Sanbanggulsa Cave Temple

sanbangsan-cave-templeSanbangsan Cave Temple

Sanbanggulsa Cave Temple

Sanbanggulsa Cave Temple is a popular and serene travel site located on Jeju Island, South Korea. The Cave is situated on the cliffside of Sanbangsan Mountain on the Island.

The story has it that the peak of Hallasan Mountain, the tallest mountain in the Korean Peninsula, where Baekrokho Lake exists, was once taken away and turned into the present Sanbangsan Mountain.

The legend describes how, unlike other mountains on Jeju Island, Sanbangsan Mountain has no crater at all. So, that's what makes this mountain unique, among its other exciting features, such as the fantastic perspectives of the islands and sea from its vantage point.

The southwest side of Sanbangsan Mountain's has a famous 5-meter-high cave at the cliffside. Initially, people called it the Sanbanggul (Cave Temple). However, it is presently called a 'temple' cave when people discovered a Buddhist statue inside.

According to records, the Cave itself was being used by Buddhist monks as their abode and natural temple site. The source says that monk Hye-Il (964-1053) of the Goryeo Dynasty lived in this Cave.

From the inside, you can see Marado Island and the Dragon Head Coast, a beautiful rock formation with the legendary dragon's shape.

On the Dragonhead Coast, you can find the Hamel Memorial Monument. The Hamel Monument was built by the Netherlands Embassy by the hills of Sanbangsan Mountain and in front of Sanbanggul Grotto to commemorate the two nation's friendship through the morality of Hendrick Hamel.

You can also see small rock ponds created by the water drops from the ceiling all through the year.

The verdant parts on a cliff of Sanbangsan Mountain are also designated as a natural monument. It is the only place on Jejudo Island where island boxwoods grow.

sanbangsan-cave-templeSanbangsan Grotto Temple (photo: Dales Korea Temple Adventures)

Useful Facilities and Information

This section can help you plan for your visit to this site, including parking spaces and entrance rates to its sightseeing areas.

You can visit this exciting travel destination on Jeju Island from sunrise to sunset. If you wish to stay longer in the area, please note that you need to either have a vehicle (personal or rented one) to go back to where you are visiting, as this area is on the outskirts of Jeju Island nearby town.

Parking Facilities
Yes, there is a parking area near Sanbanggulsa Cave Temple for your vehicle if you have one. You can keep your car all day long in the public parking lot for free.

If you want, you can park at the private parking lot; you may do so and pay a reasonable rate. Usually, this is your only choice when the space at the public parking lot is not available.
Entrance Fees
As you already know, the rate for an admission fee depends on age and number of persons. Here's the rate (temporary)...

Adults - Individuals 2,500 won / Groups (10 or more people) 2,000 won
Teenagers & Children - Individuals 1,500 won / Groups 1,000 won

Please, know that your admission ticket to the area includes the following sightseeing areas...

  • Sanbanggul Cave,
  • Hamel Memorial, and
  • Dragon Head Coast

Restrooms (washrooms) are available as designated areas for public use. Shower rooms are not available.

A tourist guide and interpreter are available should you need one. You may have to book this service in advance to ensure its availability.

More Attractions Nearby

Close to Sanbanggulsa Cave Temple, you can explore other natural attractions. You need to be good at hiking or walking to explore and then enjoy them.

Sanbangsan Mountain
Yes, this is where the Sanbanggulsa Cave Temple is located. Therefore, you don't have to go that far to see it. You can explore this mountain and enjoy the fantastic views from its peaks--the blue sea, views of Jeju Island, islands, valleys, and mountains.

Sanbangsan Mountain formed when a violent volcanic eruption occurred some 700,000 to 800,000 years ago. Know that the mountain itself is a massive body of lava.

Yongmeori Beach (Dragon's Head Beach)
Yongmeori Beach is a place where Sanbangsan Mountain stretches into the ocean. It is so named Yongmeori because its shape looks like the head of a dragon going underwater.  

Hwasun Golden Sand Beach or Hwasun Beach Resort (화순 금모래해변 (화순 해수욕장))
Hwasun Golden Sand Beach seems to be famous for its gold-like sandy Beach. This color appears especially during summer or bright sunny days.

The Beach is also great due to the beauty of nature that surrounds it. Hwasun Beach Resort is close to Sanbangsan Mountain, Yongmeori Coastline, and opposite to the islands of Marado and Hyeongjedo.
Daejeonghyanggyo Confucian School
Being a nation influenced by Confucian teachings, you can still find many Confucian schools preserved at many places in the country, including on Jeju Island.

Daejeonghyanggyo Confucian School is a historical site that was established during the Joseon Dynasty period.

The Marine Park
There are many places and marine parks on Jeju Island where you can experience or see marine life face-to-face. You can see them through aquariums, at conservation areas, and underwater through tourists submarine.

At this Marine Park, you can see various marine life, including whales. Marine Park is the first national park that exhibits whales.

That's all I can say about Sanbanggulsa Cave Temple and its surrounding travel destinations. Now, let me provide you some information on how to get to this exciting site.

jeju-herb-dongsanJeju Herb Dongsan is one of the attractions in Seogwipo and near the Sanbanggulsa Cave Temple area

Getting to Sanbanggulsa Cave Temple

First, you can fly to Jeju Island or take a ferry from wherever the transport is available. When you are in Seoul, take a plane from Kimpo Airport (GMP) to Jeju Island International Airport that will take around an hour and ten minutes.

By Bus
From Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal, take a bus bound to Sanbangsan Mountain and get off at Sanbangsan Mountain Bus Stop. Announcements of bus stops are made before your bus stop in English, Japanese, and Chinese languages.

By Taxi
Yes, any taxi from Jeju International Airport and anywhere on the Island are willing to take you there. The advantage is that it is quicker (around 30 minutes, around an hour for the bus) and more comfortable.

Jeju Island has car companies that offer car (and van) rental services to travelers. This rental service is really economical, especially when you come as a group. The rent varies for a van-type vehicle according to the number of seats you need. The service is available on a day and hourly basis (around 70,000 KRW).

Thanks for visiting this site. Enjoy your travels!

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