Today, I woke up at the early hour of 10 am (early considering today is possibly my only day off of this year – which meant I’d have to take advantage of it) and set out for the 5100 bus to Gangnam. I decided to go to Namsangol Hanok Village because that had specific activities for the New Year, whereas the Korean Folk Village, as far as I could tell, did not.

I was suppose to go with Quinn, who spent Saturday night in Seoul and came back Sunday night, but he didn’t answer his phone. Half-way to Gangnam, I got a call from Quinn. Apparently, he ended up staying Sunday night in Seoul too so we decided to meet up at the Village.

Namsangol Hanok Village is just outside the Chungmuro subway station (that’s the cool subway station – although not literally; it’s well heated). Before the Village were a bunch of street stalls selling kites and food and Quinn and I finally bought some street food: meat-on-a-stick. Verdict: delicious.

The Village was definitely a worth while trip. At the entrance there’s a little village made up of buildings that used to be elsewhere in Seoul but have been moved to the Village for preservation. In one of the buildings, you can make a reservation to learn how to wear a hanbok, but it was far too cold for that today. For Lunar New Year, they had musical performances in the Court and arts and crafts projects around it.

Before I get to the arts and crafts, let me also touch on the Time Capsule. Towards the back of the Village, there’s an area that houses the Time Capsule that Seoul buried in 1994. They plan to open it again in 2394 and when I read that I thought “Oh cool, I’ll come back to see that – oh wait… No… I won’t…”. There was a display talking about the different things they put in the Time Capsule(600 items! miniatures and CDs!), which included a plan for what they hope the future will be like. Pretty cool.

Also, the stone that covered the Time Capsule had quotes from different heads of states. However, the representative from the United States was not the president but… the governor of Honolulu. Whaaa?

And back to the arts and crafts! We bought tickets to make a traditional Korean kite (or as the Engrish sign said ‘a traditional kit’) and eat the traditional Korean ‘party’ food. I’m not entirely sure what they meant by ‘party’ food but I think they may have meant ‘festival’ food. The kite making was fun but it was extremely cold by the time we got a spot on the crafts table to make ours and I had to glue everything together with my (freezing cold to the point of numbness) bare hands. BUT! My kite came out magnificently. Then we ate.

The food ticket got us what I thought would be sweet porridge and a Korean pancake. It was not sweet porridge; it was Makgeolli (막걸리 – rice wine), and even though its a Korean tradition, neither Quinn nor I cared for it. The pancake was a seafood (해물파전 –haemul pajeon) complete with tentacles but I was too hungry and cold to really care about how I don’t like seafood, let alone tentacles.

After eating, we watched a really cool drumming and dance performance but sadly I still can’t get WordPress to accept my videos so we’ll just have to wait on that for a little while.

All in all, it was a very nice trip. Now sit back and enjoy some pictures!

Behold the entrance!

I don't know what this says or what it's for. But Koreans were taking pictures of it so I thought that I should too.

I like to think my rabbits will do this if a tiger ever breaks into my apartment.

Makegeolli and Haemuel Pajeon

Unfortunately you couldn't walk into this building, but you could take pictures. At least... as far as I knew you could.

My hand-made, traditional Korean kit(e)! It hasn't yet been flown but on its maiden flight I have ever intention of getting it up in the air to the tune of 'Highway to the Danger Zone'.