The New York Times on Sept. 25 ran a column on rural areas in Korea written by travel writer Adam Graham with the headline "Exploring 'The Land of the Calm.'" Shown is Mureung Valley in Donghae, Gangwon-do Province, one of the places he visited.

The New York Times has highlighted accommodation at a Buddhist temple in Gangwon-do Province and the food of the Jeolla-do provinces through a travel column on Korea's rural areas.

In his article headlined "Exploring 'The Land of the Calm'" published on Sept. 25, American journalist and travel writer Adam Graham described his trips to the provinces of Gangwon-do, Gyeongsangbuk-do and Jeolla-do.

"Before South Korea became globally known for its beauty products, kimchi and pop groups, it was known as the Land of the Morning Calm," he said.

For two weeks in March 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic erupted, Graham visited the nation's tranquil rural areas away from large cities, experiencing Korean nature and traditional culture during his trips.

His first destination was Seoraksan Mountain in Gangwon-do. He introduced the province as the "scenic shooting locale for 'Okja,' a 2017 movie by the 'Parasite' director, Bong Joon Ho."

After climbing the mountain, he stayed at the Buddhist temple of Samhwasa in Mureung Valley in Donghae, Gangwon-do, near the East Sea. "Unlike Japan’s tourist-oriented shukubo (temple stays) that offer ornate vegan kaiseki meals, manicured gardens and even onsen baths, Korea's temple stays are more structured and might feel slightly austere, but are truer to how the monks actually live," he said.

Graham later headed to Andong, Gyeongsangbuk-do, where he stayed at a Hanok (traditional house).

He explained the distinct structures of Hanok including "heated ondol floors, a system using smoke from a subterranean fire" and towns connected through stonewalls.

His next destination was Jeolla-do. "No place in South Korea better expresses the nation's devotion to food than (Jeolla-do)," he said.

He lodged at the famous Hakindang House in Jeonju, Jeollabuk-do Province, and ate "an epic breakfast of 25 colorful and meticulously arranged dishes."

In explaining the regional cuisine, he said the province is "the home of Baekyangsa Temple, introduced to many foodies in an episode of 'Chef’s Table,' the Netflix show."

Graham also recommended tourism and translation websites useful when visiting Korea and using Naver Map since Google Maps does not work in Korea.