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Bulguksa Temple

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Just outside Gyeongju, South Korea’s Bulguksa Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that’s known for its beautiful gardens and pagodas. Completed in 774, during the golden age of Silla architecture, the huge temple complex is said to have been commissioned by chief minister Kim Daeseong as a way of pacifying the spirits of his parents. Bulguksa Temple is home to seven national treasures, including the original Dabotap and Seokgatap stone pagodas and bronze Buddhas.

Korean for Temple of the Buddha Land, Bulguksa still acts as a working temple for the 11th district of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, and you’re likely to see monks performing ceremonies on your visit. Look out for the patio covered with stone stacks, too. It’s said that if you can add a stone to the top of a stack without it toppling over, your wish will come true. Keep a lookout for the local chipmunks who hang out on the patio, too.

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