Bukchon Hanok Village (북촌한옥마을)
After Changdeokgung, I asked one of the staffs there for directions to Bukchon Hanok Village (북촌한옥마을).
This is what I said to him. I am not sure if it’s the proper way to ask for directions but I have used them a few times during the trip & did not encounter any problem…so I guess it’s understandable.
I would like to go to Bukchon. (replace the italic part with the place you want to go)
북촌에 가고 싶어요
Bukchon e kago shipeoyo.
How do I go to Bukchon from here?
여기에서 북촌까지 어떻게 가요?
Yogi eseo bukchon kkaji ottokke kayo?
Bukchon Hanok Village located in between Gyeongbokgung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace, and Jongmyo was once the homes of high-ranking officials, royalty and upper class families of the Joseon dynasty. Bukchon means “North Village” . There were a south village too where the lower ranking officials once lived.
It seems that a lot of these hanok (traditional Korean houses) are being demolished and the numbers are decreasing rapidly. But the Korean government is making an effort to preserve the remaining hanoks in Bukchon to transform it into a tourist place. As a tourist, I am happy. But the privacy of the residents here might be threatened when more tourist starts to pour in… hmm
Well, anyway, a stroll though these alleyways really makes me feel like I’ve travelled back in time. It was a Friday afternoon. I was the only tourist looking person around but later I saw a few groups of Japanese woman around. I later discovered that Bukchon was one of the filming location of the very popular Korean TV drama “Winter Sonata”. I guess those Japanese women are on a “yonsama” or “Winter Sonata” pilgrimage!?
If you do not know, “yonsama” is Bae yong joon, the main actor in “Winter Sonata” who triggered the “Hallyu” (Korean wave) among the middle-aged women in Japan. Although I love Korean tv dramas and movies, melodramas are just not my cup of tea. Sorry.
*Side notes* Choongang High School (중앙고등학교) in Bukchon was the filming location for the high school scenes in the drama. If you are a fan of “Winter Sonata”, you might wanna check out the filming locations.
To those who are not interested in Hanryu, let me show you the picturesque alleys of Bukchon.
The phrase 『一笑一少一怒一老』” roughly means
one laughter makes you one year younger but one anger makes you one year older.
That was a lots of photos yah *sweat* I hope it did not take a long time for you to download the page. It took me quite some time to upload them though coz’ the internet connection here is kinda slow.
Anyway, Bukchon is one of my favorite places in Seoul other than Hongdae. It is amazing to see that so many of these traditional Korean houses are still so well-preserved. If I have a chance to go to Seoul again, I think I wanna stay at one of these hanok converted guest houses.
And Bukchon has a number of hanok converted museums of Korean arts & culture. Next, I will blog about one of the museums that I wandered in.
Directions to Bukchon :
Take subway line #3 to Anguk Station, exit #3
There is a tourist information center nearby, just drop by and ask for a map and start exploring!
English : Village
Japanese : 村 （むら・mura)
Korean : 촌 (chon)
Chinese : 村 (cūn)