There are a lot of activities to do in Korea and the temple stay is one of them. The temple stay is an opportunity to discover the history of Korea through Buddism’s history and life.
Best Temple Stay in South Korea
Temple Stay is a unique program that allows you to sojourn in a Buddhist temple. With Buddhist practitioners, this program gives you the opportunity to experience Buddhist life. In a beautiful and peaceful environment, enjoy the calm and serene nature. In that way, you can decompress and search for your true self through prayer, meditation, and many activities with nature. The goal is to calm your soul and your body from all tensions and stress of daily life.
Temple Stay program is the opportunity to discover Buddhist principles and Korean traditions.
The sojourn in the temple is really short. Usually, people choose the 2 days and 1-night plan but you can also choose just 1 day. Temple Stay program is open to everyone regardless of nationality or religion.
Table of Contents
What to do in Temple Stay
Temple stay programs can be different and differ depending on your temple. But temples usually have typical basic activities to teach you the Buddhism religion. Most temples have these activities :
- reading of the Buddhist texts,
- zen meditation moment,
- the 108 prostrations ritual,
- introduction to the tea ceremony.
You will also discover the Buddhist culinary style and principles. It can be really different than what you do in your daily life. If you join a temple stay program at the start of the Year, you can do a unique activity: making the lotus lantern. These are made before Buddha’s birthday that is on April 8th. They are used as decoration in temples and surroundings.
Temple stay in Seoul
Myogaksa Temple Stay
Myogaksa is a traditional temple located in the heart of Seoul, in the Jongno District. So, around the temple, you can easily find the Naksan Park and Dongdaemun Market.
Established in May 1942, Myogaksa temple invites people to discover Buddhism life through the temple stay program. This cultural program purposes various activities. Among them: the 108 prayer beads making, Trekking at Naksan Park at dawn, and various other activities. The introduction of the Tea ceremony will teach you the complex Buddhism practice.
Experience relaxing with 1,700-year-old Buddhist practices.
Address: 31 Jong-ro 63ga-gil, Sungin 2(i)-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul
For 1 Day Temple Stay at Myogaksa Temple
Adult 30,000 KRW
Student & Pre-schooler 20,000 KRW
Bongeunsa Temple Stay
The monk Yeon-Hoe founded the Bongeunsa temple in 794, during the Shilla Dynasty. The temple had a main role during the occupation of Korea by Japanese colonials. In fact, it became the headquarters of 80 Buddhist temples in Seoul. Bongeunsa Temple is one of the most famous temples for tourists. It is located in the famous Gangnam District of Seoul, in front of the big commercial center named COEX.
The history of Bongeunsa temple is over 1,200 years old. One of the greatest calligraphers called Kim Jeong-Hee stayed at the Temple. His work is considered as the highest level of calligraphic art for his generation. Because of that, he’s still admired today.
With the important place of Bongeunsa temple in the long history of Korea, this temple had a significant place in Korea Buddhism history.
Here are some activities at the Bongeunsa Temple: 108 Prostrations, Seon Meditation, Tea Ceremony, and Temple Tour.
Address: 531 Bongeunsa-ro, Samseong 1(il)-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
Regular Temple Stay (2 day & 1 night)
Adult (aged 18 +) 70,000 KRW
Student (Elementary, Middle & High School) 50,000 KRW
1 Day Temple Stay : 20,000 KRW
Jogyesa temple stay
Jogyesa Temple is the main temple in South Korea and the representative of Korean Buddhism. At the start, this temple was named Hwanggaksa. It was renamed during the Japanese colonial Taegosa before it was finally called Jogyesa in 1954.
Founded in 1910, Jogyesa Temple was moved to the current location in 1937, Seoul, the heart of South Korea.
People said that the Jogyesa Temple “preserved the original spirit and history of Korean Buddhism” (information from www.eng.templestay.com).
Address: 55 Ujeongguk-ro, Gyeonji-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Temple Stay during 2Days & 1 Night (you can book 1 to 3 nights) 50,000 KRW.
Located near the entrance of the Moaksan Provincial Park, Geumsan Temple is an old historic temple. It was established during the period of the Baekje Kingdom.
Geumsan Temple is particularly famous for its Buddha statue. That one is the largest indoor standing Buddha statue in the world reaching 11.82 meters high and located between two other statues reaching 8.8 meters each: One Buddha statue and one Mireuk Bodhisattva Statue.
Additionally, this temple offers you the possibility to discover valuable and cultural relics.
Address: 39 Geumsan-ri, Geumsan-myeon, Gimje-si, Jeollabuk-do
Experience Temple Stay: “I want to rest” 2 Days & 1 Night
In 1522, Seon master is at the origin of the construction of Hwagyesa temple. During the Joseon Period, the royal family visited this temple often. Because of that, Hwagyesa temple became a historic temple. The Temple was also an important place in Korean language history. In fact, the historic stay of Korean Language specialists was established there. Among the nine specialists were Lee Hui-Seung and Choe Hyeon-bae. These two specialists completed the Unified Korean Orthography.
Created in 1991, the temple includes the Daejeokgwangjeon Hall. On the 4th floor, they decided to found an international Seon Monastery. This monastery welcomed Buddhists from all around the world.
Address: 117, Hwagyesa-gil, Gangbuk-gu, Seoul 01095
International Seon Center, etc.
The International Seon Center is a modern style of Buddhist Temple. This modern temple is located in Seoul, in the Yangcheon District. Opened in November 2010, this Buddhist Temple promotes the essential value of Korean Buddhism. They provide knowledge through various activities dispensed in Korean and in English. In these 10,500 square meters, the International Seon Center has many facilities. Among them: the temple stay facilities, a prayer hall, and also an education center. A lot of different Temple stay programs are purpose with many activities such as tea ceremonies, meditations, or Seon lectures. Everyone who wants to experience Korean Buddhist culture can apply. All these programs and activities’ goal is to provide knowledge and peace.
Address: 167 Mokdongdong-ro, Sinjeong-dong, Yangcheon-gu, Seoul
Try the Temple Stay “Relaxation TempleStay” for 1 Night & 2 Days for 70,000 KRW per person.
Temple stay in Korea
Jeondeungsa Temple is one of the oldest temples in Korea… Maybe the oldest one. It is located in a historical region, very important for Korean History.
Located in Ganghwa Island, near Incheon, Jeondeungsa Temple has a significant history. It took place from the time of ancient Joseon named Gojoseon. Thereby, this temple is a precious place from its start until the present day. And because of this, the atmosphere felt in that place is unique and different from other temples.
The blessed family used this temple, originally called “Jinjongsa”, for its ancestors. The temple possessed a lot of cultural treasures. Among them, the Main Buddha Hall, the Medicine Buddha Hall, and also a giant temple bell. It is also the perfect example of the beauty of architecture made during the mid-Joseon Dynasty.
Address: 37 – 41 Jeondeungsa-ro, Gilsang-myeon, Ganghwa-gun, Incheon
Various programs are in this temple. “Ssdam Ssdam” Temple Stay Experience, 2 Days and 1 night:
Adult & University Student 50,000 KRW
Student (under 18 years old) 40,000 KRW
Bulguksa Temple is a treasure of the Buddhism religion in Korea. Built during the Silla period, in 528 Before Christ, to wish peace and prosperity to everyone. Bulguksa Temple considered a relic of Buddhist culture in Korea was established in Gyeongju city which is located in North Gyeongsang province.
The temple received some restoration works in 1920 because of the Imjin War that happened between 1592 and 1598 and caught serious damages, especially the temple which was often the target.
Now, the temple is classified as the N°1 of the Historic and Scenic site by the Korean Government. It was also designated a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1995.
Address: 385, Bulguk-ro, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do
Temple Stay Experience “Breathing in the millennial air”, 2 Days & 1 Night:
Adult 80,000 KRW
Student 70,000 KRW
Woljeongsa temple was founded in 643 during the Silla Kingdom Period. A monk called Ja Jang established this temple before he died in 658.
The temple’s particularity is the 1-kilometer path leading to the temple. This path is going through a beautiful forest of tall fir trees. Some of these fir trees are over 500 years old.
The temple also has a museum named “Woljeongsa Museum.” Located inside the temple areas, the museum exhibits artifacts and various treasures. All these collection pieces are from Buddhist culture dating from the Goryeo Dynasty.
Woljeongsa Temple is in Pyeongchang which is located in the Gangwon Province.
Address: 374-8, Odaesan-ro, Jinbu-myeon, Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do
Temple Stay Experience “experiential templestay”, 2 Days & 1 Night:
Adult 90,000 KRW
Student (up to 18 years old) 50,000 KRW
Established in 802, Haeinsa Temple is one of the most important temples in Korea because the Tripitaka Koreana is kept there. Tripitaka Koreana is a Buddhist script written in 81,350 wooden print blocks. Haeinsa Temple became the home of this magnificent treasure in 1398.
In 1995, Unesco classified the Haeinsa Temple and the Tripitaka Koreana as a World’s Heritage.
Address: 122 Haeinsa-gil, Gaya-myeon, Hapcheon-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do
Temple Stay Experience “IN Haein”, 2 Days & 1 Night:
Adult 100,000 KRW
Student & Pre-Schooler 90,000 KRW.
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