Friday, January 4, 2013

Seoul Day 2 – Exploring Namsangol Hanok Village

My second day at Seoul started out great! The sun was shining bright in the sky – a perfect day for walking and going around the city. After finishing my breakfast, I immediately set out to maximize the hours of this day.

I planned to explore the Namsan area on this day – starting from the cultural Namsangol Hanok Village.

Namsangol Hanok Village - Plaza

It was fairly easy to get to Namsangol Hanok Village using the Seoul subway system. From Anguk Station, it was just one ride to Chungmuro Station. Simply use Exit 4 and walk a few meters to the entrance of Namsangol Hanok Village. Really easy indeed!

The sky was cloudy when I got out of the subway system – hardly any sunshine left. It seems like rain will pour at any moment. Nevertheless, I still went ahead as I am already here at the entrance. No turning back now I said to myself.

Information Map

You might be wondering about the entrance fee. Well, guess what, it’s perfect for those on a tight budget. This attraction is absolutely free of charge! More so, the place offers free guided tours in various languages available throughout the day!

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Free Cultural Tours

What greeted me at the other side of the main gate was such beautiful autumn scenery. The colors were truly vivid especially on a cloudy day like this.

View of N Seoul Tower from Namsangol Hanok Village

As I marvelled at the stunning landscape, I felt heavy drops of rain falling from the sky. With that, I instantaneously rushed towards the nearest roofed building I can find. I soon found out that this structure is called the Cheonu-gak. From here, you can get a great view of the pond called Cheonghak-ji (blue crane pond) – a sight worth looking at. 

Cheonghak-ji (Blue Crane Pond)

Oh yeah, I met some Filipino tourists here as well who again mistook me for a local? We chatted for quite some time while waiting for the rain to settle down.

waiting for the rain to settle down at Cheonu-gak

When the rain finally stopped, I went ahead to tour the place. My first stop was at Carpenter Yi Seungeop’s House in Samgak-dong. As the name suggests, this house was built by Master Carpenter Yi Seungeop, who participated in the rebuilding of the Gyeongbokgung Palace during the late 1860s. Once a big mansion composed of 8 buildings located at Cheonggyecheon, only 3 buildings remain to be transferred here.

Carpenter Yi Seungeop's House

The next one I went to is Gim Chunyeong’s House in Samcheong-dong. Built in the 1890s, this house was formerly located at Samcheong-dong while being used by the Gim family. Features of this house showcase the urbanization of Seoul at the time – main gateway is not straight but curved, buildings are arranged to fit the shape of the land, etc.

Gim Chunyeong's House

Just across is the Min Family’s House in Gwanhun-dong. The spacious rooms and the large kitchen of this structure show that this belonged to an upper class individual – not merely a house of ordinary folk. Previously found in Gwanhun-dong, this house was in its heydays during the times of 1852 – 1935. Sadly, only two structures remained to be relocated here as the new owner dismantled the other parts of the house.

Min's Family House Interior

Korean Onggi (pottery most commonly used for fermenting kimchi)

The next one is Yun Taekyeong’s Jaesil in Jegi-dong. This is one of the more prominent houses here as it was built by Emperor Sunjong’s father-in-law. It was constructed at the time when his daughter, Empress Sunjeong, became the Crown Princess in 1906. This house initially was located at Dongdaemun-gu before being transported here.

At the gate of Yun Taekyeong's Jaesil

Lastly, there is the Yun Family’s House in Ogin-dong which was built in 1910. This is another high profile house since it belonged to Yun Deokyeong, an uncle of Empress Sunjeonghyo (wife of Emperor Sunjong). However, this house found here is only a replica since the original one is too fragile to be moved.

Yun Family's House

Established in 1998, this collection of houses that formed Namsangol Hanok Village is an amazing way to showcase Korean heritage from the Joseon Dynasty. I truly enjoyed my experience here – learning a bit of history along the way while visiting the various types of traditional architecture. You can also see the lifestyle of each social class during that time by observing the furniture and objects contained in the houses.

Kitchen Interior

Oh yeah, there are places here where you can try a hand at some traditional Korean activities. I did visit some of them. I like how interactive this place can be!

On another note, the gardens were so peaceful and tranquil. I actually spent some time here to do some personal reflection of some sorts while walking around.

Namsangol Hanok Village - Gardens

Getting Here: Chungmuro Station – Exit 4 (Line 3 or Line 4)
Opening Hours: April – October  9:00 – 21:00; November – March 9:00 – 20:00
Closed on Tuesdays


Did this post make you want to explore Namsangol Hanok Village as well? Perhaps you've been here too? Tell me about your experiences by commenting below or by using the Contact button on the right.

Up next, N SeoulTower at the top of Mt. Namsan.

Want to discover more about my 5 Days and 4 Nights in Seoul, South Korea? Just click the link.


  1. We intend to visit this attraction this November. Your blog is very informative.The pictures are beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

    1. That's great! November will be an awesome time to enjoy the fall colors.

      Thanks for the good feedback! I appreciate it!

  2. Hi...nice blog...very informative. How do we go to namsan tower via cable car from namsangol hanok village? Will be going there next week.

    1. Hi...I want to ask the same question too. I read that we can walk from myeongdong to namsan oreumi to ride cable car. Do you know how long to walk from namsan hanok village to myeongdong? Thx

    2. The distance from namsan hanok village to myeongdong is one full subway station. You can definitely walk it until you reach Chungmuro station where Namsan Hanok Village is located. As for the Oreumi from Myeongdong, i think it uses a different route. I did not take the cable car so really have no idea how that goes.

  3. Thanks for the great information about Seoul. Its really help me a lots for my next year trip. Well done brother

  4. Nice blog thanks for those information here. Is there anyway to walk to N S Tower besides using the free Bus No.5

    1. hi MGR Chan. Yes, you can walk uphill through Namsan Park to get to N Seoul Tower.