Bongwonsa Temple — Serenity in Chaotic Seoul. Korea

Posted by on Aug 22, 2012 in Featured, Korea | 8 comments

Huffing and puffing as I finished my climb up the hill to Seoul’s Bongwonsa Temple  all I could do was smile. I found myself in a virtual oasis of lotus blossoms. There had to be thousands. Many were fresh, others had seen better days, but they were all beautiful. I was even surprised to find yellow blooms among the pink and white. And yes, it was serene. I wandered for several hours, happily clicking and taking the time to set up shots. Only a few wandered with me; a couple of other photographers and a father with his young daughter. The afternoon truly was ideal. Even the weather cooperated with some cloud cover to ease the heat from the scorching sun, and only a hint of rain. Before I knew it over 400 photos had found their way onto my memory card. Here are some of my favorites from the day…


I don’t think I have ever seen so many lotus blossoms in one place before. The temple complex had a feeling of magic. 

Lotus Blossom View, Bongwon Temple--Seoul


Buddha watching…

Buddha Watching -- Bongwon Temple, Seoul



Beautiful blossoms…

Bongwon Temple, Seoul

White Lotus Blossom -- Bongwon Temple -- Seoul

Single Lotus Blossom -- Bongwon Temple -- Seoul


Lots of great statues posing with the blossoms. They all seem to be smiling…


Lion Statue -- Bongwon Temple -- Seoul

Laughing Buddha -- Bongwon Temple -- Seoul


More beautiful blossoms…


Lotus Blossoms -- Bongwon Temple, Seoul

White Lotus Blossom -- Bongown Temple--Seoul

Lotus Blossoms at Bongwon Temple in Seoul




A dragon fly even dropped by…


Dragon Fly, Bongwon Temple -- Seoul



A smaller temple in the complex…


Bongwon Temple -- Seoul


And the lotus blossom cycle ends…


All Things Must Pass -- Bongwon Temple, Seoul



The Temple

Originally founded in 889, Bongwansa is home to the Taego Order, the second largest Buddhist sect in Korea. Fifty monks call the temple home, and two of its residents are official “National Living Treasures”. They are recognized masters of Buddhist chant and ornamentation.

The temple is famous for its annual Yeongsanjae Ceremony; held each June. During this elaborate ceremony Buddha’s delivery of the lotus sutra is reenacted. This is definitely on my “Must Do” list for next June. You can get a peek of the ceremony and all its splendor here at Discovering Korea.

Travelers Tips…

Hours and Admission…Most Korean temples are open from sunrise to sunset and admission is almost always FREE. This is the case for Bongwonsa.

Getting there is easy. Take Line 2 to Sinchon Station and walk out Exit 4. Turn around, and you will see the street to Yonsei University. Walk down this street. If you decide to walk the entire distance, you’re looking at about a 35-45 minute walk. You can also grab bus number 7024, and the final stop is the temple. I don’t recommend walking on a scorching summer day. Take it from someone who did; brutal!

The temple has a website in English; Bongwonsa Temple.


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This is my 9th post in my personal challenge “Publish a post every second day in August”. If you missed number 8; A Salty Tourist Attraction in Czech’s Karlovy Vary.


Have you been to Bongwonsa? Do you have a favorite temple somewhere in the world?

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  1. I love your close-up shots. What a serene looking spot!

  2. Thanks Leigh! It really is a lovely spot for a few hours of quiet time.

  3. I’m with Leigh, you could almost feel those delicate petals in your photos. Nice post, Nancie.

    • Thanks so much Jackie. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I really enjoyed spending the afternoon at Bongwonsa.

  4. Your close-up flower shots are amazing! Flowers are one of my favorite things to photograph.

    • Thanks so much, Christy. I’m a fan of taking flower shots too. I find I can usually have much more control of what is going on with the camera. Also, flowers are just so gorgeous!

  5. I’m sure there’s something magical about lotus flowers – I’ve only seen them a few times downunder in Australia – but they always lift my spirits. Even if there ARE crocodiles lurking underneath …

  6. All of these photographs are superb Nancie. I would love to visit Bongsongsa. How come there were not many other visitors, I thought there would be many?


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