After the morning visit to Changdeok Palace on that Saturday, we moved on quickly to our next item in the itinerary. It was a visit to the Korean Folk Village! This was a place highly recommended by a friend who visited Korea before and since it’s not easily accessible by subway, we decided to take a tour package instead. The package was quite expensive at RM330 (110,000won) for both of us. The tour guide came to pick us up from the hotel at around 1pm, and due to the massive traffic jam, we only reached the village at 3pm!
We quickly rushed in since there was supposed to be a show at 3pm daily. And we were in time to watch a performance by Koreans playing some instruments and dancing with colourful costumes. This was apparently the Farmer’s Dance. They also had these furry feather thingy on their head, while some had a long piece of ribbon tied to their hats. Observe how they used their heads to swing the ribbon around. 🙂
Performance #1 – Farmer’s dance
The next performance we saw was that of called Jultagi or tightrope-walking. There was an old man trying to balance himself on a piece of tightrope, while holding a fan with his hand. He jumped on the rope, walked on the rope and even sat on the rope!
Performance #2 – Jultagi / Tightrope walking
And the third performance we saw was horseback riding. These young chaps were really talented and well-balanced for they could do all sorts of tricks with the horses galloping around the ring. Impressive!
Performance #3 – Horseback riding
After the performances, we walked around the folk village, which was actually really huge! There were many sections, all displaying the elements of Korean traditional life and culture. We saw the different types of houses first, some belonging to farmers, some to hunters, etc.
Different types of houses
The tour guide also explained to us that even in the olden days, they used fence. Their fence was built with 3 horizontal logs. When the 3 logs were up, it meant “Do not disturb”. When only 2 logs were up, it meant that the owner was away for the day so one was not encouraged to enter. When 1 log was up, it meant that the owner was just out for a short while and would be back soon. And when no log was up, the visitor was welcomed to enter! 🙂 But I do see a problem with carrying and removing those heavy logs eh? 😛
Korea ‘fence’ system
We also saw some of the equipment the traditional Korean folks used for hunting, farming and to perform their daily chores.
All sorts of equipment
Traditional Korean floor-heating system
There were plenty of jars lying around in front of every house. These jars actually contained kimchi, a popular Korean pickled vegetables dish. In the olden days, the number of kimchi jars represented a person’s wealth. The more jars there were in front of the house, the more wealthy the owner was. See the comparison below, a common folk’s kimchi jars compared to a minister’s.
The average vs the rich – measure with kimchi jars
We also saw a site which was used in Da Chang Jin filming before! Not that I watched the series…
Scene in Da Chang Jin
Serious meeting between the mayor and the ministers
We then proceeded to the prison area, where we saw all sorts of equipment used to torture the criminals.
To torture criminals
The jail and the criminals
The criminals above looked so real huh? They’re actually fake! I must admit I was a little shocked when I first saw them. Now, this one’s real… 😛
Saucer with a sad face
There were also groups of young students displaying to us some of the torture methods. One of them was the “Leg-screw torture”. *ouch*
I saw a donkey along the way and said Hi! 🙂
witch and donkey
The tour guide informed us that if we saw a Red flag raised in front of a house, it meant that a fortune-teller stays in the house. This was one of those houses.
The fortune-teller’s house
Carrying water like a traditional Korean folk woman 🙂
We also spotted a black pig! My first time seeing a black pig and apparently, this was very expensive and rare! No, we did not eat it, in case you are wondering. 😛
witch with big statues
I also saw a mini playground with traditional games such as the swing and see-saw, and couldn’t resist the child in me! *LOL*
Having fun with the swing
Apart from all the exhibitions, there were also some hawker stalls selling street food. There was one particular stall selling BBQ skewers with extra strong aroma that we couldn’t stand (in a good way). We decided to purchase one to try and it was awesome! I think it was lamb, and the meat was oh-so-tender and juicy! Very well-marinated and meaty without being fatty. I only had one piece while Saucer chewed the rest away before I knew it. 🙁
Amazing lamb skewer
There was also a souvenir store near the entrance of the folk village, selling exclusive souvenirs but at a much higher price. I spotted a nice hand-made bag in there and it was selling at some RM900 (270,000won)! *gasp* I almost couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the price tag.
Souvenir store at Korean Folk Village
Overall, we did have an enjoyable time learning the Korean traditional culture and customs. Really interesting. My own gripe is that we didn’t have more time, since the place was getting dark already at 5.30pm. Before I end the post, let me share some breath-taking scenery pictures that I captured from the Korean Folk Village. One of them is actually my wallpaper in my laptop too!
Aren’t they amazing? This is such a nice place. Must not forget to visit if you ever go to Seoul. 🙂
Korean Folk Village Website
Adult = 12,000 won (~RM36)
Seniors = 9,000 won (~RM27)
Child = 8,000 won (~RM24)