A historic centre, Bukchon Hanok Village is in downtown Seoul (South Korea) between the Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung Palaces. The village was a residential area of aristocrats during the Joseon Dynasty. Its name is Bukchon, meaning the North village. Therefore, it refers to its position, on the upper north side of Cheonggyecheon Stream district.
Bukchon Hanok Village was the place where politics, administrators, royals and Confucian elites were living.
The village has hundreds of Korean traditional houses (hanok) and originally was with wooden materials and red brick walls. However, at the end of the Joseon time the area changed into small housing lots, due to social and economic reasons. The renovation didn’t lose the original style and the village became a modern urban area.
Today, this centre is one of the most touristic site of the city. In fact, the traditional houses have art galleries and museums. Moreover, here visitors can buy craft and antique souvenirs or taste local food in the small restaurants or teahouses.
To experience the real Korean life, visitors just need to walk around Bukchon’s narrow alleys and see people actually living their life. For instance, people hanging out the wash, children playing and adults having conversations. Furthermore, a unique view of this village, is possible from the Bukchon Observatory, a villa rooftop used as viewing platform.
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