Samcheong-dong & Bukchon Hanok Village
This is one of my favourite destinations in Seoul for its beautiful history and architecture building combined with trendy café and amazing natural scenery.
To have a great start of the journey, I went to the Tourist information centre outside the Anguk Station to get the map and asked if it was a great idea to take a bus to somewhere uphill and walked down. Since I had been walking for the past few days and it was a very hot day to walk around, I was looking for a more relaxing short cut.
With the most honest advice, I was told the only way to travel is to WALK!
Well, I followed what was advised and it turned out with a wonderful day and in fact - the best day of the entire trip.
Samcheong-dong & Bukchon Hanok Village Map - Source: Seoul Metropolitan Government
It is definitely worth to spend half a day to a day walking trip depends on how much you enjoy older village with history.
For photography lovers, there are lots of interesting buildings photography opportunity.
There are some hanoks with absolute original structure, some with half original and half modern, some totally modernised renovated and some have been converted into shops.
Tips: You may want to visit earlier to avoid tourists who traveled in groups. It gets harder to take photos unless you are okay with lots of tourists as your backdrops in the photos.
Small town with old traditional buildings, boutique businesses, interesting café with beautiful scenery and small alleyways.
It was great to come across all sort of cafe along the way, these cafes are all with hanoks. It was such a enjoyment to have some Korean tea and dessert before continue the walking journey.
There are some art galleries that worth visiting along the way, some local artists are living and working in their hanoks. I came across this studio and went in to check out the artwork, he was so sweet to draw something for me on the spot as a gift before I left. He was such a sweet artist -
he wrote: Esther in Seoul - There were three form of Esther - One in Calligraphy, followed by Korean translation and English. He definitely had made my solo trip with a wonderful surprise!
Hanoks - Shh~ Keep your voice down~
There are allocated personals sitting or walking around with a board with different languages to request tourists to keep the voice down. There are still residents living in the old buildings despite the area become a popular tourist’s destination. It is unavoidable to feel excited to take photos with the historical background but please be considerate to keep voice down to respect the residents. During my visit, there were still lots of tourists failed to do so.
Bukchon Traditional Crafts Experience Center opens for tourist to experience the Korean Traditional Craft. You may find it interesting to join the Korean Dak Paper (Hanji) dolls making, Yi Ci Dyeing Workshop, Traditional Accessories such as Donglim Knot making workshop etc. Please note that it may take a few hours for those workshop, perhaps you can consider making reservation before your visit or allowing more time for that.
There are lots of shops provide the Korean Costume experience – you may rent one and walk around the Bukchon area to take photos with the historical buildings. Once again, you will need to allocate sometime for those activities should this be in your to do list.
Tea House Cafe
This cafe located in such a great location with view and this building itself is a hanok house.
If you are lucky to get the window seat, you've got the seats for great hill/ mountain view. Although I didn't get a chance for that seats, I managed to get a seat with garden view - good enough for me! After hours of walking under the sun in summer, it was great to take a break to have some refreshment in this lovely cafe.
The waitress recommended to try on the Korean Traditional Sweets and Cookies along with a pumpkin shaved ice - it was refreshing! They provided a sunflower seeds as side dish.
To my surprise, there were many local Korean dressed with traditional Korean costume to have high tea or walk around the area. I came across quite a few groups of Korean ladies and wondered if it was for a pre-wedding celebration drinks or perhaps birthday celebration. One of the ladies was so lovely to give me the answer - they sometime dressed up just for casual gathering. How amazing to get into the atmosphere of traditional environment. I felt like getting into a time machine and entered into olden days in Korea.
I wasn't planning to visit Samcheong-dong to start with but thanks to my usual sense of direction, I ended up to Samcheong-dong Street. My sense of direction always leads me to the path that I wasn't planning for but always comes with surprises.
There were lots of shops especially cafe and boutique shops around
Recently I received request for English Map with dining and café information so here I am attaching the useful map for your reference. Please note that I do not own the copyright, it all belongs to the source of the guidebook as stated below.
You can get a free copy of this book at the Bukchon Information Center at:
3-8, Samcheong-ro 2-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Korea
Operating Hour: 11:00AM - 05:00PM
Alternatively they allocated those guidebooks on the brochure stands on the streets when you get there.
A country rich in history, culture. If you have never tried the delicious Korean food, it's colourful culture, or perhaps check out the plastic surgery industry - this definitely is a popular destination for Asia.