Seoul Holy City
For lovers of spirituality and traditions, but also design and architecture, eager to discover a city not yet known. Voted World Capital of Design 2010, Seoul is a city in constant evolution, without entrenched his time. But it is also a city more than twenty times centenary stand still or spirals of incense and prayers. Among its many temples, ten are affiliated Templestay, a program of holidays to discover Korean Buddhism, 1700 years old.
It all started with the World Cup soccer 2002, when a shortage of hotels has prompted the monks to open their doors to the laity. Success now turned into a veritable institution.
In Templestay Information Center, located opposite the temple Jogysa, not far from the royal Jongmyo Shrine, we certainly find information, but also a nice surprise: Baru, the monks restaurant (open to all), the zen and clean. Its leader, a Buddhist nun watching daily that cookies lotus roots and other bamboo salt balance the body to a state conducive to meditation.
After a vegetarian meal, we flânera in the “merchants of the temple” that offer traditional clothing, incense, fans and religious objects. But for those that dive radical monastic life scare, Seoul has other mysteries yet. At the corner of a street in Insadong, among the antique shops and cafes, we will tell the future by one of dozens of fortune tellers … good adventure.
Advantage and disadvantage at the same time, Seoul is still relatively tourist destination for Westerners. Result: Séoulistes speaking English are rare, travel guides French almost nonexistent. But we enjoy in tranquility of extraordinary sites. If upscale hotels in Seoul has long winning (Hyatt, Hilton, InterContinental, Lotte …), the midrange is tending to grow. For a mystical atmosphere and snow, from December to February. For softness, spring and autumn are ideal seasons.