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Centuries of Korean town life, 30 miles from Seoul.

Centuries of Korean town life, 30 miles from Seoul A living history experience that's a high note for travelers, the Korean Folk Village turns a day trip from Seoul into a journey back through centuries of Korean town life. You can wander from a rustic hundred-year-old farmhouse into the courtyard of an elegantly crafted merchant's home, watch costumed potters at their wheels, see calligraphers and metalsmiths at work in age-old style.

Established in 1974 as a heritage for the Korean people, the Korean Folk Village is both a museum and learning center. Sprawling over 245 acres about 30 miles south of Seoul, the village has more than 250 buildings. Many were moved here from other locations; others were reconstructed. These are temples, farms, shops, manor houses, gardens, kilns, and workshops. Signs in Korean and English give explanations; at many exhibits, costumed attendants demonstrate traditional skills. In rural fashion, the buildings cluster around open squares. These outdoor areas are centers of activity with weddings and their processions, tightrope walking, dance performances, and street vendors. Visitors can join in games.

In the large marketplace, stalls sell handmade traditional and contemporary wares, generally priced from $1 to $25. Some of the most distinctive items include garden tools, kitchen knives, straw matting, and mulberry and rice papers, all produced by village artisans. Near the potters' workrooms, the ceramic shop offers elegant (and expensive) celadon ware, known for its greenish glaze.

Stop for an informal meal at one of the assortment of restaurants; in the warm summer months, some serve outside under trees or canopies.

The folk village is a 30- to 45-minute drive from Seoul on the Kyongbu expressway. Or take an express train (Line 1, the red line, from downtown) or bus to Suwon City, then taxi or bus. Most drivers will understand "folk village" as your destination. You can joint a group tour through the Korea Travel Service in Seoul. For other information, write or call the Korea National Tourism Corp., 510 W. Sixth St., Los Angeles 90014; (213) 623-1226. The village is open 9 to 5 daily; admission is less than $3.
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Title Annotation:Korean Folk Village
Date:Nov 1, 1986
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