The sharper edge to traveling in Asia

Hahoe Folk Village outside of Andong: a Korean “Can’t Miss”

Written By: herbrunbridge - Oct• 06•12

a traditional house in Hahoe Village

South Korea does a pretty good job of making an institution out of preserving old houses and indigenous cultures. They make it financially viable, for example, for people to maintain their houses in cultural neighborhood zones, and keep them as much as possible in the traditional style of architecture. 

autumn harvest time produces magnificent colors in Hahoe Village

One such neighborhood is the Hahoe Folk Village, a few kilometers outside of the eastern Korean city of Andong. Originated by the Ryu family more than 600 years ago, the village consists of an estimated 230 residents here today, living in 63 straw-roofed houses, 50 tile-roofed houses, and 29 “other types.” It’s worth a walk through town, which will take you a couple of hours maximum. Some of the highlights include a family mask totem park as you enter, a significant number of beautiful old houses, and wonderful views of the countryside especially a harvest time. You’ll see other fascinating things as well. On the day we at WoWasis were there, we witnessed a storyteller regaling an audience, and saw a Hahoe funeral procession (watch the video) a little while later. 

There are a couple of things you shouldn’t miss while you’re here. The Hahoe Mask Museum (open daily) is located 2 km from here, and has wonderful exhibits of local and international mask craft and culture. Every weekend at 3pm from May to October, a local  mask troupe gives a performance in a small area just across from the Mask Museum. 

The annual Andong Maskdance Festival takes place from the last Friday of September through the first Sunday in October, held jointly at the village and at the Festival Site in Andong). Maps and information are available at the tourist kiosk at the train station. Before you go, we recommend reading blogger Jon Dunbar’s excellent write-up describing the various mask types and their meanings.

To get to the Hahoe Folk Village, take the #46 bus, from the bus stop across the street from the train station. It takes 50 minutes to get there, and eight of them run daily, in each direction.

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  1. Seng says:

    It’s pretty close to Andong.We had spent the week veeontulring at ESWS and then on the Saturday we drove to Songnisan and had a “Mountain stroll” (Koreans hike, we strolled) and some delicious mushroom bibimbap and then onto Andong. (it took all day) The second day we went to the mask museum, paper mill and a Confucian school before making our way back to Seoul. Make sure you allow plenty of time to get back to Seoul as the traffic gets very congested the closer you get to Seoul, especially on weekends!! I definitely recommend a trip like this with friends :-)Naomi

  2. Robert says:

    Omigosh, the moms of the families we trevelad to Korea with in 2001 are planning a trip just like this. We were all friends before that trip, but it solidified us into a unit – we even call ourselves “the tour moms” and when we do our husbands and kids know exactly who we mean.Our thought was to do a reunion tour and focus on a) water parks b) hot springs c) shopping d) museums. Unfortunately, we all have kids in college so it’s going to have to wait. But oh when we finally go, what a trip that’s gonna be!Was the paper mill in Andong? I’m making a note of it!

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