From Andong Folk Village we headed back to town to catch the bus out to the Hahoe Village. It’s another traditional village, but this one was a lot better. First off, it’s organized in typical Korean style. There’s an info booth right where the bus lets you off. They speak English and can provide you with a free map and tell you what route you should take through the site. She actually appologized that the numbers on the sites on the map aren’t actually on the houses. Of course, there are people still living in them!!! There are tons of bathrooms, lots of plaques explaining key buildings – all translated into English and Chinese too, and lots of vending machines. Everywhere.
We met a guy from Atlanta waiting to get on the bus on our way out there and wound up touring the site with him. It was fun to chat about travels. He works for the ( ) and travels all over South East Asia working with other countries to improve health standards. He was in Korea on a stop over, coming back from working in Indonesia. At one point we passed a home with a couple of women serving tea, and decided to give it a try. Well…We have no idea what the heck it was but it was hot and the color of soy sauce and we really tried to make it through it, but there was NO way. Wow.
At 3:00pm every Sat. And Sunday during the summer they put on a traditional mask dance at the village. It lasts an hour and the whole thing is accompanied by drumming. Very cool. So now we know what the masks we see in all the stores are really about. Of course, we’ll need to bring some of those home… Even though it’s obviously put on for the tourists, there were very few obvious foreigners there.
Since everything is in Korean it was a little bit hard to follow what was actually going on, but we met a very nice Korean girl on the bus back to Andong who explained it all to us. She actually went to the US on an exchange in high school and managed to stay. She’s now graduated from college and is planning to stay and work there. Anyhow, she naturally spoke perfect English and helped us make sense of what we’d seen. Naturally the public bus schedule co-ordinates with the end of the performance, so it was very easy to get the bus back to Andong.