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“Lovely traditional temple stay experience” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Haeinsa Temple

Haeinsa Temple
10 Chiin-ri, Gaya-myeon, Hapcheon-Gun, Gyeongsangnam-do 678-895, South Korea
055-934-3000
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Private Tour
$200*
and up
Private Tour of Junam Wetlands and Haeinsa Temple
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Owner description: The depository of Tripitaka Koreana, the famous collection of Buddhist texts on woodblocks.
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
105 reviews 105 reviews
30 attraction reviews
Reviews in 75 cities Reviews in 75 cities
171 helpful votes 171 helpful votes
“Lovely traditional temple stay experience”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2013

I booked via the temple stay website and was also able to reconfirm the booking direct with the temple.
After checking in we were shown to our room. It was large with an ensuite shower wet room.
There were lots of mattresses and duvets in the room so we could make our own beds.
We did the free style stay as we were travelling around South Korea and couldn't work the scheduled temple program into our travel itinerary.
With this free style stay we were able to have free time to walk around the temple grounds looking at the various buildings plus hiking to nearby hermitages.
At the set time we went for our dinner that we ate in the same dining room with the monks. The food was vegetarian and delicious.
After the meal we watched a drum ceremony plus the monks praying inside a temple. After this we and the other visitors spent some time with a monk talking which was enjoyable.
The next morning we had a delicious breakfast before leaving.
The temple setting was peaceful in a beautiful location. If we visit South Korea we would stay here again but for the scheduled temple stay.

Visited April 2013
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64 reviews from our community

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Jinju, South Korea
Top Contributor
106 reviews 106 reviews
67 attraction reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
“Full of Korean history”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2013

Haeinsa is another of Korea's gem temples. It would be particularly interesting for those interested in Korea's history. It houses a printing press that is hundreds of years older than the Gutenburg press and is loaded with the history of printing in Asia. The tripitikana (ancient buddhist scripture? text) resides in the museum. It's an extremely old document and it's under glass, but I would recommend Haeinsa for those interested in such things.

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Daegu, South Korea
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4 reviews 4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Home of the Tripitaka Koreana (library of Buddhist texts)”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2013

It was a temple that was a little different than the others (but they are all pretty similar in Korea, right?) The library is impressive, though it was disappointing that you couldn't go inside or take any pictures. The gentlemen there working were very friendly and helpful. There are several sets of stairs you walk up, and can get a decent view of the mountains. We were there in winter so it was cold, snowy (beautiful!) but we couldn't explore as much as we wanted. Also I would shoot to get out there by 11, we arrived close to 2pm and almost got stuck out there.

Visited December 2012
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Los Angeles, California
Top Contributor
114 reviews 114 reviews
114 attraction reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
154 helpful votes 154 helpful votes
“One of Korea's Most Historic Temples”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2012

As far as temples go, Haeinsa is not as impressive as some in Korea. However, the truly exceptional quality of Haeinsa is the 81,000 woodblocks housed in specially designed 15th century buildings. These priceless treasures are preserved in wooden buildings that are centuries old. The Tripitaka Koreana is the most complete Buddhist canon that exists anywhere. There are no known errors to the text and the woodblocks were made in the 13th century during the Goryeo dynasty.

To preserve the woodblocks however, visitors can only look through a viewing area. This is logical, yet some visitors might be dissapointed. The remaining areas of Haeinsa temple as a whole are interesting, but not exceptional. The buildings housing the woodblocks (Janggyeong Panjeon) in the rear of the temple is very old (15th century), the rest of the temple is largely from the 19th century. The 3 story stone pagoda (Silla dynasty) is over 1,000 years old. This style of pagoda is very typical to the late Silla era, and therefore relatively common. For nature lovers, Haeinsa is located on the fringe of Gayasan National Park.

Visited May 2012
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Paris, France
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67 reviews 67 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
“Haeinsa templestay”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2012

A wonderful but exhausting experience.
I think you should seriously consider the option of sleeping in haeinsa. It provides a fascinating glimpse inside Korean Buddhist culture. Ceremonies in the evening and during the night (3am) are fantastic, specially the drumming before them that you can't attend during the day. To have these privilege you'll have to share same sex dormitories with traditional sleeping on the floor.
Caution: the temple is 1,5km away from the haeinsa bus terminal and you'll have climb up an hill, which can be pretty exhausting if you have a big suitcase. In that case I highly suggest to take a taxi.

Visited October 2012
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