S.Korea 2015 – Day 2 – Korean Folk Village, Gangnam

Slept better in the lounge on the futon, woke up at a decent time and then headed out for a quick snack breakfast before heading for the metro to head south for the main attraction. We would somehow end up missing the shuttle bus though, and went to query a nearby tourist information desk, where we were greeted by a man who had likely not seen any business for weeks – he was ridiculously over eager and overexplained fucking everything, taking up way too much of our time.

Train and a bus later, and we arrived at the Korean Folk Village (Aka Suwon Folk Village), a large outdoor museum of sorts, in the form of a preserved old style korean village – though there was a more modern theme park style area attached to the side as well. We arrived pretty late, the trip time from seoul taking maybe 2+ hours, however we made it just in time for some of the shows – the first of which was supposedly a farmers dance, and then an old man on a tightrope. The farmers dance was pretty impressive, a parade of men with instruments and silly hats dancing around in circles and doing somersaults.

After watching the shows and having a lunch of onion pancakes and bibimbap we walked around the folk village, checking out the inside of the houses and just generally wandering around. The entire place was pretty empty, only a few tourists here and there, supposedly there are usually lots of demonstrations but it’s unclear whether there were few of these because there were no tourists or because we arrived too late in the day for them. The lack of tourists did work in our favor though, making for much easier photo taking and making the queues for attractions nonexistent. The more modern theme park area in particular was a complete ghost town, you have to pay extra to go on the rides so I guess that wasn’t helping the situation, if not for the staff standing around playing with their phones you’d probably think the place was closed/abandoned.
During our short stay at the village we’d…
– wander temples
– play traditional games (Throw the stick into the vase-thing)
– contemplate going into a haunted house attraction (which… naw. we good.)
– visit an area used in a bunch of historical drama filmings
– Catch the end of a traditional korean marriage performance
– other stuff I can’t remember

After walking around and having our fun at the Korean Folk Village, we’d head to the metro again to find our next destination – we had originally planned to do Insadong, but closer inspection of the subway map told us this would take probably 2 hours… However there was another location on the map nearby which, whilst we didn’t know exactly what was there, was sure to be an interesting location…

Korea2015-278

Official: Menger is now Gangnam style.
I was under the impression that Gangnam style referred to a particular clothing style, however all we found in Gangnam was an endlessly long street filled with brightly lit signs, neon, and restaurants – just endlessly stacked restaurants, going horizontally and vertically, down both the main strips and down the side roads. I’ve never seen anything like it, even in Japan there was some variety in shops, but this was pure food. We had korean BBQ for dinner, at a pretty good price of 10,000 won per person for a good amount of beef strips and some crazy good beef tartare with pear which was to be eaten raw. Later on, we’d have shaved ice with mango and strawberries for dessert, and that was amazing too.

We certainly could have done more today, but all things considered – missing the shuttle bus and generally being delayed a lot, we made the most of the day. Hopefully we’ll get out earlier tomorrow.