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Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Bukchon Hanok Village in Seoul (북촌한옥마을)

Bukchon Hanok Village is the closest you can get to experiencing traditional Korean culture in Seoul. The traditional houses date back to the Joseon Dynasty.

Tucked away in a small district in central Seoul, Bukchon Hanok Village is surrounded by Gyeongbokgung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace and the Jongmyo Shrine.

The traditional houses in Bukchon Hanok Village today are preserved but the area also been transformed into a tourist attraction, with the houses used as cultural centers, guesthouses, restaurants and tea houses.

Even so, Bukchon Hanok Village still remains as a residential neighborhood for a handful of locals up till today. As you walk along the houses, you'll see signs reminding visitors to keep their voice level low so as to not disturb the environment for the residents.

In the day, the place may be a little packed with tourists getting excited at finding a suitable background for a perfect #wefie. You'll find volunteers (English and Mandarin speaking ones, maybe Japanese too) who are mainly young Korean students at various parts of the village. They're very warm and helpful, most willing to provide information for visitors if necessary. I personally think it's great that such help is so readily available, but it also does kill the atmosphere a little. I'd like to feel my explorer spirit braving through a strange foreign land, but who am I kidding. HAHA.

Okay with that said, we're still tourists so we totally deserve to take stupid #wefie anyways.
And sorry, no I'm not gonna spare you the agony of our wefies. I paid a sum for my air tickets!

But towards the evening, as it gets darker and quieter, the place becomes a rather nice dating spot for couples.

Couples weren't obsessed with taking photos, of course. But us being tourists in Korea, as well as a dating couple, we lingered around the village a bit longer than we intended to, taking slow walks down the streets holding hands and talking about life. I was so glad we hung around the area even as the sun went down, because the village was simply beautiful in the evening.

Directions to Bukchon Hanok Village (북촌한옥마을) :

Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 2.

Go straight for about 300m to arrive at Bukchon Hanok Village.

You can head over to Namsan Tower (also known as N Seoul Tower) from here. Be sure to grab dinner before you go because everything on Namsan Tower is not only overpriced but also not delicious!