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You can choose a weekend if you’d like to follow the monks’ rigorous schedule, or select a weekday if you prefer more free time to hike around beautiful Mt Bukhansan.
We felt fairly ripped off on this tour. Two things:
Firstly, the Geumsunsa Temple is currently 'under construction' - ie. the courtyard was constantly full of construction workers, a crane and giant piles of rock for building. There were loud sounds of drilling throughout the day, which as you can imagine, affected our ability to enjoy a 'relaxed retreat' in the mountains. This is quite disappointing because it felt quite deceptive - the organisers MUST know that if they did tell travellers beforehand about the construction, then there is a good chance they would decide to go elsewhere.
Secondly, the Viator experience was extremely average. Well, here's what we did: a shuttle bus picked us up at 9am, and took us to a bus depot. There, we changed to another bus, and were taken to Jogyesa Temple and met our tour group, who were just a normal tour group that they had added us to. They had no idea we were going to a temple stay after and had no space for the bags we brought. After the tour which lasts 2 hours we were literally abandoned in the middle of Insadong by our tour group, who had to go for lunch. We were told to burn two hours and meet our next driver at some station that we had never heard of at 2pm. We did however he was 5 mins late and were driven up the mountain 30 minutes to the temple. We asked him for information about the temple stay but he knew absolutely nothing. We then had to hike up the last 300 metres to the temple with our bags noone told us this.
The actual temple stay was fine and we enjoyed it, but these things left us with a bad taste in our mouth. Would most certainly not recommend this temple stay to friends - save your money and book directly with the temple.
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