Life in a traditional Hanok home in Bukchon
I had a chance to live in a traditional Hanok home.
Last year when I was living for a month in the capital of Korea, Seoul, I had a great opportunity to live for 15 days in a Hanok home. The house where I was living was located in the more traditional neighborhood of Bukchon. My first impression arriving at the house where I was going to be for 15 days was exciting because I was going to have real contact with traditional life. The owners of the house greeted us very kindly with fruits in the house, giving us instructions, and were very curious about us, too.
The house was very beautiful, with two rooms, a room with a very large Western-style bed for my mom, and my room was traditional with the bed on the floor. I definitely dared to live the traditional experience and wanted to feel a change. The house where we were is very famous, according to accountants, and the owners of the house are always so friendly, they make me feel like I was in the family. Of course, the house was only for us during our stay; my mother and me. Every day, the owners of the house made a delicious traditional Korean breakfast. The first time my expression was, “Wow, this is so much food,” but it was delicious and I didn’t want to stop eating.
My mom stayed in this room.
The owners prepared delicious breakfasts for us.
The house where we were was small, but so cozy that I felt like it was my second home. I even grew not to miss my home in Colombia because I felt very comfortable and happy here. One of the things I liked most about the house was the beautiful architecture, all in wood.
Hanok traditional houses are made of wood.
I felt myself living a real Korean experience. In the mornings, when leaving the house, I saw some local people and tourists wearing traditional Hanbok clothes, and both my mother and I were curious to be in a place where there was so much magic and contact with a traditional way of life. Days passed, and soon the time of departure of upon us. The truth is that I often didn’t want to think about saying farewell because we made very good friends and had close contact with the owners of the house. So a week before leaving, we decided to cook Colombian foods and invite the owners of the house to have lunch with us. It was incredible when they arrived for lunch. They were very elegant. They knew it was a special occasion.
We made a Colombian lunch for the owners of our Hanok home.
We had lunch together.
At the table when we were enjoying lunch, they didn’t stop saying that they liked the food very much, and they were very curious about the Colombian way of making rice. A few days after that, they invited us to another house where they live and we had breakfast together. It was a wonderful breakfast. I had never eaten so many delicious things at a breakfast. There were lots of different dishes. They made us feel like family.
We had breakfast at the home of the owners and tasted some traditional Korean dishes.
We posed for a photo all together, the owners, my mom and me.
The time of our departure arrived and the truth was that we were very sad to leave, but also very happy to have had that beautiful opportunity to live traditionally. We cried a little when we left because, thanks to them, our time in the Hanok home was incredible. We have many great memories that remain in our minds. Since that time, I have a deep love for Korea, its history, food, architecture and everything about it.
My mom tried on a traditional Hanbok dress during our stay.
Its time leave, but we know that we’ll meet again soon.
Here’s a video of the house in Spanish with English subtitles.
Korea.net Honorary Reporter
Video•Photos: Juan Jose Galvez Ochoa