Temple stay in South Korea is really an interesting experience that will give you a better understanding of the korean culture. In a country which probably get one of the world biggest economic development in the last 30 years, temples seem to be today the refuge of the past.
Far from the modern korean cities and their forest of new buildings, korean temples and bald buddhists monks are litteraly hidden out of the time.
It could be confusing for some people who are wolling to experiment temple stays to see that life in korean temples is not really without duties. Cermonies are held nights and days, silence must be kept, lunchs and dinners are shorts and very basic, and even meditation must follow specific rules.
Yet, discussing with monks is always instructive and show another point of view on the world. Talking about politics, social issues, temple living conditions, history or religions is totally accepted. Only one question seems to be very private and should probably not be asked: why monks decided to change their life and join temples. From what I could understand, these reasons are often similar in Korea: lose of a loved one, wrong decision or choice in the past, willing to have a better comprehension of the world or unsatisfaction from the modern society.
At the end of the temple stay, monks usually try to spend some time with their visitors. At that day when the above picture was taken, monks invited us to eat watermelons on a river nearby the temple. They used this opportunity to share their understanding on some situations that people are facing in their daily life.