Last week, I posted part one of my blogs on the annual Lotus Lantern Festival, thrown in honor of Buddha's Birthday in Seoul. After we spent some time last weekend walking around Jogyesa and taking billions of photos of the lanterns, it was time for my favorite part of the festival: the Lantern Parade.
Teachers Share their Experiences While Living Abroad!
Tags: festival, cultural experience, festivals, Buddhist Temples, Buddhism, cultural activities, Buddhist, things to do before leaving korea, tourist attractions, Buddha's Birthday, tourist attraction in korea, korea bucket list, bucket list, Korean traditions, lotus lantern festival, Weekend activities in Korea, Holidays in South Korea
I have been in Korea for around a year now, and have seen my fair share of Korean Buddhist Temples, but I had never been to the Haedong Yonggungsa Temple in Busan, South Korea. I made it there on a weekend one day because I had heard it was one of the most beautiful temples, as it is built on a cliff and looks out towards the ocean.
My family loved Korea, and they also loved learning about it through several different experiences. One of the best was enjoying a templestay. We spent a night at the Haeinsa Temple. It was really beautiful, and although it was snowing and a bit chilly, that only helped us focus on meditation.
In the weeks before moving to South Korea I became increasingly interested in Korean culture, and one of more popular religions in Korea, Buddhism. When a friend sent me a facebook event for a temple stay in Busan, I was ready to pack one very light bag! Temple stays are programs run by Buddhist temples that allow foreigners, or anyone, to stay overnight at the temple for a set amount of time and experience a day in the life of a Buddhist monk. A room, clothes, and meals are included, along with Buddhist activites, like 108 bows and meditation.
On my second visit to Gyeongju last weekend, I was thoroughly impressed. To say that Gyeongju is beautiful, is a bit of an understatement. Still, it’s not an exaggeration to say that it’s gorgeous! Although I missed the bloom of the cherry blossoms by a few days due to heavy rainfall, I was still incredibly impressed by how much there is to do in Gyeongju, a city about 40 minutes outside of Pohang. I hope to visit Gyeongju again and again before I head back to the United States.
It’s all happening. You’ve applied to Aclipse, you’ve aced all of your interviews, and you’re finally on your way to getting a job in Korea as an ESL teacher. Your life is about to undergo a drastic and tremendous change unlike anything you’ve ever done and trust me, it’s going to be awesome.
Moving across the world is certainly exhilarating, but there are definitely some things I wish I’d known about my first few weeks here. So I’m here to help your transition into the world of kimchi, k-pop, and soju a little bit easier.
Initially, the idea of going on a solo trip while teaching English in Korea was daunting. However, after reading the blog of another English teacher, who ventures out on his own more often that not, I decided that I too could venture out on a solo retreat. I made many new friends and it turned out to be one of the best trips I’d ever taken while teaching English in Korea.