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Unique Overnight Stay Experience at a ‘Hanok, an Old Traditional Korean House’
Would You Like to Travel into Korea’s Past?
Why not try a Unique Overnight Stay Experience at a ‘Hanok, an Old Traditional Korean House’
Sitting on a Daecheong-maru (a traditional hall floor) of a Hanok, you eat some watermelon, watch a Tal-chum (a traditional Korean mask dance) performance, or experience Dado (traditional Korean art of ceremonial tea-making). When the night arrives, you can see countless stars overlooking Cheoma (eaves of Hanok) and softly fall asleep.
Do you dream of these kinds of experiences in Korea? Then, you must consider an overnight stay at a Gotaek (an ancient traditional Korean house). It allows foreign visitors to enjoy firsthand all these experiences unique to Korea. Following this may be questions like where to stay and what to enjoy. We will introduce to you some of the best places where you can experience an overnight stay at an old traditional house.

[Find out more!]
→ Experience Hanok in Andong
→ Enjoy a Walking Tour of Jeonju Hanok Village
→ Jeonju’s Lyrical Past

6 Questions and Answers on an Overnight Stay Experience at an Old House

Q: What kinds of Gotaek (an ancient traditional Korean) experiences are available?
A: Gotaek originated from the Joseon Dynasty. At that time, there were two kinds of houses which was based on one’s social class: Giwa-jip (tile-roofed house) and Choga (straw-roofed house). Giwa-Jip was a house occupied primarily by the Yangban upper class, the powerful nobilities of the times, while Choga was a house used by the common people. You can freely decide which place you would like to stay.

Q: What are the main characteristics of these accommodations?
A: An overnight stay at an old house built with wooden pillars and a mud wall itself is a unique experience one must surely try! In case of a Giwa-jip, you can spend a memorable time sitting on a broad Daecheong-maru (a hall floor of Hanok) or a Toet-maru (a wooden verandah of Hanok) adjacent to the room. Walking around a rustic garden inside the house and around the house’s neighborhood will add to your excitement.
In particular, Andong Hahoe Village is famous for its current inhabitants being the direct descendents of those who actually occupied the houses in the Joseon Dynasty era. Because of its high historical value, the village itself is called a ‘roofless museum’.

Q: Are modern electronic appliances equipped in the rooms?
A: Remember that ‘staying at a Hanok’ means you go back to the past and experience what it actually was like. It all depends on which accommodation you stay at, but you had better not expect modern facilities such as a television, a fridge, or even an air conditioner in your room. In the hot summer, some places offer an electronic pan.

Q: Are there modern toilet and shower facilities?
A: Although Gotaek preserves original features of an old house, most of the toilet and shower facilities were renovated into a modern style for visitors’ convenience. Toilet and shower facilities are offered in a modern Western style, similar to those offered in a city accommodation. Please note that it does not provide toiletries as hotels do, therefore you must bring your own toiletries such as tower, tooth brush, hair shampoo with you.

Q: How much is the accommodation rate per night?
A: The rates vary depending on whether you rent a whole house or just one room. Most visitors rent one room (which can accommodate 2 to 4 persons), whose rates depend on the room size, ranging from 30,000~60,000 won per night. During the summer peak season, the rates can go up.

Q: Before leaving, what do I need to keep in mind?
A: In the summer, it is a strongly recommended to bring a broad-brimmed hat, a pair of sunglasses, sunscreen, and mosquito repellent. In the peak season, it is best to make a reservation before leaving.

Need a Recommendation on a Great Gotaek to Stay?
                     Choose and Enjoy What Most Suits Your Taste!
BEST 1 72-Room ‘Bukcheondaek’ in Andong Hahoe Village
There are about 40 homestead houses in Hahoe Village. Among those, the most attractive old house is ‘Bukcheondaek’. This 200-year-old house has been fairly well preserved and still stands proud of its past residents who were majestic nobilities of the Joseon Dynasty. In addition, it is a great place to stay because every room overlooks the picturesque scenery of nature and because the house has a beautiful backyard and a 300-year-old find tree.
During the stay, you can also enjoy a service program called ‘Explore Hanok’, in which the current owner of the house explains about the house in detail for about one hour. The owner can also give an English explanation for foreign visitors who cannot understand Korean.
Staying here is a bit on the pricey side but well-worth the experience. The rates are rather high: the rate for a big Sarang-bang (guest room) is 500,000 won per night, while the rates for small rooms are either 200,000 won or 100,000 won per night. If you would like to rent a whole house, it will cost one million won. Breakfast for two persons is included. Extra Breakfast for additional persons will be charged at 7,000 won per person. Toilet and shower facilities are offered in a modern Western style.
For inquiries, make a phone call at +82-54-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese) or +82-19-228-1786 (Korean)
BEST 2 ‘Beonnam-gotaek’ where you can experience pottery making and tea drinking
Beonnam-gotaek in Andong Hahoe Village is a typical ‘ㅁ’-shaped house from the late Joseon Dynasty’. Since its historical significance was recognized, Beonnam-gotaek was officially designated as ‘Gyeongsangbuk-do Folk Material’ in 1973. This 150-year-old house is famous not only for a homestead but also for dado (Korean traditional art of ceremonial tea-making) and pottery-making experience. Ssanghwa-cha (gerbil remedy tea) and Gukhwa-cha (chrysanthemum tea) are popular in the winter, while ‘ice’ Misutgaru (Korean cereal drink), a great substitute for a meal, is a bestseller in the hot summer.
The tea prices range from 5,000 to 10,000 won. Meanwhile, the pottery-making experience program costs approximately 100,000 won per person. Upon your request, they will enamel the pot you make, bake it in a kiln to and deliver the completed work to you.
Every room has a small television set. There are modern toilet and shower facilities, which are Western style. Note that you can enjoy your breakfast in your room. Dining expenses are your responsibility. Hanjeongsik (traditional Korean meal) costs about 7,000 won per person. The accommodation rates vary depending on the room size, ranging from 30,000 to 60,000 won. Sarang-bang (guest room), where you can use its adjacent Toet-maru (wooden verandah of Hanok), is highly recommended!
For inquiries, make a phone call at +82-54-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese) or at +82-54-852-8550 (Korean).

Are you staying at Bukcheondaek or Beonnam-gotaek?
Then, you can enjoy Hahoe Village’s ‘Free Experience’!

1. Watch Andong Hahoe Byeolsingut Tallori
Byeolsingut Tallori is the most popular performance in Andong. Because it is performed in Korean language, the performance is rather difficult for foreign visitors to understand. Nonetheless, all those unique body movements will never make you bored during the performance. During May to October, the performance is regularly presented at 3pm every Saturday and Sunday. In November, March and April, the performance is presented in Hahoe Village’s Jeonsu-hoekwan (initiation center) at 3 pm every Sunday. There is no performance during December to February. Admissions are free.

2. Experience Brush-writing (Calligraphy) at Wonji Jeongsa Pavilion
You can experience a Korean style brush-writing at the historic Gotaek (old traditional Korean house). You briefly are instructed how to write with a brush, and then are asked to write on your own keeping your writing work afterwards. If language translation is available at the time of your visit, you can also learn about the history of Hahoe Village. This program is available only on the weekends from 10am until 6pm.

3. Experience Dado (ceremonial tea-making) in Binyeonjeongsa Pavilion
Visitors, possibly together with their children, can experience Dado and at the same time learn traditional Korean house manners which Sir. Ryu Un-ryong used as his personal library. It is a great place to sip a cup of tea because in front of the gate of the house you can see panoramic vistas of the Nakdonggang River running around Hahoe Village. It is available only on the weekends at 11 am, 2 pm, and 4 pm.
Information on accommodations & hands-on programs in Andong Hahoe Village is available at a tourist office located at the entrance of Hahoe Village.

→ Click here to find out more about Hahoe Village!
BEST 3 ‘Yeongju Seonbi Village,’ A City Planning to Build Hanoks
A village of traditional Korean intellectuals, referred as Seonbi, is a reproduced village from the Joseon Dynasty. A total of 12 ancient traditional Korean houses were sophisticatedly rebuilt in reference to the houses of historical figures whose knowledge or/and conduct were recognized as respectful. Because in the village there are a Jeongja (a traditional Korean pavilion), a Nugak (a Korean styled story building), a Didilbanga (a traditional treadmill), a Mullebanga (a traditional water mill), a Wondumak (a look-out for a fruit farm), a Daejanggan (a forge), a Jeohageori (a traditional market street), etc., you will feel as if you were back in the Joseon Dynasty.

Visitors are free to choose any house of their preference and stay there. The house of the Indong Zhang clan, whose Toet-maru (wooden verandah of Hanok) is spacious and highly recommended. Even a rest with family or friends on the Toet-maru on a rainy day or at starry night will be more than satisfactory.

The accommodation rates vary depending on the sizes of the house and the room of your choice. If you decide to stay in Giwa-jip (a tile-roofed house), the rate for An-bang (the main room) or Geonneon-bang (a room across from An-bang) is 50,000 won per night and the rate for Jaggeun-bang (a small room) is 30,000 won per night. If you want to save some money, you can choose Choga (a straw-roofed house). The rate for a 2-person room of a Choga is 20,000 won per night and a 4-person room is 40,000 won per night. A Choga is equipped with a traditional kitchen, a traditional forge, and other old ordinary household goods that will add to your excitement during your stay. Unlike other tourist spots where accommodation rates are extremely expensive during the peak season, the rates of this village remain the same regardless of whether it is the peak or the low season. Cultural experiences, such as Jegichagi (tassel kicking), Yeonnaligi (kite flying), Neolttwigi (seesawing), and Paengichigi (top spinning), are also available for free.

Detailed Information
Location: Cheonggu-ri Sunheung-myeon Yeongju-si Gyeongsangbuk-do
Opening Hours: 09:00~22:00
Rates: Ages 19 and above: 3,000 won, Ages 13~18: 2,000 won, Ages 12 and under: 1,000 won (These rates include the admission fees for Sosu Confucian School and Sosu Museum)
For Inquiries: Make a phone call to +82-54-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese) or to +82-54-638-5830 (Korean)
How to Get to Yeongju Seonbi Village: From Dong (East) Seoul Bus Terminal in Seoul, you can take a bus bound for Yeongju (30 intervals are available daily. First bus departs at around 6am, and the last bus at around 9pm. The ride takes approximately 2 hours). From the Yeongju Inter-bus Terminal, take a taxi to Seonbi Village. (The ride takes approximately 10 minutes).

[Find out more!]
→ Yeongju
→ Sosu Confucian School

Where else can we enjoy an Old Traditional Korean House Experience?
→ Jirye Art Village
→ Jeonju Hanok Living Experience Center
→ Rakkojae
→ Bukchon Hanok Village

Contributor Park Jihyun

Date   07/08/2008

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