Bukchon Hanok Village is one of the few areas remaining in Seoul where traditional architecture still reigns supreme, including the hanok home design. Careful zoning codes protect the ambiance and beauty of this area and the nearby arts district of Insadong. It is in this area you will find the only Starbucks locations in Korea with the sign in hangul and where even such companies as Etude House trade in their Konglish signs for good old Korean designs.
We spent almost two hours wandering around the area and were impressed with the beauty of these homes, especially the details that made each home unique. Korea is a mountainous country and we could feel this fact acutely as we climbed higher up hills in the village. Our climb rewarded us with gorgeous views, including a peek of Gyeongbokgung Palace where we hope to celebrate Seollal later this week.
While many of the hanoks are private residences, a fair portion have been turned into shops selling crafts & antiques, tea shops, and homestay hotels where visitors can experience a night or two in a hanok. A few others have been turned into cultural centers where tourists can try on hanbok or make crafts and a special few are now workshops where classes and workshops are offered in Korean embroidery techniques and even carpentry.
We cannot wait to go back for a weekend hanokstay and carpentry workshop in the spring!