Gatbawi Buddha Statue

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Daegu, South Korea

Gatbawi Buddha Statue Daegu Reviews

cynthiasmiller cynthias…
62 reviews
A wish-granting Buddha at the end of a brutal hike! Apr 12, 2014
In Korea, it seems that you can't have a Buddhist site that's easy to get to, you must hike to it! There have been so few Buddhist sites I've visited that I haven't had to trek to get to. This was definitely one of the more strenuous treks, but unusual enough to make the hike worth it.

The Gatbawi Buddha is a large stone Buddha carved at the top of a mountain in the middle of Palgongsan National Park, near Daegu. According to local lore, if you put all the effort into hiking to the top, the Buddha will grant you one wish, so many parents visit the Buddha to ask that their children pass their school exams. Once at the top, there aren't many facilities. No restroom and no refreshments other than a coffee vending machine, so make sure you get what you need and do what you need to do before you get to the top.

Various websites have claimed that it takes 2-3 hours to hike to the top. However, it took me roughly an hour, and I took a few rest stops along the way. You will feel the burn, and that might make it feel like it's taking much longer, but I can't imagine the hike actually taking 3 hours unless you're stopping to take a nap.

You'll see a couple hidden temples on the hike up, each quite nice, if ordinary. You'll also find a couple of restrooms on the way (though not at the top). At the bottom of the mountain, near the bus stop there are plenty of restaurants, bathrooms, gift shops, and a coffee shop.

To get here, go to Dongdaegu station in Daegu. Go to the information desk just outside the station. From there you can either buy a Daegu city bus tour ticket, which will take you to Gatbawi, or you can ask directions to the bus stop, which is nearby. You'll take bus 401 all the way to the last stop, and can take anywhere from 30-60 minutes, depending on traffic. Once there, it's hard to miss the trailhead. Just follow everyone else and go straight up!
The Gatbawi Buddha
Temple visit halfway up
Lanterns and cherry blossoms
Stairs, stairs, and more stairs..
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
cynthiasmiller says:
Hahaha, right! I just ran straight up those steps. No trouble at all! ;)
Posted on: Nov 01, 2016
Paulovic says:
You just ran up there. ;)
Posted on: Nov 01, 2016
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