The Bukchon Hanok Village: Where To Start
Visitors from far and wide head to Bukchon in Seoul to wander among the traditional Hanok houses of old Korea. Some people even sleep in them overnight to get the authentic Korean experience of yore. The streets are narrow and curve this way and that and it’s easy to get lost among the wooden houses with tiled roofs. Which Hanoks welcome visitors in for tea and which Hanoks still house families are questions most of those that roam the area ask while peering through the cracks in the doors and deciphering the signs hung on corners. Picking a direction and beginning a self guided tour is how most approach the area, but a great place to start to learn more about the Hanok structures and get a great map of the area is the Bukchon Traditional Culture Center.
Bukchon is the area located between Gyeongbukgung Palace and Changdeokgung Palace. The area consists of Gahoe-dong, Songhyeon-dong, Anguk-dong, Samcheong-dong and Jae-dong and once the families of nobility and the most influential families of the time lived here.
Opened in 2002, the center was originally the home of the Min family, the last family in charge of finances during the Joseon Dynasty. Inside, visitors can learn about the Hanok structures and architecture. The house consists of a main building, or an anchae(안채), the outer quarters, or the baccatchae(바깥채), an annex, or a haengrangchae(행랑채), a separated building, or a byeolchae(별채), and a shrine, or a Sadang(사당).
The haengrangchae now features information boards and videos concerning the history of the area and the architecture of the Hanok houses and there’s also a map at the end of this structure that plots out the other Hanok houses that are good stopping places for your day in the Bukchon area. The center also provides seminars and classes on traditional crafts, traditional Korean music, embroidery and calligraphy to those hoping to gain a deeper insight into the area and its history and culture. Check out their website for more information and don’t forget to stop by the next time you’re in the area.
37 Gyedong-gil Jongno-gu Seoul, Korea
서울특별시 종로구 계동길 37
Walk out of Anguk Subway Station exit 3 and turn left at the first street. The Hanok will come into view on the left about a block in across the street from a Hyundai Building parking lot.
Hours: 9:00AM – 6:00PM