Have you ever seen a Korean drama about the Korean kingdom? If yes, you have definitely heard of a hanok house. A hanok house is a traditional Korean house built from natural materials, such as wood, soil, stone, and straw. The pillars and frame of the hanok house are made of wood, while the wall of the house is built with bricks made of a mixture of soil and grass. Korean traditional paper (hanji) is mounted in window frames, door frames and wall coverings. The floor is unique in that it has a heating system, called ondol. There are several hanok villages in South Korea and the following are some of the most well-known:
- Jeonju Hanok Village
Jeonju Hanok Village is located in the city of Jeonju, about a three hour drive from Seoul. The village has approximately 700 hanok houses built during the Joseon dynasty. The hanok houses are very well maintained and most of them are still used as home residents. Besides being famous for its hanok houses, Jeonju is also famous for its bibimbap (Korean dish). Almost every restaurant has bibimbap on its menu. Jeonju Hanok Village is also a good place to learn about the Korean culture.
- Bukchon Hanok Village
Bukchon Hanok village is located in Jongno-gu. The village has several historical sites, including Gyeongbokgung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace, and Jongmyo Shrine. It is also famous for its narrow, winding, and uphill path. The village is frequently used to film Korean dramas. In the past, Bukchon was home to the nobles of the Joseon dynasty, so some of the hanok houses have fancy architecture.
- Korean Folk Village
Korean Folk Village was created by the Korean government to attract tourists. It’s about one hour from Seoul by bus or train. It is located in the city of Yongin. This village has about 260 hanok houses. In addition to visiting the hanok houses, you can also watch traditional Korean performances. In December and January, the village holds the Cold Winter Rural Home Tales. The festival has typical winter activities as well as traditional Korean activities.
- Hahoe Folk Village
Namsangol Hanok Village is located in the city of Andong. The village is an UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. The two most well-known buildings are Woljeongsa Pavilion and Byeongsan Confucian School, which is a school to learn Korean culture from the Joseon dynasty.
- Namsangol Hanok Village
Namsangol Hanok Village is located in the Pil-dong. It is actually a summer resort from the Joseon Dynasty. The village is famous for its beautiful landscape, and is known as one of the most beautiful places in Seoul. Here you will not only learn about hanok house architecture, but also about a wide variety of Korean culture. You can even learn how to cook Korean food! You will also have an opportunity to try some traditional Korean games like Tuho (archery) and Yut Nori (wooden stick game).
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