Surrounded by Gyeongbokgung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace and Jongmyo Shrine, Bukchon Hanok Village is home to hundreds of traditional houses, called hanok, that date back to the Joseon Dynasty. The name Bukchon, which literally translates to “northern village,” came about as the neighborhood lies north of two significant Seoul landmarks, Cheonggyecheon Stream and Jongno.
Today, many of these hanoks operate as cultural centers, guesthouses, restaurants and tea houses, providing visitors with an opportunity to experience, learn and immerse themselves in traditional Korean culture. As Bukchon Hanok Village is an actual neighborhood with people’s homes, visitors are advised to be respectful at all times while looking around..
Due to early reservation through Homeaway.com, we got a reasonable quote for a place inside the Village. It was a typical Hanok, all made of woods, small but comfortable. Most importantly, it was super convenient for us to explore around soon after we stepped outside the house.
Besides its heavy, nicely carved wood gate, a Hanok is usually distinct by its roof. A Hanok roof has the wooden or ashlar beam. Cheoma is the edge of Hanok curved roof. The length of Cheoma can be adjusted to control the sunlight entering the house. The 4 corners of the roof have the quiet large span to create the cool air on hot day and limit the direct sunlight.
There is a typical Hanok interior, notice that the doors, unlike its main gate, are sliding open:
There are many other Hanoks in the Village with various designs, but most of them with grey or brown color. Visitors in Korean traditional dress – Hanbok walking around as the local Koreans.
There are countless stores, food stands, craft shops and traditional restaurants in the Village. Once a while some interesting artworks jumped into eyesight. Following sculpture was on the roof of one of the Hanok, I called it “crying lady”.
The most striking discovery I made in the Village was that the owners of the stores always post their picture outsides, as some examples here.
I couldn’t get the reason behind the pictures on the windows, even after thinking hard. Now I am relying on my readers to educate me.
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