Thanks to a suggestion on our Facebook page, Seoul Secrets visited the Dongguk University area this weekend. Located at the foot of Namsan and accessible on subway Line 3 Exit 6, Dongguk University is Korea’s most famous Buddhist-affiliated university. This picturesque campus with an abundance of cherry blossom trees is great for a weekend stroll to enjoy the spring weather and take in this unique area, as well as the university we’ll be checking out Jangchungdan Park and one of Seoul’s oldest bakeries Taegukdang.
Once you arrive at Dongguk University station take Exit 6, and as you leave the escalator you will be greeted by the Hyewha Gate which is currently lined with cherry blossoms trees in full bloom. Follow this path to the top and through a gateway (there is also a site map here of the campus grounds) continue the gradually climb through the university buildings and you will be come across the Jeonggakwon Temple.
This is the most significant Buddhist building on the campus, it currently serves now as the sermon hall for the University. But it’s original name was Sungjeongjeon Hall of Gyeonhui Palace, built between 1617 and 1620 as a royal audience chamber for Geongdeok Palace.
As you continue up to the top of the hill you will see the main plaza and three stone grey buildings, in front of this large stately building you will find a grey-green statue of Buddha who is facing a family of three elephants mid-stride with a beautiful array of colourful lanterns overhead.
After you have finished taking in what the University has to offer you could join to the Namsan mountain trial from here or head back down to the park below.
A fairly modern park, yet it’s another remarkably serene and peaceful area in a bustling city. Wander through the trees beside a man-made stream that runs along the eastern side of the park, at it’s source you will find a beautiful cascading waterfall and not far from it Dadaneteul Tea House resides.
This quaint traditionally built tea house offers a wide range of teas made using flowers, leaves and herbs to offer a unique menu. As well as drinks they offer a food menu that again specialises in using plant life from the ‘Lotus Leaf special menu’ to a Flower special menu’ all of which are well presented and look delicious. For the menu check out the pictures below:
If you’re full of eating healthy or have a sweet tooth then look no further than one of the oldest bakeries still in existence in Seoul, Taegukdang Bakery is located just outside of Exit 2 and is impossible to miss! With it’s large grey exterior it doesn’t strike you as a bakery, nor peaking through the large glass windows and seeing the glamorous hanging chandeliers and wood cladding. But as soon as you step in side you can smell and see the sights of what you would expect from a bakery of this grandeur.
Offering all the trappings you’d expect from a bakery in Korea, one of the most popular things on the menu is Monaka ice cream, with two types available, an original style or one with a layer of rice cake for 2000won and 2500won treat yourself!
Go check it out now while the cherry blossoms are still here! Enjoy!
Seoul Secrets would also like to say a huge thank you to Yvonne! For this great Suggestion on our Facebook page!
If anyone has more great locations to suggest, don’t be shy and submit via Seoulsecrets.net or our FB page!