Andong, the capital of the Korean spirit, is renowned for many things such as a spicy chicken dish called jimdak, wooden masks, the Andong Village, and the Andong Mask Dance Festival, among many more. This gorgeous city has a lot to offer to its visitors, and there is also plenty to see and a variety of delicacies to try. Here, you will get to experience the authentic traditional city. Established in the 16th century, Hahoe village is still a one-clan community. The village is divided into two parts by a river. There are lots of things one can do in Andong, but the first thing you should do is try their food, particularly Andong jjimdak. Andong Jjimdak is a chicken dish with vegetables, glass noodles marinated in a spicy sauce. Here are some things you need to know before making the trip to this beautiful village.
There isn’t a direct train from Seoul to Andong, but you can get one from Seoul Station to Dongdaegu Station and then transfer to a local train that goes direct to Andong.
If you are traveling from Gyeongju to Andong, the train is the easiest way. It takes about a couple of hours to reach Andong, and the one-way ticket costs about 7USD. For those planning to use the train as a main means of transportation in Korea, you can get the Korail Pass online to have unlimited access to most train routes for a limited period of time.
While traveling from Seoul, the bus is the most convenient means to reach Andong. Express buses depart from Gangnam Express Bus Terminal and the Dong Seoul Bus Terminal. It takes about three hours to reach Andong from Seoul, and the buses run every half an hour. So, you can easily get a bus at the terminal without any issue. However, it is best to book a ticket online as they can get booked up in the peak season.
Hahoe Folk Village is about thirty kilometers from Andong, and you can travel by bus. You need to take bus number 246 from the bus station. The trip takes about an hour and costs about a dollar. The buses depart from the station every hour. At the entrance of the village, you will have to pay 5000won or about 4USD to enter. After getting an entry ticket, you will take another bus and reach the village in about five minutes.
The major reason people visit Andong is to visit the Andong Hahoe Folk Village, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As it is a village, you might think it is small, but that’s not the case; the village is huge, and you can easily spend a whole day just walking down all of the small alleys and roads. This village dates back to the 9th century and was different than other traditional villages as it was home to both commoners and noblemen, all at the same time living shoulder to shoulder. This village is also quite renowned as the origin of the Ryu family, and the birthplace of the great Confucian scholar Ryu Unryong and Ryu Seongryong, the Prime Minister during the Japanese invasions between 1592 and 1598.
The Hahoe Folk Village is divided into two parts by the Nakdong River. The name of the village actually comes from the river where ‘Ha’ means river, and ‘Hoe’ means turning around. Here, you will see many unique houses, most of them with thatched roof rather than common roof tiles. You can also enter these houses. The houses have signs outside that let the visitors know which ones you can enter. Each house tells a bit of history about the people that resided there many years ago. You can walk around the village, exploring each house or rent a bicycle and ride around this gorgeous traditional village.
Autumn is the peak tourist season in Hahoe Village, mostly due to the Andong Mask Festival, but we recommend you visit the village in the spring as, during this time, you will get to see the natural beauty of the village in its finest. During the spring season, there will be flowers everywhere, and the crowd of tourists will also be a lot less. You can also enjoy the view of stunningly beautiful cherry blossoms on the walk along the river on the side of the village. The cherry blossoms beside the gorgeous river is truly a wonderful sight to see.
After getting an entry ticket to the village, you can get a map of the village so that you won’t miss any attraction. The chance of you getting lost in this village is very rare, but if you want to avoid wandering and enjoy the highlights of this gorgeous village, it is advisable to purchase a map.
Some of the highlights of the village are:
Source: The Soul of Seoul
There is a legend that if you walk around the tree three times and hang a written wish on a line circling the tree, it comes true. Even if you don’t believe these things, you must visit this tree at least once. This is one of the most beautiful trees in a whole village, and you will certainly feel its spirit. It is a zelkova tree that is over six centuries old and stands proudly at the highest point of the village.
Source: OnedayKorea Travel Blog
Andong Mask Dance Festival is the most popular event in the city. However, it is only held once a year (in autumn), so if you are visiting the village other times of the year, you can catch a live performance of the dance in the village. The performance takes place at 3:00 pm every Sunday in March, April, and November & at 3:00 pm every Saturday and Sunday from May to October. The times might vary, so make sure to check times before at the tourism office.
Source: Thousand Wonders
On one side of the village lies a pine tree grove with trees, which is absolutely mesmerizing. Ryu Unyong planted 10,000 pine trees in the hope of mitigating the wild energy coming from Byeongdae Cliff. Walking past the wood, you can also see the wild cliff. A ride of the wooden ferry across the water will take you to the cliff from where you can get the view of the whole village. There are two trails you can take to reach the top of the peak. Remember that you need to hike a bit, so make sure you carry your hiking boots.