Korea Tourism Organization (KTO), we had a wonderful weekend in Seoul participating in the 'Hanok Stay Experience' program which was held on April 16th-17th. We visited some of the most attractive touristic places in Seoul and slept in the Bukchon Hanok Village. We also experienced lots of activities, such as making kimchi and cooking tteokbokki, listening to Korean traditional music, watching a popular musical and making some traditional souvenirs!
It was said that in 2010 the first program 'Hanok Stay Experience' received so much positive feedback from the participants, that in this year KTO received hundreds of applications, but they chose only 34 students to experience hanok. We were lucky :) There were students from all over the world, who are currently studying in Korean universities and it was the first time for everyone to visit the Bukchon hanok village.
1. Bukchon hanok village is located in one of the richest areas in Seoul – Jongno-gu between Gyeongbok Palace, Changdeok Palace, and Jongmyo. 'Hanok' means traditional Korean house, so in Bukchon village there are hundreds of hanoks, with their own history. Hanok is made of wood and it is said that people living in hanok are usually very healthy ;) Click to read more.
2. We also visited the Kwangjang Market which is one of the most attractive places for tourists, because being there you may experience Korean lively trade. Furthermore, Kwangjang Market is famous for being the cheapest place to eat Korean traditional food and to buy wedding gifts. Click to read more.
3. Insadong is a very famous place for foreigners. It is the street famous for its shopping malls, Korean souvenirs shops, restaurants and street performances. If you go there, you might think that 50% of population in Korea are foreigners. Click to read more.
4. After walking in Insadong street we watched a popular dance musical "Sachoom", which stands for "dance, if you are in love". The musical is so addictive, that I would watch it again and again! Click to read more.
5. We made kimchi and tteobokki! Every foreigner knows what kimchi is. It is Korean main side dish, so I think without kimchi Koreans wouldn't survive :D And we made ttokbokki, that is also a very popular korean dish, commonly eaten on the streets. Click to read more.
6. Sleeping at a hanok. Before going to bed our group was split into pairs and introduced to our hosts. My host was a Korean traditional artist. She was so kind to me and my roommate: she let us try wearing her hanboks and take pictures. She also played traditional Korean instrument – gayaguem for us. Click to read more.
7. On the second day each group experienced Korean traditional crafts, such as fabric dyeing, making jewelry boxes, fan painting and bracelet weaving. Our group did bracelets and it was very interesting. Click to read more. coming soon :)
I had so much fun, thanks to the Korea Tourism Organization again! I hope KTO will continue organizing such programs annually, so that you too have a chance to participate in the 'Hanok Stay Experience' program and be inspired by Korean culture ^^
Sincerely yours, Yelena Lim