When the fast pace of the city finally catches up with you and it's time to get off the beaten path, Inwangsa, a Buddhist temple in northern Seoul, is a great option for your time out. It can be a pretty long subway ride, but the convenience of the Seoul subways makes it easily accessible.
Located on Ingwang Mountain (or Ingwangsan), you can come here to have a zen moment in what is a unique combination of history and culture mixed into a natural setting not found in the heart of the city of Seoul.
As you hike up the hills into the area of the temple, you will pass through some small residential domiciles that are highlighted with beautiful murals mixing ancient Chinese, Indian, Japanese and Korean mythological characters and artistic styles. Further ascension up the mountain takes you deeper into this world outside the city where the local Shamans who reside there frequently conduct rituals and spiritual chants that set the tone for your environment. As any good traveler does, you should be respectful of these ceremonies and pass on quietly (note: these are not "performances" for show as you may find in other places).
When you finally reach the large rock formation at the summit, you will notice a painted platform that faces the giant boulder with candles and other offerings for alms-giving. Feel free to remove your shoes, grab one of the floor mats that is there for the public use and take a moment to relax and be thankful for all that you've just experienced. Oh, and when your done, turn around and just check out that view behind you!
Location:Seoul, South Korea