Exploring Bongeunsa Temple in Gangnam

In true Korean fashion, a peaceful 1200-year-old temple lies adjacent to Gangnam’s fast-paced, trendy energy. I visited Bongeunsa temple on a mild, cloudy Saturday afternoon. Although templestay programs are offered, I’d participated in one a few weeks earlier and was content just to spend an hour or so wandering around.


Bongeunsa’s proximity to central Seoul makes it easy for visitors to gain an insight into working temples (monks and templestay participants live on-site). Take the green #2 line to Samseong station, exit 6. Walk straight for 600 metres, then turn left when you reach a major intersection. In true Seoul fashion, there’s even a few cafes along the way if you decide a cappuccino is needed to perk you up!


The temple is over a millennium old, having been established in 794 AD under King Wongseong’s reign. It was built by a man named Yeon-Hoe, he highest-ranking Silla monk at the time.


His grave is most likely somewhere within the temple complex.


The temple’s guards.


Of course I have to try to get Soozie in trouble!

Bongeunsa was a lovely place, although the lower level of the main temple was under some sort of construction.

There were a dazzling number of red paper lanterns strung from the rafters. 
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I’ve always enjoyed the juxtaposition of centuries-old temples and shiny new skyscrapers. ???????????????????????????????

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Along the walls of one of the main temples, paintings told the story of the Buddha’s path to enlightenment. ??????????????????????????????? IMG_3354 IMG_3355 IMG_3363

On our way back to Samseong station, we passed through the COEX building and happened upon some fun art installations…

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Afterwards, we met up with another  friend in Gangnam, for some delicious Italian-Korean fusion food and crepe cakes!

Stay tuned for more… have you visited Bongeunsa?


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