Korea House & Namsan Hanok Folk Village, Seoul
If you are looking for a chance to experience Korea as a royal during the Chosen Dynasty, then you simply have to make reservations at the Korea House. Plan on a few hours because to spend here because you will experience a royal meal (15 courses) over the course of about 90 minutes plus a performance of traditional music and dance. On Saturdays and Sundays, you can even view a traditional wedding ceremony. How much does all this costs you ask? You would be very suprised at how reasonable it is. I am not going to tell you, but I will give you the link later.
To start off, the food is OUTSTANDING!! I got to experience this place twice; once at lunch time and once at night. The afternoon/evening show really impressed me. I think it is better than the folk village in Suwon in some respects. They really treat everyone there as honored guests.
There is also a cultural crafts shop on site where you can buy authentic (not made in China and sold in Itaewon) souveniers made by artisans and craftsmen as you watch.
It is a great experience that I think all will appreciate. Unfortunately, as far as I know you can only go by reservation, which can be made as far a 3 months in advance or 3 days by internet.
So how do you get here? First, checkthis link for a good description and directions:
and this link for the Korea House website:
Inside the village is the Time Capsule Plaza where a time capsule was buried in 1994 to celebrate Seoul's 600th Anniversary. They plan to open it 400 years after…very interesting!
Traditional houses or "hanok" from different ranks in the society from the Joseon Dynasty were collected from different parts of Seoul and restored here for display. I love their traditional houses, it is made mostly of wood, has beautiful tile roofs and elevated floors. The way they heat their floors was very unique. Each house has a chimney beside it and guessed that maybe this is where the smoke coming from the burning wood below the floors comes out.
There is also a pavilion, a pond and from here I saw the Seoul Tower.
Just like in any other parks, there were so many school children there. I think Koreans are very proud of their heritage and they are instilling that patriotism to the young generations.
If the absolute chaos of downtown Seoul gets you down, why not just take yourself on a wee jaunt up Namsan, for a view of the city, a quiet lunch, a green break and some peace and quiet.
Namsan (South Hill) once marked the southern edge of Seoul many generations ago. Nowadays, it stands in the center of the sprawling city, surrounded by the major shopping districts of Namdaemun, Myongdong, and Itaewon. Actually it is quite a large park and it has over 60 species of plants and animals, and thats all good isn't it.
The park gives a wide patch of green to the downtown area. The park has several hiking trails leading to the 262-meter peak with Seoul Tower, as well as several exercise areas, making the park very popular among Seoulites for early morning exercise. Don't go in the morning, its full, and I mean full of joggers. However, it also blocks traffic in and out of the downtown area, so engineers have built no fewer than three tunnels underneath it.
Urban encroachment threatened many of the plants and animals in the park. In the 1990s, the Seoul government decided to remove some existing buildings (mostly residential buildings used by foreigners) and return the land to nature. However, several deluxe hotels remain along its slopes.
In addition to Seoul Tower and its attractions, Namsan Park contains many places of interest, including the National Theater, Namsan Public Library, Namsan Botanical Gardens, and several statues in memorial of Korean patriots. The park also contains Paljakjung (an octagonal pavilion), an aquarium, a fountain, and a cable car leading to Seoul Tower. For tourist groups, a tour program called Namsan Field Classroom is provided from June to October. Except for cable car, the other facilities are free. To the north is Namsangol Traditional Folk Village,.
The Namsangol Traditional Folk Village was created by the Seoul government out of an old Village to resemble the architecture and gardens of the area during the Chosun Dynasty (1392-1910). The area contains 5 restored traditional houses, designated as Seoul City Folk Materials, all decorated with authentic furniture and decorations from the period. Originally called Cheonghak-dong (area of faeries for the blue cranes), it was one of the 5 most beautiful areas of Seoul and a famous summer resort. the yangban (aristocrats) who lived in the area often composed poems about the beauty of Namsan (then called Mokmyok-san) and the surrounding landscape. It really is a cool little park.
Showcases traditional Korean architecture, culture, cuisine, and folk performances. Reservation required.
Korea House offers a traditional meal followed by various folk performances. Visitors can also explore the garden, view handicraft items, and watch a traditional wedding ceremonry. It is a very popular introduction to Korean performing arts for foreign visitors due to its location and high level of promotion. The lobby in the main building houses a small selection of cultural items and a gift shop sells souvenirs and postcards.
First, the Korea Folk Village is a free attraction. In Seoul, that is worth double! I found it so be very peaceful and entertaining, in an old-fashioned touristy kind of way. Some may find it boring, but I thought it was well worth visiting. On display are traditional artifacts of many types, from clothing to full rooms furnished with period furniture. The arcitecture is beautiful, and they have ancient games for you to play, as well as tour-guides, artwork, and gifts. The view of Seoul Tower is also very nice. I believe they have regularly scheduled entertainment, as well. All in all, it was a nice, peaceful break from the anarchy of Seoul City.
We visited Seoul's Namsan Folk Village. The village is located at the foot of Namsan Mountain in downtown Seoul. It is a collection of houses in the traditional Korean style. There are about 10 houses in all, and they belonged to people of various classes and occupations. There are lots of neat items inside the houses, such as furniture and tools.
This site looked interesting. Unfortunately, by the time we got to it, Jesse and I were pretty tired, so we only spent about 30 minutes browsing through before we were ready to leave. I think you could probably spend an hour in the whole park, as there are a few other things to see besides the village. There is a small pond where you can feed the gigantic koi. There is also a small area where the city of Seoul has buried a time capsule.
Entry to the village is free. The village is closed once a week. I don't recall if it was Monday or Tuesday, so check with Seoul Tourist Information.
This village lies at the foot of Mount Namsan. It is made up of five traditional Korean wooden houses. There were people wandering around in traditional Korean clothes. Brides and grooms come here for their wedding shots. There were some displays of traditional craft and people playing traditional Korean games.
The grounds of the village also include the Seoul Millennium Time Capsule. To celebrate Seoul’s 600th anniversary as the capital of Korea, 600 typical Korean items were buried here and are not to be opened until November 29, 2394, which will be the city’s 1,000th anniversary. I look forward to going to that!
the village contains 5 tradtional houses and a variety of cultural performances, seasonal festivities, exhibitions and folk events are held to re-create Korean lifestyles and entertainment here. unfortunately at the time that we went there wasn't any of that so we had to content ourselves with just walking around the village.
In the Namsan Hanok Village, five traditional houses, each from a different class of the Joseon Dynasty, have been restored. The village contains traditional Korean gardens and courtyards with a pavilion standing in the valley, created to revive the atmosphere of the days gone by. While every detail of the houses is from genuine items, visitors can take an etiquette course or learn about traditional culture in such areas as calligraphy, Korean classical music, Gayageum (a traditional Korean stringed instrument) and Sijo (Korean poetry) as well as daily works of Joseon's housewives such as beating cloth and embroidery.
The Village was founded in April, 1998.
There is Joseon Dynasty Yangban ( Noble Class ) houses and beautiful park area.