Under the harsh, cold temperature outside, our only protection was the layers of clothing to keep our bodies warm. Nevertheless, fangcarpenter (Ailen) and I persisted on going to the Korea House. A visit to this house will provide tourists a glimpse of Korean traditional life and culture and is really worth the time looking for it.
Armed with our lomo cams, map, and the iPhone (courtesy of the Seoul Tourism Organization), we walked, rode the subway, and kept walking. Good thing the GPS navigator in the iPhone indicated whether we were getting closer or farther from the target site. Finally, after several tries with the phone’s compass to track our location, we were able to reach the famed Korea House. There was an ongoing shooting of a Korean telenovela when we entered the premises. Much as fangcarpenter would want to observe the shoot and probably see Korean TV stars, we settled with shooting among other things, the pale pink leaves of trees and bushes in the compound during winter.
If literature and travel photos don’t suffice your hunger for deeper insights into traditional Korean culture and lifestyle, a visit to Korea House is perhaps what you just need. Opened in 1981, this museum was built in the style of the Joseon Dynasty’s Jagyeong-jeon building at the Gyeongbok Palace.
The house made largely of wood and stones with beautiful intricate designs from floor to the roof takes pride in being the only structure built in the traditional architectural style where present-day visitors can experience antiquity at the heart of bustling urban metropolis that is Seoul. Different spaces comprise the entire compound: a space for interaction, a traditional theater, and three annex buildings. If you’re lucky at the time of your visit, you may be able to sample traditional Korean foods, witness a traditional wedding, play folk games and watch cultural performances by local performing troupes. Worry not about translations as programs will all be explained in English and Japanese. Various crafts including ceramics, knots and embroidery are for sale at the cultural gift shop, which is located just at the entrance to the compound. The Namsan-gol Hanok Village where visitors can explore more traditional houses is just nearby.
Location:Seoul-si Jung-gu Pildong2-ga 80-2