Gaonding guesthouse

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64-2, Hahoe, South Korea
Gaonding guesthouse - guesthouse
Gaonding guesthouse - guesthouse
Gaonding guesthouse - guesthouse
Gaonding guesthouse - bathroom
Gaonding guesthouse - food
Gaonding guesthouse - gate
Gaonding guesthouse - guesthouse

Gaonding guesthouse Hahoe Reviews

goyourownway goyourow…
380 reviews
An experience not to be missed Oct 12, 2014
N36°32.305' E128°21.099 In Korea accommodation is so numerous, that there is usually little need to book ahead, except for Han-Ok guesthouses, national holidays and weekends in national parks. Wanting to rent a room in a traditional home in Hahoe Folk Village near Andong, we asked excellent speaking tourist information staff in Andong for it: no need, plenty accommodation.

We took bus #46 in the city centre of Andong opposite the Kyobo Building to Hahoe Folk Village. It dropped us off at the village gate to buy an entry ticket for KRW 3000. The bus itself continues with only locals into the village. Again excellent English speaking tourist information staff searched free accommodation with air-conditioning. Typically, Hahoe homes have only shared bathrooms. KRW 50.000 is the standard rate for two persons in one room. Gaondang was the first available choice and an additional free pickup from the gate to the guesthouse was offered. We were expecting a rice farmer with a pickup truck, but the owner arrived in a brand new Jaguar sedan at the village gate. With the huge number of tourist and a big parking lot, was the Jaguar sedan the confirmation of a tourist trap?

Gaondang traditional house is in a less busy side street, although tourist walked through the front gate looking around the house and taking photographs of us in the house. Suddenly this felled like a game changer. No longer were we tourists ourselves, but part of the attraction. Gone was our privacy. This must be hard for residents, although tourist bring in huge amounts of money.

On the wooden veranda of our room in August 2014, we took a break to endure the midday heat. From four until seven in the afternoon we strolled the village, taking many pictures from every angle of beautiful village homes and small fields with working village people. Koreans looked surprised we did not take pictures with ourselves in front of traditional homes, but those looked so nice in the afternoon sun that a selfie would spoil the scene. By the way, we did not have an obligatory selfie camera extension pole with us.

We noticed several building projects in the village and some brand new homes in traditional style. A professor and his wife greeted us with a cup of rice wine. Their traditional home is their permanent resident in the village, like many others, and has a beautiful garden. Some private homes are excluded pieces of art on their own.

At seven o’clock, the owner took us to another village home, converted into a small local restaurant. The woman of the house served delicious backed chicken in soya sauce with the usual gimchi site dishes. A big bottle of cold beer came to the rescue eating this hot spicy dish. We were the only guests. After diner, we enjoyed a peaceful walk back home through a silent village. Mesmerising experience.

Gaonding traditional house offers six rooms with air-conditioning. Outside are two ablution blocks. One with a hot shower and one with two toilet/hot shower combinations. The hot shower was excellent, but lacked unsurprisingly adequate cleaning. The owner does not offer breakfast and there is not breakfast option in the village.

In our room, we slept on the ondol floor with mattresses (about as thick as a thin futon). The next morning we took bus #46 from the gate (information from the owner, but apparently the bus starts in de village centre) to the new Andong bus terminal on the outskirts of Andong to have breakfast.

Hahoe Folk Village is a tourist attraction during the daytime, but after the last 18:20 hour bus leaves the village, it becomes a real traditional village again to be enjoyed by a lucky few people. Gaonding is a good place to stay. Recommended.
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