According to the Korean Tourism Organisation website, Bukchon 북촌 or 北村 (not an official municipal name) is an area in Seoul, given its name as it lies to the north of Cheonggyecheon (Stream) and Jongno, the downtown area of Seoul. It used to be the high-end residential district for royal family members and high-ranking government officials. There are many traditional Korean houses (한옥) built next to one another in Bukchon, which to me, is very charming/ attractive. 🙂
We had lunch at a popular little Japanese restaurant in Bukchon as recommended by a Korean fren who works in the area. The restaurant can only sit about 20 or so patrons, so we were rather lucky that we could find a table upon reaching the restaurant. Fortunately, food was pretty good although I had some reservations to dining in a Jap restaurant when I “should be” eating all sorts of Korean food when in Korea. 😛 Too bad I forgot to take down the restaurant name, but here’s some pictures to whet your appetite. ^^
I dunno the exact location of this restaurant, all I can say is we exit from Anguk subway station 안국역 (line no. 3 exit 2 or 3) and it’s within 5-10 min walking distance. Maybe the map below can give you some clue, it’s near the “You are Here” sign. 🙂
Anyway, after lunch, as I had some time on my own before my friend & I meet again in Insadong (인사동), I decided to venture to the area where the traditional Korean guest houses are, like Rakkojae Guest House (락고재한옥체험관) which is actually the guest house filmed in the popular 2005 K-drama “My Name is Kim Sam Soon” (내 이름은 김삼순) where Daniel Henney stayed in. According to the Bukchon map we found in front of Hyundai Building, it wasn’t too far from the Constitutional Court, so I decided to walk in that direction.
I was intrigued by the traditional/ beautiful houses along the small alleys as I strolled. I felt as if I had gone back into the old times. ^^
It was a pity that I forgot to take many good pictures of Bukchon to share with all. I was busy soaking in the sights & taking some photos of myself haha ;p In the end I didn’t manage to visit the guest houses as I lost track of the direction & time. What a pity! 😦
Anyway, when we passed by the Changdeokgung (Palace) 창덕궁 with our Korean friend, she pointed to us that the stall in front of this palace sells yummy chrysanthemum bun (국화빵, 菊花包). So on my way to Insadong I bought a pack of 5 to try out (KRW 1,000 abt S$1.20).
These little buns actually tasted like the fish-shaped pancakes, filled with red bean, except that this one is shaped in the pattern of the chrysanthemum flower, and it has a tinge of cinnamon taste added in it. Quite a nice snack to have at teatime! 😉
The next time, I will make sure I give myself more time to tour Bukchon Hanok Village. It’s a great place to hang out & feel “cultured” hehe…