During the Joseon dynasty (1392-1897), people of a high rank such as officials and royalty used to live in Bukchon Hanok Village located in Seoul between the Gyeongbokgung (경복궁) Palace, Changdeokgung (창덕궁) Palace and Jongmyo Shrine (종묘). Nevertheless, nowadays it is one of the main tourist attractions of the capital of South Korea hosting cultural centers, as well as, restaurants and even houses to stay in.
Bukchon Hanok Village is a place to be transported years back in history when the royalty used to live there, which made it a characteristic place in South Korea. This village has traditional houses, steep streets, and incredible viewpoints that date back to the years of the Joseon dynasty and tell the history of those days through Hanok architecture (designation of the traditional Korean house). Therefore, as time went by, the Bukchon Hanok Village has become a place that merges culture with tradition, being thus too visited nowadays by tourists from around the world, as well as, local people.
Undoubtedly, Bukchon Hanok Village has different areas in which people can do different activities that allow us to know and learn more about Korean culture. Among these, visitors can take pictures and enjoy the wonderful Seoul landscapes in the Eight Scenic Views of Bukchon (북촌 8경). Likewise, the Bukchon Cultural Center (북촌문화센터) offers a traditional cultural experience that includes the tea ceremony, handicrafts, a tour of the public relations showroom, and much more. On the other hand, the Cheongwonsanbang Studio (청원산방) is a place where visitors will enjoy amazing art exhibitions. Whereas in the Artee Riders Club (아띠인력거) they will be able to visit the Bukchon Hanok Village by rickshaw (small two-wheeled vehicle common in some parts of Asia) to go to some popular attractions, wearing the traditional Korean clothing namely Hanbok (한복).
Nevertheless, it is worth mentioning that the Bukchon Hanok Village is not only a tourist place but also remains a residential place when some Hanoks don’t have their doors open, accordingly the discretion and respect with which you visit the village are of utmost importance. You can easily identify those Hanoks where you can enter by the signs that some of them indicate that they are open to the public. Thus, you will not miss the opportunity of visiting restaurants or traditional cafeterias with a varied menu of delicious meals, desserts, and drinks. Similarly, omitting to buy souvenirs in one of its stores or unnoticed art galleries and museums should not be an option, since by entering these constructions we stand a chance of knowing the Hanoks internally.
In short, Bukchon Hanok Village is a place of cultural tourism that tells the story of several centuries ago and in which currently South Korean culture is exposed. Bukchon Hanok Village is ideal for those interested in learning about the events that are part of the history and culture of South Korea, as well as, for those local residents who wish to share an enjoyable moment with their friends or relatives in this representative village of Seoul, whose aspects make it more than unique at first glance.
Written by: Britany Sosa
Reviewed by: Luisa Quintero
Visit Korea. (n. d.). Destinations by Region: Bukchon Hanok Village (북촌한옥마을). https://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/ATR/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp?cid=561382
Monsalvo. C. (n. d.). Bukchon Hanok Village, el antiguo barrio de la nobleza de Seúl. Kris por el mundo. https://www.krisporelmundo.com/bukchon-hanok-village/
Bucsan. E. (n. d.). Un Lugar Donde el Tiempo se Detiene: Bukchon Hanok Village. https://koreabyme.com/es/un-lugar-donde-el-tiempo-se-detiene-bukchon-hanok-village/