Beopju-sa

Buddhist Site in Songnisan National Park

This temple originally dates to AD 553 and lies about 1km from the entrance to Songnisan National Park. Composed of a galaxy of halls, the temple is presided over by a glittering and resplendent 33m-high gold-plated Maitreya Buddha statue – of modern construction – and a far more interesting and unique (to Korea) five-storey wooden pagoda, the Palsangjeon, which you can enter. Other halls include the main Great Treasure Hall and myriad other side shrines, including one dedicated to a male-looking Avalokitesvara.

You will also find a weather-worn Silla-era bodhisattva statue, a lotus-shaped fountain and an enormous iron cauldron, once used for cooking for up to 3000 monks. Templestays are offered (per person ₩70,000, cash only) here, which is a splendid idea if you wish to discover more about Buddhism and the beauty of the setting. When you want to rest your feet, do so in the Chahyang tea house.