We are off on our own today – no local Korean guides! This time, we leave for Andong bright and early at 7:45 AM. It was just to be a one day trip so we had to get out early.
From our dormitory, we took the metro to Dong Daegu Station and then the bus to Andong. At the bus station, we waited just outside where the ‘taxi stand’ was for 46 bus 46 Andong. We weren’t sure where the bus stop was but luckily, the information staff was back at his desk for questioning.
The bus took us out of the city again and we passed by many, many farms … When we did reach the bus terminal, we had to get out to buy admission ticket (3000 won only) and then got on another shuttle bus to the village.
We finally arrived in Andong’s Hahoe Village!!! The village is the base for the Ryu clan and it dates back to the Joseon Dynasty. The village is said to be in the shape of a lotus flower. It composes of both tile roof and straw roof houses (this shows the class of the people living there since commoners can rarely afford tile roofs).
Many of the traditional homes have now been converted into homestays 🙂
I am not sure of the prices in these guesthouses but I won’t be surprised if it costs a little bit more than usual. There is one guesthouse that was a traditional house passed on for 16 generations!
We walked into the outskirts of the town … it was very quiet and there were older locals still tending their land.
Since some of the villagers live in these homes, some of the doors were shut to visitors. However, the fences aren’t too high for some of the homes, and you can peer into their everyday lives :S
This was a guesthouse I think … even the guard dogs were so kind…
…. and for lunch!
TIP: before entering the village, you should eat something beforehand because there are no restaurants in the village. There are restaurants next to the ticketing area, however.
This cafe has the cutest little dog 🙂
Next to the only food place in the village (an oden stand), are also some traditional games – such as swings, Korean wrestling, archery, etc …
… one of many closed down restaurants …
Introducing yeot! It is a traditional sweet that is made of either rice, sorghum, corn, sweet potatoes or different types of grain. They are boiled, slightly fermented, and in this case, I think they let it harden. It is a nice sweet dessert that kind of melts in your mouth 🙂
One of the most important buildings in Andong is Bukchondak. It is the oldest house in the village, spanning almost 200 years. According to the pamphlet, the Ryu family who had lived here, had done many good deeds including helping neighbouring villages in times of hardship, keeping lower farm rents, and even created a new poetry genre.
Unfortunately, visitors are not allowed to visit this mansion because it had a fire not too long ago. I think this might be one of the reasons why there are no restaurants in the village. It is too important a relic to have anything such as a fire destroy this part of history.
Peeking through other homes ….
At the center of the village is also a 600-year-old tree called Goddess Samsin Tree. It is a Zalzkova tree and it resides the goddess Samsin. She is responsible for pregnancy, childbirth and child rearing.
We were really lucky when we came to Andong, the weather was great, and everything went fairly smoothly 🙂
… except for the ferry that didn’t run that day. The village runs like an S shape and if one has a car, they can drive to the other side by road (which is further) but there are ferries from time to take that takes visitors across the stream to the other (smaller) part of the village. Unfortunately, there were no ferries that day … so we can only see from across the stream …
We were on our way back to the bus stop when we heard traditional music being played!!! Apparently, every Wednesday and weekend from 2 PM to 3 PM, the Open Air Theatre has an hanoe mask dance drama.
… we only caught the last 15 minutes of it but it was still good. The dance is part of a shaman ritual, but it seems to contain lots of funny comedy. In any case, we were very lucky to have been able to see the performance!
After the performance, we went to take a shuttle bus back to the ticketing booth. Next to it are restaurants and the mask museum. Our last task of the day was to eat Andong jjimdak (안동찜닭). It didn’t originate in Hahoe village but at the Andong Gu Market – except we were so hungry, we could have eaten anything, anywhere.
It has chicken, vegetables, and a very special sauce.
It was 30,000 won a dish, which we can get it cheaper … almost anywhere else actually. Nevertheless, we even had Dongdong Ju to boot! Dongdongju is like Makgeolli but they still have some solids inside.
We tried to go to the mask museum but we also wanted to catch the bus back to Andong city (it comes only once every hour), so we choose the latter and headed back to Andong.
We were told we probably don’t need more than 2 hours at the village, but we spent almost 5 hours … but it was great!