Actually I have had several opportunities to go but it always seemed I had a reason to back out. Yet I always really wanted to go, and so it was that last week JH suggested that we go to the Korean Folk Village. And that is just what we did last Saturday.
First Stop: McD's Breakfast
I was hungry and strangely craving McDonald's breakfast, which you can find out here. I am the kind of person who rarely eats at McDonald's or any of those chain places. Mostly because I know the food makes you fat but also sometimes my body rejects it.
Anyways we went to one in Anyang before heading to the village. It was great to fill up on hash browns and "pancakes".
Enter the Village:
Since we took JH's car I can't really relate how one would get there by foot. I am guessing train hopping and then taking a bus.
It was a bright and sunny day, which seemed perfect for visiting the village.
As you walk up to the entrance you see souvenir shops on the side and a large entrance gate in front of you.
Buying entrance tickets can seem a bit complicated but basically you are buying yourself entry into certain sections of the village. JH wanted the "full package" so he could go on some rides but I wasn't in the mood and felt more like taking the "museum package". I suggested we could go on rides when we go to Seoul Land someday.
After going pass the gate you see yourself entering a large courtyard with buildings surrounding the open space. Most of these places were souvenir shops, restaurants and speciality stores.
Korean Drama Filming Site Exhibition:
Where to go? We checked the map and made our destination point the Dae Jang Geum museum. This folk village has been the site of where many Korean dramas were filmed. I still haven't finished watching this drama but I was still excited to know this area was where it was filmed.
To get there we crossed the "Park Bridge".Bingo! I knew we found it due to the large billboard with the drama actors on it. But what exactly was this "exhibit"?
Turns out is just a series of rooms where they have videos playing the drama and models set up wearing the original costumes. Not exactly what I was expecting (actual sets...maybe that is the village itself?). Still I had a good time.
Stuff found inside the exhibit...
Leaving the exhibits there was an arcade room and I really liked the design on the door.Going Inside: Folk Houses and Crafts
On our way to going deeper inside the village to make our way towards the museum we came across a photo shop. One could dress up in hanbok and get their picture taken. We considered it but boy was it expensive!
On the other side of the photo shop was a space where you could hang spirit papers. Kind of like the same thing in Japan where you tie a piece of paper to the branch of a tree. We wanted to do this too but there were a lot of families taking up the space.
When you enter the village area you are greeted by traditional poles or `jangseung'. Goofy looking things which I think greet the person with a warm hearted "hello".
Walking along we spotted a real cow or ox (?). I walked up to it and said hello in Korean. It just stared back at me. I have this impression that animals in Korea can only speak Korean (if they could speak) and animals back home only speak English. Hmmm except for those migratory birds I guess? The cow / ox did not talk back. But if it could I bet it would say "F-U for inventing the wheel."
Throughout the village are employees meant to reenact folk village life. Let me tell you these people did an excellent job. They looked tired, sun beaten and basically as if they lived like folk people.
About 20 employees practice their handicraft skills and process in pottery, winnows, willow tubs, round willow baskets, cookery, round bamboo baskets, bamboo buckets, bamboo flat wooden spoons, tinware, scooped wooden dishes, wooden shoes with clogs, straw sandals, Korean paper, brassware, masks, knotting and embroidery, musical instruments, leather brushes, pyrograph, farming tools, paper crafts, and furniture.
Kids practiced their skills at using a traditional grindstone to grind up some soybeans.
It was a living museum experience, except for the part where kids would get too close to this guy who was wielding a sharp knife. But I enjoyed seeing the handicrafts close up, it reminded me of when I studied traditional Korean art. My teacher liked to remind us that to them the objects weren't really "art" objects, instead something created for function sake.
We stopped for a rest and took some funny pictures.
I was getting kind of tired (my body tires easily) so we decided to head in the direction of the historical museum. To do so we had to cross the "Stepping - Stones".
Korean Folk Museum:
This museum was kind of like going to the Natural History Museum in New York. Because you walk past display case after display case full of recreations of history with a little sign next to it with information.
I enjoyed the museum and liked this one part where there were artifacts meant for book making.
Sights on our Way Out:
Leaving the museum we knew it was time to head out and get on with our day. On the way we stopped for some ice-cream at a little shop. I liked the colorful banners and silly graphics.
This was near the "Swing site" which I would have loved to take a ride on but found it challenging with ice-cream in hand.
There were some birds in a cage, but their birdhouse was pretty big and they seemed to be happy with it.
There was a kids play area near the amusement park rides. For a small fee you could get your hands on a bubble wand and go at it.Leaving the folk village I felt as if I was leaving a slice of heaven behind. Despite that my body wasn't entirely with me I had a great time. I would highly recommend attending the Folk Village because there is so much to see and do. Supposedly you too can take part in the crafts and see performances. I expect to go back again.
Dinner was had in my town at an Indian restaurant.
And so that ends this Saturday in life. ^^