Take advantage of the clear roads and saunter over to the National Folk Museum of Korea, on the east wing of which you’ll find a nostalgia street recreating the city from the ‘60s and ‘70s entitled "A Street to the Past: Experiencing Mom and Pop's Childhood.” There’s a small barbershop called Hwagae reminiscent of the Sogyeok-dong area that’s fully equipped with a briquette heater and the boutique store of designer Nora Noh, who revolutionized ready to wear clothing for women in the ‘60s. Old school Korean snacks such as ramen ttang (snacks made of instant noodles) and jiwipo (fish jerky) can be found at the manhwa-bang within. The Children’s Museum branch of the National Folk Museum will be holding a hands-on cultural experience entitled “It was like this, back then” every third Saturday and last Wednesday until November (this month falling on the 19t and the 30th). The experience will have families traveling back in time and meeting characters from that past in real life. If you’re into shows, there’s a musical entitled “Mong Dang Pencil” depicting the lives of 1974 Korea at the museum. Sure, the show’s in Korean only but tickets are free so it’s something to do for a cultural experience even if you don’t necessarily understand the language. Not too far from the museum, there’s Insadong and the Bukchon Hanok Village as well. Cars are forbidden to access the roads during the weekends and every so often, you’ll come across some street performers playing traditional Korean percussion. Stop by here on your way to the Arario Museum or the Jeongdok Public Library. On the 12th and 13th, the neighborhood will be hosting The Bukchon Music Festival. Check out their website (bukchonmf.or.kr) and you’ll see the festival showcases various types of Korean instruments as well as some hints of Latin Jazz. For local Korean eats, head over to the Seoul Marketplace held at the Cheonggye Plaza and at Seoul Plaza taking place from 14th to the 17th. You can get your hands on things such as dried yellow corvine from Mokpo and dolsangat kimchi from Yeosu without even leaving the comfort of the city!
During the holidays, the entrance fee for most palaces is free. And our personal pick? We say Deoksugung Palace, it’s cozy and easily accessible. Not to mention that currently, at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (within the palace), you can find the art work of Quede Lee in commemoration for the 70th anniversary of the Korean War.
The Korean Folk Village
Yeah, yeah, we know this one’s in Yongin but when else would you make time to go? If you haven’t made plans and you’re still itching to bustle a little outside of Seoul, check out the Korean Folk Village located not too far from the city. There’s all traditional pottery, performances and buildings galore as well as a variety of children’s games you can learn to play. Be on the lookout for Chuseok events which are sure to happen as well.
Seoul Museum of History
The Seoul Museum of History provides a visually appealing exhibition that will blow away the boredom of studying history. The current exhibition is displaying photography of the Sillim-dong district and reflecting the changes of the Namsan mountain area which used to be the fighting competition arena until November. After the exhibition if you want to climb the Namsan mountain you can head toward the Namsangol Traditional Korean Village.