Bukchon Hanok Village, Seoul

Today’s post is inspired by Leighton from Leighton Travels, who just published a great article about his visit to a hanok village in Otgol, South Korea. He reminded me of my own experience in a hanok when I travelled to South Korea back in 2018.

Bukchon Hanok Village is a Korean traditional village within the city of Seoul, located on the top of a hill between Gyeongbok Palace, Changdeok Palace, and Jongmyo Royal Shrine.

Composed of a network of alleyways, Bukchon Village is a well preserved example of a classic Korean residential quarter with over 600 years of history. It contains 900 hanoks, traditional homes that were first designed and built in the 14th century during the Joseon Dynasty.

Hanok construction is reflective of Korean design principles that emphasize physical and visual harmony between architecture and the nature that surrounds it, perhaps the epitome of eco-architecture. They are typically built with natural materials, including wooden beams and Hanji paper for doors and windows, making them largely biodegradable. The shape of the hanok further allows for a natural heating and cooling system. This varies by geography, with those in cooler northern regions built as a square with a courtyard in order to better retain heat, whereas those in the south are L-shaped and more open. Another unique element is ondol flooring that involves the use of heated cooking stones and underfloor pipes to warm the room.

We had the opportunity to stay at a renovated hanok in Bukchon Hanok Village, which we booked through Airbnb. To date, this remains one of my favourite of all the accommodations we’ve experienced in our travels. Our host was a lovely woman named Mi Kyung, who made us the most delicious Korean breakfasts every morning. The top highlight however, was our affectionate canine friend – Jack. I hope that the little guy is keeping well these days.

18 responses to “Bukchon Hanok Village, Seoul”

  1. Interesting approach to traditional housing in Korea, I am always seduced by the delicacy shown by Koreans.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It certainly was interesting to explore the traditional architecture!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hanok looks so quaint! I’ve never been to Seoul before, but I’d love to go some day to explore all the neighborhoods– big and small– and see what the capital of South Korea has to offer! Thanks for sharing your experience. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You definitely should! I wasn’t sure what to expect from Seoul but it’s a great city to explore for a taste of both super modern and old and traditional.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. love the roofs! one day i will make it to korea…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m surprised you haven’t already. Hope you get there someday, I think you would enjoy it!

      Like

  4. Korea was never really on my radar until, believe it or not, we had the layover at Incheon Airport on the way to SE Asia at Christmas. Japan’s still my #1 dream, but since we can get a direct flight to Seoul, I would like to go there some day. (Is it me, or does Jack need a nail trim?)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Korea was also not really on my radar. Japan was still the highlight of that trip but I was surprised at how much I enjoyed Seoul. The food was really good and a lot cheaper!

      (I just noticed how long Jack’s nails were too)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve heard so many good things about South Korea and this post confirms this yet again. I especially liked reading about the traditional hanok. It reminds me of ryokans in Japan. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love the ryokans in Japan too and they are quite similar to hanoks. Thanks for reading!

      Like

  6. Wow I didn’t quite realise the methodology behind building the houses. Certainly not that they were biodegradable. There is a similar idea in Europe called cottage orne that sadly never took hold. Interesting reading. #TravelBlogTuesday.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They certainly are beautiful homes with fascinating history. Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Nice write up, which I almost missed altogether due to chronic busyness. Great that you actually got to stay in a hanok, you certainly one-upped me there! Funnily enough, I read your article on a break from working on a piece about the city of Jeonju (due to be published later next week). The main feature is Jeonju Hanok Village, slightly smaller than the one you visited. I remember immediately wishing I’d booked a hanok stay instead of my hostel. Thanks for the mention and backlink!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the inspiration to go back through my trip memories from Korea! Looking forward to reading your post about Jeonju.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. What a delightful village! Love the glimpse into this 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is! Thanks for reading 😊

      Like

  9. […] landed in Seoul in the evening and settled into our accommodation in Bukchon Hanok Village, where we would stay for the remainder of our time in the […]

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  10. […] more of the city’s traditional side. Following another delicious home cooked breakfast at our hanok, we ventured over to nearby Gyeongbokgung. Originally built by King Taejo of the Joseon Dynasty, […]

    Like

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