Experiences - Asia

Bukchon Hanok Village – Must-visit in Korea

Bukchon Hanok Village is a traditional village in Korea, situated between the Gyeongbok Palace, Changdeok Palace and Jongmyo Royal Shrine. The name, ‘Bukchon,’ which literally translates to ‘northern village,’ came about as the neighborhoods covering the village lie to the north of the two significant Seoul landmarks – Cheonggyecheon Stream and Jongno.

The village has lots of tiny, winding alleys and plenty of Hanoks – traditional Korean houses. Today, many of these Hanoks operate as cultural centers, guesthouses, restaurants and tea houses, providing an opportunity to experience, learn and immerse in Korean traditional culture. Just 30 years ago, there were over 800,000 Hanoks in Seoul, but today only some 12,000 remain with 900 concentrated in Seoul Bukchon Hanok Village.

Bukchon Hanok Village - Must-visit in Korea

Image Courtesy: Brian Holsclaw used under the Creative Commons Licence

This scenic village used to be the residential quarters for high-ranking government officials during the Joseon Dynasty. Bukchon has been preserved as is to show a 600-year-old urban environment. Visitors are allowed into the Hanok restaurant and culture center to soak in and relive the atmosphere of the Joseon Dynasty.

Bukchon is also called “the street museum in the urban core” because of its plenty heritage and cultural sites. It is considered to be an ideal Feng Shui place because it is located at the southern foot of the mountain connecting Baegak and Eungbong. In the north, it has the thick forests of Samcheong Park and Mount Baegaksan. Because the land is higher in the north than in the south, Bukchon enjoys a relatively warm winter. This characteristic also results in a better drainage system for the village.

The Bukchon Traditional Culture Center opened in 2002. The house is made up of several areas including an Anchae (the main building of a house), the Bakkatchae (outer quarters),the Haengrangchae (an annex), the Byeolchae (a separated building) and a Sadang (a shrine); and has been restored a couple of times in the last 12 years. Here, preserved traditions are handed down to the next generation.

Bukchon Hanok Village is one the best places to visit in Asia. Don’t miss out on this scenic and traditional village and Korean cuisine when you’re in Korea next.

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