Nirvana in a temple garden
Strolling around the old temple surrounded by hydrangeas and a misty forest can feel like walking in a dreamscape.
If cherry blossoms herald the coming of spring, hydrangeas announce the arrival of summer. These beautiful shrubs begin flowering in mid-June before reaching peak bloom during the dog days of summer. The puffs of cotton-candy-like flowers create a lush and vibrant white, blue and pink landscape. The sight of hydrangeas is the perfect antidote to the gray, muggy, damp days of monsoon season.
■ Taejongsa Temple:
Zen and cultivating hydrangeas
Taejongsa Temple, located in Taejongdae Park, is the best place to enjoy Busan's beautiful coastal landscape and brilliantly colored hydrangea blooms. The temple features one of the largest hydrangea habitats in Korea, thanks to the head monk, who cultivated the flower garden over the past 40 years. The monk traveled the world collecting seeds of various species; the temple grounds now showcase around 5,000 bushes of 30 hydrangea varieties. Since 2006, the temple has invited visitors to celebrate the flowers during an annual festival held from late June to early July. The garden's collection of multicolored blossoms attracts visitors from all over the country. After a brief hiatus caused by COVID-19, visitors are once again welcome to come and enjoy the hydrangeas in full bloom.
◎ Address: 119 Jeonmang-ro, Yeongdo-gu
◎ Hours: Taejeongdae Recreation Area is open from 4 a.m. to Midnight (March to October)
◎ How to get there: Nampo Station (metro line 1) exit 6. Walk past the convenience store to the Yeongdodaegyo Bridge bus stop. Take bus 8, 88 or 186 (toward Yeongdo Police Station) and get off at Taejeongdae/Taejeongdae Spa bus stop. The temple is 1.5 kilometers away, or 30 minutes on foot.
■ Don't like walking?
There is an easier way!
The Taejongdae Park ticket office is only a 5-minute walk from the Taejeongdae/Taejeongdae Spa bus stop. There, visitors can board the Danubi Train, a hop-on, hop-off shuttle service that takes visitors around the park. The train stops at three destinations: The Observatory, Yeongdo Lighthouse and Taejeongsa Temple.
◎ Hours: From June to August, the train operates from 9:20 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. From September to May, the train operates from 9:20 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The train is closed on Mondays.
◎ Fares: Roundtrip tickets are 4,000 won for adults; 2,000 won for minors; 1,000 won for children between 2 and 11; children under 2 ride free.
Pictures taken at the Pink House are sure to get some `likes.'
■ Hydrangea hot spot: Pink House
Located behind the Marine Research building, the Pink House has emerged as a popular photo spot. The brightly colored home and flowers make a wonderful background for social media posts. The house is private property, but the owner welcomes photo takers with warm signs and a manicured garden.
As the house is located in a residential area, be sure to keep quiet and make your stay as short as possible.
◎ Address: 813-27, Taejongro, Yeongdo-gu (near 관음정사 Temple)
◎ How to get there: Nampo Station (metro line 1) exit 6. Walk past the convenience store to the Yeongdodaegyo Bridge bus stop. Take bus 8, 88 or 186 (towards Yeongdo Police Station) and get off at Taejeongdae/Taejeongdae Spa bus stop. Walk up the street between Tom and Tom's Coffee and the bus depot towards the Marine Research building. Turn left at the alley in front of the Marine Research building. The Pink House is located at the end of this alley.