Located between two of Seoul’s iconic royal palaces, Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung, Bukchon Hanok Village is a cluster of adjacent neighborhoods beloved by locals and visitors alike for their concentration of hanoks, or traditional houses, smack in the center of the dynamically modernizing capital. To walk through the sloping, winding streets and alleyways of Bukchon is to walk simultaneously in the past and the present: With their curved, slate-tile roofs, wood-beamed walls, sliding rice-papered doors, and heated ondol floors, many of the hanoks are still residences, while others have been updated into cultural centers, restaurants, and guesthouses. Master artisans of Korean embroidery, lacquerware, and knot-making, among other traditional art forms, have studios in Bukchon that are open to visitors. The neighborhood of Samcheongdong in particular is a must-visit for its lovely melding of residential hanoks with trendy boutiques and cozy cafés.
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