My photos

Photographs in and around Andong, Korea and any place else I may visit in my travels. Most of these are scenery, but there are the odd people photos now and then. No, the people aren't usually odd.

My Photo
Location: Daejeon, South Korea

Just passing time till I kick the bucket. I try to make my life about living rather than working.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Hahoe Village and Environs

Hahoe village, 하회마을, is about an 30 minutes or so outside of Andong, situated along a bend in the Naktong river. The name 'Hahoe' is derived from the shape of the river. 'Hahoe' means winding river, circle water, or spinning river depending which translation you get. The whole village is designated as important Korean national folk material. The village is actually a living cultural artifact. The houses have been preserved, as best as possible, in their original state, or have been rebuilt or renovated in the traditional style. These days though, many of the houses have been converted from family dwellings into homestays, shops, or restaurants. If you look beyond the trinkets and consumerism, there is still a bit of charm in the old houses and the surroundings.

Not my image. Borrowed from another site. Image Hosted by

Hahoe village is also famous for another cultural item. A series of traditional mask dances, or plays. The photos I have posted this time mostly focus on a few of the buildings and some of the surrounding scenery and area. If you want some more detailed photos of the architecture, you can go here. Remember, you can click on my photos to see a larger version. I hope you like them. Leave a comment if you want.

The village was founded by the Pungsan Ryu family, and their family house is still there. Not the Ryu home, but here is a typical upper class house. This photo was made from two pictures stitched together to show the full house structure.

Here is another house of a slightly different style.

A wall which makes up the narrow streets of the village.

As you can see, these photos were taken in fall. Just a pumpkin ripening on a roof.

Many older villages were built around, or have, an old village tree that is both representative of the village and serve as a gathering place. Occasionally, in time, these trees become shamanistic sites. All the papers you see tied to the rope around this tree are wishes or prayers of people visiting the village. An interesting side note, I heard that during the occupation of Korea by Japan, the Japanese would sometimes chop down these large trees in an effort to demoralize the local population.

This 'totem' representing a Korean scholar or upper class individual is hollow. If you put your hand in the mouth something is supposed to happen to you- good luck, long life, or some such thing like that.

The gate to a particularly large family compound.

Here is another house. The chimney is for the under floor heating system common throughout Korea in old and modern houses and apartments, though these days the heat comes from water from a gas-fired boiler instead of wood.

These are the clay jars in which Koreans traditionally (and even now) store their various kimchees and other foodstuffs. In this case, these jars contain 'shikhye', a traditional sweetened rice drink.

The village is nearly surrounded by the Naktong river. One portion of the opposite bank is a large cliff face that looks back over the sand banks of the village. This photo is another composite.

The wide river, hills in the distance, and part of the village sand banks.

On the village side of the river, above the sand banks, is a nice grove of tall pine trees.

One more shot of Hahoe village. This is just the roof feature on a gate to a family compound.

I saw this old man while waiting for the bus to Andong. I figured since he wearing a more traditional outfit, and I am going to a traditional village, the photos would go together.

Just outside the entrance to Hahoe village a bit is a place that makes some traditional, and not so traditional, village totems.



Quite a pair!

Perhaps this one is supposed to represent the village idiot or something.

The minimum age in Korea for adult things is 19!    Image Hosted by
If I was prudish I might label the next two photos as for adults only, but I am pretty liberal, and after all, they are just pieces of wood.

I am pretty sure this is not the traditional village 'totem'.

Not only the head, but the nose too. And he seems happy about it.

More proof that these pictures were taken in fall. This is the gingko tree. The leaves are deep green in summer and bright yellow when fall arrives.

Along the way to Hahoe, just outside another small town, is this small building. It was built by an aristocrat who came back to the countryside for a little peace and quiet. He even had the pond built in front.

It looks like a really nice place to contemplate life, if only the road out front didn't exist.


Another door shot.

Along the road in front.

Further down the road.

Just a few sunset shots taken near Hahoe.

I can't decide which of these two sunset shots I like better. Originally I liked the second one, but now I am thinking this one.

I still can't decide. Which one do you like?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree. If the sun's reflection in the lake was clearer, I would like the other.... as the stalk has reached out and touched the unreachable.

10:33 AM, April 11, 2006  
Blogger Alimamo said...

Thanks for the comment, No Young

6:31 PM, April 11, 2006  

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