Gyeongju: Yangdong Village

Yangdong Village is the oldest and largest traditional clan village in Korea. The 2 more prominent clans are the Son and Yi clan, of which Seobaekodang, the house of Son, has been around for the longest time. It also showcases the traditional culture of the Joseon Dynasty and the beautiful natural surroundings. & thanks to its many cultural heritages, including treasures, national treasures, and folklore materials, the entire village has been designated as a cultural heritage site, as well as a UNESCO Heritage site in 2010 together with Hahoe Village in Andong.

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There are a few buses that brings you to the Village from the bus terminal, of which, only bus 203 brings you right into the village while the rest stops at the main road outside. It would take about 15mins walk from the main road to the village.

I was buying the ticket when I realised that they have a free guide service for english speakers to explain a little about the village. So I had one of the guide brought me around the village for a good 30mins.

Entering into the village, you find traditional houses (most still with residence) and roofs of different kinds. In the past, tthe richer class stays in houses with tiled roofs, while those straw roof houses are mostly for farmers.

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In the past, the richer class has pavilions in their house and that pavilion can be used for various activities like hosting a guest, holding a funeral, or wedding for the village.

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In this village, some of the olden traditions are still kept till now. Like burning the moon house to pray for a good harvest that year, tug of war with rope made of straw and played for great harvest or prosperity.

They even have the growing up ceremony that is held every year for guys turning 18 and girls turning 15, signifying them stepping into adulthood and being able to take on more responsibility.

yangdong-15 yangdong-10 yangdong-4 yangdong-5Since it is summer, the flowers are blooming everywhere! The huge lotus pond in the middle just brings you back to 1000 years ago.

Right behind the ticket office, there’s a exhibit which shows the various items and highlights of the village. I took a little time to head in and check them out, came out a little smarter. Some of the videos are available in English as well. Be sure to check that out!

While it is a hot day, catch those convenience stall, buy an ice pop, sit and watch the world goes! There’s a mountain that this village is sitting on, for those into hiking or trekking, you might just want to head up to the mountain too.

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To get there: Take any bus ranging from #200 to #209 outside the bus stop on the main road left of Gyeongju Intercity bus terminal. (Note: Not the express bus terminal, bus the intercity bus terminal). Only Bus #203 heads into the village.

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