Monday, July 20, 2009

Bukchon Hanok Village

Several weekends ago, Mark and I decided to explore Bukchon. I went there with Mark's Mom on my day off, but didn't get to fully explore. Plus, it was such a cool area that I wanted to check it out again with Mark.

I don't know a lot about the history of the area, so I pulled the following information from the Official Site of Korea Tourism. Normally I don't like to include too much history, as I'm not sure if anyone besides me is really interested... but this was just too interesting to pass up.

Bukchon Hanok Village was once a village of aristocrats long ago, and its luxury tile-roofed houses called giwas have been preserved since the Joseon Dynasty. 

Located in the middle of Gyeongbokgung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace, and Jongmyo, Bukchon Hanok Village boasts 600 years of history in the region. The preserved village sits between two large palaces in the traditional hanok regions where the eggplant-shaped streets show the 600-year-old beauty of the city. 
Now, the village operates as a place where visitors come to experience the ambiance of the Joseon Dynasty, offering a cultural center and hanok-style restaurants. 

Wonseo-dong, Jae-dong, Gahoe-dong, and Insa-dong all lie to the north of Cheonggyecheon Stream and Jongno, thus being named Bukchon, meaning north village, an area popularly known at that time, as the residence of the royal family and high-ranking officials.

Just walking along the street, you see tons of buildings like this... amazing, isn't it?!?!

Mark and I just wandered around snapping pictures. Around lunchtime, we decided to stop into a little Italian pizzeria. We made a great choice, as this place was both charming and delicious.

Here's a shot of the inside and the guy cooking at the brick oven fireplace.

I just thought this was a good shot of some of the decorations.

Then, the menu was brought to us accordion style attached to two wooden blocks. Here's Mark checking it out. (And the pizzas were both in English and Korean. Yay!)

Here's a closer view.

We chose the prosciutto and mozzAlign Centererella pizza. Mmmm... Prosciutto is hard to come by in Korea!

There was a little wood stand with a candle beneath the pizza to keep it warm... not sure how much it really helped, but it was a neat touch.

There are also a lot of art galleries in the Bukchon area. As we were walking, we saw the following bench/piece of artwork. I think it was called "Two Men Eating a Biscuit."

Later, we headed to a coffee shop for frozen drinks. Here I am standing in front of the place we chose. We wanted to sit on the little outside patio area, but it was too hot.

This is a view of the inside. Aren't the wooden beams cool looking?

Not only was it a coffee shop, but also a novelties and antique shop. Here I am checking it out.

We sat for awhile and read while we enjoyed our cool drinks.

And here's a final artsy picture Mark took of us in the display. Can you find us?

I think that afternoons like this are the main reasons we're enjoying Korea so much. It's such an amazing thing to trek out and explore areas that are hundreds and hundreds of years old!

1 comment:

Mom J. said...

Kim - I loved the day we spent in Bukchon Hanok Village. Except at the time, I did not know this was the name of where we were. I remember seeing that bench.