Baekdamsa Temple

Baekdamsa Temple, Inje-gun

Baekdamsa Temple
4.5
Religious Sites
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Stunningly beautiful, hard to get to
Jun. 2017
Baekdamsa, of the Jogye Seon (Zen) Buddhist order is located in the Seoraksan mountains, not too far south of the North Korean border. The temple itself has only a few historically important or architecturally interesting buildings, though all are very beautiful. You can arrange a "Temple Stay" here, and participate in many of the chanting, meditation, dining, and other activities. There is usually a good contingent of Koreans doing that. There is a great 20-minute drum ceremony at 6:00 pm and 7:00 am every day, timed with the beginning of services in the temple. This is a working monastery temple, meaning that there are a number (app. 20) young monks in training that live here, including about 4 Westerners. There is a little tea shop on the grounds w/ nice local teas, as well as a coffee/sweet shop and tourist shop for Buddhist knick-knacks. Located in the Seoraksan National Park, it is also a favorite spot for hiking up along the mountain river gorge, filled with huge boulders. As you go up from Baekdamsa, here are a number of smaller temples along the way as you go, and typically lots of tourists hiking up and down the path. Lots of wild animals, we saw boar, antelope, a fox, lots of birds and critters. Unfortunately, it is hard to get here without a car. There is a bus to-and-form Seoul, but it is about a 25-minute hike from where you get deposited on the highway to the shuttle bus up to the temple (you can, of course, walk up). Nobody at the bus station in Seoul will help you with English, and there are no English or roman-script signs along the way, and it would be easy to miss your stop. The return is even more complicated-- we couldn't find the bus stop or where to buy the tickets (even w/ a Korean speaking friend helping), and when the bus did arrive it was full and we had to wait for the next bus. . . and the next. . . in the end, we took a taxi to a larger town and w/ the help of a friend finally got a bus for the two-hour ride back to Seoul.

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4.5
15 reviews
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JHL
Seoul, South Korea8,111 contributions
Solo
This is a beautiful temple on Seoraksan Mountain National Park. It's very pretty in the nature and easy to access. I recommend visiting this amazing temple if you're in Inje-gun.

- Well-known for locals as the temporal lodge of former president and Han Yongwoon.
- Damaged and rebuilt several times in the past.
- There's no admission fee.
- The stone tower area and the stream before the temple look great. In fall, there's pretty fall foliage as well.
- Temple Stay is available.
- The Suryeom Valley trail until Suryeomgdong Shelter is also fun and easy. You can walk along the beautiful valley and water. It takes about 1~2 hours for one way.
- You can also climb up the mountain route starting from the temple.
- The shuttle ticket office and platform to the shuttle is at the parking lot after passing the bridge.

How to get:
For mountain climbers coming from the mountain, it's on the downside from Oseam Temple. From Inje Baekdam Village that has a bus station connecting to other cities, there's a shuttle from Tourist Information Center. The ticket is 2,500 won. It's a long hillside way to walk and takes about 15 minutes by bus.
Written 17 October 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

BoBoAllDay
Northampton, MA32 contributions
Friends
Baekdamsa, of the Jogye Seon (Zen) Buddhist order is located in the Seoraksan mountains, not too far south of the North Korean border. The temple itself has only a few historically important or architecturally interesting buildings, though all are very beautiful. You can arrange a "Temple Stay" here, and participate in many of the chanting, meditation, dining, and other activities. There is usually a good contingent of Koreans doing that. There is a great 20-minute drum ceremony at 6:00 pm and 7:00 am every day, timed with the beginning of services in the temple. This is a working monastery temple, meaning that there are a number (app. 20) young monks in training that live here, including about 4 Westerners. There is a little tea shop on the grounds w/ nice local teas, as well as a coffee/sweet shop and tourist shop for Buddhist knick-knacks.

Located in the Seoraksan National Park, it is also a favorite spot for hiking up along the mountain river gorge, filled with huge boulders. As you go up from Baekdamsa, here are a number of smaller temples along the way as you go, and typically lots of tourists hiking up and down the path. Lots of wild animals, we saw boar, antelope, a fox, lots of birds and critters.

Unfortunately, it is hard to get here without a car. There is a bus to-and-form Seoul, but it is about a 25-minute hike from where you get deposited on the highway to the shuttle bus up to the temple (you can, of course, walk up). Nobody at the bus station in Seoul will help you with English, and there are no English or roman-script signs along the way, and it would be easy to miss your stop. The return is even more complicated-- we couldn't find the bus stop or where to buy the tickets (even w/ a Korean speaking friend helping), and when the bus did arrive it was full and we had to wait for the next bus. . . and the next. . . in the end, we took a taxi to a larger town and w/ the help of a friend finally got a bus for the two-hour ride back to Seoul.
Written 9 July 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sung-Hwan K
Seoul, South Korea51 contributions
Family
It may not suitable for foreign tourists, because there is not beatiful architecture.
However this temple has some role for Korean people.
A road to this temple is one of trekking coures of Seolak mountain.
A monk named Manhae had lived in this temple. He was very famous because he had struggled for independence of Korea.
If you are interesting for Buddhism, I will recommend that you apply to temple-stay in this temple.
Written 24 July 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Ben B
London, UK64 contributions
Friends
You either need a car to get here or to join a coach tour. We drove to the bottom of the mountain (east part of Seoraksan National Park) and parked. (I don't know the cost of the carpark). Then you have to take a minibus up to the temple (again I don't remember the cost) because the road is restricted to buses and service vehicles. The road winds along the river up into the mountain until you reach the temple. So hidden. So perfect. You cross a bridge and you're in another world. This is where Han Yong-un (aka Manhae), monk, poet and political activist lived. Travelling back to the carpark at the bottom of the mountain there are cafes with delicious homecooked food.
Written 28 June 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

YCHong
Seoul, South Korea35 contributions
Friends
This is one of my favourite place to go when I'm around here. Though sometimes crowded with visitors, the temple itself has so serene an air that I feel my mind is cleared, and has old tradition in regard to the famous buddhist monks in Korea.

They run "Temple stay" program that provides bed(actually "Ondol") and vegetarian meals and helps take part in some buddhist ceremonies for very reasonable price.

The Baekdam Valley, which was named for having more than one hundred ponds and gave this temple the name, Baekdamsa, can be said to be the most beautiful valley in Korea. I recommend you rather walk by feet from Yongdaeri village where the bus stop, along this valley to take better look at this unspeakable colour of water. it takes about 2 hours. but if you have short time budget, you may take local bus.

By the way, this local bus gets in the way of the walking travelors too much and makes them worry about air pollution. I wish that this cement-paved road were turned back to more nature-friendly trail only for pedestrians and trekkers.
Written 4 December 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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