Getting here: LINE 3 Anguk Exit 2. Walk straight and stop by the info booth on the right.
My big plan for my trip to Korea was to knock off as many of the big tourist/cultural places in 1 day. That was exactly what we did, making it to 6 places in the central area of Seoul. Bukchon Hanok Village was where we spend the bulk of our day; getting lost and looking for specific places to take pictures at. A Hanok is a traditional Korean home; and Bukchon is one of the few areas in Seoul where you can can find a concentration of Hanoks in one area. This specific area happens to be located right between Gyeongbokgung Palace (our first destination of the day) and Changdeukgung Palace (our next destination). I have written a guest post about the whole day at Creative Cynconicity.
We grabbed lunch before our walk through Bukchon at a nangmyeong (cold noodle) and mandu (dumpling) place near the information booth. There are usually 2 different variations of Korean nangmyeon available; bibim-namgmyeon is served with a spicy red sauce and mul-nangmyeon is served in a meat broth and ice. The ladder is my favorite, and what ordered. Just a add a little bit of vinegar and mustard, mix, and enjoy it on a hot summer day. We also ordered a sampler of dumplings; boiled, fried, and meatballs (apparently that is still considered a dumpling).
Note that everything is self served. Your chopsticks, spoons, napkins, scissors (to cut your noodles), and side dishes are located on the table. Water is available from a little machine (just look around the little place for it) and don’t forget to grab a little cup of complementary coffee (from another machine) on your way out.
The 3.5 out of 8 Photo Spots we found (maybe 4.5)
The “Bukchon 8 Photo Spots” was made famous when a Korean variety/travel show “1 Night 2 Days” featured it as a mission to take a picture at all 8 spots.
Although we were there for more than 3 hours there, we only managed to find 3.5 photo spots. Of course, we did stop for lunch, some coffee, and a little bit of shopping while searching for these photo spots. I also recommend that you stop by an information booth or don’t be afraid to ask.
We started out by trying hit up Bukchon 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th spots since they were sort of clustered together. We made it to 4, 5, 6, and possibly 8 (therefore, we count it as our half spot).
Bukchon 4th Spot: Gahoe-dong Alley (old and new)
This spot gave us a roof top view of the whole Hanok Village. Note that this view is over a wall, and for my 5ft 2.5in height, I had to get on my tippie toes to get a good view of it. We got there, took a couple pictures and headed towards our next spot.
Bukchon 5th and 6th Spot: Gahoe-dong Alley (Harmony)
The 5th and 6th spot are technically the same location, just that the view is slightly different. Get a shot of the alley way lined with Hanok for the 5th shot. Walk up to the top of the hill, turn around and there take a picture. You will see a view of that same alley way with modern Seoul in the background. This seemed to be a popular tourist spot for pictures; we had a hard time getting a good picture with all the people in the alley way.
We walked by the 7th spot, but decided to skip it because of the large crowd of tourist.
Bukchon 8th Spot: Samcheong-dong Stair Rock and Samcheong-dong
This is the spot that got us lost. We tried to follow the map that was provided by the info booth but I guess my map reading skills were not as good as I thought they were. We may not have found the actual stairs that were marked at the 8th spot, but we did find more stairs. We walked down a long set of stairs leading us out of the Bukchon area and into the Samcheong-dong area known for coffee shops and quaint accessory boutique stores.
We didn’t know we were in Samcheong-dong (I just realized that after coming home to write this blog post while doing a little bit of research). Although we didn’t know, we went ahead and started shopping! And made our way to our next destination: Changdeukgung Palace.
The official Bukchon website is also available in English and includes information sites you can stop to see, and activities available.