Monday, February 23, 2009

Traditional Village Tour, Bugaksan

The image above more or less sums up my visit to the hanok traditional housing area above Insa-dong with Gavin and his co-teacher Mr Rhou--the juxtaposition of ancient and modern. This is Mr Rhou, whom we met up with after our tour of Gyeongbokgung:

Mr Rhou in Insa-dong
The streets in the ancient, walled areas--dating from the 1500s, earlier in some cases--are narrow and winding. Note the traditional, heavy ceramic tiles:

Here I am taking a break on a weird but awesome bench:

The walls in the hanok are impenetrable, the only clue to what lies behnd them is the gates. Mr Rhou, who grew up near here, tells us many of these homes are owned by high government officials, CEOs and the like.

Mr Rhou then took us on a white-knuckle drive up the Bugaksan "skyway" above Cheong Wa Dae to an observation point overlooking Seoul at a restaurant called A Walk in the Clouds. Below are views to the south, then the east, then the north. Too bad it was a bit foggy on Sunday.

We finished off the day with another new experience for me, a dinner of bosam, which is boiled pork and pork belly, with a healthy side of kimchi. The pork is on a steamer plate and is reheated at the table via a sterno pack. Quite tasty.

Bosam at One Halmoni


Tanner Brown said...

Nice hat. And the heads that bookend the bench look like Alfalfa and JFK, from left to right.

Jo-Anna said...

How do you get to the traditional village? looks beautiful. I've walked around Anguk station area, and there are some streets that do look so traditional.... but I don't think this is the same place.... must be close though....

I'd love to bring my camera around here...

Tuttle said...

You walk up the hill in Insa-dong past Cafe Coin, Tibet Museum, etc. About 300 m up the hill, we took a little skinny side road up into the mountain, and then wandered around. Of course, it helps to have a native Seoulite guiding you.