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.

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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!

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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.

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His grave is most likely somewhere within the temple complex.

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The temple’s guards.

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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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