It’s so easy to have a cultural experience in Seoul. There is so much history even within the Seoul city limits. With the boost in tourism over the last few years there are even new places to visit because the government relocated many artifacts from some of the smaller places in Korea. So convenient for tourists! Even getting anywhere in Seoul is extremely easy with the subway and buses. Everything is close, accessible and usually free.
You would know what I mean if you try to visit some of the smaller cities in Korea. They aren’t as convenient to travel to by bus or train, but everything goes to Seoul! Although they couldn’t relocate everything, there are still accurate recreations of more fragile items. One of the things that you can see in Seoul are hanok villages, traditional houses from many years ago. I decided to head to Namsangol Hanok Village which showcases restored traditional houses from the Joseon dynasty.
The Joseon dynasty spans five centuries starting in 1392. That’s a long time! The spot that these traditional houses were relocated to was voted as one of the most scenic views in Seoul. In the Joseon era, this area was a popular destination in the summer because of it’s beauty. It has a great view of the mountains and has plenty of space to walk around the gardens. N Seoul Tower can be viewed clearly as soon as you enter.
There are five traditional houses to see that show you a glimpse of what high government officials as well as commoners lived in. While I was there I learned that the traditional houses of the past were very environmentally friendly. Their materials were all natural and never caused pollution. Too bad we don’t follow that philosophy today. These traditional houses are old, but they are restored really well and look amazing.
There is limited information available in English, but you don’t necessarily need it. Outside of the traditional houses, you can see people making traditional Korean crafts and playing old games. I saw a lot of kids playing the metal hoop game and they even had a game where you throw arrows into a bin. It’s kind of similar to the game horseshoes. A lot of artifacts were on display and there was a straw tree that you could tie a tissue paper wish to.
I tied a wish on the tree and called it a day. I can’t wait to visit again.
Q: Have you ever visited a hanok village?
To get to Namsangol Hanok Village, take the subway to Chungmuro Station and go out of exit #4. Instead of going straight go the other direction and turn down the first street on your right. The gate will be in your view ahead.