Bongeunsa Temple - Seoul
After having a look around the temple, you can sip traditional tea in 'Ssanjungdawon'- a traditional tea house inside Bongeunsa temple, open from 8am to 8pm. Or simply have a look around Samseongdong and if you're into shopping visit Coex Mall, Asia's biggest underground shopping Mall.
Bongeunsa was built be Yeonhweguksa, a high priest, in the Shilla age in 794. The temple holds the title as Seoul's representative temple and more than 10,000 believers and 200-300 foreign visitors come to experience the temple each year. Its existence alone makes it a tourist sight and tangible cultural assets inside make it even more valuable.
The tallest statue of Buddha in Korea, the great statue of Maitreya Buddha, can be seen inside the Bongeunsa Temple. It's the tallest statue of Maitreya Buddha in Korea and has become the pride of Bongeunsa. The construction started in 1986 and took ten years to complete. The courtyard where the statue is located is used for various ceremonies and cultural events.
Bongeunsa Temple also offers temple stays and temple life programs as services for people to experience the temple. You get to stay one night in the temple stay programs and 2-5 hours in the temple life programs. The temple stay price is around 50,000KRW per person and it allows you to follow and repeat the Buddhist priests' daily activities from 2pm to the next morning. Every Thursday from 2-4 pm, the temple life program is available for foreign visitors. The program includes a temple tour, lotus lantern making, Dado, (Dado is defined as the activity in which the monks cultivate virtue by training the body and mind through the entire process involved in the tea life from picking the tea leaves to drinking the tea). You may also get the chance to talk to one of the monks. All activities are conducted in English. Visitors can take part in this program without reservations and the fee is 10,000KRW. All participants receive a souvenir.
For further information, call +82-2-3218-4895.