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Spring in Korea Part 12 – Beomeosa Temple and Dongnae Samgyetang

This post is part of an ongoing travelogue. To start at the beginning, click here.

Day Five in Korea! And our second last full day. Today is another very packed day. This is the view from our hotel room.

 

 

We are first going up north out of Busan to Beomeosa Temple, then stop by Dongnae on the way back for lunch. Then we are going to Oryukdo Skywalk, and have dinner around Gwanggali beach and spend some time walking around there.

 

When I was planning for this trip, I had wanted to visit both Beomeosa and Geumjeung. The latter is a mountain fortress with a hiking trail up that rewards you with a beautiful view. But its a long way off from the city centre, so I had to leave it off the itinerary. But we did manage to fit in Beomeosa (Temple of the Nirvana Fish). This is another hilltop temple that is about an hour away from Busan.

To get here, we took a bus to the town at the foot of the hill, then we got a taxi up the hill. If you have time, you can also hike up the 2km path uphill.

Once we got to the temple, we were greeting with a stunning view of the countryside and the temple complex.

Even though it was already spring, there was still snow on ground. The snow in the roofs were melting and dropping down, though.

Beomeosa (pronounced “bo-MOS-a”) is small but very ancient and beautiful temple. It is┬áhead temple of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, and is said to contain a mythical well that never runs dry. We took some time walk slowly around the temple and enjoy the architecture and scenery.

 

Beomeosa is an active temple, there are many people praying here, but photography is, of course, not encouraged.

The surrounding hillside area is also very beautiful. The melting snow feeds the streams.

Our very first cherry blossom!

After checking off Beomeosa from our travel bucket list, we boarded a bus back to the city. About halfway back, we got off at a place called Dongnae, just outside Busan. Dongnae has two culinary distinctions. One is a 30-year old samgyetang restaurant, said to be the best in all of Korea. Another is a 4-generation old restaurant serving halmae pajeon (Korean pancake), and is rumoured to have served the emperor of Korea.

We had to walk quite a distance from the bus stop, and the samgyetang restaurant is quite difficult to find, as all the signages are in Korean. Finally spotting something familiar from Google Streetview, we found it.

The restaurant is a modest 2 storey bungalow with lots of benches at the side of building. We were there early so the place was rather empty. Up the narrow stairs we went.

They only have two types of samgyetang on the menu, herbal and traditional chicken.

Well, the samgyetang was actually delicious, but I’m not sure if it is better than the other famous one that we had in Seoul.

From here, we walked a short distance to find the halmae pajeon restaurant.

This restaurants is rather modern looking considering how old it is. The halmae pajeon here is quite different from anywhere else in Korea, it is said that they have maintained to the original recipe.

We also ordered this seafood noodle dish, though we regret doing so as it tasted really seafood-ish.

Having overeaten just a little bit, we took a slow walk back to the bus stand. Along the way we stopped at this coffee place that offered promo for their cakes (yes, eat some more).

In conclusion, Beomeosa is a beautiful temple in any season. Take a few hours to travel here if you have the opportunity. Dongnae is a nice town with many interesting restaurants, but we visited the both the samgyetang and halmae pajeon just for the experience only.

Next – Oryukdo Skywalk

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