There are a number of traditional walled villages in Korea where you can glimpse traditional hanok homes; however, Hahoe Village in Andong is one of the most authentic and closet to Daegu. It’s also only one of two in the country that boasts UNESCO World Heritage status. It’s so historic that when Queen Elizabeth visited Korea in 1999, it was the only location outside of Seoul she toured.
One of the most special aspects about Hahoe is its isolation from any city. Nestled in quiet, countryside plain land and surrounded by Hwasan Mountain, it’s forty minutes by bus from Andong. The downside is that the journey from Daegu involves two buses and a total journey time of around 2.5hours, so it is advised to take a bus before 10.00am if you plan to have a full day there.
Stroll through the Winding Streets Dotted throughout the still working village, where 250 people live, are a mixture of tile-roofed and straw thatched houses, the oldest dating back to the 16th century.
There are several key landmarks worth a look including a small relics museum near the Chunghyo Residence with artifacts from the Ryu family, the primary residents during the Joseon Dynasty. The Yangjin Residence nearby is one of the grandeur historic homes that you can step inside. And not to miss is the 600 year old zelkova tree located at the center of the village. There are several suggested walking routes provided in the tourist map, but I just recommend wandering aimlessly through the winding streets.
Devour some Jjimdak Whilst Andong offers a number of delectable local delicacies, I had my heart set on trying the region’s signature dish - Jjimdak. Jjimdak is basically a stew of slowly cooked chicken thighs, potatoes, carrots, green onions, cabbage, glass noddles all swimming in a delicately balanced rich soy and oyster sauce that was sweetened with rice syrup and brown sugar
Capture a Bird’s Eye View from Buyongdae Cliff
To the right hand side of the village you can wander through lush ancient pine trees before being deposited out onto the sandy beachfront. Here you can board a rickety ferry to the grey outcrop of cliffs on the opposite side of the Nakdong River. It is leisurely 15 minute hike to the summit of Buyongdae Cliff where you take in panoramic views of the village and see clearly how it gets its name which translated means ‘Village Enveloped by Water.’ Highly recommended to venture here right before sunset.
How to get to there
Go to the Dongdaegu Complex Transit Center (right next to the new Shinsegae Department store). The bus from Daegu takes 1 hour 40 minutes (9,700W). At Andong Bus Terminal, take bus 46 to Hahoe Village. It runs 10 times a day and takes 40 minutes (1,200W). Get off at the Hahoe Mask Museum (second to last stop). Here, buy your entrance tickets to the village (3,000W). You can walk to the village or take the free shuttle bus. (Note: The last bus from Hahoe to Andong Bus Terminal is around 18.30 and the last bus from Andong Bus Terminal back to Daegu is around 20.30.)
Stay the night
If you fancy an overnight stay, consider Bukchondaek House, a 210 year old noble house in the center of the village, whose inner quarters boast the largest stand alone hanok structure in Korea. www.bukchondaek.com
Written and Photographed by Gwendolyn DeSilva