Hakindang Hanok Stay

When I saw in the itinerary that we were going to stay in a Hanok, I guessed it would be a beautiful building, since most Hanoks are. It looked like an ordinary Hanok from the outside when we arrived. Once we passed through the gate however, I was pleasantly surprised. Hakindang exceeded my expectations and is by far the most beautiful place I have stayed in Korea.

The tiny gate has been made so they don't have to open the aging big one.

The tiny gate has been made so they don't have to open the aging big one.

Hakindang (학인당) is one of those Hanoks that permeates history. Completed in 1908 during the Japanese colonization, the house was first used by artists in the North Jeolla Province. After Japan had capitulated and the Korean War had started, Hakindang was occupied illegally by a high ranking North Korean official. After the official was driven out, the building was then used by high ranking figures in the South Korean government. Nowadays its use isn't as thrilling as in those days. Hakindang is mainly used as a guesthouse for tourists that want to soak up Korean history. 

The main building.

The main building.

Although its main function is a guesthouse, sometimes Pansori (traditional Korean opera) performances are still held in Hakindang during the Jeonju International Sori Festival. The main building was constructed as a concert hall especially to accommodate these kind of performances. Therefore the ceiling is higher than most Hanoks.

Main building hallway.

Main building hallway.

These are Gayageum; traditional Korean music instruments.

These are Gayageum; traditional Korean music instruments.

Traditional Korean pottery.

Traditional Korean pottery.

The courtyard has a very relaxing atmosphere and it felt like I was transported to the countryside, instead of being in the middle of a village. 

The courtyard has a very relaxing atmosphere and it felt like I was transported to the countryside, instead of being in the middle of a village. 

There is a guestroom in the main building, but I stayed in one of the other buildings on the premises. There was a mattress on the floor (common in Hanoks), but it was very comfy and although it was December I never once felt cold in the room. The floor heating was working very well.

The hallway to my bedroom at Hakindang. Your shoes have to come off, as is custom in any Korean home.

The hallway to my bedroom at Hakindang. Your shoes have to come off, as is custom in any Korean home.

In the morning you will be served traditional Korean breakfast. Although I'm not a fan of eating a warm meal in the morning, this was actually very good. After breakfast we had a small tea ceremony where our host explained how he made the tea. 

Breakfast

Breakfast

Tea ceremony.

Tea ceremony.

The courtyard from a window on the second floor.

The courtyard from a window on the second floor.

Kimchi pots.

Kimchi pots.

Although not for the budget traveller, I would highly recommend staying here if you are in Jeonju and want to stay in a real traditional Korean house. Hakindang is very beautiful and peaceful, located in the middle of the Hanok village, and the staff is friendly. You can find more details on their website. Though one obstacle you have to overcome is that the website is only in Korean. An English version seems to be under construction.  

Address

45, Hyanggyo-gil, Wansan-gu, Jeonju-si, Jeollabuk-do (전라북도 전주시 완산구 향교길 45 (교동))

 

Disclaimer: This post is written in exchange for an all expenses paid tour through North Jeolla Province with the Jeollabuk-do Tourism Board. However, all views are my own.