest province in South Korea.
Being in the southern region, South Gyeongsang has a milder and warmer oceanic climate all year round. This province experiences the south-eastern winds in the summer months, and the north-western winds during winter.

In general, South Korea has a temperate climate with four seasons: Spring from March to May; summer from June to August; autumn from September to November; and winter from December to February.

 

When to Visit South Korea

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The best time to visit South Korea is during the autumn season, when you will experience mild and cooling temperatures, with an array of spectacular colours presented by Mother Nature. Autumn is also the season when most festivals are celebrated. During this season, it is best to prepare yourself with layers to cover up if needed. T-shirt weather can continue long into October, though you will likely need some extra layers by then.

Avoid the monsoon season that starts from July to late August. Although Korea is shielded by Japan and China from most typhoons, at times one or two manage to get through, so do beware. The Korean winter season can be very long, and the further up north you go, the colder it gets. If you are not one to enjoy the cold, it is best to avoid visiting during this season.

 

Getting There

KTX high-speed train is the best way to travel around Korea

KTX high-speed train is the best way to travel around Korea

You can enter via Busan, Seoul, Daegu or Incheon International Airport. From these airports, you can connect to the rest of the province using the KTX high-speed train, which is the best and most convenient way to travel. There are also normal trains and many buses running across the country which you can easily reach depending on the city you are flying in to.

 

Culture

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Click on image to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge

Gyeongsang dialect

The Korean people of Gyeongsang speak a dialect different from the standard Korean language. The Gyeongsang dialect originated from the region of Yeongnam, hence it is also called the Yeongnam dialect. There are currently around 10 million speakers of this dialect.

The Gyeongsang dialect, also spelt as Kyŏngsang, is considered the hardest dialect to comprehend as it sounds quite aggressive compared to the standard Korean language. Unlike the standard Korean language, the intonation of Gyeongsang’s dialect can vary based on the area the speaker is from. For example, a Daegu speaker will sound different from someone in the Busan area, even though they are less than 100 kilometres apart. People from Jinju, Pohang, and those living on the eastern slopes of Mount Jiri can also speak in a different tone.

 

Etiquette

For a general guideline on Korean etiquette and table manners, visit here.

 

Gyeongsang Festivals

The Gyeongsang province has an amazing historical heritage. The people of this province have preserved the continuity of their rich culture and tradition which are celebrated in various art and festivities. Below are some of the major festivals, modern and traditional, worth including in your travel itinerary when travelling to Gyeongsang.

 

North Gyeongsang Province (Gyeongsangbuk-do)

1. Pohang International Fireworks Festival

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Watch stunning firework displays from Korea, Spain, and the U.S.A in the port of Pohang.

Address: Yeongildae Beach
Date: Subject to change yearly. Please check the official website before travelling.
Website: www.phcf.or.kr (Korean only) OR http://www.korea.net/Events/Festivals/view?articleId=8410&pageIndex=1

2. Silla Cultural Festival

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The Silla Cultural Festival revives the ancient heritage and spirit of the Kingdom of Silla through arts, music and dance.

Address: Gyeongju
Date: Dates are subject to change yearly. Please check the official website.
Website: http://www.gjfac.or.kr/gj_culture/index.php (Korean) or http://www.korea.net/Events/Festivals/view?articleId=6133&pageIndex=11

3. Andong Mask Dance Festival

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The Andong Mask Dance Festival is a colourful, artistic and lively festival not to be missed. Enjoy performances of traditional Korean mask dances, which are an important part of Korean cultural heritage. You can also experience folk traditions from other parts of the world, as many international mask dance troupes are invited to join this festival, making it an even more diverse event.

Address: The Hahoe Village and Talchum (Mask Dance) Park in Andong City, Gyeongsangbuk-do Province
Date: 25th September to 4th October (Subject to change yearly. Please check the official website.)
Website: http://www.maskdance.com/eng/main.asp

 

South Gyeongsang Province (Gyeongsangnam-do)

1. Jinju Namgang Yudeung (Lantern) Festival

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A historical event celebrating General Kim Simin’s victory over the Japanese in October 1592. During this battle, lanterns were used to communicate between soldiers and their families. During the second Japanese invasion, they lost 7,000 lives, and in memory of these heroes, floating lanterns were lit all around the great Namgang River. This tradition has since been celebrated yearly with wishes of peace and prosperity for the country. Visitors can enjoy traditional folk crafts, creative lanterns, fireworks, traditional Jinju cuisine, rides on pleasure ships, and more.

Address: Namgang area, Jinju
Date: 1st of October to 13th October
Website: http://global.yudeung.com/en/sub_02_02.html

2. Jinhae Gunhangje Festival

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The main attraction of the Jinhae Gunhangje Festival are the beautiful springtime cherry blossoms that cover the entire Jinhae landscape. This festival is held in many locations around the Jungwon Rotary, and you can enjoy many performances from local Korean pop artists, and visit various exhibitions and competitions. There is also a Victory parade re-enacting the victory of Admiral Yi Sun Sin and his army, with performances by the Jinhae Military Band & Guard of Honour.

Address: Jungwon Rotary area, Jinhae-gu
Date: 31st march to 10th April
Website: http://gunhang.changwon.go.kr/2013/main.jsp (Korean) or http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/ATR/SI_EN_3_6.jsp?cid=1630721

3. Hadong Wild Tea Cultural Festival

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Hadong is an area that is famous for producing some of the finest green tea in Korea. The origins of Hadong’s tea came from China in 828 A.D. during the Silla Dynasty. Due to its fertile land and good waterways, the tea is praised for its excellent quality. There are three main festivals celebrated: The Korea Tea Lover Festival, the Sumjin River Moonlight Tea Event, and the Boeun Tea Meeting. Not only can you sample Hadong’s finest quality teas, you can enjoy performances, such as the Green tea show, concerts, and various exhibitions.

Address: 571-25, Ssanggye-ro, Hadong-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do
Tea Culture Centre in Akyang-myeon, Hwagae-myeon, Hadong-gun
Date: 17th May to 19th May
Website: http://festival.hadong.go.kr/main/index.html (Korean) or http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/ATR/SI_EN_3_2_1.jsp?cid=697184

 

Visas

For a guide to visa information on entering Korea, visit here.

 

Food

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Since Gyeongsang is separated between the north and the south, you can enjoy sampling the delicacies of these two provinces depending on where you are travelling. The climate of both regions are somewhat alike, but the types of seafood harvested are quite different. Many of Gyeongsang cuisine consists of raw seafood as well as soups made with fresh fish which are very popular here.

Gyeongsang’s cuisine may be simple in presentation but rich in taste and flavour. Being a region that produces a variety of grains, you will get to taste a wide range of local dishes and noodles made from these grains. Their noodles have a nice soft texture, as they are made with raw soybean powder. Here are some popular local delicacies you can savour while travelling in Gyeongsang.

1. Kalguksu – North Gyeongsang

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Originally from the Andong region of the North Gyeongsang Province, Kal-guksu, which literally means ‘knife-cut noodles’, are traditional, handmade, wheat flour noodles. Instead of traditionally spinning noodles, these noodles are rolled out thinly and cut using a knife, hence their name. Sometimes, soybean powder is mixed into the noodles to give them a softer texture. They are cooked in a delicious broth made with dried anchovies, shellfish and kelp. At times, chicken is added into the broth to achieve a richer flavour, and simmered for some time. Kalguksu is served with vegetables, potatoes, zucchinis, fresh seasonal seafood, and your choice of garnishing. This soupy noodle is usually eaten during the summer season. However, due to its popularity, it can be eaten all year round, and just about anywhere.

2. Daegejjim – North Gyeongsang

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Daegae, meaning ‘snow crab’, is a crab with thin shells and long legs, and is famous in the Yeongdeok County (Yeongdeok-gun), North of Gyeongsang. The coastline of Yeongdeok has a depth of up to 250 meters, with an abundance of food that provides a perfect environment for the daegae. This delicacy is so popular that they have a festival for it in spring, from March to April. About 200 restaurants serves this popular crab dish, where it is steamed and served with various condiments and sauces.

3. Dotori sujebi – North Gyeongsang

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Dotori sujebi is an acorn jelly with a soupy dish made by the people of Goryeong. It was created by the local folks trying to avoid starvation. Today, it is considered a healthy and nutritious dish. In the olden days, when the people of Goryeong noticed the weather got harsh, they would quickly go up to the mountain to collect acorns, as acorns were known to be an ingredient that was good at keeping the body strong, especially during the harsh winter season.

The locals prepare the acorns by drying it in the sun, soaking in water a few times until its bitterness is removed, and then crushing it into powder. This powder is then used to make jelly. Besides that, they can also be mixed into rice flour to be made into rice cake, called sujebi or ddeok. This combination creates an even more delicious and nourishing dish. Apparently, this dish is very good for those with intestinal problems and bloating discomfort.

The soup’s broth is usually made from beef backbones with nutritious ingredients, such as jujubes, ginseng, mushrooms, pine nuts and ginko nuts. The soup is then boiled for more than 20 hours, allowing all the flavours from the ingredients to infuse into the soup. Today, this nutritious dish is loved by locals as well as visitors all over.

4. Masan agujjim – South Gyeongsang

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This local delicacy that came from Masan was an unexpected dish that was created in a hurry. Made from anglerfish, it is said that a long time ago, a starving fisherman went to a pub asking the owner to cook the anglerfish he had caught. Disgusted at how ugly the fish looked like, she threw it away. However, a traveller came in late one night and wanted something to eat. The owner had run out of food to serve, and in desperation, she managed to find the anglerfish and decided to cook it with chilli, bean paste, garlic, vegetables, scallions, and whatever she could find in the fridge. The dish turned out to be delicious and became Masan’s delicacy that is now a favourite all over Korea.

5. Yukhoe bibimbap – South Gyeongsang

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Originating from Jinju, Yukhoe bibimbap is a rice dish topped with a combination of raw beef, assorted vegetables, and sesame oil. This dish came about during the war when Japan invaded Korea. There was no time for the soldiers to eat, yet they needed the nutrients of a good meal to keep them strong. Hence, their families invented the Yukhoe bibimbap which contains all the ingredient for a hearty meal fit for soldiers. Today, this popular dish is served not only with raw beef, but also dried mussels, octopus, mung bean jelly, and seasoned with herbs seaweed, and the famous Korean red chilli paste.

6. Al-bap – South Gyeongsang

Crab meat al-bap

Crab meat al-bap

Al-bap is a special bibimbap dish in Busan, made from fish roe served with a generous amount of rich, smooth cream sauce. One of the must-try al-bap is the crab meat al-bap from Ji & Tobico restaurant. This speciality dish consists of pieces of sweet and tender crab meat, with fresh fish roe, raw Chinese cabbage, served together with a smooth and delicious creamy sauce. Another fabulous al-bap here is the popular shrimp al-bap, or krim-sae-woo-al-bap, served with a rich and creamy egg base sauce.

Shrimp meat al-bap

Shrimp meat al-bap

 

20 Great Places to Visit in Gyeongsang

 

1. Hahoe Folk Village

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The Hahoe Folk Village is the birthplace of some of Korea’s most renowned scholars, such as Seoae Ryu Seong-ryong, and Gyeomam Ryu Un-ryong, during the Joseon Dynasty era. Home to the Ryu and Pungsan clan, this village is located at the foothills of Hwasan Mountain, and is famous for its traditional Korean houses. In April 1999, it became even more well-known when Queen Elizabeth paid a visit.

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The Nakdong River which flows through the border of the village’s township is how Hahoe Village got its name as it literally means “Village Enveloped by Water”. It is a beautiful village offering amazing scenic views of the graceful Nakdong River, the majestic cliffs of Buyongdae, mesmerising sandy beaches, as well as lush pine tree forest. To get the best view of this this ancient village you will need to take the boat up to Buyongdae Cliff.

A quaint little shop in Hahoe Folk Village

A quaint little shop in Hahoe Folk Village

The Nakdong River, which flows through the border of the village’s township, is how Hahoe Village got its name, as it literally means ‘Village Enveloped by Water’. It is a beautiful village, offering amazing scenic views of the graceful Nakdong River, the majestic cliffs of Buyongdae, mesmerising sandy beaches, as well as lush pine tree forests. To get the best view of this this ancient village you will need to take the boat up to Buyongdae Cliff.

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The Ryu clan’s unique architectural charm is represented through the large tile-roofed houses, located in the centre of the village, while Hahoe Village has local delicacies, such as heothesabap (their version of bibimbap), andong gangodeungeo (salted mackerel), andong guksu (a type of noodle dish), and andong soju (a home-brewed distilled alcoholic beverage).

When in Hahoe, don’t forget to sample their local delicacies such as gangodeungeo, a salted mackerel dish

When in Hahoe, don’t forget to sample their local delicacies such as gangodeungeo, a salted mackerel dish

There are also other wonderful attractions to explore in this village, such as the Gyemyeongsan Mountain Recreational Forest, the Bongjeongsa Temple that was built during the Kingdom of Silla, Gosan Seowon (Confucian Academy), Waryongsan Mountain, and Hakgasan Mountain Recreational Forest. Festivals such as the Andong Mask Dance Festival are held here yearly in the autumn.

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On 31st July 2010, Hahoe Village, together with Yangdong Village in Gyeongju, were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage sites under the category of ‘Historic Villages in Korea’.

 

How to Get There

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Take the Bus No. 46 from Andong Bus Terminal to Hahoe Village. Bus No. 46 runs 10 times a day 6:20 am – 4:20 pm.

Address: 40, Jongga-gil, Pungcheon-myeon, Andong-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do
Phone: 1330 Travel Hotline: +82 2 1330 or +82 54 854 3669, +82 54 852 3588, +82 54 840 6974 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
Opening Hours: 9 am – 7 pm (summer) ; 9 am – 6 pm (winter)
Entrance Fee: Adults (ages 13-18): 3,000 won / Group: 2,500 won ; Teenagers: 1,500 won / Group: 1,200 won ; Children: 1,000 won / Group: 900 won
Note: Free admission for seniors (65 and above)
Website: www.hahoe.or.kr (Korean, English, Japanese)

 

Accommodation

There a few Accommodation near the Hahoe Folk Village, ranging from traditional Korean style guest houses to the more modern motels. We recommend you do further research to find one that fits your budget and requirements.

1. Ongyejongtaek
Address: 20, Onhyejungma-gil, Dosan-myeon, Andong, Gyeongsangbuk-do
Phone: +82 888 950 5062
Website: https://www.hotels.com/hotel/details.html?pa=1&tab=description&hotel-id=625378&q-room-0-adults=2&ZSX=0&SYE=3&q-room-0-children=0

2. Andong Richell
Address: 346-69 Gwangwangdanji-ro, Andong, North Gyeongsang
Phone: +82 888 950 5062
Website: https://www.hotels.com/hotel/details.html?pa=2&tab=description&hotel-id=507703&q-room-0-adults=2&ZSX=0&SYE=3&q-room-0-children=0

 

2. Dosan Seowon

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The natural beauty surrounding the traditional architecture of Dosan Seowon, a Confucian academy, is simply breath-taking. This academy was built in 1574 to honour a highly respected Confucian master and scholar named Yi Hwang, also known as Toegye. Although it is no longer an academy, it was a highly respected place of study during the Joseon Dynasty, and was restored in the 70s.

As you walk into the complex past the beautiful flower gardens, you will come across two libraries with name plaques that was said to be carved by Master Yi Hwang himself. These libraries were built on stilts to prevent humidity, which preserved the structure until today. Besides that, there are also living quarters, a lecture hall, and a shrine dedicated to Yi Hwang, but this is usually closed off to visitors. There is also an exhibition hall presenting the master’s life and achievements in great detail. A unique item found in this hall is an astrolabe, used to measure the movements of celestial beings.

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It is a lovely place to visit and walk around, especially during the autumn, where its maple trees are in shades of flaming red. Definitely a fantastic location for photography.

 

How to Get There

Take a bus from Andong Station, and then walk for about 150 metres to the Kyobo Life Insurance Bus Stop. Get on Bus No. 67 to Dosanseowon Confucian Academy.

Alternatively, you can take Bus No. 1 from Andong Bus Terminal, and get down at the Kyobo Life Insurance Bus Stop. Then get on Bus No. 67 to Dosanseowon Confucian Academy.

Note: Bus No. 67 departs from Kyobo Life Insurance at: 9:40 am, 10:50 am, 1:10 pm, 1:50pm, and 4:10pm

Address: 154, Dosanseowon-gil, Dosan-myeon, Andong-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do
Phone: 1330 Travel Hotline +82 2 1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese) or +82 54 840 6599
Entrance Fee: Adults- 1,500 won / Group: 1,300 won ; Youths, Military & Police officers- 700 won / Group: 600 won ; Children- 600 won / Group: 500 won
Note: Group is 30 or more people
Opening Hours: 9 am- 6 pm (summer) & 9 am – 5 pm (winter)
Website: www.dosanseowon.com (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

 

Accommodation

Instead of hotels, you have homestays here in Dosan Seowon and it all depends on your requirements and budget. Below are two suggestions based on good reviews. However, it is recommended that you do further research to find the right Accommodation to suit your needs and budget.

1. Spiritual culture capital, Andong
Address: Waryong-myeon, Andong-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do
Phone: N/A
Website: https://goo.gl/swh1zg

2. TempleStay (White Lotus)
Address: Jebiwon-ro, Andong, Gyeongsangbuk-do
Phone: N/A
Website: https://goo.gl/Da4QqS

 

3. Tripitaka Koreana at Haeinsa Temple

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Tripitaka Koreana is the complete collection of Buddhist canon consisting of the discourses and sutras teachings of Lord Buddha, carved in ancient wooden printing blocks. It took 16 years to carve these sacred texts, and it does not contain a single word of error among the tens of thousands of wooden block pages.

Carved in the late 11th century, it was believed that these scriptures that invoked upon the Buddha’s blessings could help change the karmic situation of the feudal war that Korea was experiencing at that time. Unfortunately, they were destroyed by a Mongol fire. What you see today is the second edition of the scriptures that was commissioned around 1236 to 1251. It was carved again with the same motivation, to prevent the invasion of hostile forces.

A monk (seong-an) showing a wooden block of the Tripitaka Koreana

A monk (seong-an) showing a wooden block of the Tripitaka Koreana

In total there are 81,258 wooden print blocks, with 52,382,960 flawless characters, completing the collection of Buddha’s doctrine. Later in 1398, the Tripitaka was transferred to Haeinsa Temple, and ever since then, it has been housed safely in four separate buildings of the temple, withstanding the test of time. They have also been treated to prevent further decay. The Tripitaka Koreana is listed as the 32nd National Treasure of Korea, as well as being a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Every year Haeinsa Temple would organise the Tripitaka Koreana Festival also known as “Wooden Print Cultural Festival”. In this picture, participants are carrying the Tripitaka Koreana in a parade from Gangwha Island to Haeinsa Temple.

Every year Haeinsa Temple would organise the Tripitaka Koreana Festival also known as “Wooden Print Cultural Festival”. In this picture, participants are carrying the Tripitaka Koreana in a parade from Gangwha Island to Haeinsa Temple.

Haeinsa Abbot Hyungeung said, “This festival, recognized by the Ministry of Culture & Tourism, is the nation’s only event involving UNESCO-designated Tripitaka Koreana.” He highlighted, “This festival will pave the way for Koreans succeeding the real aspect of Korean tradition and enjoying cultural life with constant self-awareness”. Photo Credit: Millennial Anniversary of the Tripitaka Koreana Organizing Committee

Haeinsa Abbot Hyungeung said, “This festival, recognized by the Ministry of Culture & Tourism, is the nation’s only event involving UNESCO-designated Tripitaka Koreana.” He highlighted, “This festival will pave the way for Koreans succeeding the real aspect of Korean tradition and enjoying cultural life with constant self-awareness”. Photo Credit: Millennial Anniversary of the Tripitaka Koreana Organizing Committee

 

How to Get There

Take the subway from Deagu Seobu Terminal – Seongdangmot Station, Line 1 and get off at Exit 3. Then hop on to the intercity bus that takes you to Haeinsa Temple. The estimated travel time is about 1 hour 30 minutes.

Note: Bus is scheduled at every 40-minute intervals

Address: 122, Haeinsa-gil, Gaya-myeon, Hapcheon-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do
Phone: 1330 Travel Hotline: +82 2 1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
Entrance Fee: Adults (age 19 & above): 3,000 won / Group: 2,500 won ; Youths (age 13-18): 1,500 won / Group: 1,000 won ; Children (age 7-12): 700 won / Group: 500 won
Note: Group is 30 or more number of people
Opening Hours: 8:30 am – 6 pm (summer) & 8:30 am -5 pm (winter)
Website: http://i80000.or.kr/english/index.html

 

Accommodation

There are many accommodation near and around Haeinsa Temple ranging from simple hostels to luxurious hotels. Here are just two examples, so we recommend you do further research to find the right accommodations for you.

1. Haeinsa Tourist Hotel
Address: 13-45, Chiin 1-gil, Gaya-myeon, Hapcheon-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do
Phone: +82 55 933 2000
Website: www.해인사관광호텔.com (Korean only) OR http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/ACM/AC_EN_4_8.jsp?cid=349643

2. Gayasan National Tourist Hotel
Address: 52, Gayasansingmurwon-gil, Suryun-myeon, Seongju-gun, Gyeongsangbuk-do
Phone: +82-54-931-3500 (Korean, English)
Website: www.gayasanhotel.co.kr (Korean only) http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/ACM/AC_EN_4_8.jsp?cid=351822

 

4. Daereungwon Tomb Complex (Cheonmachong Tomb)

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Visiting a tomb can be creepy, but not these historical tombs in the Gyeongju area. These huge ancient tombs are of the Korean’s kings and noblemen from the Silla era. In the 70s, when the area was being excavated, a painting of a mounted horse that originated from the Silla Kingdom was uncovered, revealing the existence of the tombs.

Located at the Daereungwon Tomb Complex (Cheonmachong Tomb), there are 25 large tombs. Visitors are allowed to go inside the tombs to have a look. When inside, you will discover 11,526 remains and royal crowns that show the kind of wealth the kings had at that time.

6th century old Silla Dynasty crown on display inside Daereungwon Tomb Complex. Photo Credit: Korea Tourism Organization

6th century old Silla Dynasty crown on display inside Daereungwon Tomb Complex. Photo Credit: Korea Tourism Organization

The Hwangnamdaechong tomb is biggest tomb here, and in it lies the bodies of both the king and the queen of that time. Besides that, it houses over 30,000 relics and gold accessories that belonged to them. The queen’s tomb has the most luxurious accessories.

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How to Get There

By Train
Take an Express KTX train from Seoul Station to Singyeongju station.
The Express KTX line runs 20 times a day. Travelling time is about 2 hours.

Note: Operating hours are subject to change in the weekend. Please check their schedule before travelling.

You can also take the train from Seoul Station to Gyeongju Station. The Express KTX Mugunghwa Line runs 18 times a day. It stops at Dongdaegu Station, and travelling time is 3 hours.

By Bus
Take the intercity bus from Dong Seoul Bus Terminal that is bound for the Gyeongju Intercity Bus Terminal. Buses run regularly 25 times a day, and travelling time is 4 hours.

Below are contact numbers for several bus terminal/services:

  • Dong Seoul Bus Terminal: +82 1688 5979
  • Gyeongju Intercity Bus Terminal Service Center: +82 1666 5599 / Office: +82 54 772 2377
  • Gyeongju Intercity Bus Terminal +82 54 772 2377
  • Gyeongju Express Bus Terminal +82 54 741 4000
  • Korail Customer Service: +82 1544 7788 / English: +82 1599 7777

If you are planning to take the bus from Gyeongju to Cheonmachong Tomb, you can take if from Singyeongju Bus Station. Get on Bus No. 60, 61, or 700 and get down at Geumseong Sageori Bus Stop. Walk back towards the 4-way intersection and turn right.

If you are getting down from the Gyeongju Bus Terminal, walk straight and away from the river for about 700m, roughly about 12 minutes to the site. If you are getting down from Gyeongju Train Station, take Bus No. 40 and get down at the Cheonmachong Back Gate Bus Stop.

Address: 9, Gyerim-ro, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do
Phone: 1330 Travel Hotline: +82 2 1330 (English, Korean, Japanese, Chinese) / +82 54 779 8796 / +82 54 743 1925
Entrance Fee: Adults (age 19-64): 2,000 won / Group: 1,600 won ; Teenagers (age 18 & below): 1,200 won / Group: 1,000 won ; Children (age 7-12): 600 won / Group: 500 won
Note: Groups consist of 30 or more people

Day Pass

Entry to 6 sites: Daereungwon Ancient Tomb + Poseokjeong Pavilion Site + Donggung Palace and Wolji Pond (Anapji Pond), Tomb of Kim Yu-sin, Tomb of King Muyeol, Five Royal Tombs,
Adults: 8,000 won / Group: 6,400 won
Teenagers: 4,800 won / Group: 4,000 won
Children: 2,800 won / Group: 2,200 won

Entry to 2 sites: Daereungwon Ancient Tomb + Donggung Palace + Wolji Pond
Adults: 4,000 won / Group: 3,200 won
Teenagers: 2,400 won / Group: 2,000 won
Children: 1,200 won / Group: 1,000 won
Note: Tickets are available at Donggung Palace and Wolji Pond (Anapji Pond), Poseokjeong Pavilion Site, Five Royal Tombs, Tomb of Kim Yu-sin, Tomb of King Muyeol. Tickets purchased are valid for 3 days and non-refundable after visiting one site. Regardless of the number of people in a group, the tickets issued can be just one ticket.

Opening Hours: 9 am -10 pm
Website: gyeongju.go.kr (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese) OR
www.cha.go.kr (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

 

Accommodation

There are several of accommodation near Daereungwon Tomb Complex. Below are two suggestions. It is recommended that you do further research to find the right accommodation to fit your needs and budget.

1. Gyeongju Guesthouse Yeohaenggil
Address: 91, Wonhyo-ro, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do
Phone: +82 54 745 0114
Website: http://gj-tour.com/ OR https://english.visitkorea.or.kr:1001/enu/SI/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp?cid=1965754

2. 141 Mini Hotel
Address: 141, Wonhyo-ro, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do
Phone: +82 54 742 8502
Website: www.141minihotel.com (Korean) OR https://english.visitkorea.or.kr:1001/enu/SI/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp?cid=2024006

 

5. Bulguksa Temple

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Bulguksa Temple was built in 528, during the reign of King Beop-Heung (514-540) of the Kingdom of Silla. Originally, it was known as ‘Beopryusa Temple’ or ‘Hwaeom Bulguksa Temple’ and was reconstructed by Kim Dae-Seong (700-774) in 751. The reconstruction was completed in 774, and the temple was renamed to Bulguksa. Today the temple’s stone relics are representations of the Gyeongju relics, and in 1995 it was recognised as a UNESCO World Cultural Asset.

Dabotap Pagoda

Dabotap Pagoda

The Bulguksa Temple has suffered through a lot of serious damage. It was burned down during the Japanese invasion, and was even robbed at one time. The temple has gone through numerous renovations. During the reign of King Seon-jo (Joseon Dynasty) in the early 1800s alone it was repaired 40 times. Later on in 1969, the Bulguksa Temple Restoration Committee was established, and all areas that were either old, broken, or demolished were repaired and rebuilt from 1973 onwards.

Today the beautiful Bulguksa Temple, with its artistic stone structures, attracts visitors from all over the world. It is home to several significant cultural treasures such as Seokgatap Pagoda, Dabotap Pagoda, Cheongun-gyo and Baegun-gyo Bridges, Yeonhwa-gyo and Chilbo-gyo Bridges, the Golden Seated Vairocana Buddhist Figure, the Golden Seated Amita Figure, Saritap Pagoda and Seokguram Grotto.

The Golden Amita statue inside Bulguksa Temple

The Golden Amita statue inside Bulguksa Temple

Seokguram Temple is an artificial granite stone temple located on top of a hill in Bulguksa

Seokguram Temple is an artificial granite stone temple located on top of a hill in Bulguksa

After climbing a few flights of stairs, you will reach Seokguram Grotto housing a 3.3 metres Bonjon Buddha statue, Bodhisattvas and the relief of 10 disciples of Lord Buddha. The grotto shows off the highly skilled and creative craftsmanship of the people from Silla Dynasty.

After climbing a few flights of stairs, you will reach Seokguram Grotto housing a 3.3 metres Bonjon Buddha statue, Bodhisattvas and the relief of 10 disciples of Lord Buddha. The grotto shows off the highly skilled and creative craftsmanship of the people from Silla Dynasty.

 

How to Get There

Take a bus from Gyeongju Train Station that goes along Hwarang-ro Street, and then switch to Bus No. 10 or 11 from the bus stop in front of the post office. Get down at Bulguksa Temple Bus Stop. Travelling time is about 1 hour.

Address: 385, Bulguk-ro, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do
Phone: 1330 Travel Hotline: +82 2 1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese) / +82 54 746 9913 / +82 54 746 0983
Entrance Fee: Adults (19 & above): 5,000 won ; Teenagers (age 13-18): 3,500 won / Group: 3,000 won ; Children (age 7-12): 2,500 won / Group: 2,000 won ; Children (age 7 & below): Free (less than 10 children) / Group (over 10 children): 1,500 won
Note: Group would consist 20 or more people. Entrance is Free for seniors (65 and above), people with disabilities (Level 1-6, including one companion for those with disability level 1-3.
Opening Hours: 7 am – 6 pm (Mar-Sep) ; 7 am – 5:30 pm (Oct) ; 7:30 am – 5 pm (Nov-Jan) ; 7:30 am – 5:30 pm (Feb)
Website: www.bulguksa.or.kr (Korean only) or www.bulguksa.org (Korean only)

 

Accommodation

Below are two recommended hotels near Bulguksa Temple. However, there are many other hotels ranging from five-star accommodations to the more budget hotels. We recommend that you do further research to find the right accommodation that suits your needs.

1. Puloonsan Youthtel
Address: 611-120, Jinhyeon-dong, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do
Phone: +82 54 746 1811
Website: www.puloonsan.com (Korean only) OR http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/ACM/AC_EN_4_8.jsp?cid=1882560

2. Ragung (Millennium Palace Resort & Spa)
Address: 55-12, Expo-ro, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do
Phone: +82 54 778 2100 (Korean)
Website: www.smpark.co.kr (English)

 

6. Golgulsa Temple (Gyeongju)

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Built in the 6th century by a saint named Gwang Yoo with some accompanying monks, Golgulsa Temple is the only cave temple found in South Korea. Located at the foot of Mt. Hamwol, the temple was built from solid rock, and its design was based on the Indian architecture.

Four metre Maya Tathagata Buddha

Four metre Maya Tathagata Buddha

A sculpture of the Buddha known as Maya Tathagata Buddha can be seen at the top section of the temple, while its surroundings consist of twelve rock caves, of which seven are still standing today. Gwaneum Cave is the biggest, and these caves with Buddha shrines are sacred places of worship for devotees.

The Maya Tathagata Buddha and the Gwaneum Cave is a main attraction for visitors. The Buddha sculpture stands at 4 metres tall, showing off the artistry from the time of the Silla Kingdom. A glass ceiling has been built in the Gwaneum Cave to protect the precious sculpture from the elements.

Inside Gwaneum Cave, you will find a statue of the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy, also known as Kuan Yin in Chinese, who is the Buddha of Compassion.

One of the many cave shrines in Gwaneum Cave

One of the many cave shrines in Gwaneum Cave

The Buddhist Goddess of Mercy inside Gwaneum Cave with 108 smaller version of the Goddess all around the shrine

The Buddhist Goddess of Mercy inside Gwaneum Cave with 108 smaller version of the Goddess all around the shrine

Unlike most traditional temples, getting around Golgulsa can be quite adventurous. To see the Maya Tathagata Buddha you will need to climb a fair bit and hang on to safety ropes, which is an added thrill for rock climbers.

Golgulsa Temple also offers Templestay programs for visitors who wish to experience a Buddhist life. To find out more go on to their official website stated below.

Golgulsa Temple also offers Templestay programs for visitors who wish to experience a Buddhist life. To find out more go on to their official website stated below.

 

How to Get There

You can get to Golgulsa Temple by bus from Gyeongju Station or Gyeongju Bus Terminal. Take the Bus No. 100 or 150 to Andong three-way junction, and from there, walk for about 15 minutes and you will reach the temple. The journey will take about an hour. You can also choose to take a taxi, but it will probably cost more, and the travelling time is about 50 minutes.

Address: 101-5, Girim-ro, Yangbuk-myeon, Gyeongju-si,
Phone: 1330 Travel Hotline: +82 2 1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese) / +82 54 744 1689 / +82 54 745 0246 / +82 54 775 1689
Entrance Fee: Free
Opening Hours: Open All Year
Website: golgulsa.com (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
Templestay: www.templestay.com/ Phone Inquiry: +82 54 775 1689

 

Accommodation

1. Gyeongju JY Pension
Address: 232-4, Chuwon-gil, Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang
Phone: +82 888 950 5062
Website: https://www.hotels.com/ho389065/gyeongju-jy-pension-gyeongju-south-korea/

2. Arisu Gyeongju
Address: 207, Yeongbul-ro, Gyeongju, 38127
Phone: +82 888 950 5062
Website: https://www.hotels.com/ho557259/arisu-gyeongju-gyeongju-south-korea/

 

7. Girimsa Temple

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Girimsa Temple is second biggest Buddhist temple after Bulguksa in Gyeongju. Built on the slopes of Mount Hamwolsan in Yangbuk-myeon, it was constructed during the reign of the Silla Kingdom and has 16 buildings.

It is said that a sage monk by the name of Gwang-yu came from India and built this temple, originally known as ‘Imjeongsa’. Later on, the temple went through a huge restoration led by a monk name Wonhyo, and it was then the temple’s name was changed to ‘Girimsa’.

Inside Daejeokgwangjeon main prayer hall is a shrine to Birojanabul Buddha or Buddha Vairochana

Inside Daejeokgwangjeon main prayer hall is a shrine to Birojanabul Buddha or Buddha Vairochana

There are two main areas in Girimsa Temple. One is the area around Daejeokgwangjeon Hall, which enshrines the Birojanabul Buddha or Buddha Vairochana. The second area is located around the magnificent Bodhi tree which is said to be 500 years old. The area consists of the Seongbo Museum, Mangbujeon, Samsingak, Gwaneumjeon halls, and a wooden pagoda.

Girimsa Temple is well known for its Ojongsu, which is a special type of water that has five different significant tastes. Gamrosu water is excellent for tea making; janggunsu is said to help strengthen the body; hwajeongsu is comforting; myeongansu can give clear vision to the drinker, and; otaksu, which is believed to attract birds due to its lively glistening water.

Statue of local guardian deities can be seen around the temple ground

Statue of local guardian deities can be seen around the temple ground

Japanese soldiers blocked off the source of janggunsu water (water of a general) during the colonisation of the Japanese in Korea. Apparently the Japanese were afraid that this special water would give the Koreans strength to overthrow their occupiers and take back their country. Hence, today, except for the water coming from janggunsu, others continue to flow from their natural source.

Twelve famous grottos can be discovered on the way to Girimsa temple. One of it is called Golgulsa which used to be a monastery. Today it is Korea’s centre for Seonmudo practice, a Korean Buddhist martial art.

Golgulsa is Korea’s centre for Seonmudo practice, a Korean Buddhist martial art

Golgulsa is Korea’s centre for Seonmudo practice, a Korean Buddhist martial art

On top of all that, a number of treasured cultural assets can be found around Girimsa Temple:

  • Sojo Birojana Samjonbul (Treasure No. 958)
  • Daejeokgwangjeon Hall (Treasure No. 833)
  • Sutras kept inside the Vairocana Buddha of Girimsa (Treasure No. 959)
  • Lacquered Seated Mercy Bodhisattva of Girimsa Temple (Treasure No. 415)

 

How to Get There

Take the bus from Dong Seoul Terminal to Gyeongju Bus Terminal. Besides that, you can also take the city Bus No. 100 or 150, which goes to Yangnam or Gampo, and get down near Yangbuk-myeon Eoil-ri.

Alternatively, you can hire a taxi straight to the temple for about 6,000 won.

 

Accommodation

There are a few accommodation near Girimsa Temple. Below are two examples, but it would be best to do more research on your own to choose one that suits your requirements.

1. Puloonsan Youthtel

Address: 611-120, Jinhyeon-dong, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do
Phone: +82 54 746 1811
Website: www.puloonsan.com (Korean) OR http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/ACM/AC_EN_4_8.jsp?cid=1882560

2. Sajo Resort Gyeongju

Address: 223, Yeongbul-ro, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do
Phone: +82 54 745 6050/8 (Korean)
Website: www.sajoresort.co.kr (Korean, English) OR http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/ACM/AC_EN_4_8.jsp?cid=349755

 

8. Ulleungdo Island

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Ulleungdo Island is a stunning, unspoilt island-city that is located in the East Sea, north of Gyeongsang. The island stretches out 10km from east to west, with lush green trees, beautiful foliage, and majestic mountains offering visitors a refreshing escape from the bustling city life.

Being volcanic in origin, the island’s rich, nutritious soil produces an amazing array of floral beauty, especially during spring. Ulleungdo Island is sometimes referred to as Mini-Jeju, but unlike Jeju, it is not as commercialised and heavily populated with tourists. Though it is increasingly popular with the Korean visitors, being isolated has helped the island preserve its natural beauty.

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There is plenty to do on Ulleungdo. The scenic island offers visitors breathtaking hiking spots. Have fun swimming in the emerald green waters in summer, fishing and sampling the island’s fresh seafood. There are also boats that take you on a sightseeing tour around the island, allowing you to soak in its breath-taking landscapes. Boats that depart from the harbour at Dodong will take you to all the interesting spots along its coastline. Other picturesque locations include Seonginbong Mountain, which is 3,228 feet high, the Bongnae waterfall, and spectacular coastal cliffs overlooking the stunning Liancourt Rocks from a distance.

Dodong - the administration centre of Ulleungdo is the biggest city on the island

Dodong – the administration centre of Ulleungdo is the biggest city on the island

 

How to Get There

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There is no other way to get to Dokdo except by taking the ferry. Ferries embark once or twice a day, but are subject to change depending on weather conditions. Below is a list of terminals where you can catch the ferry from:

Pohang Pohang – Ulleungdo/ Pohang Ferry Terminal
Phone: +82 54 242 5111 (Korean)

Mukho – Ulleungdo/ Mukho Ferry Terminal
Phone: +82 33 531 5891 (Korean)

Note: Ferry schedule is subject to change without prior notice due to weather conditions. We recommend that you make an advanced booking especially during the peak season in summer.For more information, go to http://www.ulleung.go.kr/ko/main.htm (English, Korean, Japanese, Chinese)

Address: 236, Taeha-gil, Ulleung-gun, Gyeongsangbuk-do
Phone: 1330 Travel Hotline: +82 2 1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese) / +82 54 790 6454 / +82 54 791 6629
Entrance Fee: NIL
Opening Hours: NIL
Website: www.ulleung.go.kr/ (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

 

Accommodation

There are no luxurious hotels here in Ulleungdo Island as it is not your typical commercialised island. However, you can still find decent and affordable accommodation. It is best that you further research to find what suits you. Here are two suggestions.

1. Ulleung Marina Tourist Hotel
Address: 44-28, Sadong 2(i)-gil, Ulleung-eup, Ulleung-gun, Gyeongsangbuk-do
Phone: +82-54-791-0020, +82-70-8787-8042
Website: www.ullungmarina.co.kr (Korean only) OR http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/ACM/AC_EN_4_8.jsp?cid=349639

2. Ulleungdo Family Hotel
Address: 8-6, Dodong 2-gil, Ulleung-gun, Gyeongsangbuk-do
Phone: +82 54 791 2078
Website: ufamilyhotel.com (Korean only) OR http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/ACM/AC_EN_4_8.jsp?cid=351194

 

9. Underwater Tomb of King Munmu

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This is the final resting place of Korea’s 30th ruler, King Munmu (661 – 681 A.D.). Munmu unified the Korean peninsula with the goal to protect and prevent Korea from Japanese invasions. Legend has it that even as he was dying, he was still very concerned for his country, and on his deathbed he instructed that his ashes were to be scattered on the rocky islet in Bonggil-ri.

The King wished and believed that he would be reborn as a sea dragon to protect his country’s coastline. Measuring around 200 metres in circumference, the islet has a cross-shaped waterway that forms a pool right in the middle of it. At the bottom of this pool is a granite rock, about 3.6 metres in length, 9 metres in width, and 0.9 metres thick. It is said that the King Munmu’s remains are buried under this rock, and there are still debates amongst historians on whether the King’s ashes were scattered or kept in an urn that was placed under the granite.

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About 1km inland are two huge stone pagodas that mark the spot where Gameunsa temple used to be. The temple was built by Prince Sinmun, King Munmu’s son, who wanted to give his dragon father a place inland to retreat.

The islet is a popular site among the Koreans who come here to pay respect to the King as well as enjoy its breath-taking surroundings and fresh seafood. If you are lucky, you may be able to witness some shamanistic ceremonies held occasionally to honour and give thanks to the local sea Gods.

 

How to Get There

Take the bus from Gyeongju Intercity Bus Terminal, and hop on Bus No. 150. The journey is about 40 to 50 minutes to the Underwater Tomb of King Munmu.

Address: Bonggil-ri (middle of the sea), Yangbuk-myeon, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do
Phone: 1330 Travel Hotline: +82 2 1330 (English, Korean, Japanese, Chinese) / +82 54 772 3843
Entrance Fee: Free
Opening Hours: There are no specific opening hours for this place. It is open all year round every day.
Website: http://guide.gyeongju.go.kr/deploy/eng/ (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

 

Accommodation

There are not many hotels near the Underwater Tomb of King Munmu. For your reference, here are two nearest accommodation. We recommend you do further research to find a hotel that suits your needs and budget.

1. Mauna Ocean Resort
Address: 982 Dongnam-ro, Yangnam-myeon (San 140-1 Sindae-ri), Yangbuk-myeon, Gyeongju-si
Phone: N/A
Website: https://goo.gl/YyjkHd

2. The View Motel
Address: 277 Yangnam-ro, Yangnam-myeon, Gyeongju-si
Phone: +82 547 448 693
Website: http://www.chiangdao.com/hotels4/asiahotels/southkoreahotels/gyeongjusi
hotels/theviewmotel.htm

 

10. Beomeosa Temple

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Located on the edge of the famous Mount Geumjeongsan, Beomeosa Temple (Temple of Nirvana Fish) is one of the most well-known urban temples in the country. It is the chief temple of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism in Cheongnyong-dong. The temple was built by a monk name Ui Sang about 1,300 years ago, in the 18th year during the reign of King Munmu.

Beomeosa Temple or Temple of Nirvana Fish

Beomeosa Temple or Temple of Nirvana Fish

According to the Korean geography book called ‘Donggukyeojiseungram’, Mount Geumjeongsan was named as such because there was a well on top of the mountain, and the water in that well was of the colour gold, and the fish in the well were gold too. As the fish from the well would ride colourful clouds down from the sky, the mountain was named Geumsaem (gold well), and the temple’s name translates into ‘fish from heaven’.

During the Japanese invasion known as the Imjinwaeran invasion in 1592, the Daeungjeon temple was burned down and left in ruins. It was only in 1713 that major renovations restored it to its glory which can still be seen today. The Daeungjeon temple here is considered one of the most finest and lavish architectures from the great Joseon Dynasty.

The main temple hall of Daeungjeon was restored in 1614 after the temple was burned down during the Japanese invasions

The main temple hall of Daeungjeon was restored in 1614 after the temple was burned down during the Japanese invasions

Other significant sites around Beomeosa Temple ground includes a 9th century three-story pagoda, Iljumun the One Pillar Gate, Cheonwangmun or Gate of the Four Heavenly Kings, Beomeosa Burimun or Gate of Non-Duality, and more. There are also eleven hermitages with interesting sculptures of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and local protecting deities around the temple compound.

The amazing landscape around Beomeosa Temple and Mount Geumjeongsan are popularly known as the ‘three extraordinary sites of Beomeosa Temple’ and ‘eight scenic wonders of Mount Geumjeongsan’. The three extraordinary sites consist of the rock peak behind Wonhyoam Hermitage, the legendary ‘golden well’ on top of Mount Geumjeongsan, and the two chicken shaped like rocks at Gyemyeongam Hermitage.

Iljumun is the first gate to the temple known as the "One-Pillar Gate". This is because when viewed from the side, it appears to be supported by only one pillar, symbolising the one true path of enlightenment.

Iljumun is the first gate to the temple known as the “One-Pillar Gate”. This is because when viewed from the side, it appears to be supported by only one pillar, symbolising the one true path of enlightenment.

Another gate called Burimun or “Gate of Non-Duality” built in 1699 is the last gate before one enters the main temple compound. It symbolises the gateway that connects our world with the Buddha’s world or pure land.

Another gate called Burimun or “Gate of Non-Duality” built in 1699 is the last gate before one enters the main temple compound. It symbolises the gateway that connects our world with the Buddha’s world or pure land.

The eight scenic wonders around the temple refer to the lush pine forest around Eosan Bridge located at the temple’s entrance, the soft murmuring of the mountain stream at Daeseongam Hermitage, the soothing rain during the night at Cheongnyeonam Hermitage, the magical moon light during autumn nights at Gyemyeongam Hermitage, the blissful gong of the temple’s bell heard from Naewonam Hermitage, the blast of colourful autumn foliage at Geumgangam Hermitage, the spectacular views of the sea from Uisang Peak, and the great clouds encircling Godang Peak, the summit of Mt. Geumjeongsan.

Seven-story stone pagoda at Beomeosa which contains a piece of fabric belonging to the Buddha. Four corners of the pagoda's base are guarded by stone sculptures of Four Heavenly Kings. Behind the pagoda is Beomeosa museum.

Seven-story stone pagoda at Beomeosa which contains a piece of fabric belonging to the Buddha. Four corners of the pagoda’s base are guarded by stone sculptures of Four Heavenly Kings. Behind the pagoda is Beomeosa museum.

Chungryunam or Blue Lotus Hermitage

Chungryunam or Blue Lotus Hermitage

Beomeosa Temple also offers visitors temple stays, which is a perfect chance for those who wish to do some meditation to truly experience the Buddhist way of life and soak up the peaceful energy of the area. To find out more log on to its official website below.

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How to Get There

Take the subway Line 1 from Beomeosa Station and get down at Exit 5 or 7. From there take a 5-minute walk along the main road to the Beomeosa bus stop, and hop on Bus No. 90. Your stop is at Beomeosa Ticket Office.

Another option is to take a taxi from the subway station straight to the Beomeosa Ticket Office, which is about 5-minutes away. For more information please visit its official website below.

Address: 546, Cheongryong-dong, Geumjeong-gu, Busan-si
Phone: 1330 Travel Hotline: +82 2 1330 / Temple Office: +82 51 508 3122 / Temple Stay: +82 51 508 5726 (Korean)
Entrance Fee: Adult: 1,000 won / Teenager: 700 won / Child: 500 won
Opening Hours: Open All Year 8:30 am – 5:30 am
Website: www.beomeosa.co.kr (Korean, English)

 

Accommodation

There are many accommodation available near Beomeosa Temple, below are two suggestions. However, we recommend that you do further research to choose an accommodation that suits your needs and budget.

1. Nokcheon Hotel
Address: 96-10, Oncheon 1-dong, Dongnae-gu, Busan
Phone: +82 51 553 1005 9 (Korean)
Website: www.nokcheonhotel.com (Korean only) OR http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/ACM/AC_EN_4_8.jsp?cid=351768

2. Hotel Nongshim
Address: 23, Geumganggongwon-ro 20beon-gil, Dongnae-gu, Busan
Phone: +82 51 550 2100/3
Website: www.hotelnongshim.com (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

 

11. Haeinsa Temple

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Founded by two monks, Suneung and Ijung during the reign of King Ae-Jang (802), Haeinsa Temple is one of the Three Jewels of Korea representing the Buddha and Dharma teachings of Korea. The temple is enshrined with some 200 private treasures and 15 public treasures. Due to its many cultural assets and historical relics, Haeinsa was recognised as a universal cultural heritage site in December 1995.

Haeinsa’s Temple of Reflection is one of the main Chogye Buddhist temples in South Korea that is home to the sacred Tripitaka Koreana since 1398

Haeinsa’s Temple of Reflection is one of the main Chogye Buddhist temples in South Korea that is home to the sacred Tripitaka Koreana since 1398

Located in the Gaya Mountains, south of Gyeongsang Province, Haeinsa is well-known for being the home of the precious Tripitaka Koreana. The Tripitaka Koreana, which consists of 81,340 wooden blocks and 6,791 volumes of the Buddha’s doctrine, were the culmination of the king and his people’s effort to protect Korea and repulse the Mongolian army. Other treasures include the Iljumun and Daejeokgwangjeon.

Iljumun Gate represents the first gate or entry point for all Bodhisattvas to pass through on the path to achieving Buddhahood. The grand sanctuary Daejeokgwangjeon consists of a three-story stone pagoda which stands majestically in the courtyard of the one thousand-year-old temple.

A stone carved Buddha image at Haeinsa Temple ground

A stone carved Buddha image at Haeinsa Temple ground

The temple’s name ‘Haein’ originated from a Korean Buddhist Scripture, which was an expression ‘Haeinsammae’ from Hwaeomgyeong scriptures, meaning Buddha’s true enlightened world, in other words, Buddha’s pure land and His pure, unstained mind.

The Pool of Reflection

The Pool of Reflection

Haeinsa Temple offers visitors temple stays, and an opportunity to experience Buddhist culture and the peaceful life on a temple grounds, perfect for those who wish to engage in some personal retreats and meditation. To find out more log on to its official website below.

 

How to Get There

Take the Daegu Subway Line 1 from Deagu Seobu Terminal (Seongdangmot Station) and get off at Exit 3. Next, catch the intercity bus to Haeinsa Temple. Travelling time by bus is around 1 hour 30 minutes. Buses run every 40 minutes.

Address: 10 Chiin-ri, Gaya-myeon, Hapcheon, Gyeongsangnam-do
Phone: 1330 Travel Hotline: +82 2 1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
Entrance Fee: Adults (age 19 & above): 3,000 won / Group: 2,500 won ; Youths (age 13-18): 1,500 won / Group: 1,000 won ; Children (age 7-12): 700 won / Group: 500 won
Note: Group consist of 30 or more number of people
Opening Hours: 8:30 am -6 pm (summer) and 8:30 am -5 pm (winter)
Website: www.haeinsa.or.kr (Korean)
Homestay: http://www.haeinsa.or.kr/home/bbs/board.php?bo_table=t_02

 

Accommodation

There are quite a few accommodation near Haeinsa Temple. Below are two nearby accommodations. However, it would still be good for you to do further research on the accommodation that suits your requirements.

1. Haeinsa Tourist Hotel
Address: 13-45, Chiin 1-gil, Gaya-myeon, Hapcheon-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do
Phone: +82 55 933 2000
Website: www.해인사관광호텔.com (Korean only) OR http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/ACM/AC_EN_4_8.jsp?cid=349643

2. Gayasan National Tourist Hotel
Address: 52, Gayasansingmurwon-gil, Suryun-myeon, Seongju-gun, Gyeongsangbuk-do
Phone: +82-54-931-3500 (Korean, English)
Website: www.gayasanhotel.co.kr (Korean only) http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/ACM/AC_EN_4_8.jsp?cid=351822

 

12. Hallyeohaesang National Park

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Hallyeohaesang National Park is set along Korea’s south coast sea, and consists of six districts: Sangju-Geumsan Mt. district, Sacheon district, Namhaedaegyo district, Tongyeong-Hansan district, Yeosu-Odongdo district and Geoje-Haegeumgang district. The National Park is a 545.63 square-kilometre area covering Bijindo Island, Haegeumgang and Dadohae Islets. Hallyeohaesang National Marine is the 4th national park in Korea, and has a 120km long marine ecosystem stretching from Geoje in the Gyeongsangnam-do province to Yeosu in the Jeollanam-do province.

Breathtaking Namhae sea view from Boriam Temple on Mount Geumsan

Breathtaking Namhae sea view from Boriam Temple on Mount Geumsan

Some sites for you to explore are the Namehae sea view, the scenery of Sejondo Island, the Ssangyonggul Cave, and the Pipe Organ Valley. The biggest beach on this national park is Sangju Beach with white silvery sand, surrounded by a fresh pine forest. Mount Geumsan peaks at 681 metres, and has 38 interesting historical and cultural heritage attractions.

Botanical garden in Oedo Island in Hallyeohaesang National Park

Botanical garden in Oedo Island in Hallyeohaesang National Park

Hallyeohaesang National Park’s amazing ecosystem consists of around 1,142 plant species which includes the Red pine, Serrata oak, common camellia, nadopungnan (Sedirea japonica), a rare plant species, and more. The national park is also home to otters, badgers, small-eared cats and 25 other species of mammals, 115 species of birds, 1,566 species of insects, 16 species of reptiles, and some 24 different species of freshwater fishes.

 

How to Get There

To get to Hallyeohaesang National Park, you can take a bus from Seoul’s Nambu Bus Terminal to Namehae. Daily buses operate between 7 am to 7:30 pm. The journey is around 4 hours 30 minutes. Once you are at Namhae Terminal, get on the bus that is heading to Bokgok and you should arrive at your destination in 20 minutes.

Address: Seobyeon-ri, Namhae-eup, Namhae-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do
Phone: 1330 Travel Hotline: +82 55 1330 / +82 55 863 3521
Entrance Fee: There are many different rates and packages, it is recommended for you to check its official website below to see which package suits you best.
Opening Hours: Open All Year
Website: english.knps.or.kr (Korean, English) OR http://english.knps.or.kr/Knp/Hallyeohaesang/Intro/Introduction.aspx?MenuNum=1&Submenu=Npp

 

Accommodation

There are several different types of accommodation near Hallyeohaesang National Park from holiday homes, guest houses to hotels. Below are two examples. We recommend that you do further research to find the one that suits your plans, budget, and requirements.

1. Bluegrad Penison
Address: 1395, Seongu-ri, Nam-myeon, 668-863 Namhae
Phone: N/A
Website: https://www.hotels.com/ho618466/bluegrad-pension-namhae-south-korea/

2. Namhae Whale’s Dream
Address: 17-1, Bitdamchon-gil, Nam-myeon, Namhae
Phone: +81 92 271 5489
Website: https://hotelandplace.com/hotel/gorae-dream

 

13. Palgongsan Provincial Park

Photo Credit: Korea Tourism Organization

Photo Credit: Korea Tourism Organization

Palgongsan Provincial Park is located 20 km to the north of Daegu with Mount Palgongsan peaking at 1,192 metres. Mount Palgongsan is known as the Mountain of the Eight Meritorious Officers because it was said that during the time of the Silla Kingdom, there were eight generals who saved the king of Goryeo, Wang-Geon.

Beautiful view of the lush green mountains from the temples at Palgongsan Provincial Park

Beautiful view of the lush green mountains from the temples at Palgongsan Provincial Park

Back in the days, Mount Palgongsan was considered a sacred mountain because its shape resembled Three Buddhas. Majestic granite formations crown the mountains’ higher peaks, while beautiful valleys and lush emerald forests create a spectacular landscape. The park offers visitors, especially hiking lovers, many scenic trails to explore.

30 metres tall standing Buddha built in 1992, at Donghwasa temple

30 metres tall standing Buddha built in 1992, at Donghwasa temple

When you are there be sure to check out the Grotto of the Three Buddhas and Ingaksa Temple located at Gunwi-gun. This lovely park showcases the rich spiritual culture of Korean Buddhists with several sacred sculptures of the Buddha such as the healing Medicine Buddha.

Hike up to about 850 metres above sea level and find a 1000-year old Buddha statue, believed to be Medicine Buddha. Photo Credit: Korea Tourism Organization

Hike up to about 850 metres above sea level and find a 1000-year old Buddha statue, believed to be Medicine Buddha. Photo Credit: Korea Tourism Organization

 

How to Get There

Take a bus from Dong Seoul Terminal to Gunwi which departs 6 times a day from 7:30 am to 7:30 pm. Travel time is around 3 hours and 30 minutes. Another option is to get the bus from Gunwi Bus Terminal to Mount Palgongsan which departs from 8:25 am to 7:10 pm.

For other alternatives and routes, please visit: http://www.gunwi.go.kr/eng/page.htm?mnu_siteid=eng&mnu_uid=653&

The best way to see Mount Palgongsan in fall is by Palgongsan Cable Car. For more information: http://www.palgongcablecar.com/English

The best way to see Mount Palgongsan in fall is by Palgongsan Cable Car. For more information: http://www.palgongcablecar.com/English

Address: Baekhak-ri, Sanseong-myeon & Maegok-ri, Hyoryeong-myeon & Namsan-ri, Bugye-myeon, Gunwi-gun, Gyeongsangbuk-do
Phone: 1330 Travel Hotline: +82 2 1330 / +82 53 602 5900/2 (Korean)
Entrance Fee: N/A
Opening Hours: Open All Year
Note: Please call to check before travelling.
Website: www.gbpalgong.go.kr (Korean) or www.gunwi.go.kr (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

 

Accommodation

There several types of accommodation near Palgongsan Provincial Par in Daegu you can choose depending on your budget. Hence, we recommend that you do further research on the types of Accommodation you prefer based on your requirements. Below are two examples.

1. Palgong Park Hotel
Address: 1121, Palgongsan-ro, Dong-gu, Daegu
Phone: +82-53-985-0808
Website: www.palgongpark.co.kr (Korean only) or http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/ACM/AC_EN_4_8.jsp?cid=349667

2. Palgong Emillia Hotel
Address: 1121, Palgongsan-ro, Dong-gu, 41007 Daegu
Phone: N/A
Website: https://goo.gl/r5vAFy

 

14. Jangsado Sea Park

Photo Credit: Korea Tourism Organization

Photo Credit: Korea Tourism Organization

Jangsado Sea Park is a small island about 400 metres wide, 1.9 kilometres in length with an area coverage of 390,131 square metres, located at Hansan-myeon, Tongyeong-si, Gyeongsangnam-do (South Gyeongsang). Korean movie fans will notice that this is the location where some the popular Korean movies, such as ‘You Who Came from the Starts’, were filmed.

Jangsado Sea Park is famous for its beautiful camellia trees. Photo Credit: Korea Tourism Organization

Jangsado Sea Park is famous for its beautiful camellia trees. Photo Credit: Korea Tourism Organization

The island is famous for its 100,000 camellia tresses that bloom from December to February, along with a variety of other flowers, such as the silver magnolia. The island is also home to the elegant fairy pitta birds which has become the island’s Natural Monument, along with the small white-eye birds.

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Having very minimal development, the island has managed to preserve its natural beauty with a few eco-friendly park houses showcasing artistic sculptures that blend harmoniously with nature. Bird lovers, nature lovers, photographers and selfie fans will definitely enjoy spending a day visiting the serenity of Jangsado Sea Park.

One of the observatory platforms on the island - Jangsado Sea Park Rainbow Bridge. Photo Credit: Korea Tourism Organization

One of the observatory platforms on the island – Jangsado Sea Park Rainbow Bridge. Photo Credit: Korea Tourism Organization

 

How to Get There

Take the local Bus No. 101 from Tongyeong Bus Terminal, which takes about 45 minutes to reach Tongyeong Excursion Ship Station. From there you will need to take the ferry to the island which costs 1,200 won. The journey is around 40 minutes.

Do take note that you only have 2 hours to go around the small island and see all the sites, as you will need to take the same ferry back to the city. There are no other options.

Address: 55, Jangsado-gil, Hansan-myeon, Tongyeong-si, Gyeongsangnam-do
Phone: 1330 Travel Hotline: +82 2 1330 / +82 55 633 0362
Entrance Fee: Adults: 10,000 won ; Military & Students (middle and high school students): 8,000 won / Group: 6,000 won ; Children (3 & above): 5,000 won / Group: 4,500 won ; Disabled: 5,000 won
Note: Groups are 30 or more people. Adults are not eligible for group discount. ID card/ proof of age is required for discounted entry.

Ottchil Art Museum Entrance Fee
Adults: 2,000 won
Teenagers & Children: 1,000 won
Opening Hours: 8 am – 7 pm (summer) / 8:30 am – 5 pm (winter)
Note: Final entry is 2 hours before closing
Website: http://www.jangsado.co.kr (Korean)

 

Accommodation

There are not many hotels in Jangsado Sea Park so be sure to do further research so you can find one nearest that suits your budget and requirements. Here are two suggestions.

1. Geoje Hawaii Condo Beach Hotel
Address: 60, Hakdong 6-gil, Dongbu-myeon, Geoje-si, Gyeongsangnam-do
Phone: +82 55 635 7114
Website: www.hwhotel.com (Korean only) OR http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/ACM/AC_EN_4_8.jsp?cid=1990038

2. Hotel Geumosan
Address: 400, Geumosan-ro, Gumi, Gyeongsangbuk-do 39309
Phone: +82 54 450 4000
Website: http://www.hotelgeumosan.com/ (Korean, English, Chinese, Japanese)

 

15. Haeundae Beach

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The most famous beach in Busan, Haeundae Beach is covered with soft white sand that stretch for over 1.5 km, creating a gorgeous coastline. Its shallow bay makes it very attractive for swimmers and beach lovers.

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Every summer Haeundae Beach is packed with people from all over the world. If you are visiting the city of Busan in summer, this is definitely a place to check out. There are plenty of accommodations, from luxurious 5-star hotels to guesthouses all around the beach.

Besides the beach, there are many activities, cultural events, and festivals held throughout the year in this area. There are also other interesting places to visit around Haeundae Beach, such as Dongbaek Island, Busan Aquarium, BEXCO (Busan Exhibition and Convention Centre) and more.

 

How to Get There

Once you are in Busan, you just need to take the Subway Line 2 from Haeundae Station and get off at Exit 5 or 7. Then walk for about 500 metres to reach the beach.

Address: 264, Haeundaehaebyeon-ro, Haeundae-gu, Busan
Phone: 1330 Travel Hotline: +82 2 1330 / +82 51 749 5700
Entrance Fee: Free
Opening Hours: 9 am to 6 pm (Close at 6pm from October to March)
Website: www.haeundae.go.kr (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

 

Accommodation

There are so many places to stay in Haeundae Beach area, it all depends on your budget. It would be good for you to do your own research to see what would suit your budget and requirements best. Below are just two examples.

1. Haeundae Sunset Business Hotel
Address: 46, Gunam-ro, Haeundae-gu, Busan
Phone: +82 51 730 9900
Website: www.sunsethotel.co.kr (Korean, English, Japanese)

2. Haeundae Grand Hotel
Address: 217, Haeundaehaebyeon-ro, Haeundae-gu, Busan
Phone: + +82 51 740 0114
Website: www.grandhotel.co.kr (Korean, English, Japanese)

 

16. Haedong Yonggungsa Temple

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Built along the shoreline on the north-eastern coast of Busan, Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, is something of a rare find. A great Buddhist master named Naong built the Temple during the Goryeo Dynasty in 1376. The temple and its monuments have been strategically built facing the ocean. The monuments include the Haesu Gwaneum Daebul or Great Goddess Buddha, also known as Kuan Yin (Chinese)/Chenrezig (Tibetan). Other monuments include the Daeungjeon Main Sanctuary, Yongwangdang Shrine, Gulbeop Buddhist Sanctum, as well as a three-story high pagoda with four lions overlooking the sea.

The beautiful stone sculpture of the Great Goddess Buddha or Kuan Yin in Chinese, overlooking the ocean in the protection mudra (hand gesture)

The beautiful stone sculpture of the Great Goddess Buddha or Kuan Yin in Chinese, overlooking the ocean in the protection mudra (hand gesture)

The main temple sanctuary was actually built in 1970 with great detail and attention to its colour scheme to match the traditionally Korean temples. On the right you will see a cave, and inside this cave you will discover a uniquely designed Buddhist shrine. Just outside the cave sanctuary stands a three-story high pagoda with four lions in front of it. The lions represent four emotions: love, anger, sadness, and happiness. Other interesting sites to explore are the stone lanterns that line across the rocky landscape, and the 108 stairs, which has a breathtaking view, especially during sunrise or sunset.

The Temple gets very busy especially during New Year’s Day, as many locals would come to offer prayers and wishes for the New Year. The best time to visit the temple is in April when you can see beautiful cherry blossoms all over the temple ground. This is also the month where Buddha’s birth (Wesak) is celebrated. The temple will decorate its surroundings with many lanterns, and at night when the lanterns are lit, the temple’s glow makes it a magical sight.

Unique stone mounds that look like stupas

Unique stone mounds that look like stupas

The beautiful scenery of Haedong Yonggungsa Temple illuminated with lanterns during the Lunar New Year

The beautiful scenery of Haedong Yonggungsa Temple illuminated with lanterns during the Lunar New Year

 

How to Get There

Take the Busan Subway Line 2 from Haeundae Station and get off at Exit 7. Alternatively, you can take Bus #181 and get down at the Yonggungsa Temple Bus Stop.

Address: 86, Yonggung-gil, Gijang-eup, Gijang-gun, Busan
Phone: 1330 Travel Hotline +82 2 1330 / +82 51 722 7744 / 7755
Entrance Fee: Free
Opening Hours: 5 am till Sunset
Note: Yaksajeon Hall and Bangsaengteo Site is Open All Day
Website: yongkungsa.or.kr (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

 

Accommodation

There are many places to stay near Haedong Yonggungsa Temple in Busan city ranging from luxurious 5-star to the more budget motels. Here are two examples but we recommend you do further research to find the one that suits your needs and budget.

1. Song Jung Hotel
Address: 28, Songjeonghaebyeon-ro, Haeundae-gu, Busan
Phone: +82 51 702 7766
Website: www.songjunghotel.co.kr (Korean only)

2. Leum Guesthouse
Address: 55, Dalmaji-gil 62beon-gil, Haeundae-gu, Busan
Phone: +82 51 742 9910
Website: www.gesthouse.net (Korean) OR http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/ACM/AC_EN_4_8.jsp?cid=2024428

 

17. Jirisan National Park

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Photo Credit: Korea Tourism Organization

Photo Credit: Korea Tourism Organization

Jirisan National Park is Korea’s first national park, and is also the largest national park, covering three provinces: Gyeongsangnam-do, Jeollanam-do and Jeollabuk-do, four counties, one city, and fifteen myeon districts. Designated as a national park on December 29, 1967, Jirisan is home to a wide variety of wildlife and vegetation, including a large population of Asiatic Black Bear, which have been placed under its wildlife protection since it was spotted in 2002. Today, they continue to breed successfully in the area. Do not worry, they are not easily spotted, so it is unlikely for you to bump into one.

Jirisan National Park is home to the Asiatic Black Bear

Jirisan National Park is home to the Asiatic Black Bear

The majestic Mount Jirisan is over 1,000 metres high, making it South Korea’s highest peak on a mainland. Mountainous landscapes attract hikers from all around the world. Jirisan is South Korea’s only national park that provides overnight shelters for visitors. This makes it more convenient for hikers who wish to go on a few days of hiking and exploring.

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There are also many temples and shrines all across the mountain. One of the most popular trails is from a beautiful temple called Ssanggyesa, which is in the south of the park. You can enjoy its charms and surroundings, especially in the early mornings just before the sun comes up.

 

How to Get There

Take a bus from Dong Seoul Bus Terminal which goes to Jinju. Then from Jinju Intercity Bus Terminal, take another bus that goes to Daewonsa Temple. Alternatively, you can take a bus to Jungsan-ri.

Address: 20-2, Jirisan-daero, Sancheong-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do
Phone: 1330 Travel Hotline: +82 2 1330, +82-55-972-7771/2, +82 61 780 7700, +82 63 630 8900

Entrance Fee:

Camping site
Jungsan-ri: Peak Season 7,000 won / Off Season 5,000 won
Somakgol: Peak Season 9,000 won / Off Season 7,000 won
Naewon Auto Camping Site: Peak Season 16,000 won / Off Season 13,000 won
Note: Electricity usage is paid separately

Shelter facility
Rotary, Seseok Shelter: Peak Season 8,000 won / Off Season 7,000 won
Chibanmok Shelter: 5,000 won
Note: Prices are for one day

Opening Hours: Open All Year
Website: english.knps.or.kr (Korean, English, Chinese, Japanese)

 

Accommodation

There are not many accommodation in Jirisan National Park as the park itself offers shelters for hikers. However, these are recommended accommodation from the Korea Tourism Organization. It is recommended that you do further research.

1. Jirisan View Castle Pension
Address: 11-20, Jirisan-daero 511beon-gil, Sicheon-myeon, Sancheong-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do
Phone: +82 55 973 2250 / +82 11 9395 2907 (Korean)
Website: www.viewcastle.co.kr (Korean only) OR http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/ACM/AC_EN_4_8.jsp?cid=1844194

2. Neutinamu Sanjang
Address: Gyeongsangnam-do Hamyang-gun Macheon-myeon Gangcheong-ri169-3
Phone: +82-55-962-5345 (Korean)
Website: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/ACM/AC_EN_4_8.jsp?cid=351192

 

18. Ssanggyesa Temple

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Ssanggyesa Temple and Hwaeomsa Temple are the two most popular temples located on the southern part of Mount Jirisan. Ssanggyesa Temple was built by Sambeob, a disciple of Uisang, one of the most eminent scholar-monks during the Silla era. During the Japanese invasion, the temple was burnt down, and later was restored by Imjinwaeran (1592-1598).

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The temple was originally called Okcheonsa Temple until a Buddhist Monk named Jingam changed it to Ssanggyesa Temple after he planted the seeds of tea plants that came from China around the temple. Late during the reign of King Heugdeok of the Silla era, Kim Daeryeom travelled to China, and when he returned, he brought with him seeds from tea trees. When the King found out, Kim was instructed to plant these tea tree seeds around Ssanggyesa Temple. Hence, the temple area was known as the first place to cultivate tea.

Cherry blossom trees in full bloom during spring, creating a 6 km path from the market place to Ssanggyesa Temple

Cherry blossom trees in full bloom during spring, creating a 6 km path from the market place to Ssanggyesa Temple

Spring is the best time to visit Ssanggyesa Temple, as it will be covered with a 6 km path of 600 years old cherry blossom trees in full bloom. A walk along this path is about 40-50 minutes that starts from the market place all the way to the temple. There is a Korean myth that unmarried couples who walk along the cherry blossom path called Hollaegil or wedding path, would eventually tie the knot.

A majestic Buddha image, Ssanggyesa Ma-aebul, with two Bodhisattvas by his side carved from a huge granite rock. Photo Credit: Korea Tourism Organization

A majestic Buddha image, Ssanggyesa Ma-aebul, with two Bodhisattvas by his side carved from a huge granite rock. Photo Credit: Korea Tourism Organization

Walk to the east of the temple and you will find a majestic Buddha image, Ssanggyesa Ma-aebul, with two Bodhisattvas by his sides carved from a huge granite rock. Devotees would come her to make prayers and wishes.

Monks at Ssanggyesa Temple doing prayers

Monks at Ssanggyesa Temple doing prayers

 

How to Get There

To get to Jirisan Temple, take the intercity bus to Hwagae Bus Terminal. Then from Hwagae Bus Terminal, take a left and walk about 170 metres towards Seomjingang River.

If you are coming from Hwagae Samgeori, take a Gurye-Sinheung bus and get off at the Ssanggyesa Temple bus stop. The temple is about 150 metres from the bus stop.

Address: 59, Ssanggyesa-gil, Hadong-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do
Phone: 1330 Travel Hotline: +82 2 1330, +82 55 883 1901/2, +82 55 883 7019
Entrance Fee: Adults (age 20-64): 2,500won / Group 2,200 won ; Youth (age12-19): Individual 1,000 / Group 800 won ; Children (age 7-12): Individual 500 won / Group 400 won
Note: Free Admission for Children age 7 and below or Seniors age 65 and above, and people with disabilities. A group is 30 or more people.
Website: www.ssanggyesa.net (Korean only)

 

Accommodation

Below are two suggested Accommodation near Ssanggyesa Temple. We recommend that you do your own research so that you can find lodgings that suit your needs and budget.

1. Swieoganeun Nugak
Address: 800, Hwagae-ro, Hwagae-myeon, Hadong-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do
Phone: +82 55 884 0151 / +82 10 4194 0056 (Korean, Japanese)
Website: www.쉬어가는누각펜션.com

2. Cheonghakdong Myeongryundang Youth Hostel
Address: 2359-12, Cheonghak-ro, Cheongam-myeon, Hadong-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do
Phone: +82 55 882 1892
Website: www.hakdang.com

 

19. Gamcheon Culture Village

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The vibrant little township of Gamcheon is sometimes called the Lego Village, Korea’s Machu Picchu, or Korea’s Santorini. Located in the city of Busan, the houses here are built in a staircase-fashion on the foothills of its mountain, painted in colourful shades of blue, yellow, pink, and green. When you look at the landscape of the village from a distance, they look like tiny blocks of Lego buildings.

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The best way to explore this village is by foot, which you can start to do so by heading down to the Haneul Maru Tourist Information Centre and Observatory, which is just a few blocks from the bus stop, grab a map, and start walking. The picturesque scenery is especially loved by photographers and social media fans.

Ssiathotteok, a must-try local delicacy

Ssiathotteok, a must-try local delicacy

The village’s many alleyways that cut through its residential areas will give you a glimpse of local life and the warm community of this village, with artsy street murals and creative sculptures drawn all around the village. There are also many art galleries, exhibitions and little museums to check out. Sample the city’s famous ssiathotteok, a local sweet delicacy which is a fried pastry with sugar, honey, nuts and sunflower seeds stuffing.

 

How to Get There

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To get to the village, you can take the Busan Subway Line 1 from Goejeong Station and get off at Exit 6. Then get on the local bus Sakha 1 or Sakha 1-1 which takes you to Gamcheon Elementary School Bus Stop, where you will get off.

If you are taking the subway from Toseong Station, take the same Subway Line 1 and get off at Exit 6. Then get on the local bus Saha 1-1, Seogu 2 or Seogu 2-2 which goes to Gamcheon Elementary School Bus Stop.

Address: 203, Gamnae 2-ro, Saha-gu, Busan
Phone: 1330 Travel Hotline: +82 2 1330 / +82 51 291 1444
Entrance Fee: NIL
Opening Hours: NIL
Website: www.gamcheon.or.kr (Korean)

 

Accommodation

There are many types of accommodation near Gamcheon Culture Village, ranging from 5-star hotels to more budgeted ones. We recommend you do further research to find the right accommodation for you. Below are two examples.

1. Global Inn Nampo-Dong Hotel
Address: 22, Gudeok-ro, Jung-gu, Busan
Phone: +82 51 231 2300
Website: www.globalinn.co.kr

2. Funstay Guesthouse
Address: 30, Gudeok-ro, Jung-gu, Busan
Phone: +82 51 254 2203
Website: www.funstayguesthouse.com (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

 

20. Songnisan National Park

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Songnisan National Park is one of Korea’s most magnificent sites located in the middle of the Sobaeksanmaek Mountains, southwest of the Taebaeksanmaek Mountains. Songnisan National Park consists of the valleys of Hwayang, Songnisan Mountain, Seonyu, and Ssanggok. The sharp peaks of Mount Songnisan rising to the sky and the deep rocky valleys create an amazing contrast of texture. Because of this, Mount Songnisan is often known as Mount Sogeumgangsan, which literally means ‘a smaller version of Mount Geumgangsan’.

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Perhaps one of the most exciting things to see here is one of Korea’s largest temples – Beopjusa. Here you will discover a Maaeyeoraeuisang rock carving image of the Buddha sitting on a lotus, which the scholar-monk Uisang described as a kind of meditation posture, known as the lotus position. Over the years, the elements have damaged some parts of this image, but fortunately, we can still see its original beauty quite clearly.

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Visitors to the Beopjusa Temple will be able to behold Cheongdongmireukbul – the huge bronze Buddha statue, which is said to be the largest of its kind in Korea. With so many National Monuments, Beopjusa Temple is one of the best places to learn about the history of Buddhist civilisation in Korea.

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How to Get There

To get to Songnisan National Park you can take the intercity bus from Dong Seoul Bus Terminal to Mount Songnisan Mt, which runs 12 times a day from7:30 am to 6:30 pm.

Alternatively, you can get to the park from Cheongju Intercity Bus Terminal, which has 26 buses a day that run from 6:50 am to 9:30 pm.

Address: Sangpan-ri, Songnisan-myeon, Boeun-gun, Chungcheongbuk-do
Phone: 1330 Travel Hotline +82 2 1330 / +82 43 542 5267 (Songnisan National Park office) / +82 43 832 4347 (Hwayang-dong Annex) / +82 43 832 5550 (Ssanggok Waterfall Annex)

Entrance Fee:

Beopjusa Temple area
Adults: 4,000 won / Group: 3,700 won
Teenagers: 2,000 won / Group: 1,600 won
Children: 1,000 won / Group: 800 won
Note: Group is 30 or more people. Free admission for Seniors (65 and above). Facility fees are paid separately.

Camping sites
Adults: 1,600 won / Peak season: 2,000 won
Youths: 1,200 won / Peak season: 1,500 won
Children: 800 won / Peak season: 1,000 won
Note: Electricity fee is 2,000 won per day

Opening Hours: Open All Year
Website: english.knps.or.kr (Korean, English, Chinese, Japanese)

 

Accommodation

There are several types of accommodation near Songnisan National Park ranging from budget hotels to luxurious ones. We recommend you do further research to find the right accommodations that suit your budget and requirements. Here are two examples.

1. Lake Hills Hotel Songnisan
Address: 198, Sanae 1-ri, Songnisan-myeon, Boeun-gun, Chungcheongbuk-do
Phone: +82 43 542 5281/8
Website: www.lakehills.co.kr (Korean, English)

2. Songnisan Grand Hotel Condo
Address: 6-9 Sanae 4-gil Sokrisan-myeon, Boeun-gun, Chungcheongbuk-do
Phone: +82-43-542-2500 (Korean)
Website: www.smgrand.com (Korean only)

 

Travel Books on Korea

Before you travel to Gyeongsang, it is best to read up or research online to help you plan your trip better and make the best out of your vacation. Here are two books recommended to help you make your holiday an enjoyable adventure.

 

1. Korea

Authors: Robert Koehler

Gyeongsang108

Released by the Korea Tourism Organization, this 752-page guidebook, available in English, provides useful tips and information for international travellers planning a trip to Korea. The guidebook contains about 1,000 photos, and is the largest and most comprehensive travel guidebook on Korea to be published.

The guidebook also includes a list of Korea’s Best 8 travel destinations by theme (tourist attractions, culture, nature, history, etc.), and a series of detailed travel itineraries of things to see, eat, and do while in Korea.

 

2. Lonely Planet Korea (Travel Guide)

Author: Simon Richmond, Megan Eaves, Trent Holden, Rebecca Milner, Phillip Tang, Rob Whyte

Gyeongsang109

Lonely Planet has been the most popular and trusted producer of travel guidebooks for just about every travel destination in the world, with constant updates from a vibrant travellers’ community, and made even more convenient with new digital products. The Lonely Planet Korea guidebook contains detailed itineraries and highlighted destinations, tips on how to save money and avoid crowds, reviews on hotels, and colour maps for locations such as yeongsangbuk-do, Sokcho, Samcheok, Chungju, Daejeon, Gongju, and Daegu.

 
Sources:

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gyeongsang_dialect
  • http://www.korea.net/NewsFocus/Travel/view?articleId=119380
  • http://wikitravel.org/en/North_Gyeongsang
  • http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/resources/guides/guide-to-south-korea-etiquette-customs-culture-business/
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gyeongsang_Province
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_modern_Korean_festivals
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_regional_cuisine
  • https://www.roughguides.com/destinations/asia/south-korea/gyeongsang/

 
For more interesting information:

 

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5 Responses to Wonderful Korea – Gyeongsang

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  1. Anne Ong on Aug 19, 2017 at 8:06 pm

    Love this beautiful article on Gyeongsang. It’s wonderful history and beautiful places. The food looks very delicious and tempting. Thank you Rinpoche and blog team for this interesing article.

  2. wan wai meng on Aug 13, 2017 at 9:39 pm

    The Tripitaka Koreana is an impressive piece of work, so many volumes and it is unmistaken and without error. They also celebrate a festival whereby they parade the dharma text out for all to get a view of it. How wonderful the Koreans can show the holy texts to so many sentient beings.

    Then we also have very beautiful temples all over Korea, some very well taken care of and surrounded in nature.

  3. Stella Cheang on Aug 9, 2017 at 7:57 pm

    Thank you, Rinpoche, for this beautiful sharing of the beautiful state, Gyeongsang in South Korea. The Tripitaka Koreana at the Haeinsa Temple is fascinating, as it has a collection of 81,258 wooden blocks of carving of Buddhist canons consist of more than 52 million words without error. The original edition took 16 years to complete; I can barely imagine the monumental effort. Gyeongsang will certainly make a fascinating place to visit for me, because of the many enchanting ancient temples. My top choices would be Bulguksa Temple, built in the year 528, with a golden Amita Buddha statue. And also the Golgulsa Temple constructed in the 6th century, Girimsa Temple, Beomeosa Temple, Ssanggyesa Temple as well as Beopjusa Temple. Each displays a unique architecture characteristics and historical values.

  4. Samfoonheei on Aug 5, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    Gyeongsang is a province of South Korea where Buddhist traditions of the Silla kingdom and the centre of Confucian philosophies meet.Its known as the land of mountains and majesty, folklore and heroes. this area is home to some of the most wonderful sights that Korea has to offer.
    With historic temples and grandiose park reserves, this region is the cultural epi-centre of the country and having preserved their rich culture and traditions where by they celebrate various art and festivities.From what i see and read Gyeongsang have a very rich and beautiful province to visit.With so many attractions to offer to locals and tourist.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these wonderful place .

  5. Fong on Aug 4, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    King Hyeokgeose being born from an egg reminds me of the legends of the protectors like Tsui Marpo who was born from the union of Lekpa and a female tsen. So, it is no wonder that the young King Hyeokgeose was appointed king at age thirteen.

    Gyeongsang sounds like a very beautiful and spiritual pace for a visit. It seems to be more than just beautiful landscape. Although most of the food noted in the article are not vegetarian, I would presume that it would not be difficult to find vegetarian food as it has so many Buddhist temples and is such a spiritual place

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  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Aug 23. 2017 11:57 AM
    What a choice Kenneth Lee made….quit his well-paying job as a lecturer. And now he is teaching in a small school in a remote area of Thailand.He has no regret quitting his job for a journey that comes with many uncertainties and changes to a completely new place.
    All he wanted was to live his life as meaningfully as possible and a good teacher who can contribute positively to a place which can help his students.Even though the work load is slightly more because he could not speck their languages.
    He gave up his comfortable life, his material possessions, and he is now enjoying a greater degree of spiritual happiness and has less worries.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this inspiring post .May more people will be inspired by him.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/he-has-the-best-job-in-the-world.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Aug 23. 2017 11:56 AM
    Very powerful teachings on Bodhicitta which is explains precisely.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this powerful teachings by Lama Yeshe.
    I will keep these in mind ,have deep thoughts and maybe a wake up call for me …….(The dedicated attitude of opening your heart to all universal living beings brings relaxation. )
    Many unusual and auspicious signs happens on the day of 2nd Zong Rinpoche, Zongtrul Tenpa Chopel passing.After opening the cremation hearth they found the skull unburned and completely intact with a Tibetan ‘Ah’ syllable.
    The discovery of these extraordinary signs made everyone feel great peace, reaffirming their faith in their Teacher.
    Thanks again with folded hands.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/great-excerpt.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Aug 23. 2017 11:55 AM
    What%20a%20choice%20Kenneth%20Lee%20made
    [no sender]
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Aug 23. 2017 11:54 AM
    A%20best%20friend%20is%20like%20a%20four%20leaf%20clover%2C%20hard%20to%20find%2C%20lucky%20to%20have.%0AFriendship%20is%20one%20mind%20in%20two%20bodies%20and%20its%20about%20who%20we
    [no sender]
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Aug 23. 2017 11:54 AM
    A best friend is like a four leaf clover, hard to find, lucky to have.
    Friendship is one mind in two bodies and its about who we’ve known and who is always there to be with us at all times.That is dorje Shugden who is always with us and will help us nor matter where and times.As long as we have faith and trust in our powerful Protector Dorje Shugden,he will be our great friend.
    Thank you Rinpoche through your kindness,caring,and compassion we are fortunate to meet and know Rinpoche’s great friend.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/a-good-friend-to-have.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Aug 23. 2017 11:52 AM
    A%20best%20friend%20is%20like%20a%20four%20leaf%20clover%2C%20hard%20to%20find%2C%20lucky%20to%20have.%0AFriendship%20is%20one%20mind%20in%20two%20bodies%20and%20its%20about%20who%20we
    [no sender]
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Aug 23. 2017 11:52 AM
    A best friend is like a four leaf clover, hard to find, lucky to have.
    Friendship is one mind in two bodies and its about who we’ve known and who is always there to be with us at all times.That is dorje Shugden who is always with us and will help us nor matter where and times.As long as we have faith and trust in our powerful Protector Dorje Shugden,he will be our great friend.
    Thank you Rinpoche through your kindness,caring,and compassion we are fortunate to meet and know Rinpoche’s great friend.


    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/a-good-friend-to-have.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Tuesday, Aug 22. 2017 10:58 PM
    Danny Bowman’s case is extreme, more of a mental problem instead of a vanity issue. However, many people around us are addicted to taking selfie. Even though it might be just showing off their beauty to gain attention, it should not be dismissed lightly. Because of their excessive love for themselves, they lack the empathy for others. This is the real issue. When someone place all the attention on themselves and expect others to do the same, it is against the practice of Bodhicitta. And if it not corrected at early stage, it will become a habituation and strong imprint that will also affect them in their next life.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/selfie-addiction-is-no-laughing-matter-psychiatrists-say.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Tuesday, Aug 22. 2017 05:59 PM
    Thank you, Rinpoche, for this sharing on Dr. Joona Repo’s work. In his book “Phabongka Dechen Nyingpo: His Collected Works and the Guru-Deity-Protector Triad,” Dr. Joona Repo’s impartial recollections of Pabongka Rinpoche serves to debunk certain perception people have towards this erudite master, who was brought into question because of his emphasis on Dorje Shugden and what was deemed as sectarianism practices.

    Through presenting the vastness and diversity of the works by Pabongka Rinpoche and records of his teaching against sectarianism, this book empirically presents a balanced view of Pabongka Rinpoche against those baseless allegations. The fact that Pabongka Rinpoche wrote extensively about Vajrayogini and had visions of Heruka proved that he is no ordinary Lama.

    Pabongka Rinpoche was, in fact, the reincarnation of a well-known scholar Changkya Rolpay Dorje who was the Royal Tutor to the Chinese Emperors. Because of this sensitivity, Pabongka RInpoche was not recognized his lineage by the power of the day. This in itself is a hint that there are more than meet the eyes.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/the-collected-works-of-h-h-pabongka-rinpoche.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Aug 22. 2017 12:24 PM
    Very inspiring and powerful quotes for us to have a deep thought of it. Which we will need to remember at all times in our spiritual journey.
    I do loves these quotes…
    Remember, if we wish to make an offering to our teacher, no offering is greater than that of our own dharma practice..~Geshe Tsutrim Gyeltsen

    Never abandon your spiritual teacher no matter how many inner obstacles you need to overcome……~Tsem Rinpoche

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing all these powerful quotes which will change our lives and should not be ignored.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/quotes-that-should-not-be-ignored.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Aug 22. 2017 12:23 PM
    Wow beautiful and meaningful this precious poem wrote by Rinpoche.And the lyrics of the song made from the poem below by Gavin Gooi is fabulous. Could not beliveve it from a poem to a lovely songs. Nice to hear and i love listerning each and every words said….very touching poem from sadness to happiness expressed .Rinpoche’s Guru Devotion and the love for His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche .
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing .

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/me/a-poem-to-my-teacher.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Aug 22. 2017 12:22 PM
    Its a interesting post with 2 giants countries discussing over movie market. Hollywood producers who are increasingly looking to tap the country’s fast-growing box office into China market.However there is restriction .They hopes China will increase the quota and the share of revenues more in line with international markets. And even has openly criticized China on trade.China is likely to raise the quota of imported films as part of recent trade talks.
    China are trying to protect its growing domestic film industry from Hollywood domination. The most best measure is the strict quota limiting the number.
    Brad Pitt was back in China nearly 20 years after being baned over a film about Tibet .Time has changed China policy on celebrities entering China.
    Thank you Pastor Loh Seng Piow for sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/china-raises-movie-quota-hollywood-on-best-behavior.html
  • Tsem Rinpoche
    Tuesday, Aug 22. 2017 10:05 AM
    You won’t believe what this former Citibank vice president has to say. One of the most powerful and inspiring speeches you will ever hear in your life! Plse take a few moments to listen to this. It is worth it.-
    https://www.facebook.com/mercyforanimals/videos/10152917764269475/?hc_ref=ARTTZV6szVgZXaepZJFJ_-wCZ1U-SiyFA3jzC20EoNgCNwsOyTV_ELImvK3Lq_IgBBQ
  • Lin Mun
    Monday, Aug 21. 2017 09:48 PM


    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these precious pictures. It shows so much about Guru Devotion and a very close Guru and student relationship. The love and care of a Guru to his students are unlimited.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/gurus-love-their-students.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Monday, Aug 21. 2017 07:53 PM
    This article reminds me of how, in general, people understand the need to have a strong and fit psychic body but rarely willing to take action to go through the training. Let alone Dharma training of the mind which is much more tougher. Because our habituation has conditioned us to perceive and think a certain way, and the need to unlearn and relearn is not part of our program.

    To me, understanding the need to be trained and having the courage to go through the training is a process in itself. The mind has to be conditioned to understand the need of the training which is to eliminate the “i” and the importance of the training which is to speed up the journey of crossing the ocean of samsara.

    Most importantly, we must recognize it is very rare for us to be in a perfect human condition, meet the dharma and the perfect Guru, therefore, we must not imagine that we have time by thinking there will always be tomorrow. Actually this is the conversation in my mind sometimes… lol.

    Thank you, Rinpoche, for this article.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/training-shouldnt-be-optional.html

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The Unknown

The Known and unknown are both feared,
Known is being comfortable and stagnant,
The unknown may be growth and opportunities,
One shall never know if one fears the unknown more than the known.
Who says the unknown would be worse than the known?
But then again, the unknown is sometimes worse than the known. In the end nothing is known unless we endeavour,
So go pursue all the way with the unknown,
because all unknown with familiarity becomes the known.
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I pity men who occupy themselves exclusively with the transitory in things and lose themselves in the study of what is perishable, since we are here for this very end- that we may make the perishable imperishable, which we can do only after we have learned how to approach both.~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

(This quote is very powerful from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. He seems to be a powerful thinker and can think beyond daily and ordinary thoughts. Like I shared, only the study of dharma is going to lead to the imperishable. Any other studies of this world only are temporarily beneficial which is perishable. Of course he is not referring to dharma, but he realized ordinary pursuits leads to perishability. If he knew dharma, he would see the vastness of Buddha\'s omniscience.  Tsem Rinpoche)
2 days ago
I pity men who occupy themselves exclusively with the transitory in things and lose themselves in the study of what is perishable, since we are here for this very end- that we may make the perishable imperishable, which we can do only after we have learned how to approach both.~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (This quote is very powerful from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. He seems to be a powerful thinker and can think beyond daily and ordinary thoughts. Like I shared, only the study of dharma is going to lead to the imperishable. Any other studies of this world only are temporarily beneficial which is perishable. Of course he is not referring to dharma, but he realized ordinary pursuits leads to perishability. If he knew dharma, he would see the vastness of Buddha's omniscience. Tsem Rinpoche)
One of the nicest Taras I\'ve seen. I like her shade of green and the lotus on the left which is lower as her hand is lower so it\'s very balanced looking. Her face looks young, motherly, kind and yet regal.
2 days ago
One of the nicest Taras I've seen. I like her shade of green and the lotus on the left which is lower as her hand is lower so it's very balanced looking. Her face looks young, motherly, kind and yet regal.
(1st photo) Kyabje Lati Rinpoche in the centre and Ven Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende on the extreme right. After the unfair ban against Dorje Shugden practitioners was forcibly instituted by Tibetan leadership onto the people and monasteries, the monasteries split. Over 600 monks from Gaden Shartse Monastery left and set up Shar Gaden Monastery. The Tibetan leadership did their best to get the authorities to close Shar Gaden Monastery but Shar Gaden had registered so there was nothing Tibetan leadership can do. It was very sad. Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende left Gaden Shartse Monastery to be the abbot of the newly formed Shar Gaden Monastery in South India where they can continue Dorje Shugden practice. Prior to the ban Lati Rinpoche and Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende can meet up, share and be close as they all had been very close. After the ban this was not allowed anymore. Dorje Shugden and non-Dorje Shugden people had to be segregated. They cannot mix. The previous prime minister of the Tibetan exiled government said that Dorje Shugden people and non Dorje Shugden people are like the mustache and the mouth and it has to be separated. Tsem Rinpoche
4 days ago
(1st photo) Kyabje Lati Rinpoche in the centre and Ven Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende on the extreme right. After the unfair ban against Dorje Shugden practitioners was forcibly instituted by Tibetan leadership onto the people and monasteries, the monasteries split. Over 600 monks from Gaden Shartse Monastery left and set up Shar Gaden Monastery. The Tibetan leadership did their best to get the authorities to close Shar Gaden Monastery but Shar Gaden had registered so there was nothing Tibetan leadership can do. It was very sad. Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende left Gaden Shartse Monastery to be the abbot of the newly formed Shar Gaden Monastery in South India where they can continue Dorje Shugden practice. Prior to the ban Lati Rinpoche and Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende can meet up, share and be close as they all had been very close. After the ban this was not allowed anymore. Dorje Shugden and non-Dorje Shugden people had to be segregated. They cannot mix. The previous prime minister of the Tibetan exiled government said that Dorje Shugden people and non Dorje Shugden people are like the mustache and the mouth and it has to be separated. Tsem Rinpoche
You can see in this 2nd photo, Kyabje Lati Rinpoche blessing a child and Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende standing next to the child. The monasteries were happy, united and had good samaya with each other prior to the ban. The ban destroyed everything and unity and harmony. It is very sad to see this. These pictures are from Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende\'s collection. Tsem Rinpoche
4 days ago
You can see in this 2nd photo, Kyabje Lati Rinpoche blessing a child and Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende standing next to the child. The monasteries were happy, united and had good samaya with each other prior to the ban. The ban destroyed everything and unity and harmony. It is very sad to see this. These pictures are from Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende's collection. Tsem Rinpoche
His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche on the throne, His Eminence Lati Rinpoche (next to Zong Rinpoche) and below Lati Rinpoche is Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche (sitting below Lati Rinpoche). This is a puja in Gaden Shartse Monastery. A rare and blessed photo and nice to save. Tsem Rinpoche
4 days ago
His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche on the throne, His Eminence Lati Rinpoche (next to Zong Rinpoche) and below Lati Rinpoche is Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche (sitting below Lati Rinpoche). This is a puja in Gaden Shartse Monastery. A rare and blessed photo and nice to save. Tsem Rinpoche
ou can save this rare thangka of 1,000 armed Heruka. I\'ve never seen this thangka or any of this form before and it\'s the first time. You can print out or keep or use. I found this online and it\'s beautiful. Kyabje Zong Rinpoche mentioned this Heruka 30 years ago to us and since then I have never seen this in painting or statue at all till now. He has many legs and many faces too. Very special and unique. Seeing Heruka or thinking of Heruka plants the seeds of enlightenment in our mindstream. Tsem Rinpoche
4 days ago
ou can save this rare thangka of 1,000 armed Heruka. I've never seen this thangka or any of this form before and it's the first time. You can print out or keep or use. I found this online and it's beautiful. Kyabje Zong Rinpoche mentioned this Heruka 30 years ago to us and since then I have never seen this in painting or statue at all till now. He has many legs and many faces too. Very special and unique. Seeing Heruka or thinking of Heruka plants the seeds of enlightenment in our mindstream. Tsem Rinpoche
This is Venerable Lhakpa Tsering from Tibet. He has passed away a few years back of natural causes and as he was older. He was one of the high ranking and official oracle of Dorje Shugden, Namka Barzin, Kache Marpo and several other high protectors. He was famous in Tibet for his correct trance of Dorje Shugden and extremely powerful clairvoyance advice of Dorje Shguden. He has been taking trance since Tibet. In 1959 he left Tibet for India and settled in Kalimpong. He continued to take trance in Kalimpong of Dorje Shugden for government officials, local persons, high lamas, monasteries, nuns, monks and even foreigners. For over 40 years his wonderful oracular ability to take trance and give advice and prophecies has benefited so many people. He was trained and blessed as an oracle by the previous Dromo Geshe Rinpoche of Sera Jey Monastery. I\'ve had a chance to stay at his house, meet him and see him in trance. It was a great blessing and amazing experience. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
This is Venerable Lhakpa Tsering from Tibet. He has passed away a few years back of natural causes and as he was older. He was one of the high ranking and official oracle of Dorje Shugden, Namka Barzin, Kache Marpo and several other high protectors. He was famous in Tibet for his correct trance of Dorje Shugden and extremely powerful clairvoyance advice of Dorje Shguden. He has been taking trance since Tibet. In 1959 he left Tibet for India and settled in Kalimpong. He continued to take trance in Kalimpong of Dorje Shugden for government officials, local persons, high lamas, monasteries, nuns, monks and even foreigners. For over 40 years his wonderful oracular ability to take trance and give advice and prophecies has benefited so many people. He was trained and blessed as an oracle by the previous Dromo Geshe Rinpoche of Sera Jey Monastery. I've had a chance to stay at his house, meet him and see him in trance. It was a great blessing and amazing experience. Tsem Rinpoche
Why seek anything else when you have the illustrious practice of Vajra Yogini from the lineage of the Crazy Wisdom Mahasiddha Naropa? Nothing in samsara created by ordinary men can surpass the practice of Vajra Yogini elucidated to us by the Buddha. Nothing in samsara’s knowledge no matter how incredible can surpass the knowledge embodied in the dharma by the Buddha. Samsara knowledge is limited. When we study Buddha’s knowledge (Dharma) it guarantees our future with no limitations. Spend more time studying dharma than samsaric knowledge. Why even compare? Surrender samsara as death and loss are it’s only results and engage in Dharma practice all the way. Vajra Yogini is dharma and dharma is Vajra Yogini. Give everything for Vajra Yogini’s practice. Start now as a preliminary practice even without initiation (blog article: Starting on Vajra Yogini Now- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=4395). Humbly, Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Why seek anything else when you have the illustrious practice of Vajra Yogini from the lineage of the Crazy Wisdom Mahasiddha Naropa? Nothing in samsara created by ordinary men can surpass the practice of Vajra Yogini elucidated to us by the Buddha. Nothing in samsara’s knowledge no matter how incredible can surpass the knowledge embodied in the dharma by the Buddha. Samsara knowledge is limited. When we study Buddha’s knowledge (Dharma) it guarantees our future with no limitations. Spend more time studying dharma than samsaric knowledge. Why even compare? Surrender samsara as death and loss are it’s only results and engage in Dharma practice all the way. Vajra Yogini is dharma and dharma is Vajra Yogini. Give everything for Vajra Yogini’s practice. Start now as a preliminary practice even without initiation (blog article: Starting on Vajra Yogini Now- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=4395). Humbly, Tsem Rinpoche
The young Tsem Rinpoche with his cousin Sada Andreyev. She visited him in Los Angeles. Taken in Tsem Rinpoche\'s room in Thubten Dhargye Ling Dharma centre.
3 weeks ago
The young Tsem Rinpoche with his cousin Sada Andreyev. She visited him in Los Angeles. Taken in Tsem Rinpoche's room in Thubten Dhargye Ling Dharma centre.
Young Tsem Rinpoche with his cousin Sonia Waskin. She visited him in Los Angeles, California.
3 weeks ago
Young Tsem Rinpoche with his cousin Sonia Waskin. She visited him in Los Angeles, California.
Pictures of the teenage Tsem Rinpoche with his two cousins Sonia and Sada. Taken outside of Thubten Dhargye Ling Buddhist Centre where Tsem Rinpoche was living. Los Angeles, California, USA
3 weeks ago
Pictures of the teenage Tsem Rinpoche with his two cousins Sonia and Sada. Taken outside of Thubten Dhargye Ling Buddhist Centre where Tsem Rinpoche was living. Los Angeles, California, USA
Pictures of the teenage Tsem Rinpoche with his two cousins Sonia and Sada. Los Angeles, California, USA
3 weeks ago
Pictures of the teenage Tsem Rinpoche with his two cousins Sonia and Sada. Los Angeles, California, USA
The young Tsem Rinpoche with his parents Boris and Dana Bugayeff. And on the extreme right is Tsem Rinpoche\'s cousin Toktun Gugajew. This was in Howell, New Jersey, USA
3 weeks ago
The young Tsem Rinpoche with his parents Boris and Dana Bugayeff. And on the extreme right is Tsem Rinpoche's cousin Toktun Gugajew. This was in Howell, New Jersey, USA
Tsem Rinpoche attending the wedding of Carmen Kichikov\'s brother. Tsem Rinpoche is 2nd from the right and in his adolescence. Howell, New Jersey, USA
3 weeks ago
Tsem Rinpoche attending the wedding of Carmen Kichikov's brother. Tsem Rinpoche is 2nd from the right and in his adolescence. Howell, New Jersey, USA
When my adorable Dharma boy came home to me. I love you Dharma boy. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
When my adorable Dharma boy came home to me. I love you Dharma boy. Tsem Rinpoche
Tsem Rinpoche in Taiwan as a baby where he was born
3 weeks ago
Tsem Rinpoche in Taiwan as a baby where he was born
Tsem Rinpoche as a baby holding an umbrella
3 weeks ago
Tsem Rinpoche as a baby holding an umbrella
Think about this...
3 weeks ago
Think about this...
Our frustrations have meaning when it\'s for others and a greater cause.
3 weeks ago
Our frustrations have meaning when it's for others and a greater cause.
It is much better to be doing good things for others than just for ourselves.
3 weeks ago
It is much better to be doing good things for others than just for ourselves.
Contemplate this please...
3 weeks ago
Contemplate this please...
Is there life beyond the grave? If the soul exists, does it survive death? If so, when did the belief first arise that the soul may reincarnate, to be born anew in another physical body? Before we unlock the future we must find the keys to the past. I’m Leonard Nimoy. Join me and open the door to ancient mysteries beginning now, here on A&E. Continue reading here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=37831
3 weeks ago
Is there life beyond the grave? If the soul exists, does it survive death? If so, when did the belief first arise that the soul may reincarnate, to be born anew in another physical body? Before we unlock the future we must find the keys to the past. I’m Leonard Nimoy. Join me and open the door to ancient mysteries beginning now, here on A&E. Continue reading here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=37831
It was a great honour for myself and Kechara to have His Eminence Kensur Rinpoche Jetsun Lobsang Phende visiting us. He is a courageous and extremely brave abbot emeritus of the monastery during it\'s most difficult time.~Tsem Rinpoche - Please read more here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=132602
4 weeks ago
It was a great honour for myself and Kechara to have His Eminence Kensur Rinpoche Jetsun Lobsang Phende visiting us. He is a courageous and extremely brave abbot emeritus of the monastery during it's most difficult time.~Tsem Rinpoche - Please read more here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=132602
This is a powerful picture of Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen, Kensur Kyabje Lati Rinpoche and the current incarnation of Trijang Rinpoche meeting together in the year 2000 when Trijang Rinpoche was 18. All three lamas are Dorje Shugden practitioners. In fact Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen was the one that first encouraged my practice of Dorje Shugden when I was 16 years old when I joined his beautiful Thubten Dhargye Ling centre in Los Angeles. I lived with Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen for 8 years before proceeding to Gaden Monastery in South India. Later Kyabje Zong Rinpoche came to our Los Angeles centre and granted sogtae (permission ceremony) to practice Dorje Shugden for life as requested by Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen. Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen had tremendous faith in Trijang Rinpoche. 

Kyabje Lati Rinpoche was innovative, dedicated and very much focused on bringing dharma to many. He had tremendous faith in Dorje Shugden as I had the honour to meet him many times. He would seek advice from Dorje Shugden many times via the oracle of Gaden Monastery. Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen and Kensur Kyabje Lati Rinpoche have since passed away while the current Trijang Rinpoche is a perfect lineage holder and practitioner of Dharma while he keeps Dorje Shugden as his personal protector as he has done so for many lifetimes. 

This is a powerful and beautiful picture of three great lamas of Buddha’s lineage and also of Gaden Monastery. ~Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
This is a powerful picture of Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen, Kensur Kyabje Lati Rinpoche and the current incarnation of Trijang Rinpoche meeting together in the year 2000 when Trijang Rinpoche was 18. All three lamas are Dorje Shugden practitioners. In fact Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen was the one that first encouraged my practice of Dorje Shugden when I was 16 years old when I joined his beautiful Thubten Dhargye Ling centre in Los Angeles. I lived with Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen for 8 years before proceeding to Gaden Monastery in South India. Later Kyabje Zong Rinpoche came to our Los Angeles centre and granted sogtae (permission ceremony) to practice Dorje Shugden for life as requested by Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen. Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen had tremendous faith in Trijang Rinpoche. Kyabje Lati Rinpoche was innovative, dedicated and very much focused on bringing dharma to many. He had tremendous faith in Dorje Shugden as I had the honour to meet him many times. He would seek advice from Dorje Shugden many times via the oracle of Gaden Monastery. Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen and Kensur Kyabje Lati Rinpoche have since passed away while the current Trijang Rinpoche is a perfect lineage holder and practitioner of Dharma while he keeps Dorje Shugden as his personal protector as he has done so for many lifetimes. This is a powerful and beautiful picture of three great lamas of Buddha’s lineage and also of Gaden Monastery. ~Tsem Rinpoche
A beautiful photograph of a path walking down from Manjushri Hill in Kechara Forest Retreat in Malaysia.
1 month ago
A beautiful photograph of a path walking down from Manjushri Hill in Kechara Forest Retreat in Malaysia.
This picture is of KB lovingly holding Mumu while he tries to stand up. I was in the room with them and someone else took this picture. It is a very sad and poignant picture because just a short while after this picture was taken, Mumu passed away with all of us present. This was the last picture of my little Mumu alive. We immediately did puja for Mumu and he is sorely missed by many as he touched our lives deeply. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
This picture is of KB lovingly holding Mumu while he tries to stand up. I was in the room with them and someone else took this picture. It is a very sad and poignant picture because just a short while after this picture was taken, Mumu passed away with all of us present. This was the last picture of my little Mumu alive. We immediately did puja for Mumu and he is sorely missed by many as he touched our lives deeply. Tsem Rinpoche
For years I have been doing this everywhere I go, no matter where or what country I am in. Always be kind to animals.
1 month ago
For years I have been doing this everywhere I go, no matter where or what country I am in. Always be kind to animals.
Practising makes you better at something. If you keep practising in laziness, that is what you will become good in. If you keep practising generosity, that is what you will develop. Keep practising in what you want to become good at.
1 month ago
Practising makes you better at something. If you keep practising in laziness, that is what you will become good in. If you keep practising generosity, that is what you will develop. Keep practising in what you want to become good at.
Real spirituality is kindness.
1 month ago
Real spirituality is kindness.
Our time on this earth in this lifetime is short. It\'s our choice what will look back on when we are in our final moments.
1 month ago
Our time on this earth in this lifetime is short. It's our choice what will look back on when we are in our final moments.
Materialism, desire and greed never result in happiness.
1 month ago
Materialism, desire and greed never result in happiness.
Never ever eat our friends. Go vegetarian.
1 month ago
Never ever eat our friends. Go vegetarian.
It is a privilege to serve the Dharma and to serve others. Real freedom comes in serving others.
1 month ago
It is a privilege to serve the Dharma and to serve others. Real freedom comes in serving others.
Compared to humans and all other sentient beings, animals have just as much right to happiness and freedom.
1 month ago
Compared to humans and all other sentient beings, animals have just as much right to happiness and freedom.
Dharma is not something I engage in as something separate from me. Dharma has been me since young.
1 month ago
Dharma is not something I engage in as something separate from me. Dharma has been me since young.
How much we are willing to suffer is how compassionate we are.
1 month ago
How much we are willing to suffer is how compassionate we are.
Dharma is the medicine of the mind prescribed by the Buddha.
1 month ago
Dharma is the medicine of the mind prescribed by the Buddha.
How much effort we are willing to put into our practice, is how much results we will get.
1 month ago
How much effort we are willing to put into our practice, is how much results we will get.
What do you worship on your altar, meat or compassion? One develops coldness and encourages lack of empathy, and one choice encourages attainments.
1 month ago
What do you worship on your altar, meat or compassion? One develops coldness and encourages lack of empathy, and one choice encourages attainments.
Where does patience come from? Think about it closely
1 month ago
Where does patience come from? Think about it closely
Indian sadhus and mendicants also very happy to receive Bhagwan Dorje Shugden
1 month ago
Indian sadhus and mendicants also very happy to receive Bhagwan Dorje Shugden
Tsem Rinpoche with the great Geshe Namgyal Wangchen of Drepung Loseling Monastery. Read more: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=132495
2 months ago
Tsem Rinpoche with the great Geshe Namgyal Wangchen of Drepung Loseling Monastery. Read more: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=132495
Some of my favorite people
(1st row) Alexandra David-Neel, Nicholas Roerich, Helena Roerich, Anagarika Govinda
(2nd row) Walter Evans-Wentz, John Blofeld, Bill Porter (Red Pine), Ekai Kawaguchi
2 months ago
Some of my favorite people (1st row) Alexandra David-Neel, Nicholas Roerich, Helena Roerich, Anagarika Govinda (2nd row) Walter Evans-Wentz, John Blofeld, Bill Porter (Red Pine), Ekai Kawaguchi
Do share this message and create more awareness. Thank you
2 months ago
Do share this message and create more awareness. Thank you
All that we want in samsara is just fleeting and illusionary and we are tired of chasing something that is so short lived, Lady Buddha Dakini Vajra Yogini, please embrace me as you did Naropa with great affection and lift me to your Kechara Paradise in my rainbow body. ~Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
All that we want in samsara is just fleeting and illusionary and we are tired of chasing something that is so short lived, Lady Buddha Dakini Vajra Yogini, please embrace me as you did Naropa with great affection and lift me to your Kechara Paradise in my rainbow body. ~Tsem Rinpoche
Lady Buddha Diamond Dakini Vajra Yogini, you appear in so many forms, guises and methods out of great compasion to bring me to your paradise of Kechara heaven. Bless me to waste no more time and engage in my spirituality thoroughly and may I see your coral visage soon. Bless me that I surrender all my games, attachments, projections and endless chasing of all that is futile in samsara now.... Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
Lady Buddha Diamond Dakini Vajra Yogini, you appear in so many forms, guises and methods out of great compasion to bring me to your paradise of Kechara heaven. Bless me to waste no more time and engage in my spirituality thoroughly and may I see your coral visage soon. Bless me that I surrender all my games, attachments, projections and endless chasing of all that is futile in samsara now.... Tsem Rinpoche
Sri Lanka is one of the most beautiful places I have visited. There is so much to explore. I have compiled 20 MUST VISIT places for you to see in Sri Lanka. Enjoy the post and the great pictures! Enjoy: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=127234
3 months ago
Sri Lanka is one of the most beautiful places I have visited. There is so much to explore. I have compiled 20 MUST VISIT places for you to see in Sri Lanka. Enjoy the post and the great pictures! Enjoy: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=127234
 http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/wp-content/gallery/chat-pictures/chat-8yzmaqog68754.jpg Sacred and holy Lady Buddha Vajra Yogini being escorted from the Vajra Yogini temple on the streets on festival day to bless the masses. Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/wp-content/gallery/chat-pictures/chat-8yzmaqog68754.jpg Sacred and holy Lady Buddha Vajra Yogini being escorted from the Vajra Yogini temple on the streets on festival day to bless the masses. Tsem Rinpoche
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    To hear the holy lama's voice, to be in his presence or even to see his form requires us to have the merits. To implement the teachings of the lama is not easy but not implementing the teachings only leads to more difficulties. I was fortunate to be in the presence of my lama and have kept my samaya clean all these years. To see, hear and remember your holy voice and teachings I feel grateful. I only hope by keeping my samaya clean with you now my lama, I may meet you in future lives again without distraction by samsara. I wish my stay in samsara to be shorter and it is possible by your teachings. May I practice and bring your teachings to many tirelessly as many need it desperately. May I not be disappointed by their unruly behaviour towards me and at times I lose strength, but I think of you. For in samsara everything has disappointed me and will continue to as everything in samsara is a forced illusion. I bow to the feet of my glorious Kyabje Zong Rinpoche! ~Tsem Rinpoche
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ASK A PASTOR


Ask the Pastors

A section for you to clarify your Dharma questions with Kechara’s esteemed pastors.

Just post your name and your question below and one of our pastors will provide you with an answer.

Scroll down and click on "View All Questions" to view archived questions.

  • August 22, 2017 01:55
    jason asked: what is the significance of a solar eclipse in terms of sadhana practice besides multiplying merit
    Pastor Niral Patel answered: Dear Jason, Thank you for your question. It is good to see you here. As you have rightly pointed out, during solar eclipses the merit from engaging in virtuous actions are greatly multiplied. Therefore there are many prescribed practices one can do during these times to generate a lot of merit, such as engaging in prayers, making abundant offerings, animal liberation, taking precepts for the day, etc. In terms of sadhana practice, the main benefit here would be the multiplication of merits generated. However on a tantric level, since the movements of the planets are linked to the movement of energy within the universe, and therefore one’s body, there would be subtle changes in the psychic winds within the body as well. On the whole, the patterns of the universe are mirrored within the psychic winds in the body as well. The tantric system that deals with these movements in the most detail is the Kalachakra Tantra, which you can read more about here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/tibetan-astrology/introduction-to-tibetan-astrology.html In the Kalachakra Tantra it is said that when a solar eclipse occurs, merit is either multiplied a thousand, ten-thousand times, or a hundred-thousand times. The sun and the moon are linked with the psychic winds, channels and drops with tantric practice. According to the Kalachakra Tantra everyone breathes 21,600 time every day and our minds are said to ride on the winds within our bodies. The majority of the winds within out body are karmic winds, in that they come about and are affected by karmic tendencies. During an eclipse however, more wisdom winds are said to prevail in the body. As these circulate in the body, doing Dharma practice, especially tantric practices in which you use these winds, one can achieve spiritual attainments at a speed that would not normally be possible. In traditional mythology, there is a celestial body known as Rahu. This isn’t actually a physical planet, but a node on the orbit of the moon. When Rahu appears, he is said to swallow the sun for some time, this is the ancient explanation of a solar eclipse. Rahu is also known as the “dragon’s head”. Within the Kalachakra Tantra, practitioners use Rahu to bring the sun and the moon under control. As the sun is associated with psychic channels on the right side of the body, and the moon with psychic channels on the left side of the body, what this means is that the practitioner controls these energies and brings them into the central psychic channel instead. Thereby the solar eclipse is said to mirror a tantric yogi’s ability to bring the psychic energies of the left and right side into the central channel. Once in the central channel the yogi can engage in the higher psychic energy meditations in order to gain spiritual attainments and even enlightenment. For an everyday practitioner therefore, the main benefit of practicing during a solar eclipse is the multiplication of merit. For a tantric practitioner however, it is a time that they can make use of the energies of nature to boost their practices. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • August 18, 2017 01:27
    Todd asked: Does Rinpoche have any information on the deity Rakta Yamari, who is believed to be an emanation of Manjushri?
    Pastor Niral Patel answered: Dear Todd, Thank you for your interesting question. Rakta Yamari is indeed a wrathful emanation of Manjushri, in the form of a yidam or meditational deity belonging to the Anuttarayoga, or highest tantra, class of deities. The practice has been incorporated into all four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism: the Nyingma, Kagyu, Sakya and Gelug. Generally speaking some of the wrathful forms of Manjushri can be classified into three groupings, the Rakta (blood-red), Krishna (blue-black), and Vajrabhairava (adamantine terrifying). Since Rakta Yamari is therefore a classification of deities, it would be hard to give information here on all of them. The specific forms of Rakta Yamari differ in how the main figure appears and the number of other deities in the mandala. Of particular note, is that each of these forms and their practices has their own lineage of practice as well. Whilst there are forms of all three classifications within the four main schools of Tibetan Buddhism, certain lineages place more emphasis on a particular form than others. For example, within the Gelug lineage emphasis is placed on Vajrabhairava Yamantaka, of which there are two forms in particular that are practiced: 13-deity Yamantaka, and Solitary Hero Yamantaka. In fact Vajrabhairava Yamantaka is one of the three main Anuttarayoga Tantra deities practiced in the Gelug lineage, which we follow, alongside the Akshobhyavajra variant of Guhyasamaja and Chakrasamvara. There are two important lineages of Rakta Yamari practice: the 13-deity Rakta Yamari, and the 5-deity Rakta Yamari practice. Both of these practices can be traced back to an important lineage holder, the Indian Mahasiddha Virupa. In the case of the 5-deity Rakta Yamari lineage, he was taught the practice by a wisdom dakini. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • August 17, 2017 19:26
    Aldric Wilson DuXing asked: How can the alleged "DiSanShr" "Dorje Chang Fo" Yi Yun Gao be the actual incarnation of Buddha Dipankara Buddha?
    Pastor Niral Patel answered: Dear Aldric Wilson DuXing, Thank you for your question. Unfortunately, I do not know much about Yi Yun Gao to be able to comment on this. However, within Buddhism we do believe that the Buddhas, out of their compassion appear in human form to help sentient beings in whatever way they can. Within Tibetan Buddhism there is a long history of recognising great masters as the physical body emanations (also known as tulkus) of the Buddhas. The logic behind this is that the Buddhas are all compassionate and so help sentient beings in any and all means that they can. This would obviously include taking the physical form of a human. To say that the Buddhas cannot or do not do this, would be limiting the abilities of the enlightened beings, which goes against the scriptures. In fact, in the scriptures it states that Buddhas can emanate out in countless different forms at the same time. This includes animate beings, such as humans, animals, etc., and also inanimate objects such as bridges, or other things. These emanations, or incarnations if in human form, can be recognised by those who have the ability to perceive the enlightened beings, such as highly attained masters or other emanations themselves. That is why you see only the highest masters within the Tibetan Buddhist traditions recognise others as incarnations of the Buddhas. Other methods of confirming this can include checking with an enlightened Dharma protector, such as Dorje Shugden, when in trance of a qualified oracle. Those who really are emanations of the enlightened beings do not actually need to be recognised as such, as they will always help others no matter if they are recognised or not. However the recognition of such beings is more for us, as practitioners to gain merit by helping them achieve their goal of helping other sentient beings. But as I mentioned earlier, these beings do not self-proclaim themselves but are recognised as such by other highly attained masters who are trustworthy and really work for the cause of helping others by upholding and practicing the holy teachings of Lord Buddha. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • August 16, 2017 00:47
    Anonymous asked: Sorry about the link not working. They can be found at dharmawheel.net and then looked under Tibetan Buddhism and then under topics which are under all the other lineage topics. Since this is recent, the title "Crazy Scandal somewhat related to Gelug hitting Taiwan" should come up. But anyway, here are the sources in that case: https://ladakh2017blog.wordpress.com/2017/08/12/mary-jin-gebis/ https://maisonneuve.org/article/2013/06/18/when-monks-come-town/ https://ladakh2017blog.wordpress.com/2017/08/14/bw-dorje-shugden/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ad355FqDQuo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzvPhv_eldk http://www.blisswisdom.org/statement/1854-1006 https://ladakh2017blog.wordpress.com/2017/07/24/dalai-lama-speaks-to-chinese-devotees-about-bliss-and-wisdom/
    No reply yet
  • August 15, 2017 01:43
    Anonymous asked: Hi, although this is not a question, I would like to bring awareness towards a particular cult in China and Taiwan that has been having scandals with their leader, Mary Jin. The cult has been defaming the Dalai Lama and has begun supporting Shugden here even though that's not really bad. However, I would like to bring attention so they may not begin corrupting the Buddhists here. Even though I used a dharmawheel website, it has links to its sources: https://dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=40
    pastor answered: Dear Anonymous, Thank you for bringing this to our attention, however the link you provided does not work. I do not know anything about this particular person or their organisation, so I really can’t say much. However, there are some people out there who use religion for their personal gain, and twist the teachings to suit their greed. These sorts of people are often embroiled in scandals and the like and often have views that go against common sense. That is why it is very important to check that a teacher is qualified, is practicing, and is teaching the Dharma as it should be according to the scriptures. All students are encouraged do to so and this in mentioned clearly in the scriptures themselves. The actions of a teacher should be in line with actions laid out in the scriptures and their views should match the logic laid out in the scriptures as well. Once we see a teacher’s qualities, and we have made sure that what they practice is real and genuine, we can devote ourselves to that person fully. We at Kechara, following the teachings of His Eminence the 25th Tsem Rinpoche, think very highly of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, as he is the emanation of the Buddha of compassion, Chenrezig. Similarly, we also believe that Dorje Shugden is the emanation of the Buddha of wisdom, Manjushri. For us, both are enlightened beings, and many practitioners all around world follow this belief as well. We are saddened to see or hear when others talk badly about either, since both are enlightened beings capable of benefiting the world tremendously. Thank you.
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Dorje Shugden Puja in Wisdom Hall, Kechara Forest Retreat. You can order a Puja through Kechara House or www.vajrasecrets.com
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Dorje Shugden Puja in Wisdom Hall, Kechara Forest Retreat. You can order a Puja through Kechara House or http://www.vajrasecrets.com
Kayene, 5 years old, from Kechara Sunday Dharma School. Stella Cheang
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Kayene, 5 years old, from Kechara Sunday Dharma School. Stella Cheang
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Chern Chern, 4 years old, from Kechara Sunday Dharma School. Stella Cheang
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Charmaine, Zi Xuan and Hulbert are practicing a dance performance during Kechara Sunday Dharma School. Stella Cheang
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All students of Kechara Sunday Dharma School gather together to do performance practice for the upcoming Mooncake Festival Charity Event. Stella Cheang
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Dechen and Lip Yew are good friends in Kechara Sunday Dharma School. Stella Cheang
Many visitors today are blessed by Dorje Shugden in Wisdom Hall, Kechara Forest Retreat!
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Many visitors today are blessed by Dorje Shugden in Wisdom Hall, Kechara Forest Retreat!
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Beautiful statue of wrathful Manjushri at Kechara Forest Retreat. Nice to see people praying to him. ~H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche
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Special self defence session for KSDS students. Lin Mun KSDS
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Throwback - KSDS students, parents & teachers outing to Kechara Soup Kitchen. Lin Mun KSDS
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Throwback- completion of the KSDS Graduation 2016. Lin Mun KSDS
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Performance by students from Bentong school during Grand Dorje Shugden Puja. Lin Mun KSDS
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Teacher Laura guided the students did short prayer before the class started. Alice Tay, KSDS
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Teacher Jayce and Teacher Lin Mun guided the children to do an experiment with mixing colours that represents life experiences. Alice Tay, KSDS
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The students worked together to find the answer. Alice Tay, KSDS
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These students are well behaved and give support to those are participated in the competition. Alice Tay, KSDS
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KSDS students gathered together for the song practice. Alice Tay, KSDS
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Pastor Yek Yee led weekly Thursday Dorje Shugden puja ( Chinese) at Bentong Puja House. Lucy Yap
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Weekly Puja in Puja House Bentong on Thursdays at 8pm. Please join!
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