Andong: Mask Museum & Hahoe Village

I took a day out of Busan to head to Andong and kicked another place off my bucket’s list! It was one of those sunny and hot days, unlike the gloomy rainy days.

Andong’s Hahoe Village gets its name from Nakdong River, which goes around the village.The ‘Ha’ is short for river and ‘hae’ means to ‘turn around, return, come back”, and the village sits right at the bend of the river. I was told by the guide there that the lower parts of the village gets flooded often during rainy season because the river overflows, but the situation is getting now.

I guess the rainy love me this season, even when I was in Andong trying to catch the shuttle bus to the Village, it poured and I stopped by the Mask Museum instead, which was located just right beside the stop for the shuttle bus.

It showcases the different kind of masks in Korea from the start of time. Some origin of the mask are so old! & different provinces actually have different kind of masks for different purposes.

Most of the masks are actually made to ward off evil spirits but some are for celebrations or performance for the royals as well. Like plays, there are a lot of different dances for the mask performance, with interesting story lines, and you would be able to watch clips of the performance in the museum.

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As mentioned earlier, there are different kind of masks and here, Andong’s Hahoe Tal is the only one that is listed as National Treasure (No. 121). The Andong Mask that we are so familiar with has 14 characters, and the masks have hanging jaws made in such a way a player can bend forward or backward to show their emotions.

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The Mask museum not only have a collection of Korea’s mask, but has a collection of other countries masks as well! I was happy to be able to spot a few familiar ones like those from Myanmar and China.

I guess the rain was a passing one, because when I came out of the museum, the rain was gone and the sun was slowly coming out. I started with listening to a korean guide talk about Hahoe, with minimum understanding LOL! Then I decided that I should start by heading to the cliff just in case the weather turns bad suddenly.

We took a boat across the river, I think it costs 5000won per person two ways, and hiked up to the observatory. You could see the river bend and the village clearly from that area. Note to those who love shouting off cliffs, you are audible from the other side of the river. Some students were screaming away while I was waiting for the boat and we could hear everything clearly. Heh!

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You could see that in the middle of the village, it is mostly made of tiled roof. Those belongs to the Ryu clan, whom established the Hahae Folk Village in the 16th century during the Joseon Dynasty and has been a one-clan community since that time.

Like Yangdong Village in Gyeongju, there are some houses worth checking them out. All these houses are still serving its purposes, so take note to not tread into people’s privacy.

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I took a huge bunch of photos here and so I decided to put them in slides so that it doesn’t hang anybody’s page.

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Well, other than the village and masks, most people would probably know Andong by their stew chicken. I honestly was disappointed that I didn’t get it eat it when I was there. Firstly, I had no idea that the terminal was away from the city center, so when the bus past the terminal, I panicked and got off.

Secondly, the portion of the chicken in general, are huge! So I thought I should leave this dish to my next trip when I visit again with a friend, or a bunch of friends.

HOW TO GET THERE:

Andong is about 2 hours away from Busan and you can find buses to Andong from Nopo Bus Terminal (Nopo Station).
If you are travelling from Seoul, you can catch the intercity bus from DongSeoul bus Terminal. Upon reaching Andong’s Terminal, catch bus 46 outside to get to the Mask Museum, and afterwhich, you could either walk in, or catch the shuttle bus in. The ride on 46 would probably take about 20-30mins.

PS: You would need to buy the tickets where the Mask Museum is before heading in.

Leaving the place, you can catch either 46 from inside the village, or the same place you drop for the shuttle bus. I would definitely recommend taking from inside the village, because it pretty much guarantees you a seat on the bus.

Below is the time chart for the bus leaving the village for the city.andong-40

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