'Home is where the heart is'
Koreans’ way of thinking may be something more like “The heart is where the home is”. Seoul is a sprawling metropolis, including those living in satellite cities numbering 20 million, most of who live in apartments.
We can think of this hears is where the home is, because each and every major holiday Koreans will escape, en masse, to their spiritual hometowns, homes aren’t necessary somewhere to live, but somewhere to thrive.
These days we often find our homes full of clutter, things, and material possessions. The traditional Korean home, the “hanok” is not like this at all.
From not only the direction the hanok faces, but to the shape of it, and whether or not there are mountains behind and a source of water in front, each and every part of a hanok is intentional.
Hanok are not separated from nature, but are a part of it, a living, growing thing. Expect to see a hanok to be made with huge stones, ochre, beautiful pieces of wood, and windows made of paper.
In the past, because of Confucianism, the rooms of a hanok were divided with males and females sleeping in different parts of the house, never together.
Each room of a hanok is made from “hanji” or Korean paper, which has been waterproofed by rubbing oils on it, the paper is advantageous over glass because it is both breathable, allowing air flow, and at the same time better able to hold heat, meaning that it is cooler in the winter, and warmer in the summer.
Thanks to the advent of “ondol” a method of heating the floors in the winter, unique to Korea, Koreans sleep on the floor where it is warmest when it is cold, and coolest on those hot summer nights.
Bukchon Hanok Village, is a collection of hanok that have been preserved over the decades. With some clearly holding onto their last days, some magnificently restored in the traditional manner in which it was originally constructed, to hanok that have western influences and no expenses spared.
This area may not be on anyone’s “Seoul Top 10 List” but with the sheer amount of Japanese tourist that visit here by the busload, it is clear this area is worthy of a visit, or two.
Come on any given day and you will undoubtedly see couples taking photos with the surround hanok-scape, newlyweds taking their wedding photos, and quite often television shows or ads being filmed here, too.
People know this area as “the street museum in the urban sprawl” and nothing could be truer, as this area is right between the UNESCO World Heritage listed sites of Changdeok Palace, and Jongmyo Shrine, as well as the main palace of the Joseon Dynasty, Gyeongbok Palace, and huge skyscrapers can be seen all around.
Unhyeon Palace, although not one of the five royal palaces of the Joseon Dynasty, was the former residence of Heungseon Daewongun, Emperor Gojong’s father and one time prince regent.
Gojong, who assumed the age at the young age of 12, lived at this palace and even had his wedding ceremony to his bride Queen Min here.
Unhyeon Palace was once far larger than it is now. After the Korean War large portions of it were sold off, Duksung Women’s University occupies a significantly large portion of the former grounds of Unhyeon Palace.
Some of the buildings that still remain include; Noandang: The residence and work area for Heungseon Daewongun. Norakdang: The largest building of Unhyeon Palace, it was the women’s residence and the site of Gojong and Min’s wedding. Irodang: This was built later than the other buildings and was another women’s residence. Sujiksa: The servants’ quarters.
The Following Rooms are all Located at our Main Guesthouse; Byeolhadang
Room of Love
The best place to look for a quiet room is in Byulhadang. This room is the perfect room for couples or two close friends. This room can accommodate 2 people. We hope you enjoy the romantic atmosphere this cozy room.
Room of Wealth
Everyone wants to be wealthy and if you stay in this room you will can feel a sense richness. This room can accommodate two people and it's conveniently located next to the bathroom. This room also have a very nice view of the courtyard.
Room of Hope
This is the room of wishes and hopes, so it is called the 'the Room of Hope'. It can accommodate up to 3 people and there is a closes where you can store your luggage and personal belongings.
DASOM & MARU & MIPPUM
It is actually made up of two bedrooms with a large "maru" or open-space area(living room) in between, which can be used as a lounge or alternatively as a third bedroom. There is a large flats screen television and a private bathroom/shower. The windows provide a beautiful view to the outside. The 2/3 rooms can be combined into one elongated room when needed. 10 people can be accommodated in this room. Both TV and WiFi internet access are available as well.
Byulhadang is not only the center of culture and tourism but also a great place for shopping. Insadong has many Korean traditional cafes and restaurants. It also has many shops where you can purchase presents and souvenirs for your friends and family. Futhermore, our guest house is nearby Myungdong and Dongdamoon market which is famous for shopping. It takes 15~20 minutes by subway and or a cheap taxi ride. The nearest subway station from Byulhadang are 'Anguk' station(NO.4 exit) and 'jongro 3 ga' station( No.7 exit), takes 5~10min on foot.
The Following Four Rooms Have all been Recently Refurbished and are located at our original guesthouse; Yeoreumjip
Room of Happiness.
This room is located in our hanok near to our main guesthouse (Byeolhadang) and can easily accommodate two persons. The large doors open to a spacious courtyard. Shower and bathroom facilities are located just near to the room. There is a computer with internet access. This room is decorated with traditional Korean antiques.
Room of Fortune.
This room is located in our refurbished 100 year old guesthouse. It has easy access to bathrooms and shows. You can appreciate the quaintness that comes with a traditional Korean hanok, here. As with all rooms it has WiFi Internet access.
Room of Longevity.
The Room of Longevity is quite large, accommodating 2 people with space for more (10-20,000won surcharge applies). This room is in our original hanok, once used by the aristocrats of the Joseon Dynasty. It is warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
The room of Youth.
. The Room of Youth will take you back to your youth! It is in our original hanok that belonged to the yangban, the ruling class of the Joseon Dynasty. It also has a TV inside as well as WiFi access. You can view the courtyard and it also has an additional private area.