For the first time in my life, i stayed at a temple for a 2D1N, experiencing the daily routines of a nun.
Inititally i didnt want to go since none of my SNU buddy friends were interested to go and its like 30k won, but then after that i changed my mind as it is a unique experience and the 30k won, ill treat it as a one night accomodation cost.
Getting to Woljeongsa Temple
We took a 3hour bus ride to the Woljeongsa Temple, this was our itinerary for the temple stay.
yes you just saw it, 108 bows. no joke.
I was so sleepy that i kept sleeping in the bus, and i wore my contacts with it. yeah they say that you cant sleep while you wear your contacts since it might cause injury to your eyes, but they din say you cant sleep while facing forward (;
Our stay at Woljeongsa Temple
Upon reaching the Woljeongsa Temple, we were led to our respective rooms. Gina’s room has only 7 people. Ours was around 20 people.
Going into our rooms , gosh the weather was darn cold. Cuz we were at Odaesan National Park. Yes another mountain, Korea has many many mountains
The in-charge laid our nun robes on the ondol floor. So it was really warm. Luckily the pants i took has a elastic strap so it fitted me well. Except that when everyone wore their robes, our legs looked short and fat. and behind , saggy butts. LOL
i was quite tempted to do qigong or taichi in my robes hehehehhhehe
big room eh, i wonder if hanok stay….would it be similar to this?
the door to toilet. mind you, the toilet is a good 10s walk away. so 10s of chilly weather
photobombed by Yiyi. i think ill look more like a nun if i werent wearing the beanie but it was like, i already wore it, and if i take my beanie off, my hair would be flattened and look horrible on me so i rather wear the beanie the whole day.
saw this water thingy outside, not sure if it really was for drinking or….
hehe, initially the hems of our pants kept brushing against the sandy ground and i didnt like it, then i found out that we could actually ‘button’ it up ! 😀
outside our room( i use the pop art function in my camera all the time)
apparently, the area is accessible by tourists so there was an old lady who thought i was a real nun and she paid her respects to me by doing the half bow. shucks i forgot the terminology for it. it was a little awkward. i was like,’ should i do the half bow back or tell her im not a nun?’ but in the end, i paid my respects to her too by doing the half bow. feeling zen ^^
as we walked through the temple to get to the hall, tourists took photos of us, thinking we were real nuns.
entering the hall
Learning Temple Etiquette
so our first activity was to learn temple etiquette. I was quite surprised that the temple was very high tech, they had powerpoint and a screen whereby they played an animation video to teach us on the etiquette.
unfortunately, the terminologies used….went into my head and evaporated from my ears *sheepish*
Making our own Danju
Then we were taught how to make our Danju. Now i understand why my grandma holds a danju when praying, because there are 108 beads in it, so she uses it to count the number of bows she has to do to finish her 108 bows.
Initially while we were making it, they told us to keep quiet to concentrate on it . So everyone kept silent, but it was too silent that they said,’ please talk abit, thats too quiet. it feels weird.’
LOL!!! and the buzz began.
yinghui with her smiley face
i think i was one of the very few who wore beanie in the hall, but hey, it helps you to identify me , cuz im so short, to find me, all you need to do is to just look for the red head in the sea of beige robes.
We didnt do our walk in fir tree forest today 🙁 i was quite excited for it actually
Having vegetarian dinners during our Woljeongsa Temple Stay
after the danju-making, we went to have our dinner, we had to wash our plates after our meals.
this was our vegetarian meal. No food to be wasted. It was ok for me, i had 2 servings as i was too hungry. Konrad was doubting my appetite,’ are you sure you can finish the rice in your plate?’
i was like,’yeah, im super hungry.’
and yes i did finish, too hungry.
the potato was nice. love the green veg and the soup and the rice. cuz they put barley into the rice, yummy chewy rice.
i think im the only one in our group who is ok with the vegetarian meal. heheheh. last time, in primary school,my friends tot i was a vegetarian cuz i eat veggies everyday. but nope, i wasnt. the next day when we had greenies , they didnt like it and i ate all their greenies.
Yinghui mistook a radish for potato and took a big part of it. Then when she realised it wasnt potato but radish , she was super upset. HAHAHHAHA. greedy yh, hu tell you to take so much! first round must test waters first ma *kidding*
and she was sadly trying to finish her radish. none of us like radish…i dislike the pickles and radish in korea. except kimchi. i love kimchi. hard to believe but i used to dislike kimchi. but i love kimchi cold, its yummmyyy!
the canteen was big
the unesco world heritage -national treasure 48
after our dinner, we had art & craft session again
my masterpiece. ok my art skill has deteriorated … i had no idea what i was painting…i was like, huh should the shadows be here or there , where is the sun shining from. then i anyhow paint… end up look like lettuce..kekeek, and my lotus…another one….peiqi’s invention, the lotus that grows from lettuce.
Sleeping on Ondol for temple stay
We had to wake up at 4am the next day so we went to bed early. sleeping on green beans pillow. the ondol was ahhhh so warm. i placed my clothes under the mattress and on top of the ondol, the next tday it was warm . my icy cold water bottle turned to hot water the next morning
yeah i wear retainers. and my face isnt smooth. damnnn bare face. mehhh, my dark rings are humongous. recommend me products please
Morning Buddhist Service at Woljeongsa Temple
The next day, we had the morning buddhist service.
last night, we watched the sounding of the dharma instruments. it was quite nice watching the abbots hitting the instruments with rhythms, but after sometime…my mind wandered away…. *so embarrassing*
we did our 108 bows here with the candles lit infront of us. initially i was cold, but after bowing so many times, i started to perspire….i think its my 1st time perspiring during winter….yes ,i seldom perspire cuz its so coldddd.
then after the 108 bows, we did morning stretches. whereby we step gently on our partner’s soles.
sinlin looked….like she was in pain
kidding, i sneaked this when she didnt notice my camera.
dont we look like we are in a jimjilbang instead of a temple?
and next our breakfast, yes bows before breakfast.
and then, we were given 2hours of free time, but most of us were too lazy and tired, so we went to rest in our room.
i just realised my chin was dark. eek. i need whitener
otw back to our room
the national treasure no. 48
Fir Tree Forest
after that, we were brought to the fir tree forest. yep, so last night it was cancelled and they put it in today’s schedule. but the communal work and pilgrimage was cancelled 🙁
It hailed at the forest! pellets of frozen rain! usually you see me running for shelter away from rain, now you see me trying to catch the pellets.
a huge log!
ooohh i see something!
otw back to the temple to pack up!
back into our usual winter wear. no more robes. no more saggy butts. fat stumpy legs. feeling the hail and trying to catch it in our gloves. not hands cuz it melts the moment it touches our hands
my hair did a better job in collecting the hails in it
our bus arrived around 11, but because we had a super early breakfast and its vegetarian and there was no potatoes, we were cold and hungry. i snacked on my butterstick so i was ok, but i drank a tad too much tea to make myself warm…so the bus ride was agonising ….my whole mind just kept thinking of toilet
when we finally reached a stop at Yeoju, all the people in the bus went down to buy food, everyone were famished. I was hestitating whether to buy churros or popcorn chicken but i didnt want to sugar from the churros to dirty my winter jacket so i had popcorn chicken in the end
it was 2500won and it tasted really good, super worth it!
Back to my little shoebox room, my sourvenirs!!!
Woljeongsa Temple Stay Review: 4/5
The experience was really unique since Singapore doesnt offer temple stays from what i know. I get to learn more about korean buddhism and try the robes. I like the bookmark they gave me. Making the danju makes it feel special cuz i made it . its like personalised. So do go for a templestay if youre interested to live a day as a nun/monk!
SimplyPeiQi is a technical SEO specialist and a lifestyle blogger. She writes on a variety of topics ranging from food, things to do, and many more. Connect with her on Linkedin or email her for collaboration/partnerships.