Blogs from Andong, Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea, Asia

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Asia » South Korea » Gyeongsangbuk-do » Andong August 15th 2018

Dear All Greetings from Andong, the second of my three quick stopovers in the depths of Korea, between Busan and Seoul. By quick, I mean two nights. I usually prefer to spend three nights in a place, unless it’s a place like Andong which only really seems to warrant two. Despite only spending two nights here, I have really enjoyed being here. It’s a lovely city, small and compact, friendly, and compared to Gyeongju, not really a touristy city at all, but seemingly a typical, everyday, working Korean city. This is the kind of place I like to be, to see a country as it really is. And Andong seems the perfect place for it. In addition to its comparative normality, there are also a fair few tourist attractions here, and mainly the amazing Hahoe Folk ... read more
Hahoe Folk Village
Hahoe Folk Village, Andong
Confucian Land

Asia » South Korea » Gyeongsangbuk-do » Andong August 10th 2016

A day and a half left to go on bus tour. This morning we leave for Andong, a city about mid-way up the east coast. First stop was Hahoe Village, a historic village and home to descendants of the Ryu clan. Like other traditional hanok (old style Korean home) villages, this one is also inhabited so you see a strange mix of straw roofed or large tile-roofed traditional houses with a Chevy or Lexus or Hyundai parked alongside. This area was already popular because it was birthplace of notable scholars of the Joseon Period, but in 1999 achieved even greater fame when Queen Elizabeth II visited. The village is also known for its Mask Dance and many vendors sell traditional wooden masks. Because we were in an area with a reputation for having given Korean some ... read more
Ann and Jon, happy together.
Hahoe Hanok Village
Staffords in traditional Korean village

Asia » South Korea » Gyeongsangbuk-do » Andong July 20th 2015

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 ... read more
Traditional Masks of Hahoe
Wishlocks
Digital Contents Museum

Asia » South Korea » Gyeongsangbuk-do » Andong November 26th 2012

25 - 27thNovember 2012 Andong Taxis are a frustrating thing here. Its not that they hassle us as we go anywhere, in fact we have only been asked a couple of times if we needed a taxi. And they are nice new cars. Its just that they run on LPG, which makes sense for economy, but they have retrofitted the tanks in the boot leaving little room for bags. So each time we take a taxi anywhere, we are having to squeeze bags onto the back seat with us. And generally on our own as the drivers are reluctant to get out into the cold. Leaving Andong this morning (the bus station is quite a way from the town centre where we were staying), the hotel insisted on calling a taxi for us rather than us ... read more
Glimpse of an inner courtyard
Hahoe
Carved faces outside Hahoe

Asia » South Korea » Gyeongsangbuk-do » Andong October 6th 2012

6th Oct: Up far too early. I made my way to Seoul and onto the bus to take us to Andong. The bus journey was about 3 and half hours, not too bad. We stopped a couple of times on the way. We arrived at Hahoe Village around 12. We got off our coach and onto the regular shuttle buses that take you from the park's entrance to the main village. We took a five minute walk and then we arrived at our accomodation for the night. Hahoe Village is an old style Korean folk village, however it differs from other folk villages in that people actually live there, so it isn't just for show. It's all preserved in the old style. The only spoiling factor is the sky dishes attached to the houses and the ... read more
Hahoe Village
Hahoe Village
Hahoe Village

Asia » South Korea » Gyeongsangbuk-do » Andong September 12th 2012

Today I headed for Dosan Seowon, a famous (in Korea) Confucian Academy established by the renouned Korean scholar, Toegye (at least that was his pen name). Both scholar and academy are artistically featured on the 1,000 won note, which is about as common as a £1 coin or a dollar note. So I was already well acquainted with the place and man Nevertheless, I braved the vagaries of the Andong bus system and headed out of town towards the academy. I had only just arrived and bought my entrance ticket when I was pounced upon by an enthusiastic cultural volunteer, whose name sounded something like "misery". Contrary to her name, she was cheerful and pleasant and gave me my very own guided tour in English. I learnt that the academy was built in two stages. The ... read more
Dosa Seowon Toegye's house
Dosa Seowon Lotus pond
Dosa Seowon Students' Dorm

Asia » South Korea » Gyeongsangbuk-do » Andong September 11th 2012

Yesterday I saw the mock up of a traditional village, today I saw the real thing, Hahoe Village. Actually inhabited by actual people - not that you would know it because they were all either out at work or inside out of the heat! Anyway, the village was roughly circular and every building was the traditional wooden Korean hut, with either thatched roofs (for the plebs) or tiled (for the VIPs). The village is famous in Korea as the birthplace of the Ryu family which spawned a celebrated Confucian scholar and a government minister - in the 16th Century. Never say a good deed goes unremembered here. More recently, the village has been designated a cultural treasure by UNESCO. I was slightly frustrated that the few public buildings (such as the formal residences of the Ryu ... read more
Hahoe Village
Hahoe Village
Hahoe Village electric meter

Asia » South Korea » Gyeongsangbuk-do » Andong September 10th 2012

Andong is a small town (or glorified village) about 4 hours South of Seoul by train. Famous for: mountains, salted mackerel, one Confucian Academy and a chicken stew dish called Jjimdak. The town itself is unprepossessing, being small and subject to quite a few building works - although, unlike in the UK where such works are surrounded by six foot metal fences (even where there does not appear to be any work actually going on) in Andong, maybe in Korea in general, the general public is permitted to wander on, over and through the building site with relative impunity (although I kept my distance from the CAT digger). After settling in to my motel (I decided I wanted my own room and bathroom and aircon that worked, all of which I got, although not quite at ... read more
Nakdong River
Fake Folk Village
Fake Folk Village

Asia » South Korea » Gyeongsangbuk-do » Andong October 9th 2010

Hello everyone! This blog is to share with you some of what we've been up this past month. The first weekend of May we went about 3 hours south of Seoul to a city called Andong, where the 14th Annual International Mask Dance Festival was held. We went with a tour group through the Royal Asiatic Society - Korean Branch (RAS). There were only about 10 of us total on the tour, so it was always very nice and personalized. Also, our tour guide Jennifer used to live in Andong with a Korean family - so she had a lot of great information for us! As you can see from the pictures, the weekend was a nice combination of history (For example, we saw the oldest and biggest brick pagoda in Korea...) and festival (One of ... read more
Seodaemun Prison
Wolyeong-gyo Bridge
Sinsedong 7-Storied Brick Pagoda

Asia » South Korea » Gyeongsangbuk-do » Andong August 11th 2010

Wanting to experience a more traditional Korea, I went to a town named Andong near the center of the country. The town itself is like most urbanized cities in this country, although smaller, but the draw was the nearby Hahoe Village, where the villagers still live by farming and the village maintains ancestral ties with Joseon Dynasty architecture, folk traditions, ancient texts. Temples and huts with straw roofs dot the streets. There's a river and hills that surround most of the village. Apparently this village really got noticed when the Queen of England visited during a trip to the country ten years back. It's registered as a UNESCO heritage site. The vast majority of the villagers have the surname Ryu. I walked the area for a while, and in the afternoon there was a customary show ... read more
Hahoe Village
Masked
Well




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