Nestling on the side of Mt. Geumjeongsan overlooking Busan is Beomeosa Buddhist temple. Surrounded by lush forest and bamboo groves, along with the fact that this is an active temple with monks still in residence, this is definitely not one to miss. It’s not the easiest place to find, being near the end of the subway line and bus journey up the mountain (take the No. 90), however it’s dirt cheap to get in so you can’t complain!
One of the Heavenly Kings standing guard (above) in a gate house through which all visitors must pass to enter. Whilst the original 678 temple complex was burnt down by the Japanese in 1952, along with seemingly everything else in Korea, the 1613 reconstruction is certainly showing it’s age and some parts look badly in need on repair. Hopefully any restoration work will be sympathetic and not loose its rustic look as has happened with the ancient sites in Beijing.
If you fancy finding your own piece of enlightenment Beomeosa runs a “temple stay” program where you can go and live like a monk for a few days – you can certainly see the appeal of sitting around this sort of place meditating with none of the distractions of modern life.
Above the temple is a hiking path along side a small stream which leads to the summit. Unfortunately I didn’t have enough time that day to get to the top but on a hot day the cover of the trees and the are an ideal place to get out of the sun.