What is Bukchon Hanok Village?
Bukchon translates into north village as it lies to the north of the old center of Seoul in the Jongno district. It used to house the nobility and other important people to the kingdom during the Joseon Dynasty. Now, Bukchon Hanok Village is a cultural destination for visitors to get a sense of what living in a traditional village felt like. The area is filled with traditional houses called hanok that residents of Seoul still reside and tourists can rent out for the full experience. There are also various restaurants, tea houses, and visitor centers in the area.
Highlights of Bukchon Hanok Village
Bukchon Hanok Village is perfect for a leisurely stroll to soak in the architecture and laid back atmosphere. Since there are people living in this village still, it is advised that visitors keep a low volume while speaking and be mindful of littering and causing other disturbances.
It’s easy to get lost in the hilly, small streets of Bukchon but that might be when you happen to come across a unique art gallery or boutique with handmade goods. There are also plenty of cafes and tea shops when you want to take a rest and simply enjoy your surroundings. Many of these shops are inside hanoks which allow for a glimpse into these historic buildings without having to stay a night in one.
Food in Bukchon Hanok Village
Due to the presence of Buddhism in Korea, there are a good number of vegetarian restaurants meant to serve the Buddhist community. However, even if you are a meat-eater, visiting Bukchon is a good opportunity to taste the flavors of clean, Korean Buddhist cooking. With many additional constraints when cooking, vegetarian dishes must use other inventive ways to enhance the flavors of simple ingredients. Many Koreans who are not vegetarian may visit these speciality restaurants when they feel like they are in need of some cleansing. Many of these vegetarian meals have roots that have a long history in Korea which is why there is higher prevalence of them in Bukchon Hanok Village.
Of course, there are plenty of other traditional, non-vegetarian Korean food options in the area as well!