Travel Destinations

South Korea – Hyangiram Buddhist Hermitage

Hyangiram Buddhist Hermitage in South Korea
Written by Carl Hedinger

Hyangiram Buddhist Hermitage

I’ve managed to get out a bit and enjoy the local scenes here in coastal South Korea and more of South Jeolla Province. How can you go wrong in this part of the country? Beaches, Mountains, and mild weather makes for a nice atmosphere throughout the year. Hyangiram Buddhist Hermitage tops them all, though. Let me walk you through this wonderful slice of heaven.

Boat on the water, seen from Hyangiram Buddhist Hermitage in South Korea (향일암)

Taking a bus from Yeosu to the nearby island, Dolsan, brings us all the way down to Hyangiram. It’s quite a popular place and full of locals planning to spend their Saturdays or Holidays—New Year’s Sunrise especially—with family and friends against the scenery and sea.

Walking up to Hyangiram Buddhist Hermitage, South Korea (향일암)

On the way down, a rookie error leaves us without enough bus fare in small bills. Anyway, the nice driver lets it slide for the trip even after I plead with him to let me pay. On the Korean Acts of Kindness tally, I’ve lost count so this one just goes into the pile.

Hyangiram and the Sea, South Korea (항일암)

I’ve loved living in this town so far but this day is perhaps the first where I’m able to slow down and just enjoy the scenes. Christina always says that it’s not the destination but the journey which is important. This is the first time in 2+ months where I listen to her and understand that phrase for its full meaning.

Overlooking the Ocean from Hyangiram Buddhist Hermitage, South Korea (향일암)

After spending some time walking around the hermitage that basically sits below a peak which should provide a gorgeous view at a later time, we sit and talk for a bit. Then we head down the mountain for some seafood pajeon and that lovely drink we’ve found to accompany leisure time—dong dong ju. Afterwards, we’ll hop back on a bus to the mainland and have the proper amount of money ready this time.

Hyangiram Buddhist Hermitage

What did you think of Hyangiram? Ever been? I’d love to read your thoughts in the comments section below! 


Directions to Hyangiram Buddhist Hermitage

(Courtesy of Korea Tourism)

From Yeosu’s Intercity Bus Terminal, Cross the Street and Catch Buses 111 or 113 to the Impo (임포 (향일암)) Bus Stop.

This is the final stop on the route. Get off the best and walk 100m with the ocean on your left side. At the GS 25 convenience store, turn right and follow the road upward. It’s a steep walk but not too far. Take a right after 3 blocks. The entrance to Hyangiram (향일암) is located 50m ahead on the left and preceded by a ticket booth.

About the author

Carl Hedinger

I’m a writer and recovering American expat who shares my family’s travels through life. Follow our adventures here and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.