Korean Folk Village; A Traditional Lifestyle Experience

   Another hot, humid sweltering day (just get used to it!) and another fabulous adventure.

   First of all I must thank my Airbnb hosts' friend, Jae-Gu, who volunteered to drive me to the Korean Folk Village. It would take about an hour and a half by subway and bus but only about 20-30 minutes by car! Koreans are very gracious. Not only did he drive me there during his work break but he also made sure that I got safely into the village. Not that it wasn't safe. Far from it. He simply spared me the antics of not knowing much Korean just to buy a ticket and receive any other information I might need.

   The entrance fee to this cultural and  historical theme park included everything (except a meal). This meant that I got to watch FIVE thrilling state-of-the-art performances. There were actors dressed in period clothing to add to the atmosphere. Visitors could also rent period costumes and stroll around "as if". I really wanted to but it was just way too hot. My own "light" clothing were already sticking to my body like glue - soaked right through the longer I roamed.

   A side note about visiting Korea in the summer. If you can come any other time then do so. I'm told the best time is October or May. However, I have learned how to cope: just go with it. Ha ha ha. Bring water, tissues and/or wet wipes (very refreshing and keeps you clean when wiping the endless stream of sweat off your face), a good hat, and try to use a very lightweight machine-washable purse or day pack. Then stop in to an air-conditioned store or venue every now and then. There you can catch your breath, dry off a bit and then continue on your journey. I will say it again - I am ever grateful to my daughter for making gifting me the greatest walking sandals ever. Okay, 'nuff said.


   Visiting a place like this was totally on my wish list. I suppose one could compare this to any particular theme park a la Disney and what-not, but much much better! Yes, there's also an amusement park as part of the village but the main attraction is the historical aspect... and the food.

   There are folk villages and historical theme parks scattered around Korea. After all Korea has a long and very dynamic history that they are quite proud of. This particular village, apparently the largest in South Korea,is in a section of the Gyeonggi province called Yongin.

Map of Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do

   Let's go to Wikipedia for an overview:

   Minsok village is a living museum...The purpose of Korean Folk Village is to display elements of traditional Korean life and culture. There are multiple sections to the park. There are numerous replicas of traditional houses of the different social classes (peasantlandowneryangban) from various regions.

   I love this place! As you enter the village the first section you pass through is the market. This is where all the restaurants are. I stepped into a nice air conditioned place on the way out (about 4.5 hours later!). I gulped down some sort of very yummy vegetable bibimbap.

   I was in a hurry to make it to the first of five performances I would enjoy that day; Equestrian Martial Arts. Sigh. Could my life get any better than this? This was a wonderful colorful display by some very skilled youngsters, including one female.

   There was time before the next performance so I wandered around a bit enjoying the scenery. I also took a stroll through the folk museum on the premises. The displays took us through a yearly life cycle with models and descriptions about life in each changing season. One can learn all about family traditions; birth, marriage, aging, death and mourning - and about farming, harvesting, food preparation and seasonal dishes, and about games and fun-making, 


   The next performance was outstanding; the Farmer's Music Performance. How these actors can manage in this weather and still smile at the end of the day is beyond me! They are simply amazing. To me this was the best performance of all. Dressed in period costume for revelry and celebration we were treated to traditional drumming, dance and a beautiful display of acrobatics. 


   Tightrope was next: 

   To cool off there was a water gun event. Koreans of all ages jumped in to get soaked with water on this hot day! There was also an amusing folk singing contest with actors dressed in character costumes.

   The final treat was a Traditional Wedding Ceremony.

The processional after the ceremony:

   I got to join in!

   I highly recommend a Korean Folk Village experience when in Korea. Enjoy some final photos of some of the booths on display - some include activities to make items such as fans, calligraphy, games etc.


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