Although Buddhism is no longer the national religion of Korea, there's no doubt that it has played an important historical role in the country's society. For those looking to get a glimpse into the practices of Buddhism firsthand, look no further than Myogaksa Temple. It may not seem like the typical vacation accommodation, but the experience of sleeping in a temple is unique. While visitors do in fact spend the night here, they are also given the opportunity to spend a day in the life of a monk. Since the monks live in humble dwellings, visitors stay in gender-segregated dorm rooms, sleeping on thin floor pallets. Meals are provided, although they're meager and strictly vegetarian. (Waste is discouraged in Buddhism, so be sure not to take more food than you can eat.) Despite the sparse dorm accommodations, the temple complex is quite beautiful, dotted with colorful dharma halls and peaceful Buddha statues, all of which blend harmoniously with their surroundings. Myogaksa's Temple Stay program includes activities such as making prayer beads, peaceful tea ceremonies, and a meditation session under hundreds of hanging lotus lanterns. Don't expect an entirely relaxing stay, however: Participants are awakened at 4:30am by merciless monks who threaten late-risers with prostrations—the "push-ups" of the temple, if you will. Afterwards, there's more intensive meditation and yul ryeok, group work that often includes cleaning the temple. The program teaches patience, self-reflection, and discipline, which can be trying at times; still, the monks and nuns that lead the program are friendly and funny and ensure that guests have a good time. The end of the program includes a rewarding short hike on Naksan Mountain, a forested area that offers a nice environment for some final meditation. The walk is so serene, in fact, that visitors may forget they're in the middle of the city—that is, until they catch the amazing views of bustling downtown Seoul. If pushing yourself to the limits isn't your idea of a vacation, this temple stay program isn't for you. But if you're looking to do a bit of soul searching and are eager to experience a lesser-known side of Korea, a night at Myogaksa is not to be missed.