JANGSEONG, South Jeolla Province -- The trees surrounding Baekyangsa, a temple in Jangseong County in South Jeolla Province, boasted their crimson and yellow leaves on a quiet Friday in November.
Everyone at the temple, however, including the monks, remarked that the weather has been strange this year, lamenting how unfortunate it is that visitors won't be able to see the best of the fall colors.
Nonetheless, for a first-time visitor, the temple, whose origin goes back around 1,400 years ago to 632, the scenery was perfectly beautiful.
The temple, about a four-hour drive from Seoul, offers an escape from high-rise buildings, city pollution, and the noises and stress of our daily lives. This solitude and the opportunity to empty one's mind are probably among the main reasons many people embark on templestays offered at traditional temples around the country.
In a humble vest and pants, participants can meditate, converse over tea and enjoy Buddhist meals for a night or two.
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