Bukchon Hanok Village ==> Constitutional Court of Korea ==> Baek In-je House Museum ==> Pyeongchang, Gangwondo ==> Yongpyong Ski Resort ==> Alpensia Ski Resort
Bukchon Hanok Village
This day started with a short visit to Bukchon Hanok Village. According to our hostel staff it is just near our place. We can just take around 20 minutes walk to go there. However, since we were not very familiar with the place and we didn’t want to be too late for the bus trip in Gangwon-do, we took the subway from Jongno 3(sam) ga to the next station, Anguk station. Just take a walk for few meters. You can ask people around where Bukchon Hanok Village is and you will know it’s pretty easy to find. There were also some brass signs giving direction on the pavement. We didn’t see it until we stepped on it on our way home. So, don’t just look up for direction, try to look down (literally!). You might have stepped on it already.
The Constitutional Court of Korea. In search for Bukchon Hanok Village, we took the street along the Constitutional Court of Korea. They say that lovers who pass this area end up being separated. (This is because this is the place where people get final judgement for divorce.) I have noticed that government offices in Korea have plenty of flags surrounding it. (Well, in the PH we mostly have just one, unless it’s independence day.)
What is Bukchon Hanok Village?
The word Bukchon literally means “north” in Hangul. It was named as such for being the northern village of Jongno and Cheonggye Stream. This is a residential village of the high-ranking officials during the Joseon Dynasty. Bukchon has several neighborhoods Wonseo-dong, Jae-dong, Gye-dong, Gahoe-dong and Insa-dong.
Bukchon Hanok Village represents the 600 years history of Seoul. It lies between Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung. This area was not created for tourism. It remains to be a residential village. However, with features from TV shows and dramas like Personal Taste, it has become a top tourist destination for many. In fact, there has been a rapid increase in coffee shops, galleries, restaurants and other tourism facilities in the area. People are advised to tone down their volume when walking on this area because it is the home of many Seoulites.
Baek In-je House Museum
Baek In-je House Museum. Baek In-je’s house is a representative hanok during the Japanese occupation. It reflects a modern hanok style house. It has a land area of about 2460sqm. The house is composed of sarangche (men’s quarters), anchae (women’s quarters, and byeoldangche (detached quarters) It is said that unlike the old hanoks, this house has unique attributes such as that the men and women’s quarters are not detached. Also, the anchae rooms was built in two-story structure.
Pyeongchang, Gangwon-do Tour
Holiday Home. Terrace on the Cloud. (5413, Gyeonggang-ro, Hoenggye-ri, Daegwallyeong-myeon, 25341 Pyeongchang , South Korea).
It took us about 2 hours and a half to get to our destination in Pyeongchang. However, as it was our first time to have an out of town tour, it was full of excitement and anticipation. As Philippines is a tropical country, we don’t have a chance to enjoy cold weather. We left the Philippines in the middle of summer so going to a cold country such as Korea is a good escape. Yes, when everybody took a picture of their summer bods in the beach, we bundled up and went to Gangwon-do.
Before our trip to Korea, we kept constant monitoring if, really, there is still snow in Pyeongchang. We used the webcam of Yongpyong ski resort to monitor it.
Our First stop was the Alpensia Ski jump. For KRW15,000 fare, Howard offered to take us to our destination. On our way, we passed by Alpensia Ski Jump stadium. Alpensia will be the host of this incoming Pyeongchang Winter Olympics 2018.
Yongpyong Resort (Dragon Peak)
Our holiday home is well situated near Yongpyong and Alpensia Ski Resorts. When we arrived at Yongpyong Ski Resort, Howard brought us to the ticket counter for gondola ride. At that time Yongpyong gave discount to VISA card holder. However, they only accept certain cards. We were so lucky because our host lent his credit card to us and we got around 30% discount. We paid only KRW48,000 for four (4) pax! We just carried over the expenses to our billing. He was the best! He made everything convenient to us.
It was April 9, 2017 when this photo was taken. The snow was already melting so we were so happy to see it before it’s all gone. Our fear of heights was overpowered by happiness brought by the beautiful view we saw.
It would be really stunning to see this in winter when the area is painted white by nature or spring and fall when it is painted with different colors.
To end the day, we had a sumptuous early dinner at Yongpyong Dragon Valley hotel. It was a bit pricey because we chose grilled beef. Gangwon-do is known for Hanwoo beef, the best quality beef. (I will have different post for the food I’ve had during my trip.)
At this point, only K-drama fan of my generation could probably relate. LOL! So… our gondola ride took us to Mt. Balwangsan. Here, you would see Yongpyong Dragon Peak which is a famous site for many Korean drama series such as Winter Sonata, and most recently, Goblin. My cover photo for this blog post actually shows the fence near the area where Kim Shin hugged Eun tak.
Going Around Yongpyong
1. Hanok Village. There are so many places to experience Hanok Village. I can think of Jeonju and in Korean Folk Village in Yongin. However due to time constraint, we decided to go to Bukchon Hanok Village.
2. Winter Olympics 2018. Pyeongchang is the host City for the 2018 Winter Olympics. It is said that by the end of the year the railway connecting Incheon International Airport and Pyeongchang (and Gangneung) will be completed.
3. Activities. Pyeongchang is home to Samyang Ranch (Asia’s largest green pasture) but we were not able to go there.
4. Side Trip. You can also have a day tour to Gangneung which is a city facing the east sea.
5. Hanwoo Beef. When in Pyeongchang, don’t forget to try Hanwoo beef, Korea’s best quality beef from the cattle raised in the highlands of Gangwon Province. It’s a bit pricey but it’s worth the taste and experience.
6. Bus Fare: as I can remember I think it’s just 12500W (one-way)
7. Terrace on the Clouds. Howard, our host picked us up from the bus terminal in Heonggye-ri to the hotel for free but we paid him around 15000W to Yongpyong resort. From Yongpyong to Alpensia we spent KRW13000 for taxi fare. Tap card is accepted. Also, you can ask the taxi hotel lobby if you want to get a cab.
8. Gondola Ride. If you have VISA card you can get 30% discount for gondola ride… so we paid only 48000W for the Gondola ride. By the way, Howard used his card to pay for us and we just added it to our bill ^^.
9. How to get to Hoenggye: From Jongno 3(sam) ga, take a subway to Gangbyeon Station. Upon arriving in Gangbyeong station, walk across to Dong Seoul terminal Platform 1-3. You can tell the driver to drop you off at Hoenggye-ri /hwing-gyee-ri/.