Bukchon is one of those areas that doesn’t change too much. Time and time again I have visited this area with friends, alone or with family and unlike so many other neighborhoods in Seoul, little seems to change. If you visit, you can even stay in the heart of the city in a traditional Korean home.
The Hanok houses, or traditional housing of Korea, are of course protected from demolition and will maintain their place in the neighborhood for some time. But even though there are little cafes and restaurants that squeeze themselves everywhere just like the rest of the city, they seem to stay the course and keep their spots, unlike so many other places. Little statues and the intricate door knockers never change and people continue to visit.
The windy roads are easy to get lost along, but it’s nice to stumble upon things seen before. Art on the cement walls and in the galleries is the most striking and obvious to change in this area. The quiet streets with no cars welcome pedestrians in and then let them wander aimlessly with cameras in hand. Signs that remind people that locals still reside here and voices should be hushed never change and always the people come. Leaves and flowers are up during the spring and summer and provide shade and then fall in the autumn and winter and that’s the only change from season to season along with the lanterns that color the area in the spring celebrating the birth of the Buddha. And always the people come. In a city that has an incessant urge to constantly change, it’s nice to wander through an area from time to time and see hardly anything has been altered.
Bukchon Hanok Alley (북촌 한옥마을)
105 Gye-dong Jongno-gu, Seoul
서울특별시 종로구 계동 105 북촌문화센터
Subway: Anguk Station, exit 2. Walk straight and follow the signage.