Haeinsa Temple
Haeinsa Temple
4.5
Historic Sites • Religious Sites
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The depository of Tripitaka Koreana, the famous collection of Buddhist texts on woodblocks.
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1-2 hours
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  • TravelerTrecker
    749 contributions
    The most magnificent site in Korea!
    To me, the visit to the temple of Haeinsa was the highlight of my visit to South Korea. We stayed in Korea for 9 days. we dedicated the last day to visit the Temple of Haeinsa. We were at the Park Hyatt in Busan. We took a taxi to the train station (30 minutes) and from there, we took the train to Daegu (45 minutes). In Daegu we visited the tourist office outside the train station. The staff was very friendly and gave us clear instructions on how to reach the Temple of Haeinsa. We took the metro to the bus station (30 minutes) and over there we bought bus tickets to the temple (80 minutes). We arrived by 1200 pm. The bus stopped close to the temple. A lovely lady went inside the bus and sold the tickets to visit the temple (very cheap). The bus drove to the temple entrance and the visit started. The temple is magnificent. The colors are bright! The location is stunning in the middle of the forest! There is nothing around the temple just the forest! It was during the fall; the colors were beautiful! The gates are impressive! The shrines are very well kept and really nice. The most spectacular part is in the top where you will find the shrines of the Korean Tripitaka, the Buddhist cannon. The history is fantastic. You can see the Tripitaka though the windows and a small door that was open when we visited. We visited on a Sunday. We were alone. There were no tours, occasionally we saw independent tourists. We had the temple for ourselves. It was magical just to be alone in such a magnificent place. The weather was perfect with blue skies, warm temperature and minimal humidity. It was mid-September 2019. We had some juice and cookies at the temple; they were delicious and the staff was just lovely. We went back in the same way. You have to take the bus at the bus stop where there is kiosk with the bus schedule. The kiosk is unattended however, at the time of the bus arrival, the ticket seller arrives to sell you the tickets; do not worry if you do not see anybody at the kiosk. We left by 440 pm. Once at the Busan train station, we took the subway to the Park Hyatt (15 minutes walk from the subway station to the hotel). It is a UNESCO site. It is memorable place and time!
    Written June 4, 2020
  • muparis
    Paris, France140 contributions
    Haeinsa templestay
    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.
    Traveled with friends
    Written November 4, 2012
  • Sosuma
    Lisbon, Portugal358 contributions
    Amazing once in a lifetime opportunity, dont miss it and try and stay overnight.
    I did a one night stay at Haeinsa and it was the highlight of my trip to South Korea. The temple is set in a beautiful area with scenic surroundings and other beautiful temples within walking distance. The staff working at the temple are lovely and helpful. The accomodation is simple but clean, bathroom facilities are adequate but not sure if they are suitable for a long term stay. The shower in my dorm room was not working but I believe there are shared facilities within the temple grounds that you can use. There are rules that must be followed if you stay here, but if you do the freestyle program they are pretty basic such as having meals at stipulated times and attending ceremonies, plus you must be as quiet as possible if you stay at the temple, especially during meal times. The food is simple and vegetarian. Its not for everyone but its the experience of eating with the monks that makes it worthwhile. Bedding is thin mattress on floor and duvet, nothing luxurious, but comfortable enough for a nights stay. Make sure you take the time to visit surrounding temples and the grounds as its beautiful, peaceful and a wonderful location. The cafe at the entrance to the temple is slightly expensive but worth a visit, the friendly guy who runs it makes great honey bread and refreshing drinks. His english is excellent and he is good for a chat. Book through the temple stay website.
    Written May 27, 2013
These reviews are the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor checks reviews for fraud.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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tonydalbon
Brighton, UK4 contributions
Apr 2018 • Solo
I took the bus from Busan to get here in Gayasan National Park. It took a while but it was a very pleasant journey. I took the Bus to Goryeong, from the Sasang Intercity Bus Station; on the Green line. Once in Goryeong bus station I took the direct bus to Haeinsa Temple. The last stop. The village is lovely...surrounded by mountains and woods. I decided to stay 3 nights and I could have stayed more to be honest. It's a perfect place to relax. Also great food, and a couple of nice Cafes. The Sunjae Cafe', right in your way to the temple, is perfect for a coffee break and they sell a lot of local products.
I hope you find this review useful.
Written April 18, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Omusubi
207 contributions
Some say this is the most famous, others say it is one of the three most famous temples in Korea. It is located an hour and 20 minutes by bus from Korea's third largest city Daegu, in the beautiful Kaya Mountains. As the whole area is a national park, from the entrance of the park up to the village where all the inns are, the road goes along a river, and the scenery in autumn must be breathtaking. ( We just missed the foliage and the leaves had all fallen but it was still beautiful.) The village to the Haeinsa Temple is a 15 minute walk uphill. We had come with the intention of staying overnight in the village so we were able to watch the 5:50 p.m. drum (taiko) ritual performed by the monks, and sit in the 6:20 ish p.m. Chanting in the main temple (Daejeokgwangjeon). Haeinsa's storage hall of the Tripitaka Koreana (80,000 wood blocks ) is designated a National Treasure by UNESCO. Our friend who took us there had previously done a temple stay at Haeinsa which she enjoyed tremendously.
Be sure to make the extra effort to also see the Paengnyon Am Temple which is located 20 or 30 minutes on foot further up the mountain from the Haeinsa. It was the most magical and beautiful temple any one of us had EVER seen or visited. We were lucky in that the owner of our lodge had given us a ride up there as the road uphill is very steep, but we would do it on foot again if we have to. This Paengnyon Am temple being perched so high up on the mountain, towering serenely with the backdrop of even taller cliffs make it so so very special. Makes you speechless!
Written November 25, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

swiss3
Switzerland334 contributions
Apr 2018 • Couples
It is easy to get by bus here. You have every 40 minutes a bus.
The bus station at Haeinsa is exactly 1.2km away from the temple and is a easy 15 minutes walk. The bus station is on the main street (Gayasan road), where the walking path towards the temple begins. The bus station is near the sales stalls for souvenirs and food and the picknick-area.
The GPS-coordinates for the station are: 35°47'31.7"N 128°05'36.8"E
The bus ticket can be purchased at the bus station Haeinsa (it has a small booth beside the bus stop sign - otherwise also in the bus)
Written May 10, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

CirilB
Ljubljana, Slovenia386 contributions
Sep 2017 • Friends
The place is in the national park and is part of Unesco world heritage. It is well preserved and maintained. The place stores an important part of Korean history - wooden printing tablets.
Written October 4, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Italian_kilt
London, UK340 contributions
Apr 2013 • Couples
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.
Written April 15, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

gumshoe7
Johannesburg, South Africa164 contributions
Dec 2011 • Couples
We liked the location of the temple, high up in a valley, and found the storage buildings impressive. Otherwise the temple is a fairly normal large temple, nothing outstanding if you have seen some of the nicer temples in Korea or Japan.

Nice to visit if you are already in the area, but I would not make the trip from Seoul (about 4 hours each way) just for this.
Written December 4, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

kdnm
Omaha, NE196 contributions
Jun 2019 • Solo
This is an easy day trip from Daegu if you don't want to do a temple stay. First go to the tourist info and get the time schedule for the bus. They are very helpful. From the subway stop, you go back around the elevator to the bus terminal. The cost 1 way was 8,100 won. They didn't take CC. The trip is easy, you will need an additional 3,000 won for the national Park ticket. When you get to the gate of the park, someone will check tickets and you can buy one. Then the first stop after this is the temple stop. You will need to give your ticket to the driver as you exit the bus. I didn't go to Haeinsa.
Before leaving the stop, check the return times. There are some stores in the way up and a Cafe part way up as well. They wooden books are at the back of the temple. Worth the hike up.

Just before the bus comes, a woman came out and I purchased a return ticket, again cash.
Written June 27, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

hughes1975
Shimonoseki, Japan49 contributions
Jul 2017 • Solo
To here, takes for 1 and half hours by bus.
And bus stop to temple takes for couple of minutes by walk.
You can see wonderful nature during walk to temple.
Temple is large so worth visiting if you come to Daegu.
Written July 16, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

eugenelim070
Singapore, Singapore128 contributions
Dec 2016 • Solo
I was let down by the security lines at the Tripitaka halls. I can only see some dark block of woods through the holes of the wooden wall. It was utterly a let down. With little information displayed, it's perhaps not as impressive as it seemed.

At the time of my visit, the temple grounds were somewhat closed. Monks were busily chanting at the main hall. Everything seemed off limits.

The museum is closed on Monday.
Written December 7, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Ellen_and_Pedro
Antwerp, Belgium412 contributions
Sep 2016 • Couples
We reached the Haeinsa temple by bus from Daegu (Seobu bus terminal, 1-1.5h). The bus stops at the bottom of a small hill from which the temple is sign posted. We found it easily.
To get back, the bus stops across the street and hours are posted. Five minutes before the bus arrives a clerk opens the ticket booth.

The temple is absolutely beautiful and a must see, even if just for its historical and cultural significance. We were a little disappointed that the library is completely off limits. Understandable considering the importance and fragility of the library but we had hoped for a small section to be open for the public (hence the 4 instead of 5 stars). One of the tablets is on display outside.

The surroundings of the temple are stunning. We wished we had more time to walk around the nature park.

Well worth the trip!
Written October 8, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Haeinsa Temple, Hapcheon-Gun

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