Andong (19-21 Jul 15)


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Asia » South Korea » Gyeongsangbuk-do » Andong
July 20th 2015
Published: July 20th 2015
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Hahoe VillageHahoe VillageHahoe Village

Unesco site, dating back two thousand years. Very well preserved and still home to a few hundred people, maintaining a relatively agrarian lifestyle that is probably not to different from days of yore.
After one week, it was time to leave the capital to check out the other parts of the country, and I took the 2.5h bus ride south to the smallish city of Andong in the Gyeongsangbuk province. Andong boasts in its vicinity the Unesco site of Hahoe Village, with its two thousand year history of traditional Korean culture and village life, and I would spend a couple of days here en route to my other intended destinations further south.

Arriving at Andong was a bit of a surprise, and I was immediately struck by how quiet the place seemed, despite it being a well-known stop on the tourist trail, and a population size of several hundred thousand. It was also a stark contrast to the hyper modern and busy capital, with sleepy shops with nary a customer in sight, and darkened and empty streets by about nine p.m. at night. The public buses also seemed slightly older, and the downtown area was spotted with uneven footpaths, and some quite visible signs overdue maintenance. In some ways it reminded me of Yichang, another smallish-mid sized town that I'd seen in Central China just a few weeks ago, except that Andong was
Traditional Masks of HahoeTraditional Masks of HahoeTraditional Masks of Hahoe

Originally made to satirise the upper class and pretentious, they played an important part in entertaining plays, dances and musicals.
much less crowded. The big attraction near town of course was the Hahoe Village, a community of a few hundred living in thatched roof houses, with many still seemingly continuing with traditional ways of life, and it was a pleasant half-day walking around, contemplating visions of days past in the Joseon Kingdom...

Stayed at Motel Galleria.


Additional photos below
Photos: 21, Displayed: 21


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WishlocksWishlocks
Wishlocks

A Korean melodrama classic. I didn't really spot any in Seoul but they present themselves here in Andong. You buy a small bottle with the lock attached, write your wish (usually some sappy thing with your lover) on a small slip of paper, put in the bottle, lock it to the grilles, and hope for the best!
Digital Contents MuseumDigital Contents Museum
Digital Contents Museum

They screened a cool 20 min 3D animated film called Mituri, a touching love story set in a more traditional Korean era hundreds of years ago that wasn't actually too sappy. Apparently Mituri refers to traditional straw sandals that played a central role in the film.
Downtown AndongDowntown Andong
Downtown Andong

A surprisingly sleepy and quiet smallish town that was a stark contrast to Seoul.
Downtown AndongDowntown Andong
Downtown Andong

The confluence of the downtown shopping area, which is really just four rather short radiating streets of a few shops.
QE2's VisitQE2's Visit
QE2's Visit

Nope not Quantitative Easing but Queen Elizabeth II, who visited a few decades ago. Look carefully at the faded wallpaper photo and you'll spot her. The mock-up spread was the feast prepared in her honour.
Hahoe VillageHahoe Village
Hahoe Village

Beautiful scenery.
Hahoe VillageHahoe Village
Hahoe Village

Typical face of Korea - the old juxtaposed with the new.
Hahoe VillageHahoe Village
Hahoe Village

Classic thatched roof Hanok.
Hahoe VillageHahoe Village
Hahoe Village

This must be some kind of special old tree too.
Hahoe VillageHahoe Village
Hahoe Village

Hard to be disatisfied with the view.
Hahoe VillageHahoe Village
Hahoe Village

Proof that Christianity has really penetrated Korea, even in the rural outskirts.
Hahoe VillageHahoe Village
Hahoe Village

An elderly farmer stopped to carry out a monologue with me in Korean after he saw me taking photos of his crops. He must surely have realised I wasn't Korean and didn't speak the language, going by my lack of response and mere polite nods, but he carried on anyway for several minutes, even demonstrating how he pulled weeds out from the ground.
Hahoe VillageHahoe Village
Hahoe Village

More of the famous masks.
NakdonggangNakdonggang
Nakdonggang

Or at least I think that's the name. Definitely not the Hangang in any case.


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