PK Round Korea travel blog

Haedong Yonggungsa Temple' Busan

Lee and me

Haedong Yonggungsa

Haedong Yonggungsa






Surfer and me

I didn't try to get out too early. It looked cold outside and I decided the sun needed a bit of time to do its work.

The drive over to Haedong Younggung was beautiful. We drove along the beach. Sunny pointed out a boardwalk lined with cherry trees. She said the cherry blossoms in spring are beautiful. She drove me past Songjeong Beach, a surfers beach. And sure enough, about 10 surfers were in the water all wet-suited out. Yikes! We drove past the Hill Spa and she told me the hot rooms have an amazing view of the ocean.

Haedong Yonggung did not disappoint. The structures were impressive, but not so different from other Buddhist temples. The setting was breath-taking. I was taking pictures of a golden statue--probably some diety--and saw a young man and woman trying to get pictures in front of it, so I offered to take a picture for them. I actually do this a lot. Another young man asked in English if I would also take a picture of he and his girlfriend. Of course. Afterwards he surprised me by asking if he could take a picture with me. So, I asked his girlfriend to take one for me as well. His name was Lee. He and his girlfriend were in college in another city. They were vacationing in Busan for a couple of days.

Afew minutes later, I wandered into a little tea cafe. I watched the lady at the bar making some kind of orange tea. She had this jar that looked like orange marmalade that she dipped in heaping spoonfuls into a cup, then added hot water and stirred. It looked good, so I held up one finger to order one for myself. She told me 1,000 won, but quickly changed the price to 2,000--I assume a foreigner tax. Oh well...

Lee and his girlfriend came in and joined me at a table by the window. I enjoyed chatting with Lee. He had been in America a few months ago, mostly in New York State. He is close to graduating from college and hoping to find a position in business. I gave him my card and told him to let me know if he is ever in Southern Cal, even offered to let him stay at my house.

It was funny, a talked briefly with Lee several more times before we headed out for other adventures. They were leave the next day for home.

Sunny had told me what bus to catch to get to her house, but the sun was feeling warm and I felt like a walk. It took me about an hour, but I found myself at Starbucks at the Songjeong Beach watching insane guys and girls surfing in what must have been bitterly cold water. They were wearing wetsuits, but how on earth could that pass for fun.

When I started walking again, I bumped into a surfer that was sitting on the boardwalk. I looked at him and just said, COLD! "Not so bad," he told me. "Nice day for surfing." What!?! I have a feeling he had been lobotomized.

There is a long wooden walkway along the road back to Haeundae. The cherry trees were a long way from blooming, but there is a nice view from the cliffs above to the sea below. My legs were wobbly when I got to the other side. Still there was a pagoda with a great view sitting on top of the cliff above me, so I had to man-up and climb an unending staircase to the top of the least, the top of Busan. The view was well-worth the climb. After a few pictures, my phone decided it was out of battery and quit. Oh well.

I was in bad need of some warmth when I found the Hill Spa again. Went in, and found the rooms with the great view. Wow. The city twinkled over the ocean. Surf burst into the rock formations and islands around the city. A world renowned bridge connected one of the islands to the mainland.

I found a place to eat on the way back to Sunny's that had a live band. The food was average and so was the music. Still, I enjoyed it. Sunny and her younger son wanted to talk with I got back. They asked a ton of questions and I tried to oblige. But I finally, begged off and went to bed. Bed felt so good.

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