As I recommended in a previous post about traveling like a local, sometimes planning and research are unnecessary. You can still have a very fulfilling and enjoyable vacation if you just show up and start exploring your destination at your own pace. Hidden gems can be discovered along your way whether you rent a car, use public transport or simply walk. This is exactly what my husband and I love doing when we visit places (plus we’re always conscientious of our budget since our trips are longer than most – 2 weeks – 2 months at a time).
Walking around Jeju’s sightseeing paths, called Olle Gils, has given us a great opportunity to explore and wander the forests, volcanic mounds, beaches, museums, mural villages, parks, cafes, tangerine groves, wild horse fields, farms, pastures, and more. Finishing Olle Gil #3, while looking for restaurants to end our long day of hiking with, a map pointed us to Jeju’s Folk Village, which presented itself as a large green space on the map. Considering that land is very expensive anywhere in Korea, we figured a park dedicated to anything should be quite interesting.
What hooked us is the fact that this outdoor museum contains over 100 restored traditional houses from the 1890s, featuring over 8,000 pieces of folk items. We just had to check it out for ourselves!
Address: 631-34 Minsokhaean-ro, Pyoseon-myeon, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do Phone: 064-787-4501 Open: Every day 8:30-6pm Entrance fee: 11,000krw Visitors usually spend around 2 hours there
Jeju island is known as the island of Samda (three many), Sammu (three nothing) and Sambo (three treasures). It is designated as One of the Seven Wonders of the World, as well as winning 3 titles in the field of UNESCO natural science for unique cultural assets and heaven-blessed natural environment. To preserve the cultural heritage as it is. Jeju Folk Village was formed through expert historical research and is made up of cultural assets such as the Mountain Villages, Hill-country villages, Fishing villages, Shamanism Villages, Jeju Yeongmun (former Government offices) and Yubaeso (forced exile house).
When visiting the village, you can either rent an Audio Guide (available in English, Chinese, Japanese or Korean for an additional fee) at the ticket office. Or you can freely walk around, reading signs which are also featured in numerous languages.
Life-like dolls help to explain what the buildings were used for, how people looked, and how they may have looked back in the day. Of course, seeing the contrast between 2021 vs 1890s Korea and Koreans, makes it feel like you’re inside a Time Capsule or have gone back in time with a Time Machine.
Of course a village wouldn’t be complete without some live animals and Jeju Folk Village definitely has a few! I got a chance to feed goats, rabbits and even a one horned deer!
Near the Maze Garden, which is shaped like a giant fish, you can do a hilarious fat assessment, which was fun to try for us tubby Americans 😛
The idea is to walk through, sideways, identifying where you rank on this silly bamboo weight scale.
Sadly, we didn’t catch a performance while at the Folk Village but if you’re interested, here are the times below:
Depending on the month, you can also look up various events, which are sure to entertain you and your kids!
Other things to do at the Jeju Village include photo zones, folk games, crafts, a folk market, movie sets, Hanbok and traditional Wedding Experience, mini pony rides, train rides, street food, workshops (wood carving, pottery, painter’s house).
Finally, you can come across a very traditional-looking 7-Eleven with a very non-traditional setup. The store doesn’t have any employees, instead, it’s an automated, self-checkout 7-Eleven, which was a first for us!
Visiting Jeju Island, don’t forget to stop by the Southeastern coast, where you can enjoy the beautiful beach of Pyoseon (which is half a mile in length and over 65 acres = plenty of space to stretch your wheels), as well as Sincheon-ri Mural Village (with over 100 colorful houses and sheds), Olle Gil #3 with Sinsan-ri Village Cafe (run by the locals, who created an amazing Green Tea Ice Cream you just have to try!) and finally, take your time exploring Jeju’s Folk Village, where the time stands still, old crafts have made a comeback and kids get plenty of education and entertainment from feeding animals, learning about the olden days and soaking up the sunshine in this one of a kind outdoor museum.
Check out other posts about the beautiful island of Jeju.
Check out other posts about South Korea, I’ve been here since 2008 (gulp!)
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