Hotel Giraffe in New York City
One of the highlights about my trip to New York City this year was to experience a couple of great hotels in the Big Apple. I had heard a lot of great things about the hotels in New York, about how nice and beautiful they were. I was able to stay at two luxurious hotels during my time in NY, the first one I stayed was the Library Hotel and the second one I stayed at was Hotel Giraffe, another classy hotel in the Library Hotel collection. Hotel Giraffe in New York City Location The location of the Hotel Giraffe is very convenient and it worked for me since I was attending an internet marketing event very close from Times Square. From Hotel Giraffe it only took me 15 minutes walking and in the summer, it’s a really nice walk since it gave me a chance to explore and see the city. The subway station is one block away so I had no excuse to be late to my event. Staff and Service When I arrived at the front door of the hotel, a hotel staff member opened the door and asked me right away if I needed any help with my luggage. Since I was carrying just one little bag I told him no and he kindly showed me the way to the lobby. I think greeting your clients makes such a difference as a hotel since it makes them feel welcome from the first minute they step onto the property. I automatically felt comfortable and appreciated having someone show me the way. The staff from the front desk were extremely nice with me when I told them that this was my first time in New York City. They told me where to go, how to get to different places and they even gave me a map which they marked all the places I wanted to visit. They even wrote the different ways to get back to the hotel just in case I got lost which I found was extremely helpful. I’ve never been in a city so big before and it’s a little confusing for the first time. Something else I appreciated was that I arrived at the hotel around 12:30 pm. Although check-in was at 3 pm, they kept my luggage while I went to check the city until my room was ready. If you’re around the hotel from 5-8PM, they offer a free wine and cheese service which I took advantage of All the Hotel Giraffe Staff were very nice always willing to hepl My Room My room was the balcony suite with 1 king bed so I had a separate sleeping area and living room area. So much space! You could perfectly fit 3 or 4 people in here with more than enough space. With modern decorations, incredibly comfortable furniture (I didn’t want to get out of bed), a desk and so many extra amenities, I had everything I needed and more for an extremely comfortable stay in luxury. The bathroom had a big tub, lots of towels and was very clean. They also give you fluffy robes which is not a common thing in Costa Rica so I enjoyed relaxing in my comfy robe and the bottle of wine that night One thing I loved the most was that they actually wrote me a card with our tan feet pictures inside! That was an extremely kind personal gesture which you don’t usually receive from other hotels. The balcony had a view of the city and you could go outside to take a look. Watch the video as I take you around the room! The Hotel Giraffe also includes breakfast with delicious bagels, different kind of bread, yogurts and fruits. Everything was fresh and their coffee was really good! Overall Thoughts I loved my time at Hotel Giraffe and hope to go back again when we visit New York City. Samantha couldn’t come with me this time and was a little (actually a lot) jealous when she saw all my pictures of my room. So next time I’d like to enjoy it with her! The room is beautifully decorated, comfortable and has everything you need for a great time in New York City. The staff is wonderful, you can ask them for anything and they’re willing to help. I couldn’t think of a better place or had a better experience for my first time to NYC! The name of the hotel is very unique and memorable, there’s not many giraffe hotels around. They mirror their philosophy after one of the most beloved animals on earth to make their hotel elegant and exquisite just like a giraffe. If you go to New York City for vacation or business definitely look up Hotel Giraffe. With a great location and decent price for NYC, you can’t ask for anything more. It’s good for business travelers, couples for a romantic getaway or families. Or really just anyone who is visiting NYC and wants to stay at one of the nicest hotels in the area. You can find more information about the hotel on their website. I’d like to thank Hotel Giraffe for hosting me and as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Traveler Interview with Nick and Dariece from Goats on the Road
I’m pleased to have Nick and Dariece from Goats on the Road for our featured traveler interview this week! This Canadian duo has been conquering not only the world but also the travel blogging world for the past few years. Read more about their adventures and travels in some truly off the beaten path destinations! Meet Nick and Dariece from Goats on the road Please introduce yourself. Who are you and tell us a bit about your blog We’re Nick and Dariece, a 30-year-old Canadian couple. We’ve been travelling the world for 5 years now and have only been back to Canada for a total of 3 months since being away! We have been running the travel website Goats On The Road for about 2 and a half years now. Our blog is all about turning travel into a way of life. We inspire people to live a financially sustainable, location independent lifestyle, and have found many great ways to make money abroad and we share those ideas on our website. We also have in-depth guides to various countries, travel stories & videos, as well as information and advice to help people prepare for a trip. Us on a “hash” here in Grenada You two have been to some countries most people won’t even consider like Uzbekistan and Iran. How did you guys go about choosing them and what made you decide to go there? We had been teaching English in China and were thinking about where we wanted to go to next. We looked at a map and thought that a cool route would be to go up north through Mongolia and Russia via the Trans-Mongolian/Trans-Siberian Train, then down south into Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan) and finally, Iran. We’ve always enjoyed visiting places that are considered “off the beaten path” so the route just seemed logical! Rarely do we listen to the Government travel advisories, or listen to the negative (and often untrue) western media. We wanted to go to Central Asia for an adventure, and we wanted to backpack through Iran because we had heard amazing things about it from fellow travellers. We knew the newscasts had to be false and wanted to go and shatter any misconceptions we may have had about the Islamic Republic, which we definitely ended up doing. Iran is a very safe country with incredibly hospitable people. At 4,600m trekking in Tajikistan. The Great Pamir Range and Zor-Kul Lake in Afghanistan behind us Anything in particular you two love to do in every country as adventure seekers? We’re not adventurous in the sense that we go bungee jumping or skydiving, but we really like to go hiking & trekking, we enjoy camping, finding lesser-known places and Nick loves to scuba dive! You guys like to slow travel. Tell us 3 reasons why. You’re right about that! During our first backpacking trip around SE Asia and India, we felt like we had to move around quite a bit in order to see everything. We wanted to tick countries and sites off of our list and found ourselves travelling every 3-5 days (although we did spend a whole month on the island of Koh Tao in Thailand!) We loved this style of travel at the time, and although we have no regrets, we now feel like we missed out on so much. Travelling slower lets us really feel the country, rather than just seeing the sights. We’re able to learn how the local people live, learn more about their customs and culture, and find places that others who are whizzing by may not find. When you travel slower, life is less stressful! Isn’t that what travel is all about? We love being able to unpack our backpacks (even if it’s just for a week) and somewhat settle into our guesthouse and saunter around the city at our own pace. No rush, no stress. Another reason we travel slower is to save some cash! The cost of trains, flights and buses can really add up. If you’re only moving every week or more, your wallet will be happier. What are your best tips for someone who is thinking about visiting some of the lesser-visited countries and what should they expect? I would say to go with an open mind. Travel days can be unpredictable, difficult and stressful at times. Many of the off the beaten path places don’t have the tourism infrastructure that countries like Thailand, Italy or Argentina have. Buses & trains might not run like clockwork, if at all. In some places, you travel around by shared car, or hitchhiking. Hotels may be few and far between and many locals won’t speak the same language as you. But isn’t that all part of the adventure?! Buy a phrasebook for the country you’re going to so that you can communicate with locals, do some research online before going so you’ll know what to expect, and get a guidebook. Be open to sleeping in home stays, embrace the local people and their culture, and enjoy being one of the few tourists around. A curious boy at a home stay in Kyrgyzstan…a blogger in the making? Have you ever encountered any dangers on your travels? There was one time in particular when we were in Kenya. I was sitting on a curb waiting for our bus to show up when I noticed a shadow over me. I sort of saw that it was a man (who looked quite disheveled) and he reached into his pants – I figured he was pulling out his family jewels so I immediately looked away. The next thing I know, Nick is running down the street yelling and chasing this guy. When he came back I said: “What happened? I looked away”, to which Nick replied “He pulled out a knife and held it at you!” eek! What’s one of your best travel memories together? This is a hard one. Probably our three-week stay at an ashram in India. During that time, we practiced yoga twice a day, meditated and learned about Vedic chanting. We went to fire ceremonies on the banks of the Ganges River with the ashram’s Guru, were invited to an Indian wedding and saw a live performance by one of our favourite yogic chanters, Krishna Das. We both grew and changed so much together during that time, it was a very memorable travel experience. Fire ceremony on the banks of the Ganges River in India What’s on the agenda for the goats for the rest of 2014? Well, we’ll be in Grenada until November 7th and then we are flying to Mexico! We plan to stay in a little surfing village for about 2 months, until January…then we’ll move on. We’re not sure where we’re going after January, but most likely into Central and South America. Author’s Bio: Nick and Dariece are the couple behind Goats On The Road, a website designed to show others how to turn their travels into a lifestyle. Masters at making money abroad, they’ve been on the road since 2008 and have explored some of the least visited places on earth. They’re also full-time contributors at Credit Walk where they share their expertise of long-term travel. Follow them on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and YouTube.
17 Day South Korea Expenses Wrap Up
South Korea was the second country on our Asia list when we booked tickets but it was for a reason much more than to travel, we were going to go find Yeison’s father’s grave. Granted, we still wanted to take advantage of our time there and experience Korea for Yeison to get in touch with his father’s side as he never had the chance to before. Even though he is half Korean, he’s culturally 0% Korean (OK maybe 1% he does know how to use chopsticks and loves kimchee) South Korea surprised us in many ways. First, except for Yeison’s recent trip to New York City neither of us had been in a big city in a long time. And Seoul is a huuuuge city with a huge amount of people. We were definitely not prepared for that! Second, embarrassingly neither of us looked up any important Korean words before we went (I know, bad travelers). I don’t know if we just got unlucky but not many people we talked to spoke English and we had to resort to a lot of body language. We ended doing a lot of sightseeing in South Korea, trying to soak in as much culture and history as we could. This was also different to the type of traveling we did in Central America where we did mostly outdoor adventure activities but it was a pleasant change. I highly enjoyed doing more sightseeing and learning more about the Korean culture, beyond all the soap operas I used to watch! South Korea turned out to be a bit more expensive than we thought and we went a bit over budget. Let’s crunch the numbers to show you why and see how much we spent for our 17 day trip in South Korea. *1000 won equals roughly 1 USD (easy to remember). 17 day South Korea Expenses Wrap up Our Itinerary: Incheon: 1 day Seoul: 11 days Busan: 5 days Incheon We flew into Incheon International Airport and stayed for one night. Airfare: Flying to South Korea from Taiwan is not a long flight at all, it is just 2 and a half hours. Though we would have preferred to fly Air Asia, they don’t offer this particular route so we found a ticket on tripsta.com for $195 one person one way with Asiana Air. We flew from Taoyuan International Airport into Incheon International Airport. Accommodation: We stayed at Incheon Airport Yegrina Hotel for $48 a night. If you need a place to stay near the airport, this is a great option. They have a free shuttle to and from the airport, free Wi-Fi and includes breakfast. Seoul Accommodation: We used AirBnB and found a place to stay during our time in Seoul for $30 a day. I was incredibly happy with how our first experience with AirBnB turned out and highly recommend it as an alternative choice to hotels, especially if you’re traveling on a budget and want a more local experience. $330 + AirBnB Fees = $334 for 11 nights Transportation: From Incheon Airport we took the subway to Seoul which cost around 8000 won. The place we stayed at was outside Seoul so we had to take a public bus to get to the city. I have to say, Seoul honestly has the best public transportation system we have ever experienced. It’s fast, efficient and cheap! We spent a total of $15 together taking the bus from Daehak-dong to Seoul nearly everyday. Tip: To take the public bus, you need to buy a bus card called T-Money and put credit on it which you can do at a convenience store. You have to scan it when you get on and off. For the rest of our time we took the subway which was around $3.00 for two people each trip. Once you get inside the city, you can walk everywhere. Taking the subway is incredibly easy even if you don’t know Korean as there are signs and maps everywhere and the information people all speak English. Tip: Download the Subway app and you’re golden. It tells you which lines to take to your destination, how much it costs and how long it’ll take. And you don’t need Wi-Fi to use it. So helpful! Food: This was the big ouchie. Food was not as cheap as we thought it’d be especially after spending a few days in Taiwan before Korea. We spent roughly $35 a day even though we ate a lot of ramen and cheap pastries. Despite staying in a college town area, meals were about the same prices in the States at $7-10 a person. I was sad to see that coffee was quite expensive at $3.50 for a small Americano (just regular black coffee) so we drank instant coffee instead. This was hard for us to keep under budget because we wanted to try as much Korean food as possible since it is so damn tasty! Yeison was so excited to find an all you can eat Korean bbq buffet for $9! Activities: Since most of the things we did were sightseeing, we weren’t paying for many tours or entrance fees. We went on the Seoul city bus tour which was $12 per person and visited Changdeokgung Palace which was $8 a person. The rest of the time we visited markets like Insadong and Dongdaemun, went to Yeouido Park to meet up with some other Ticos and watch a concert and hiked Gwanaksan Mountain which was right next to our apartment. All free (except for souvenir shopping at the markets). Souvenirs: I was the one who spent a bigger chunk of money on souvenirs. I spent most of my souvenir money on Korean beauty products which ran me about $75 total. But I would have spent a whole lot more if I had more space in my luggage! Busan On our travel day to Busan, we decided to first go to Yeison’s father’s grave in Youngcheon. We took the KTX from Seoul to Dongdaegu, the slow train to Youngcheon and then the slow train and subway to Busan. We really wanted to take the KTX to experience it but it is expensive! For two people we paid $76. It is really fast though, we got to Dongdaegu in about 2 hours or so. Accommodation: We stayed at Pusainn Motel next to Busan Station. In the area are a lot of places to eat for a decent price open 24 hours and for a budget hotel it was a great choice for us. Free wi-fi, friendly staff, clean and had a desk in the room. Plus it’s right across the street from the subway station which made it incredibly convenient. For 5 nights we paid $214. Food: Food in Busan ran us a tad bit cheaper at about $25 a day. There were some places around our hotel that had really cheap Korean food which we went often. You could get a bowl of soondubu for $4 so you can probably guess what I ate during our time there! Activities: The first two days we were in Busan it was pouring down rain and storming like crazy so we just stayed in and worked. One day we met up with another blogger, Meagan from LifeOutsideofTexas who took us around Busan and showed us some of her favorite spots. We did a bit of shopping, eating and sightseeing. On our last day we visited Haedong Yonggung temple and Haeundae beach. Besides paying for the subway and bus fare which was just a few dollars, it was free. Total expenses Our grand total came out to be about $1200 which is $70 a day. Unfortunately, it was the food prices that made us go over budget. I do have to note we weren’t eating at expensive or fancy places either so it would have been a lot more if we were. This does not include airfare. What we loved about South korea: Food, ease of transportation and the Wi-Fi. Korean food is so dang delicious. I absolutely love soon dubu, Korean bbq and oh so much more. When you go to Korea, make sure to eat and try as many new things as you can plus the price of beer is cheap (we finally discovered what was happy water). The city is very modern with lots of tall buildings, offices and did I mention again that I love their Wi-Fi? After coming from Costa Rica where we struggled to get steady 2mb internet, we were in Wi-Fi heaven. 70 mb at our AirBnB place! Getting around Seoul and Busan almost became second nature to us after taking the subway almost everyday. Especially with the app, we figured out how to get everywhere we wanted to go using the subway and public bus. Just an extra that I loved but Yeison didn’t quite care for. I loved how cute everything was! Girls you will have a blast shopping in Korea because everything from the the tape dispenser to the clothes hangers is downright adorable. My favorite activity? Visiting a cat cafe. Soo many adorable kitties to play with! Bummer I missed the puppy cafe though! Yeison’s favorite activity? Biking the Han River and testing out the Wi-Fi connection at all the Apple stores we ran into. What we didn’t love As someone who grew up somewhere that said “sorry” and “excuse me” when you bump into someone, it was a shocker to be in a society where everyone ran each other over. Although the subway is easy to use, actually riding it was like running a 50 meter sprint with too many people stuffed on the track. Everyone just pushes and shoves their way on and off and doesn’t give a sh*t if they hit you or step on you. This was something I just couldn’t get used to. Also there is a lot of garbage in the neighborhood streets and the place we were staying at near Seoul National University smelled pretty bad with food spilled over everywhere. This was not very pleasant. However, the main streets in the city itself are nice and clean. Cost of food. $17 for fried chicken? No thanks. We were still able to scope out some cheap local eats but it still was much more than we expected. Wrap up I think if I knew what I know now about South Korea, we wouldn’t have stayed so long. We went to Malaysia afterwards and after being frustrated with the crowds and high price of food, we were incredibly happy in Malaysia. Don’t get me wrong, we had a great time in South Korea and accomplished what we went there to do but after 17 days, we were ready to go and explore a new country. Koreans are a very interesting group of people. You could tell that they are in a transition period with their mindsets and way of thinking when it comes to traditional versus modern. Young people were much more open to talk and help us whereas the older generations you could tell shied away. Although Seoul is very modern, you can still see old temples and historical places right in the middle of a touristic area. For first time travelers to Asia, I think South Korea is a great option. It’s so easy to get around, you’ll find something you like to eat and the city actually reminds me a lot of cities in the US (besides the obvious language difference). There are quite a few areas where you can find many foreigners and meet other travelers who are also on a long term Asia trip. Like this post? Click here to get more like this straight to your inbox!
Tips for Packing for Taiwan: Our Packing List
Yeison and I wanted to pack light for our 2 month trip to Taiwan. After a year of traveling in Costa Rica, we got tired of lugging around giant pieces of luggage and backpacks and decided we would pack minimally for our Taiwan trip. Since we had a car in Costa Rica and would be out for usually a week at a time, we were lazy. We’d throw everything we thought we needed in the car and used that as our extra storage space but we knew we wouldn’t have that luxury in Taiwan. This time, we were to be relying purely on what we were carrying on our backs. Packing for Taiwan This is our packing list for our trip to Taiwan in the fall. Fall weather in Taiwan Taiwan is a subtropical country so technically there is no “winter” or “summer.” However, the climate isn’t restricted to just hot and humid, there are distinct climates throughout the year. Taiwan has a typhoon season, they get snow and it gets hot. It has a little bit of everything! Taiwan’s fall months are September to November with temperatures hovering around 70 F during the day and cools off a bit at night. October is the last month of typhoon season so there are less chances of stormy weather than if you went during the months of June-Sept which is typhoon season. This is why we chose to visit Taiwan in the fall. When I was in Taiwan seven years ago in July, it was incredibly hot and humid, I had never felt so sticky before!. I remember being constantly sweaty no matter how many showers I took and after 2 years of living that in Costa Rica, I was more than ready for fresher weather. I was tired of constantly being all gross and sweaty! The weather so far has been nice and fresh, with a constant breeze. Ahhhh. It makes going outside and sightseeing so much more enjoyable! Suitcase or Backpack? First things first. Backpack or suitcase? We did the whole backpack thing in Costa Rica and although it was a great experience (at times very challenging) we decided to take this trip with a different approach. We chose to take two carry ons and two small backpacks. Our reasons for doing so are: The transportation system is much more efficient in Taiwan than Costa Rica. We would be taking the train around the country so no chicken buses, no public buses. It’d be easier to each have a small carry on than two big 55 L backpacks. We packed super light in terms of clothing and brought only the essential technology gear and equipment we knew we’d use. We left all the extra Go Pro clips and poles behind along with the extra doodads for my Canon Rebel. We’d be staying at different places for longer periods of time. Taiwan isn’t that big of an island and we enjoy slow travel. We’d be staying in the city for a month or so and travel around the island staying around 7 days at each place at a time. It’s easier for us to stay organized using a carry on. You don’t want to know what our hotel rooms looked like when we used the 55 L backpacks! With only one opening on the top, it was like a hurricane passed by with the amount of clothes strewn everywhere. Whether you take a backpack or a suitcase is completely up to you but my number one tip for suitcases is to find a a lightweight luggage. Carry ons aren’t hard to pull around even if it’s stuffed to the brim but it’s extremely important to find a high quality one that is light and easy to roll. If you’re not sure where to start looking, check out Luggage Direct for a generous supply of various suitcases. Taiwan Packing List: Taiwan Clothing Style: Taiwanese people don’t dress as conservatively as South Korea but it is not as open as Costa Rica. Many women don’t wear two piece bikinis but feel free to wear tops that show your shoulders. I would leave your spaghetti strap tank tops at home unless you’re going in the summer, then you will definitely want them. There is no dress rule in Taiwan other than be to use your common sense. At the beach, cover yourself up, don’t let everything hangout and do always wear a shirt and pants. For sightseeing, wear something that’s comfortable and casual. Dress up if you’re going out to a club, you’ll feel out of place if you don’t! Taiwan Fall Packing List: Wearing our rainjackets since a typhoon just passed through Taiwan (October) With temperatures around 70 F during the day, you won’t need to worry about bringing any sort of winter clothing such as long winter jackets and thick boots. However, you can’t just bring shorts and tshirts. Best tip: Bring clothes you can layer so you’re prepared for the warm days and cool nights, with an occasional rainstorm in October. Since we needed to prepare for the last month of typhoon season, we brought our waterproof jackets, waterproof backpack and laptop case since we could get caught in a rainstorm unexpectedly. For clothing, quick drying clothing with poly-cotton was also important especially since it is not common to use a dryer. An umbrella is also handy which you can buy here if you don’t want to bring one. I brought a mix of long and short sleeve tshirts and blouses to keep me cool during the day but warm at night. As we were planning to do some hiking, we also brought hiking/running shirts, pants and waterproof sandals. Taiwan has some excellent hiking up in the mountains. For sightseeing, I brought comfortable walking shoes, cute walking sandals, two pairs of capris and one pair of leggings. Since the train gets cold, a light scarf and sweater came in handy which also goes with any day outfit. I did bring two pairs of shorts with me, one running and one jean since it can still get fairly hot in the fall at the beach. Always bring mosquito repellent. I got bit so much during the summer I was there and we’re getting bit now. Other seasons Spring Spring is similar to fall with temperatures around 70 F but the rain is incredibly fickle. One minute it’ll be beautiful and sunny and the next it’ll be pouring down rain for a week straight. It’s hard to predict spring weather in Taiwan so if you’re planning to visit during March-May, bring clothing to cover you for rain and sunny weather. A rain jacket is a must along with a combination of long and short sleeve shirts and pants. Summer If you’re going to Taiwan in the summer, be prepared to be HOT! With temperatures constantly at 95 F and extreme humidity, you’ll be sweating your butt off, no joke. Walk outside for 1 minute and you’ll feel sticky even if you just showered. Wear light clothing, bring a towel to wipe the sweat off your face and girls, bring lots and lots of hair ties to pull your hair back. Winter Winter is much colder in Taiwan than most people think. It can get as low as 40 F and even colder up in the mountains. You can even go skiing in Yushan National Park! Bring winter clothing so long sleeve tshirts, warm jackets and socks. No need for summer clothing even if you go down to the coast where you’ll still need to wear long sleeve shirts and pants. Like this post? Click here to get more like this straight to your inbox!
Haedong Yonggung Temple in Busan, the Temple by the Sea
One thing that was a bit of a shocker for Yeison and I when we were in Seoul was that many of the cultural and historical landmarks were located right smack in the middle of the city. We’d be walking the streets during rush hour and had absolutely no idea that we just strolled right past one of the oldest palaces in Korea. Most of the time we were so focused on fighting the crowd for space and scoping out the best street food! Perhaps it was the magnitude of the city that exaggerated our shock since there are cultural sites (not as old) in the middle of San Jose in Costa Rica but the population is not even close to Seoul. We didn’t feel nearly as crowded in Busan thankfully and on our last day in Korea we chose to visit a rare find in the country: a temple by the sea. Haedong Yonggung Temple Since most of the temples in Korea are located in the mountains, Haedong Yonggung temple is a unique find in South Korea and is a popular tourist destination. Located on the north east coast of Busan, the temple is situated in a beautiful area, with bright blue waters and a stunning view. Haedong Yonggung temple was built back in the 1300’s by an important Buddhist teacher, complete with a shrine, sanctuary, pagoda and sanctum. The main sanctuary was built in the 1970’s and there are various viewpoints around the temple looking out to the ocean. It takes 108 steps to the main sanctuary area which makes for a nice walk. We went on a Saturday in September and it was a gorgeous day out, sunny with a nice breeze. Although Yeison and I are pretty good about going early to avoid crowds, we didn’t make it that day and went to the temple around noon with all the tour buses. Even so, it wasn’t so crowded it was annoying and we were still able to spend quality time in the most sought out areas. As you walk down to the temple, you see 12 statues lined up according to the animals of the Chinese zodiac along with a pagoda. As you walk down the steps, head to the left first to get a nice view of the entire temple by the coast and one of the Buddha statues. After being away from the ocean for nearly a month, Yeison and I felt so at peace smelling the sea and hearing the waves crash against the rocks again. The ocean is definitely our happy place! Go back to the main steps and walk across the bridge to get into the main sanctuary area. Below the bridge there are a couple of statues holding bowls that you can try your luck to throw coins into! We actually saw one girl make it in there on the first shot. The main sanctuary area has a big Buddha statue, a cave with a Buddha sanctum, dragon statues and the main temple area has a gorgeous view of the ocean. I could definitely see why this temple is famous and why so many people like to visit it. The builder, Naong a Buddhist teacher chose the ideal location to build a temple surrounded by the striking turquoise waters of the ocean and stunning scenery. Tips for visiting Go early in the morning to avoid crowds Bring water and good walking shoes No entrance or admission fees Location Directions Haeundae Station, Busan station line 2, exit 7 Right outside the exit is the bus stop to Haedong Yonggung Temple Take Bus 181 for about 20 minutes and the bus will drop you off right at the entrance. You will need to walk up the street about a kilometer Get off when you see this sign.