finding tradition in the cosmopolitan: Bukchon Hanok Village

I absolutely love South Korea. It has everything you need. And I LOVED SEOUL. Too much, probably. Seoul city is filled with the coolest cafes, crazy nightlife, delicious food, and plenty to see and do. I'm someone who likes travel filled with cultural or adrenaline-based experiences, slow and responsible travel, and takes deep interest in the traditions that exist within each new place visited. I love cities with personality, which Seoul definitely has, but I wanted a feel for traditional Korea. Before skyscrapers, Uber, and themed cafes. 

If you're like me,  looking for a spot of tradition, a walk through Bukchon Hanok Village will give you a quick {free} taste of old-world Korea. 

IMG_93482.jpg
IMG_93282.jpg

SO...WHAT IS A HANOK VILLAGE? //

A hanok is a traditional Korean house. Hanoks are built with great thought and consideration to the land and seasons surrounding them. A hanok village is...well...a village of hanoks. Too obvious? You can rent a hanok for a truly cultural stay in Seoul by booking with AirBnB. I'm offering USD $35 off for first time AirBnB users with my affiliate link found here. 

IMG_93422.jpg

HOW DO I GET THERE? //

Bukchon Hanok Village is easily accessible via the extensive Seoul Subway System. Take Line 3 to Anguk Station and leave out of Exit 1 or 2. From there, you'll find street and sidewalk signage that's impossible to miss. 

IMG_93212.jpg

WHAT CAN I DO THERE? //

Without offending anyone or getting into the deep pit of controversy that is cultural appropriation, for the equivalent of USD $20, you can find traditional Korean Hanboks to rent and pose around the village with. Prices are competitive amongst rental shops, so browse around until you find the right bargain for your budget. I decided not to rent one, purely because it felt a bit...strange??...especially doing it solo. However, there is no doubt that hanboks are wearable works of art. 

There are a variety of traditional tea houses in the village. Cha Masinuen Tteul is located along Bukchon-ro 5 na gil. I stopped in to warm up on a particularly chilly morning and caught a view of the mountains outside the giant floor-to-ceiling windows. I tried the Jujube Tea which set me back 8,000 won {approximately USD $8} and Potato Soup that was more potato broth than creamy goodness. The tea was delicious and worth every pretty penny. If the day was warmer, I would have sipped away the afternoon in the tea house's garden. 

If you aren't into tea and you're even less into hanboks, take in the views of Seoul from the many lookout points offered around Bukchon village. There are traditional handicraft museums and art exhibits that dot narrow alleyways. 

IMG_93332.jpg
IMG_93402.jpg

FINAL THOUGHTS + CONSIDERATIONS  //

All in all, I'd say Bukchon Hanok Village is too conveniently located and too beautiful to be missed, especially if it's your first time in Seoul. The juxtaposition of wooden beams and steel skyscrapers gives off a seriously cool vibe.

The village is a residential area so, while it's free to walk through, note that noise levels are to be watched and that the doorsteps you're perched on for pictures belong to present day home owners. 

IMG_93512.jpg

Tradition is important, even in the most modern of cities. I enjoy peaceful places that exist in a graceful state of simplicity. Just tea houses and hanoks, ya dig? Speaking of a simpler way of life...if you're wondering why I haven't been spamming you on Instagram, promoting my newest videos on Facebook, or replying to DMs...I took a lovely 1-week mini-break from technology. No, nothing's wrong. Yes, I'm totally happy and fully thriving, guys. I just wanted to focus on big things at play in my ever-evolving world. 

Only a few more posts before I make an announcement. Things are changing in more ways than one and I am TOO excited about all of it! Eek!