The Hahoe Folk Village, a World Heritage Site, and its Diverse Hands-on Experience Programs
UNESCO World Heritage site
The Hahoe Folk Village was registered as a world heritage site along with Yang-dong Village in Gyeongju, Korea for the tenth time in Korea, at the 34th World Heritage Committee meeting held in Brasilia, Brazil in July 2010. The registration of the Hahoe Folk Village is particularly significant in that the traditional Korean lifestyle characterized by the pursuit of a harmony with nature has been recognized worldwide and that the village has been regarded as a living heritage as its residents have maintained their heritage in their daily lives over many generations.
Hahoe is the most famous single-clan village, of the ‘Pungsan’ Ryu Clan who have lived here for more than 600 years. The village name ‘Hahoe’ (literally a round river) stems from the fact that the Nakdonggang River flows around the village in the shape of the alphabet letter ‘S’. Hahoe is located at the foothills of Hwasan Mountain, 327 meters high, connected to Taebaeksan Mountain. Its center is the highest point of the village and home to a 600-year-old Zelkova tree that has served the village as its Samsindang Shrine.
To the north of the village (east from the tourist information center) is a traditional boat dock where I took a traditional Korean boat tour of Buyongdae Cliff. Buyongdae Cliff is a 64-meter high cliff situated at a point where the Taebaek Mountain Range ends. From the summit, one can get a bird’s eye view of the Hahoe Folk Village. With a stream and a white sand beach in front of it, the cliff creates picturesque scenery. The name Buyongdae Cliff comes from China’s ancient history. Buyong means a lotus. Hahoe is configured like a lotus flower.
Various hands-on experiences
You can get various hands-on experiences in and around the Hahoe Folk Village, ranging from traditional cultural experiences, handicrafts, farming and leports (leisure + sports) activities. One can also try making hanji (Korean paper) masks or hand mirrors at Andong Hanji Mill. Once in Andong, it is worth trying to make Hahoe masks. The ‘Hahoe Byeolsingut Tallori (Mask Dance Drama of Hahoe)’, a Korean masked dance-drama, is performed three times a week for an hour, respectively, from two to three o’clock in the afternoon. The traditional Korean boat ride is extremely popular among both adults and children.
For those who visit Andong by train or bus, the Andong City Tour bus is available at the Andong train station or the Andong bus terminal as well as the following stops: Hahoe Byeolsingut Tallori (Mask Dance Drama of Hahoe) – Traditional Hanji Mill – Buyongdae Cliff – Byeongsanseowon Confucian Academy – Hahoe Village – Ogyeonjeongsa House – New Office Building of Gyeongsangbuk-do Province, The Hahoe Folk Village has preserved ‘Hahoe Byeolsingut Tallori (Mask Dance Drama of Hahoe)’ enjoyed by ordinary folks and ‘Seonyu Julbulnori’ relished by ‘Virtuous scholars’ during the Joseon Dynasty as well as the Country’s old architectural styles in its numerous residential buildings together with the country’s traditional life styles. Amidst fast-paced changes sweeping across the country, Andong has come up with a solid vision for its future. It strives to implement it faithfully with a commitment to building a new, sustainable future for all.