Sunday, May 17, 2009

071215 – Bukchon Hanok Village, Daehangno, Jogyesa Temple

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I’m so determined that I should see more of Seoul, I took a walk from Insadong to Bukchon Hanok Village. Hanok is traditional Korean house. Bukchon Hanok Village was once a village of aristocrats long ago, and its luxury tile-roofed houses called Giwas have been preserved since the Joseon Dynasty. Located in the middle of Gyeongbokgung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace, and Jongmyo, Bukchon Hanok Village boasts 600 years of history in the region. Therefore, this village has no high buildings, and most buildings are in the form of a Hanok, recreating the traditional Korean lifestyle experience for visitors. Also located nearby Bukchon Hanok Village is the Jungang High School, which served as the film location for the drama ‘Winter Sonata’, thereby, attracting many ‘Winter Sonata’ fans. I did not watch this Korean drama, so I may not appreciate it.

At the Bukchon Traditional Cultural Center, I found this nice striking red flower at the cozy garden that caught my attention.

One of the sculptures at the vicinity of Bukchon Hanok Village

Beautifully curved tiles

While wandering around, I bumped into this Hanok style tea house and gallery

Amazing looking tree at the Bukchon Hanok Village residential area.

One of the wooden doors in Bukchon Hanok Village

The picturesque alleys of bricks wall in this residential area are narrow since the olden days.

Well maintained plants at the alleys

The designs of Bukchon Hanok Village are still well-maintained and give privacy to the residents here. There’s no way I can peek what are beyond the door inside. But no worry, there are few Hanok-style guesthouses for visitors who wish to serve as a getaway to escape the busy city life and seeking a quiet, traditional setting to rest and relax. The cheapest single occupancy room cost around 35,000won per night.

Feel relaxed with the tradition ambience, I continued my 20 minutes stroll to Daehangno, a street of filled with youngsters, art sculptures and theaters. On top of that, a university is also located here. It’s a good place for people watching. There are numerous cafes and pubs with beautiful exteriors and unique interior designs that offer wide range of food varieties.

If I’m not wrong, Daehangno is one of Seoul cultural district. Correct me if I’m wrong.

The slightly shorter statue of Gandalf of Lord of the Rings outside the cinema

On weekend, Maronnier Park and its surroundings turn into a performance stage for young talents. The outdoor stage at Maronnier Park is open at all times, but too bad, there’s no performance on that day. As I walk along the street, I saw many groups of youngster promoting and selling performance tickets, by setting up a simple temporary booth consists only a table and few chairs.

One of the theaters building near Maronnier Park.

Art sculptures scattered around Daehangno

Since the weather is cool, I decided to take a walk back to Insadong and visit a nearby temple called Jogyesa Temple. Upon reaching Insadong, I saw a mobile van blasting loud music and a group of voluntary dancers dancing with their dedicated colour attire. Guess what, it’s an election campaign for the next Seoul presidential post. The contestant will either give speech or play their recorded speech. If I remembered correctly, there were nine contestants fighting for this presidential post.

What amused me was; the Korean will even dance along with dancers. I guess this is a healthy way of campaigning. Unlike other countries, banners and posters all around, de-beautified the town.

After enjoying the so-called street performance, I headed to a nearby temple called Jogyesa Temple, which is a center for Zen Buddhism in Korea. Since there’s no gate, this temple is opened throughout the year and the admission is free.

In front of the Daeungjeon, the main temple building is a 500 years old baeksong tree. The temple is built in 1938.

Stone statue of a Buddha

The exterior of the temple building is painted with colourful painting

A seven storey stone pagoda in front of the main temple building

A bell pavilion

Buddha statue inside the main temple building

Not too sure why this dummy post is here.

As I walked along the street around Jogyesa Temple heading back to my hotel nearby, there are many Buddhist specialty shops that sell things like prayer beads, Buddhist writings, incense, monk attires, as well as souvenirs.


  1. I've been in Seoul last week and visited Jogyesa temple. Very beautiful. I took many pictures. A lady gave me a tour of the temple and gave some information about Buddhism. (Part of it I already knew.) She invited me inside to take part in the ceremony. Unfortunately I had to decline because it was my last day there and I didn't have time. Besides I didn't know how I should behave in a temple.

  2. I usually go with my family to a some village specially because we like to know the people and the places. I believe the people are more helpful and kind than people of the city.
    I love to go with my couple, he usually buy viagra and we enjoy too much our privacy.

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