About 2 hours’ drive from Andong city is Gyeongju (경주) – the capital of the 1,000-year-long Silla dynasty known for its extensive historical remains, on the southeastern coast of South Korea. Our 1st stop after lunch in Andong was to visit Gyeongju Yangdong Village (경주 양동마을) located in Gangdong-myeon (강동면), 16 km northeast of Gyeongju, along Hyeongsang River (형산강).
The 2 most representative historic clan villages in South Korea are Yangdong Village & Hahoe Folk Village in Andong. Both were founded in the 14th-15th centuries during the Joseon dynasty and were designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2010. Yangdong Village is also listed as an Important Folklore Material No. 189. The location & layout of both villages surrounded by natural landscapes reflect the distinguished Confucian culture in the early part of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), looking out to the river & open agricultural fields, & sheltered by forested mountains. Each village includes houses of the head families, together with substantial timber framed houses of other clan members, as well as pavilions, study halls, Confucian academies for learning, and clusters of mud-walled, thatched-roofed houses formerly for commoners.
Currently, the village is inhabited with residents but it is generally open for tourism. It costs KRW 4,000 (S$4.80) per adult, KRW 2,000 (S$2.40) per teenager or soldier, & KRW 1,500 (S$1.80) per child for entry into the village. Said to be Korea’s largest traditional village, it will probably take you a day to tour the entire village, comprising of about 160 old houses & 500-year-old thatched-roof cottages. 54 of these homes are over 200 years old. They have been excellently preserved in their original state, offering a rare opportunity to view a variety of unique Korean traditional houses in person. Without further ado, here are some photos I took of the gorgeous village for your viewing pleasure:
It was a day packed with lots of things to do, so unfortunately, we had to leave the gorgeous village for Gyeongju city after around 1.5 hours at the huge heritage site. Personally, I find Yangdong more alluring than Andong with its houses built on the hill, although both are attractive. Hope I can visit again in future for a longer time! 🙂 Ending this post with a collage of the beautiful murals near the village entrance….