Good for: everyone, Mountain Goats/exper. hikers
Not good for: extremly weak people., Inadequate equipment & fitness
Lonely Planet review for Seokbulsa Temple
Hard to find but a wonder to behold, Seokbulsa Temple is a hermitage carved into rock. Massive boulders stretching 40m in height jut out from the mountainside to form a U-shaped enclave with three rock facings that is now a place of worship. Inside the enclave enormous Buddhist images have been meticulously etched into stone. Visually powerful in scale and impact, it's the kind of work that moves first-time visitors to exclaim 'Wow' as they step back and arch their necks to get the full picture.
Quietly walk past the women bowing on the shoes-off platform and step into the small caves for a close-up look at the Buddha glowing in soft candlelight.Getting to Seokbulsa is a worthwhile challenge for anyone with a desire to explore out-of-the-way places. The most interesting - and strenuous - route is to add this stop to your Geumjeongsan Mountain hike. From the South Gate (남문), the path indicated by the Mandeokchon (만덕촌) sign leads to a collection of restaurants and foot-volleyball courts in Namman Village (남만 마을). At one point, the path stops at a court; walk right and pick up the trail on the other side. About 500m down the trail look for a sign that reads in Korean 석불사 입구 (Seokbulsa entrance). Turn right and walk down the steep hill to the road sign pointing the way to a 600m uphill hump to the temple. On the way back, there's no need to return to Namman Village. Take the trail to the top of the mountain and ride the cable car down. Bottom line: add 4km and 1½ hours to the Geumjeongsan Mountain hike to experience one of the most unique temples in Busan.