Sept 14 2008 – Andong / Hahoe Folk Village

Andong / Hahoe Folk Village

This is our first full day in An Dong and we are off by city bus to visit Hahoe folk village which is about 50 minutes by city bus outside of the city. The bus ride costs about 1 dollar.

Hahoe is a village that has been preserved rather than a village that has been built as a tourist site representing a traditional Korean village but you do still see modern life here – cars, TV satellite dishes, and other modern amenities.

We saw quite a few interesting carved spirit figurines in the village. They were carved on posts of various heights and sported various facial expressions. We were quite the hit ourselves with quite a few children speaking to us and generally interested in us. It is strange to be found so interesting just for being you. But there were few non-Asian people in the village that we saw in the morning – I think we were about it. We walked around the village seeing other interesting sites include 3 scarecrows that were very well dressed (ready for a good office job for sure) but had scary faces drawn on them. We saw several homes several of which had gates surrounding them with beautiful doors. There were also several gardens and rice fields.

We walked up the road and found a large restaurant to have lunch. Once we realized that this not the norm where the waitress brings you a menu or comes to see you – Darlene went inside to see about ordering but did not get any attention there – which was very strange. A boy (about 10 years old) from a family sitting and having their lunch came in to assist with the ordering explaining some items and ordering in Korean – he made several trips in to help out.

The children overall are very interested in us and like to talk to us and look at us alot. They are very cute and very polite.

After lunch we visited a Mask museum that has masks from all over Korea and from other parts of the world. It highlights the role of mask in culture and theatre and myth. After the museum we headed back to the Folk Village to catch the 3pm bus. When we got there we heard (via music) that a traditional mask dance was going to start. The dance has several scenes in it, each telling different stories and I think teaching lessons. We need to find more detail on what each scene was.

There was an audience participation part where 1 Korean woman was pulled onto the stage and then given directions to get more people. She picked 5 westerners, I think these were her instructions – she got to stay on stage to act as the translator. Each of the westerners were given a mask and had to approximate the dance. Darlene and I were not chosen!!

After the show while we were waiting for our bus we were chatting with a couple from Australia (Richard and Anne). Ann was one of the westerners chosen. We chatted for a while and agreed to have dinner tomorrow night. When Dar and I went to leave a note at their hotel it took some time to explain/ pantomime to the desk clerk that we wanted to leave a note. When she understood, she took us and the note to the room then slide the note under the door. As we came down in the elevator, she looked at Darlene and said – “You have a small face”. If you are keeping count this is the second time Dar has been told this. She is begin to think she has the smallest face in Korea!

We chose a BBQ restaurant for dinner – pork BBQ. Basically they cook a pound of bacon in front of you and you dip it in sauces and wrap it in lettuce leafs and other greens (you need your veggies). It was good. While we were having dinner Ann and Richard came into the same restaurant. They assured us they are not stalking us.