Cheontaesa Temple (천태사)

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Having lived in Asia for 5 years I’ve seen my fair share of temples. It takes a lot for a temple to take my breath away these days and that’s exactly what Cheontaesa temple did.
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We actually found it completely by mistake. We were driving to a beautiful riverside area in Wondong just outside of Yangsan. On our way we had to go up a mountain pass and coming down we saw the entrance to the temple. We quickly found a spot along the road to park. Even the outside of this temple is beautiful. There were beautiful Spring flowers blooming all around and a small stream running near the temple. There was also a small building next to it with some hens clucking around freely.
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We walked under the entrance way and up a small hill to get to the main temple area. It was very quiet with only a handful of people there. There was also an eerie voice playing on a speakerphone with some traditional music (I’m guessing it was explaining the history of the temple).
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From the main area there was a stairway build in to the surrounding rocks. We climbed up and about halfway up we managed to get an incredible view of a giant Buddha carved in to the mountain across from us. It was absolutely beautiful and we were both pleasantly surprised by it.
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We then climbed the remaining steps to find a small shrine area in a small cave at the top.
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Afterwards we walked over to the area with the giant Buddha. There were lots of other beautiful stone carvings and statues.
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There was also a short hike up to a waterfall behind the temple. We climbed some of the way but didn’t have time to climb the rest. I definitely want to come back and finish that hike!
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It was such a lovely temple, it was so calming and peaceful there and we could have definitely spent a day there sitting and enjoying the zen-like atmosphere of this temple.
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Getting there:

Unfortunately you need a car to get here. It is between the towns of Samnangjin and Wondong. and about 20 minutes outside of Yangsan city.

The actual address is: Yongdang-ri, Wondong-myeon, Yangsan-si, Gyeongsangnam-do.

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