Haedong Yonggungsa – Dragon Temple by the Sea!
We didn’t always enjoy going to temples in Korea. In fact, I thought that while the temples were visually interesting, that they all looked the same. I got bored with them very quickly. That changed once I met Dale from Dale’s Korean Temple Adventures, a well-known blog in Korea. He also lives in Yangsan, and even works at the school just down the street from mine!
We first went to Tongdosa with Dale and his lovely wife, and it felt like we were on a professional tour! He pointed out the main hall, the unique paintings and their meanings, the influence of Shamanism on Korean buddhism, the Nine Dragons Sacred Pool, the stone lotus bud housing some of Buddha’s remains. It was the most beautiful temple I had seen, and I was fascinated by all of it! Granted, this is one of the best temples in Korea, but learning about all of this while listening to the monk’s morning chant changed my opinion completely about temples.
That first trip to Tongdosa was over a year ago, and since then I’ve visited quite a few temples! As I mention in the video, I usually read Dale’s blog post about the temple, and then print it out and carry it with me as I walk around the temple grounds. Now I can recognize a lot of details on my own, like specific buddhas and shaman paintings, which I never thought I’d be able to do!
A lot of foreigners visit beautiful temples in Korea, but I don’t know a lot of foreigners here that really know much about them. I would encourage anyone reading this to check out Dale’s site, because investing in learning about what you’re looking at makes it a more culturally enriching experience!
Enjoy our trip to one of the most beautiful temples in Korea!
The 12 zodiacs that guide you to the temple – I was born in year of the rabbit!
So beautiful! Great weather this day, just really windy!
Outline of the dragon at sunset
View from the top