Three More Things to do in (Southern) Seoul, Korea (Near Express Bus Terminal) (pt.2)

Seoul is the city I currently live in, so naturally, I have a lot of great things to say about it. Here are three more things to do in Southern Seoul using the Express Bus Terminal Subway Exit as a reference point. I am using that station as a starting point because it is a good central location in the South side of Seoul, and a likely location for visitors who take the long distance buses to locations outside of Seoul to places like Yeoju (King Sejong’s Tomb). However, you can of course see these any time you are in southern Seoul. This is essentially a “part 3” post, so in case you missed the first two articles, they are here, and here.

1) Bongeunsa Temple and Temple Stay

Bongeunsa is one of the largest Buddhist temples in Seoul. Despite what websites like tripadvisor might tell you, it is actually quite easy to find a Buddhist temple in Seoul. However, just like you wouldn’t tour just any regular church, most Buddhist temples are meant for meditating or praying, not tourism. This one however is quite impressive for its size and history given that it is in the heart of Seoul. Most of the other important temples in Korea, such as Haeinsa Temple near Daegu (article coming soon) or Bulguksa Temple near Gyeongju (also coming soon) are quite far from the city and are deserving of a trip in their own right. Bongeunsa however, is perfect for people on a “time budget” who don’t have an extra day to visit far away temples.

Bongeunsa can be experienced in three different ways. Option one is to just show up and walk around the temple on your own. It is free, quite large, and filled with picture worthy sights. Option two would be to take a two hour tour into temple life offered by the temple staff. They can teach you about traditional tea ceremonies as well as basic, everyday things the monks that serve in the temple do. The final and more in depth option is to do a “temple stay.” The “temple stay” program was started especially for foreigners who wished to learn more about Korea’s unique version of Zen Buddhism. Although it is very popular with the locals too, an English program comes complete with an English guide which will take you on a full, (almost) 24 hour tour of Buddhist temple life, including an overnight stay. The temple stay here starts at 2PM with lights out at 9PM, and resumed the next morning at 3AM (not a typo, that is three in the morning) and finishes at around 10AM (that’s why I said ‘almost’). Since it includes accommodation and two, all you can eat vegetarian meals, it’s not a bad deal at all at 70,000 Won (65 USD). The experience is fantastic, but your back might be a bit sore after the 108 full bows.

Bongeunsa is located literally across the street from the Coex Mall (if you read the last post) on the Samseong Station exit (Green Line 2).

Related Articles / Useful Links on other Sites:

1) Official Temple Stay information

2) Official Bongeunsa information

3) Official Korean Tourism Site (best resource for touring South Korea)

4) Bongeunsa Wiki

5) Map to Bongeunsa Temple

Related Articles / Useful Links on this Site:

1) Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty (King Sejong’s Tomb)

2) Three things to do in Southern Seoul (pt.1)

2) Lotte World Amusement Park

I didn’t realize this when I was younger, but in California, we are really spoiled with fantastic amusement parks. Because of this, I would not have naturally thought of promoting an amusement park as something to do when you visit another country. However, having met people from other countries or parts the the US that aren’t as lucky, I thought, why not. Even if you don’t go for a full day, Lotte World routinely offers ‘foreigner only’ discounts and is worth the price. This theme park has managed to wisely utilize the limited space it has with quite a few rides. Half of the park is indoors, so it is a good thing to do if you are unfortunate enough to be in Seoul during a downpour. Lotte World is located on Jamsil Station (Green Line 2 or Pink Line 8).

Related Articles / Useful Links on other Sites:

1) Map to Lotte World

2) Official Lotte World Website

Related Articles / Useful Links on this Site:

1) Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty (King Sejong’s Tomb)

2) Three things to do in Southern Seoul (pt.1)

3) Olympic Park and Jamsil Sports Complex

There is something very exciting about being in a place where the Olympics were held. I remember going to visit the Bird’s Nest in Beijing in 2010 and still being mesmerized by knowing that Usain Bolt had shattered the 100m dash record in that very spot. Even though I was only two years old when the 1988 Seoul Olympics took place, it is amazing to be in the very stadium where athletes fighting for nothing but national and personal pride became either legends, or footnotes in the record books. The Olympic Park and Jamsil Sports Complex were built specifically for the Olympics and the Asian Games of 1986. While neither has seen major sporting action in a while, they are both well kept for tourists and local teams alike that play in those stadiums. Olympic Park is on Olympic Park Station (Purple Line 5) or Mongchontoseong Station (Pink Line 8, one stop from Lotte World). The Jamsil Sports Complex is on Sports Complex Station (Green Line 2, two stops from Lotte World in the opposite direction).

Related Articles / Useful Links on other Sites:

1) Olympic Park Wiki

2) Olympic Park map

3) Jamsil Sports Complex Wiki

4) Jamsil Sports Complex Map

Related Articles / Useful Links on this Site:

1) Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty (King Sejong’s Tomb)

2) Three things to do in Southern Seoul (pt.1)

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Julio Moreno

Julio is a California native who has lived abroad since 2009 as an expat in South Korea and New Zealand. He is especially passionate about experiencing other cultures and visiting as many UNESCO World Heritage Sites as possible.
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