A walk through the Bukchon Hanok Village, which literally translates to “northern village”, will take you back in time to the streets of the Joseon Dynasty. The neighbourhood is relatively quiet, and for a very good reason. Home to many average Koreans, it is more of a residential area than a tourist destination, though you can find a couple boutique stores here and there.
Tucked in between the Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung Palaces, it is a frequent pit stop by visitors on their way from one palace to the next. There are signs on nearly every door requesting for silence, which surprisingly people seem to abide to. Either that or i was just there when the crazy crowds weren’t. There is no definite path or direction when exploring this neighbourhood so just take your time wandering around and getting lost.
You’ll also notice a taped-up sign for directions to an observatory and me being the sucker that i am for views, couldn’t say no. Initially i thought it would be a lookout point, but upon arriving at said location, discovered it was actually the top level of an apartment block. Run by an elderly couple who transformed the rooftop of their villa into a viewing deck, you are offered a sweeping view of old and new Seoul. The viewing deck itself is a little small and underwhelming so it might be somewhat of a disappointment to some. Then again, at 3,000won per entry and a free drink, you really can’t complain.
Nearest station: Anguk station