Slippers on stone step

Bukchon Hanok Village

Bukchon Hanok Village is an old residential neighbourhood in Seoul. Bukchon means “northern village” and hanok are traditional Korean houses with tiled roofs.

The area is a hilly maze of narrow streets and alleys, with homes, shops, museums and places of cultural interest. I didn’t discover this until after visiting but Bukchon Hanok Village was earmarked for renovation in the 1960s, and saved thanks to protests from the locals. Instead, many of the buildings have been restored rather than fully renovated or modernised.

View up quiet street

Colourful mural of a tree

Tree against wall
Korean red pine

Traditional patterned tiles

Branch of white blossom

Man sat on step reading
Bae Ryeom’s House

Bae Ryeom’s House was constructed in the 1940’s, making it a modern building compared to its surroundings. The information booklet I picked up says:

“He loved plants so implanted orchids and flowers in pots and placed them in the reception room, living room and courtyard where he also planted magnolia, persimmon, and plum alongisde the lilac behind the reception room”.

The Cultural Heritage Foundation National Trust of Korea.

As a fellow plant lover, and fan of magnolia and lilac trees, I have no doubt his touches looked amazing.

Silk paintings on a wall
Silk paintings in Bae Ryeom’s House

Dogs looking at eachother

View over traditional rooftops

These beautiful roof tiles (giwa) are made from baked soil or clay.

Cobbled walls either side of a street

Tree in pot

Slippers on stone step
Bukchon Hanok Hall
Woman peering through door
Bukchon Hanok Hall

I loved the interior of this building. Light and airy, with a focus on wood, simplicity and hanji screens (paper made from mulberry bark). Shoes must be removed before entering these buildings and homes — not doing so is very disrespectful.

Cat sat on roof
Always making friends with cats

Woman with clips and ribbons in their hair

These traditional outfits are called hanbok. Chima is the skirt and jeogori is the short jacket. You can’t see it in the photo above but the strings used to tie the jacket are called goreum.

View down old street

Women in traditional clothes, eating ice-cream
Hanbok and ice cream

Man selling food from bike basket

This man was selling some sort of nougat and I vaguely recall my friend saying it was made from potato (maybe). It was sweet and chewy but melted in my mouth once I started chewing.

Woman sitting quietly on a step

Woman photographing friend in traditional dress
Traditional hanbok

Gold statue of a man sitting

Women in elaborate clothes

We spent an afternoon in the village but it’s somewhere I could have easily spent a whole day; so many alleys and streets left unexplored!

2 comments on “Bukchon Hanok Village

  1. I really enjoy your view on the Bukchon village! The photos look so good and the little information and history is nice to read! Looking forward to more!

    • Gemma Evans

      Thanks so much Efira 🙂 I hope to visit Seoul again someday and if I do, I’ll definitely return to Bukchon village!

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