Friday, August 13, 2010

Hahoe Village

The first stop on our trip to North Gyeongsang Province was Hahoe Village, located in the town of Andong (안동하회마을). Our interest in visiting the village was piqued by Hahoe's recent UNESCO World Heritage Site designation.

Hahoe was founded in the 16th century by the Ryu (류) clan of Pungsan and remains one of Korea's most representative clan villages. Isolated among the eastern mountains of Gyeongsang Province, Hahoe has preserved centuries-old traditions and the distinctive Confucian culture of the early Joseon Dynasty that reflects Andong's aristocratic yangban roots. A majority of the residences are still inhabited by Pungsan Ryu descendants, making the village an authentic, living, open-air museum.

Rice paddies on the outskirts of the village

Huge pond of lotus flowers near the village entrance

Path leading to the village center

Traditional residence

One of the village's two seowon (private Joseon-era academies)

Front gate of the seowon

Poem inscribed on a stone outside

Oldest tree in the village (surrounded by thousands of handwritten prayers)

Giwa tile roofs for aristocrats' residences; thatched roofs for servants' quarters

Yangjindang (the pen name of Ryu Yeong) is the oldest existing house in Hahoe Village.

Chunghyodang was built for a prominent Joseon government official after his retirement.

Enough firewood?


In the background, clay jars of doenjang and soy sauce

Ferry on the Nakdong River

Residences on the other side of the Nakdong

Andong's famous high-quality soju.

Andong is also famous for its traditional wooden masks.


Pine forest on the eastern edge of the village

To the north, Buyongdae Cliff

Korean fir tree planted by Queen Elizabeth II during her visit to Hahoe in 1999.

Hahoe's UNESCO World Heritage Site designation seems well-deserved—I would definitely recommend Hahoe Village to tourists in Korea as a weekend trip destination (especially compared to the relatively Disneyland-esque Korean "folk village" in Yongin).