Korea has made many efforts to keep alive its pastoral traditions in the face of rapid economic growth; one particularly interesting example is its preserved folk villages. While some  exist purely for show, others are functioning communities where life dawdles on at an intentionally slow pace, the residents surviving on a curious mix of home-grown vegetables, government subsidy and tourist-generated income. Hahoe Folk Village (하회 마을) is one of the best and most popular in the country, a charming mesh of over a hundred traditional countryside houses nestling in the gentle embrace of an idle river. This charming mix of mud walls, thatched roofs and dusty trails is no mere tourist construct, but a village with a history stretching back centuries, and you’ll be able to eat up at least a couple of hours exploring the paths, inspecting the buildings and relaxing by the river. The village’s past is told on information boards outside the most important structures – seek out the Yangjin residence, for example, the oldest in the village, and built in a blend of Goryeo- and Joseon-era styles. The village can sometimes get a little busy with visitors, but it’s easy to escape and find space – try the riverside at the far end of the village, past the church.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

South Korea features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Seoul food: the transformation of a neighbourhood

Seoul food: the transformation of a neighbourhood

Itaewon, a neighbourhood in the South Korean capital Seoul, is on the up and food is at the forefront of its renaissance. Here Amy Guttman explores a district u…

14 Jan 2016 • Amy Guttman insert_drive_file Article
Would you get down and dirty at South Korea’s Mud Festival?

Would you get down and dirty at South Korea’s Mud Festival?

What once began as a marketing ploy for a therapeutic mud found near Boryeong, a small city on South Korea’s sandy west coast, has since transformed into a un…

17 Jul 2015 • Colt St. George insert_drive_file Article
In pictures: traditional dress around the world

In pictures: traditional dress around the world

The Sari, India Ostensibly the simplest item of clothing possible – a single length of fabric, up to nine metres long – the sari is also one of the world…

02 Feb 2015 • Alice Park camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month