Usually, the last bus stop in Daegu is on the outskirts of the city, far away from downtown. So, the closer the bus comes to the last stop, the quieter it is on the bus. However, the atmosphere on the 101 is different. A lively mood fills the bus as it approaches the last stop. The people on the bus are always diverse. In that place, middle-aged women in mountain clothes are common, a girl in a white dress, a man in a suit, and many people in their early 20s all heading to the Pagyesa stop.
The area near the Pagyesa bus stop is where many Daegu citizens like to visit. There are a lot of beautiful cafes with a mountain view if you feel enjoy relaxing there, or you can just walk around the area enjoying the scenery. But why travel so far from downtown? There are a lot of cafes in the city, and you can read a book at home. You can go out for a walk in a park 5-minutes from your house. The reason people come to Pagyesa is that this place heals a broken heart. It is a place for nourishing the spirit.
Leaving the bus stop and cafes behind, you can walk along the road to Pagyesa. On your left, there’s a campsite. People are sleeping in a tent, cooking or playing with children nearby. They could do all those activities elsewhere, but they are here. Maybe it’s another way to get healing. Borrowing the name of a Korean TV show, this is a “Healing Camp”.
To celebrate, Buddha’s birthday, walk along the line with hanging lotus lanterns, you’ll pass the Iljumun, the entrance of Pagyesa. As you enter, a pond welcomes you. Pagyeji is the name of the pond and it is beautiful in all four seasons. The name Pagyesa means “Gathering nine streams from both sides of a valley” and the pond is where they gather. The layout of Pagyeji, and Pagyesa bases on the ideas of Feng Shui.
Turning along the curved road, you will see the buildings of Pagyesa in front of you. Most of all, you’ll notice a giant tree. The name of the tree is King Yeongjo’s tree. King Yeongjo was the 21st king of Joseon Dynasty and the temple has a legend related to his birth. You will also see a two-story building named Jindongru, which means pressing ki(氣). After you pass Jindongru, you’ll see Wontongjeon, the main building of Pagyesa.
Between the buildings, countless lotus lanterns are hanging from lines. Unlike lights on a Christmas tree, the light of these lanterns reaches very far and brightens the darkness. Here, people hang a piece of paper with a wish written on it. Someday, the wishes can come true with the light. Pagyesa gives you the feeling that it will come true.
After getting healed at Pagyesa, you can leave with a peaceful mind. There will always be hard days in your life, but the memory of Pagyesa can refresh your spirit. If the memory fades, come back again.
* Parking lot fee: 2,000KRW (The parking lot near the bus stop is free.)
* Admission : Adults 1,500KRW, Children 500KRW
* How to get: Take 101, 101-1, Chilgok 3, Palgong3(available on Sundays and holidays from March to November) and get off at the last stop. Then walk up along the road.
* Pagyesa Temple Stay: http://pagyesa.org/templestay/ (Eng)
7 Jungdae-dong, Dong-gu, Daegu