As you read in the last post, Lily and I head out for a South Korean adventure after spending a couple days with my college roommate and his family. To start this adventure I consulted NaverMap (like Google Map, but better in South Korea) and we caught a subway from Songtan station (near Osan Air Force) to the Asan Station. From there we took two SRT high speed trains across the country to Gyeongju-si in the south east part of the country.
We were visiting this area because it was the capital of the Silla Kingdom (one of three kingdoms that would eventually be united to rule the Korean peninsula) from 57BC until 935AD and there were three different World Heritage Site here related to this and later time periods. Since we arrived around 1pm we hopped on a bus to travel 45 minutes north to see the first WHS…..Yangdong Historical Village, which was one of two villages making up the Historic Villages of Korea: Hahoe and Yangdong WHS.
Founded in the 14th-15th centuries, Hahoe and Yangdong are seen as the two most representative historic clan villages in the Republic of Korea. Their layout and location, sheltered by forested mountains and facing out onto a river and open agricultural fields, reflect the distinctive aristocratic Confucian culture of the early part of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). The villages were located to provide both physical and spiritual nourishment from their surrounding landscapes. They include residences of the head families, together with substantial timber framed houses of other clan members, also pavilions, study halls, Confucian academies for learning, and clusters of one story mud-walled, thatched-roofed houses, formerly for commoners. The landscapes of mountains, trees and water around the village, framed in views from pavilions and retreats, were celebrated for their beauty by 17th and 18th century poets.
We spent several hours walking around the village, which is still an active and lived in village, admiring all the houses, lotus fields, mountains, and streams. The houses were wonderful and very traditional. The oldest house was built in 1492 and the newer houses were from the 1700’s. Each of the home owners are very welcoming and have no problem with tourist taking photos of their houses. Many of them have little business catering to the tourist. It was absolutely fantastic and this was Lily’s favorite part of this three day trip.
Thank you so much. She is wonderful and it is a blessing to travel with her.
I hope all is well for you guys as well.
Sounds like a wonderful trip, a wonderful Lily and a wonderful life Shane! I’m so happy for you both.
Kind regards, Michelle