Naksan Temple or Naksansa (-sa means temple in Korean) is a Buddhist temple and one of the most beautiful temples in South Korea as it has a unique location on top of a mountain and overlooking the Sea of Japan. It was built in 671 but, in 2005 suffered a fire from which it is still recovering. Many of the buildings have already been restored, though they still have to build pavilions. In the following link you can see pictures of this fire. Another peculiarity of this temple is the huge statue overlooking one of the towers, the Gwanseum-Bosal representing Haesugwaneumsang (해수 관음 입상), which is a stone statue depicting Bodhisattva, the Buddha of Mercy. Fishermen from the area come here to pray, as he is also considered the "patron" who takes care of the fishermen. The entrance fee to the Temple is 2,000 won. The temple doors open from 4:30 am in the morning as many local people like to get up for sunrise.
Jogyesa Temple is situated opposite the Temple Stay Information Center and is one of the most popular temples in Seoul, as it is the heart of Zen Buddhism in Korea. Surrounded by beautiful trees, especially acacias , The main temple building is about 500 years old and the Daeungjeon building is a huge temple that was constructed in the year 1938. Jogyesa became famous in December of 1998 because a large number of the Jogye Order monks occupied the temple during quarantine days in a power struggle, and police had to get involved to prevent a riot from happening.
Sunggasa Temple was founded in 756 by a hermit in a small cave inside of a giant granite rock. The Temple gets its name from the figure of an Indian monk, Sungga-Taesa, which was brought here. The temple was abandoned and remained in ruins during the Japanese occupation from 1910 to 1845 and during the war with North Korea from 1950- 1953. The monk Towon, on the top of the temple, was restored in 1955. Something that stands out is the immense rock engraving of Buddha, which is reached after climbing 108 steps of a ladder.
The experience of staying at a Buddhist temple in Korea began during the World Cup 2002 and has grow to become very popular. There are many temples scattered throughout Korea that participate in the weekend program. It's not just about Buddhism, but its about a cultural experience that can help you better understand South Korea. For 24 hours, you can experience a Buddhist monastic life, doing what monks do, learning the complicated rituals of the ceremonies in the temples, and even eating what they eat.
For me, the hardest thing was to complete the full 108 prostrations. That left me knackered, and I'm sure the pain will get better during Nirvana. Getting up at 3 am for an outdoor ceremony with a temperature close to 0 ° degrees also difficult. I really enjoyed the practice of meditation (Chamseon) and tea ceremony (Dahdoh) and on Sunday morning we went to do a 3-hour trek through the mountains near the temple, clothed as novices, it was very interesting.