If you are planning a trip to South Korea, especially the capital Seoul, then Bukchon Hanok Village is a must visit for all travelers who want to have a glimpse of the urban environment of Seoul 600 years ago. A survey of approximately 2000 visitors was conducted by the Seoul Metropolitan Government in November, 2011. Tourists responded by saying that traversing the compact but beautiful streets of Bukchon was their fourth favorite thing to do in Seoul. The village has been featured in television programs which has led to an increase in visitor numbers. It is said to have been visited by approximately 600,000 visitors in 2012. Bukchon Hanok Village,
About Bukchon Hanok Village
Located in Seoul, South Korea and known for its long and glorious past, Bukchon Hanok Village is situated on the tip of a hill surrounded by the Jongmyo Royal Palace, Gyeongbok Palace, and Changdeok Palace. It is a traditional village filled with lots of hanok – traditional Korean houses and streets. It depicts a 600-year-old urban colony and has been preserved with utmost care. In the Korean language, Bukchon literally means a northern village and is the neighborhood to the south of which are located the Jongno and Cheonggicheon streams.
It is said that the Bukchon area consists of five neighborhoods – Jae-dong, Gae-dong, Insadong, Gahoe-dong and Wonseo-dong. These neighborhoods were where the homes of aristocrats and high-ranking bureaucrats and additional officials were located during the Joseon Dynasty. After disasters like war, this area became populated with common people. The village also has a lot of Hanok restaurants that give a feel of the atmosphere of the Joseon Dynasty and offer tea and traditional dishes that you should definitely check out. There are also lots of exciting cultural centers and museums. Without the Bukchon Hanok Village entrance fee, your experience at this place will undoubtedly be a memorable one!
Places to Visit in Bukchon Hanok Village
Bukchon Hanok Village has a lot of cultural centers and museums that showcase the culture of the Joseon Dynasty. It is a unique display of dynastic architecture and lifestyle. One of the main attractions of Seoul, it also represents a juxtaposition between modern and traditional aspects of the city.
1. Bukchon Traditional Culture Center
Comprising a complex consisting of a hanok, the Bukchon Traditional Culture Center serves the purpose of shedding light on the values, history and social customs of the village. Various events scheduled in a day are handicrafts, gugak, demonstration of Bukchan Hanok, and culture in the hall and a tea ceremony. Apart from this, various cultural seminars are also organized. These seminars are organized with the help of the City of Seoul and the Bukchon Cultural Center.
Address: South Korea, Seoul, Jongno-gu, Gye-dong, 37 hours
phone: +82 2 2133 1371
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2. Gaho Museum
A private museum, it was opened in 2002. The Gaho Museum houses more than 1500 artefacts, including 150 classical books, 250 paintings by folk artists, 750 amulets and 250 other cultural objects. Many exhibitions are also held in the main exhibition hall which displays traditional aspects of the Joseon Dynasty. One of the more popular workshops held here is the Gaho Folk Painting Workshop where people are taught to paint according to the style of folk art.
Address: 52 Bukchon-ro, Gahoe-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
phone: +82 2 741 0466
3. Bukchon Asian Art Museum
It is a place where many curious tourists come to see the exquisite artefacts put on display. The Bukchon Asian Art Museum has 200 works of Chinese art, 150 works of Korean contemporary art and 2500 old documents from the Joseon Dynasty on display. It is a glimpse into the aesthetics and cultural values of the Joseon era, as well as the evolution of those aesthetics and styles over the years.
Address: 76 Bukchon-ro 11-gil, Samcheong-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
phone: +82 2 486 0191
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4. Donglim Knot Museum
Donglim Museum was established in the month of April in 2004. In addition to displaying various items of the Joseon era, such as belts, thread, pouches, cords, hanbok and Korean knots or norigae for madeup, the museum also organizes a madeup workshop, hosted by museum curator Sim Yeong-mi. Is done by. One-day workshops as well as longer programs are organized for those interested.
Address: 10, Bukchon-ro 12-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul 110-260, South Korea
phone: +82 2 3673 2778
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5. Seoul Intangible Cultural Heritage Center
The Seoul Intangible Cultural Heritage Center has 8 groups for each music field. The government has created it to promote traditional values and arts. It also provides support to cultural gurus, supporting and training their students in various fields. There are many events and conventions where musical groups give traditional performances. Craft experts, referred to as ‘National Intangible Cultural Property’, direct 12 different craft groups.
Address: 406, Bonggeunsa-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
phone: +82 2 3011 2163, +82 2 3011 1727
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Things to do in Bukchon Hanok Village
Here are some of the things you can do to keep your mind and body busy during your visit to this village. Make sure you make the most of them to make your trip more productive!
1. Walking tour
It has always been known that the best way to explore a city or neighborhood is on foot. Slowing down the period of observation and experience is what ensures walking. There couldn’t be a better place than Bukchon Hanok Village for a walking tour. For your hassle-free experience, you can also get a walking map of Bukchon Hanok Village.
You can stay as long as you want and take in the views and architecture of the various home buildings and residences located in the area. There are also many walking tours available, as well as guides who can communicate in your language to give you a more comprehensive and detailed description of the place.
2. Kum Bak Yeon
Many tourists come to Kum Bak Yeon to try their hand at gold leaf printing. It is a traditional practice of printing gold on soft fabric. This is a difficult activity but still rewarding and worth your time if you want to fully immerse yourself in the traditional arts of Korea. What better way to experience the aesthetics of a culture than trying your hand at their arts and crafts.
Gold printing is a very important craft because in Korean culture gold symbolizes eternity and beauty and was reserved only for the elite. But in the last few years even common people have started wearing gold printed clothes on grand occasions like weddings.
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3. Changdeokgung Palace
Until the people rebuilt Gyeongbokgung in 1868, Changdeokgung Palace was the place where the government and the royal court took care of royal affairs. The beauty of this place is awe-inspiring and a must-see if you are visiting Bukchon Hanok Village.
It is a part of the ‘Five Grand Palaces’ that were built by the kings of the Joseon Dynasty. It is located in the middle of a park located in Jonno-gu. It is an important palace because it is the most beloved of the Joseon princes.
For a relaxing foot bath and some exquisite tea, look no further than Solgehon. Solghaeon is known as the Healing Café. From the outside it resembles a house, which is symbolic as it provides comfort to the individual. It is filled with the aroma of pine leaves and herbal tea.
It is a perfect place to relax after roaming around the village the whole day. Foot baths and tea provide an escape from the bustling city of Seoul.
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5. Han Sangsu Embroidery Museum
The Han Sangsoo Embroidery Museum, an art museum founded by honored embroidery artist Han Sangsoo by the Cultural Heritage Administration of South Korea, displays many works of exquisite, traditional Korean embroidery.
Another place to experience the amazing artwork and designs of Korean artisans, this museum encompasses every style of this craft. It serves the purpose of promoting traditional Korean embroidery among the general public as well as foreign visitors.
How to reach Bukchon Hanok Village
by train: Train is a viable option for tourists to reach Bukchon Hanok Village. Fast and no need for navigation, all you need to do is take a subway train to reach Anguk Station via Seoul Subway Line 3.
Then, turn right after you pass Exit 3. Walk about 200 meters and you’ll know when you’ve reached the village as you’ll see several sign boards advertising Bukchon Village Walking Tours.
By air: Taking a flight to Bukchon Hanok Village is not really an option as there is no airport here, although you can take a flight to Seoul Incheon Airport. The airport is located at a distance of 50 km from the village. Keep a map of Bukchon Hanok Village with you while you’re on the trail.
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Overall, Bukchon Hanok Village offers a serene travel experience when you are on vacation in South Korea. It is exquisite in its architectural design of Hanok and the food and tea of Bukchon Hanok Village should not be missed at any cost. Make sure you bring your cameras, as there are a lot of memories to make here.
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