bukchon hanok village.

May 29, 2013

Forgive me for my lack of updates recently. Ryan and I have been traveling nearly every weekend, which - while thrilling - has allowed for scant writing, journaling, and photo-sharing. I've also been quite busy studying the Korean language and food culture. Only recently did I realize that learning about traditional and staple foods could be such fun language practice! We are increasingly bold and confident while dining out, which has led to new and delicious food experiences.

Above are some photos from our recent trip to Bukchon Hanok Village (북촌한옥마을) in Seoul. This village contains hundreds of traditional Korean houses (hanoks) that date back to the Joseon Dynasty. Many of the hanoks are now guesthouses, restaurants, teahouses, and cultural centers. We entered a hanok gallery (#18 above) that smelled sweetly of ancient wood and wind. While certain streets were rather touristy, we enjoyed wandering the neighborhood which was scattered with artists' wares, growing things, and cultural activities, such as knot-tying classes. We ate sundae (순대) - pronounced soon-day - Korean blood sausage made with cow or pig intestines and blood. Our lingering hangover was instantly cured by this chewy snack! It is a common practice in Korea to consume foods made with intestines and blood - which contain high levels of protein and iron. This includes Haejangguk (해장국), Korean "Hangover Soup," which has many varieties; the basic version generally contains congealed pig/cow blood and tripe.

While in Bukchon, we also encountered a production crew filming a very dramatic scene. Many Korean dramas are set in this village due to its charm and heritage - it's just so romantic! Bukchon is certainly an important place to visit while in Seoul. It's located inside of Samcheong-dong, possibly my favorite of the Seoul neighborhoods we visited. On Saturday night, we scored seats near the front at a basement jazz club (La C Le), where we enjoyed some fine jazz. Oddly, the band used sheet music and only played from 8:30-10:45pm (not very jazzy, guys). That being said, in a country obsessed with pop music, it was a fine alternative.

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  1. This neighborhood was a great reminder of being able to live in the city, but still feel quite remote. Looking at these shots it seems like we were far off in the country, but we were only about a half mile from busy streets and subway stations. Definitely need to go back.


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