We left our hotel early to visit the beautiful 해동 용궁사 Haedong Yonggungsa Temple 海東龍宮寺 located by the gorgeous coastline (see the feature image above).
It was a 30-minute subway ride to 해운대 Haeundae Station 海雲臺站, followed by a 10-minute cab ride. It was already quite crowded when we arrived at 9am (the temple opens at 5am till sunset and there’s no admission charges).
We made our way through the stalls selling snacks, souvenirs, and even vegetables, before reaching the entrance. We were greeted by the stone statues of the 12 zodiac signs, plus many other stone figurines (some were seats!). There were also some beautiful cherry blossoms, and it was really pleasant 🙂
Despite the crowd, things were quite orderly. There were many statues and small figurines within the temple, and we found the visit quite interesting. The ocean view was really gorgeous, and we spent a fair bit of time enjoying the scenery. We’ll let the pictures do the talking 🙂
We woke up at 4+ in the morning for the main highlight of our trip, cherry blossom viewing at 진해 Jinhae 镇海!
This year, the 진해군항제 Jinhae Gunhangje Festival 镇海军港祭 (aka Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival) would be held from 1st to 10th April 2017. When we started planning for this trip, the cherry blossom forecast dates were not quite out yet, so we had buffered close to a week in 부산 Busan 釜山, and listed a few things to do in Busan, while keeping things flexible so that we could do a day trip to Jinhae, and hopefully catch the cherry blossoms in their full glory.
We had originally planned to go on a weekday so that it would not be not so crowded, but it appeared that the flowers were approaching full bloom earlier, and the weather forecast for today was rainy all day, which meant that that was a chance that the fragile flowers might be blown away! Today was a Saturday, and also the first day of Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival, so we figured that it was better to be earlier than late.