Bukchon Hanok Village is a traditional Korean village located in the heart of Seoul in between Gyeongbok Palace, Changdeok Palace and Jongmyo shrine. When walking through the small streets and seeing the beautifully designed old houses, you would almost feel like your no longer in the largest city of South Korea.
My Korean buddy Jerry (a volunteer that has to put up with this extremely direct Dutch person, as he was assigned as my buddy through a school program) and other buddy friends of him took me and another international student to the Bukchon Hanok Village a few days ago.
One of the other buddy’s there told me that the houses are still inhabited only by very rich people, millionaires, though he said. I can understand why: the houses are super beautiful, spacious and it’s a quite area. If you have no idea what Seoul is like I’ll tell you: it’s jam-packed, filled to the brim with apartment towers. Every where you look, even in the smallest alleys you’ll find a house or a shop. Having a whole traditional house for yourself obviously costs a lot of money.
We also went to a little street in between Bukchon Hanok Village and the Gyeonbok Palace to eat traditional Korean ice cream named patbingsu. We had the green tea version. The shop was run by this cute ahjussi (older men) who told us we get a discount because of my looks. I felt really flattered but I think he was just joking around as the price on the receipt seemed the same as on the menu, but I could be wrong. I guess I just fit into Korean beauty ideal: pale (not a very good feature where I’m from), a small head (my dad makes fun of this and tall/long legs. Its funny how telling someone they have milky white legs here is a compliment while in my country (The Netherlands) saying someones legs look like milk bottles (literally translated) is an insult!
I definitely recommend you to visit the Bukchon Hanok Village, have a traditional ice cream and visit Gyeonbok Palace. You can easily do this all in one day, as it’s all very near to each other. For the people that don’t like sightseeing to much: they’re many cute cafe’s and shops that sell the nicest stuff around.