The folk villages are genuine, not fabricated.
Slow train or bus is the only way to access Andong.
A historic city with folk villages, but requires patience to go back and forth between all the places.
Particularly in the pedestrian streets near Eumsikui-Geori ("Food street") and the Cultural street (highlighted on most tourist maps), there are many different types of masks presented in the tiles of the streets. Most people walk right over them and do not take notice.I saw at least 20 different masks made out of tiles as shown in my picture here....more
Some others have already commented on the festival, so here's a few pieces of information that I feel were omitted. The Festival lasts 10 days, starting in late September and continuing through the first week of October.Information booths with maps, schedules of events and schedules of shuttle buses are available at the festival grounds themselves,...more
Outside of Andong, the Changsung (wood totems or guard posts) are much less common, but inside the area, you will find them everywhere.Upon the entrance to HahoeMaeul is one of the best samples to pick from. There are maybe 100 of them, ranging in styles and sizes.These serve as posting signs, to identify property boundaries (sometimes written with...more
Back in 1974, when the waters of the lake behind the dam would have drowned this piece of history forever, the remains of the town Ocheongunjari were moved to their present location.The buildings may have been repaired along the way, but much of them are still original. This village claims to have been a thriving center for the prosperous families...more
Andong downtown is fairly compact and gives you a taste of what semi-urban Korea might be about. Across the road from the train station, turn right and walk on until you come to the "Food Street", a street where many local restaurants line both sides. Continue walking down Food Street and you'll end up in the modern shopping area.In between, you...more
Right outside the Hahoe Village is the Andong Mask Museum. Inside is a fairly extensive collection of masks from around Korea and the world. There's also a small giftshop. Its small but pleasant, and the owners are very knowledgeable about mask culture (the husband carves the hahoe masks and other items, some of which are on sale at the gift shop)...more
This Village is nowadays just a tourist attraction, even though there are still people living there. But the building and the whole village itself is now like it has been a few hundred years ago. The roots of Hahoe (means in the bend of the river) Maeul go back 600 years. And even the goverment tries to prevent that village with its 130 houses....more
This festival takes part between end of September and beginning of October and offers a huge variaty of traditional Korea. You can watch locals making some handcrafts and try some of the traditional food!And if you are lucky, they still have the free beer stand. Just get in line and get your free korean beer. Also the performances are really nice!...more
Andong Gwan ("Andong Place") is one of many restaurants on Restaurant Road / Food Street. It has a large variety of Korean dishes, going from mild rice dishes to spicy meats. Menus are provided with English translations. The Yeongbang bibimbab was good, as was the udon noodles.more
This is a small but clean and friendly restaurant serving tasty pure vegetarian meals. The food is generally Korean, but there are also veggie burgers and steaks available. Being the only such restaurant in the province, there is a small but loyal clientele, who are all too happy to meet foreigners. The mushroom stew (peosot jeongul) is delicious...more
This is the place where you take people to impress them . . .it is very upscale, with prices to match. Not only do they claim only to serve beef only from Korea, it's all from Andong. Since the beef from Andong is fairly reknowned in Korea, that's quite something. Like most kalbi places in Korea, you'll do the grilling yourself over a charcoal...more
Many Koreans all over the country hold traditional confucian memorial services (jesa) for their ancestors. As part of the ceremony, a large variety of foods are "served" to the dead, and afterwards to the living participants. Obviously this means that few visitors to Korea get a chance to sample this particular cuisine . . .However, visitors to...more
Another local specialty in Andong is the salted mackeral (andong kankodeungo). It sounds strange, but it's really very tasty! You can cook it several different ways, but the most common are pan fried or in a spicy soup. Mmmmm, delicious! Give it a try . . .there are restaurants all over town, including one on the food/culture street (look for the...more
Agio is a small "Italian" pasta restaurant/ coffee shop that has a modest selection of pastas, side dishes, and drinks. The food is decent and the ambiance nice, and there aren't many options in Andong for non-Korean food. In addition to pasta, pizza, and doria (the holy trinity ^^) there's also a small selection of Korean side dishes ("dried squid...more
There are a few nightclubs scattered hither and yon around Andong, most noteably Canberra and Arabian Nights. They're a different animal than typical western-style nightclubs . . .instead of a cover fee you have to purchase a table (around 30,000 won in most clubs) which will come with a set amount of side dishes and alcohol. If you want something more or different, expect to pay through the nose. There will also be truely atrocious DJ's, strange decor, and possibly some topless foreign (usually Russian) dancers. Koreans nearly always go these places in groups, and so should you - preferably with Korean friends (once in a blue moon foreigners have trouble getting in, especially foreign men) Ladies, be aware that some of them also function as "booking" clubs, meaning that waiters may drag you over and make you sit with some random guys who will buy any drinks you consume with them and pay the waiter a gratuity for having brought you by. Also expect local gangsters cheap suits (mostly harmless). Many of these clubs feel a bit like a sleezy Sinatra/Ratpack dream come to life.
UPDATE - there's a new nightclub called BLUESKY . . .look for it down the road from the bus station.
Dress Code: Not sloppy. Jeans may keep you out, but then again this is Andong and it probably won't make a difference. Grunge won't work, but just about anything else will pass. Koreans, especially the women, will of course be dressed to the nines. Men, if you have any shiny faux-40's style pinstripe suits, now's the time to wear them . . .
Andong is north of Deagu and there is no real express connection from either Seoul or from Busan. Most frequent and express connections are through Daegu. Therefore I have to say, it is not really that convenient from either.By bus:To/From Seoul - you can find a direct bus between Andong and Seoul (I believe from Dong-Seoul station). It goes...more
There are three ways to arrive in Andong really . . .you can rent a car and drive here (though only a suicidal fool would try that method), take a bus, or a train. Both the bus and train terminal for Andong are on the same street, central to downtown and just north of the river. Buses are usually faster and only slightly more expensive, and go more...more
Admittedly, you can get Andong Soju all over town. You can even find it (at mildly inflated prices) in Seoul. However, if you buy directly from the family that makes the famous "folk" soju, you'll have the best selection.
What to buy: They carry only the special "folk" soju made Jo Ok-hwa (Gyeongsangbukdo Intangible Cultural Asset #12, Master of Korean Traditional Food #20) This is the special wonderful famous stuff . . .admittedly with a price to match. The real benefit of this place is that in addition to bottles of various sizes (the smallest being 400mL, the largest 800) they have special gift sets including cups, nice boxes, etc.
What to pay: $10-75
It's about 15,000 won for a 400mL bottle, 25,000 for the 800mL
I just spend about 90 minutes at the Mask Dance Festival and was questioned 3 times! I started to refuse any question after this.
They usually ask foreigner and the problem is, that there are not a lot of foreigners.
Just stay kind and say that you allready took part at the survey.
There are lots and lots of trinket stands selling overpriced keychains and fake Hahoe Masks. If you're going to buy a Hahoe Mask, yes, Hahoe Village is a good place to buy it BUT be sure if you're paying alot of money for it that it isn't just some mass produced resin knock-off. The tourist stands at the enterance to the village are especially bad - the masks being sold there only vaguely resemble the real thing (wrong colors, shape, poor construction, etc.) Pretty much everything at these stands is the same as all the other cheap stuff to take home that you'll find everywhere else.
Unique Suggestions: If you're going to buy a fake, there's no reason to haul it all the way from Hahoe Village. Buy it in town . . .or in Pusan . . .or in Seoul! They sell them EVERYWHERE in Korea, so there's no reason to buy an overpriced one just because you're in Andong. Unless you're getting one of the REAL, hand-carved masks, it was probably mass manufactured somewhere else.
Fun Alternatives: Pay out the nose for a real, carved wooden mask . . .another good place to investigate the Hahoe Mask Dance is at the Hahoe Mask Dance Preservation Society downtown. It's down the same road as the reconstructed traditional "city hall" and the real city hall. Go to the three way intersection, and it's right next to the shoe store on the corner.
Ladies and Germs, Korea is COLD in winter and HOT in summer. Andong is bitterly cold and dry during the winter months, so you'll want warm clothes - we're talking heavy coats, gloves, the works. There's not much humidity or percipitation either, so you might want to put a bowl of water or a damp towel out at night. In combination with the heated floors you'll be able to humidify your room. During the summer there's PLENTY of humidity and heat to make up for it. Despite the heat, consider dressing conservatively, although the locals are pretty used to foreigners dressing oddly.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Pretty much all the toiletries you could need are available here, and most common medicines are available from pharmacies. Ladies, if you need tampons, you can find them only at pharmacies, but pads are widely available in most mini-marts and grocery stores.
45 minutes away from downtown Andong, Jirye village serves as a point of interest and you are also able to stay there. If you stay there, the owner Mr Kim can pick you up from the train station at around 5pm. The car ride brings you across the bridge spanning the Dam, through winding mountain roads before reaching a secluded village.The village is...more
Just north of the downtown square is a shrine to the founders of three local clans. There's an eclectic collection of buildings, plus the shrine proper. A couple of old guys apparently live here, and if you're lucky they'll unlock some of the buildings and show you around. There's some interesting gates and a big pavilion, and a fairly new building...more
Around the lake formed by Andong dam are some cute park areas, making it the best green space in town. Also, several buildings that would otherwise have been destroyed when the dam was built were moved to high ground and preserved here, including farmhouses, government buildings, kilns, icehouses, and other sites of interest. Take a stroll and...more