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Discovering Korea's Traditional Culture

There is something decidedly Korean about every inch of a traditional hanok home.
Enjoy the rustic elegance of a traditional Korean home that has all the modern amenities you need.
You’ll appreciate the beauty and style of these hanok homes with every one of your senses.

Ragung 라궁

With a name meaning "Silla palace," Ragung is distinct from other hanok houses in the way it aims to provide modern hotel services while respecting the style and function of the traditional hanok , or Korean-style house. Ragung is located inside Shilla Millennium Park in Gyeongju, the ancient capital of the Silla Kingdom, and a city so steeped in history that it is like an open-air museum.
Ragung has added a modern touch to the traditional hanok structure in order to meet its goal of being a one-of-a-kind luxury hotel. Designers made use of eco-friendly materials such as wood and hanji (traditional Korean paper hand-made from mulberry wood) to ensure excellent ventilation. The tiled roof and spacious main floor room have been kept in the typical hanok style.

There are 16 separate suites that branch off from a 100-meter hallway. Inside each Suite and Royal Suite are a bedroom, living room, bathroom and outdoor tub.
The bedroom, the ondol (underfloor heating system) room and the garden surround a square yard with an outdoor spa. You can enjoy the soothing waters of this spa in total privacy. The water, which comes from a hot spring located 600 meters underground, is known to be good for the skin and for people with arthritis.

Every piece of furniture here, from the wardrobes to the tables, has been carefully selected. Rooms here feature both vintage and modern Western furniture, including beds, sofas, TVs, refrigerators, air conditioners, bidets and showers. In addition, each suite has both a traditional ondol room and a bedroom.
In the backyard is a traditional Korean garden with a small pond and a bench. With a high level of comfort and convenience that many hanok lack, Ragung has earned a reputation as a Korean "well-being hotel" that respects nature without turning its back on tradition.


Address : (Bomun Lake Resort) 55-12 Expo-ro, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do Province
Tel : 054-778-2000
Website :
Rooms : 16 rooms
Hours : Check-in: 2pm / Check-out: 11am
Services : Complimentary breakfast, dinner and theme park ticket for two
On-site : Outdoor hot tub, Korean cuisine restaurant and cafe, rear garden, Shilla Millenium Park, etc.

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Kundaemunjip 큰대문집

With a name literally meaning "big gate house" in Korean, Kundaemunjip is a cultural experience center located in Bukchon Hanok Village and surrounded by the palaces of Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung and the Jongmyo Shrine. The area is home to hundreds of traditional Korean hanok structures that date back to the era of Joseon (1392–1910), Korea’s last dynasty. More than 70 years old, Kundaemunjip was recently opened as a hanok hotel after extensive renovations.
When you push the wooden gate open, you step into a different world. Kundaemunjip is so remarkably quiet that some may wonder if is actually located in the heart of a megalopolis like Seoul. Surrounded by Western- style residences, this hanok hotel truly stands out from the rest.

The anchae is composed of a large room, a master room and small room to one side, and a sarangbang (room of the head of household) and kitchen to the other side. Although most other sarangbangs have a deck that offers a refreshing view of nature, this particular building has a floor-to-ceilling window instead.
Each room has its own private bathroom with modern facilities, and the rooms are conveniently connected to each other. Also, the interior is decorated with Korean traditional costumes, tea sets and antique furniture.
Kundaemunjip has a bigger, more spacious yard than the average hanok .
Guests of the hotel can experience Korean traditional culture such as traditional knot tying and traditional games. A quiet sanctuary, Kundaemunjip is the perfect place for people to escape the hectic urban life.

With a convenient location only a few hundred meters from Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), you can get anywhere in Seoul quickly and easily from here.
As a reflection of its diverse international clientele, Kundaemunjip operates website services in four languages: Korean, Chinese, English and Japanese.


Address : 7 Gyedong 2-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Tel : 02-762-6981
Website : (Korean)
Rooms : 5 rooms
Hours : Check-in: 2pm / Check-out: 11am
Services : Traditional Korean culture (traditional clothing & games) experience, complimentary breakfast, wireless Internet access, etc.

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Rak Go Jae 락고재

Rak Go Jae features an aesthetically pleasing structure and pleasant interior, allowing guests the chance to appreciate all things traditional in a peaceful atmosphere. Guests staying at Rak Go Jae can experience various traditional cultures including drinks, food, music, poetry and architecture.
This 130-year-old hanok was remodeled after extensive research by experts. Traditional and modern beauty have been brought together in harmony, making this a boutique hanok hotel where guests can experience traditional Korean culture unlike anything anywhere else.

The first thing visitors will notice is the veritable forest of bamboo trees. Stepping inside, they will see a number of rooms surrounding a square yard. The walls and floors are finished with pine wood, while the rooms have been decorated with traditional tile and wooden furniture.
The pond, the pavilion and the main floor room, where Joseon yangban (noblemen) once gathered, have been meticulously restored in great detail. Around an old pine tree growing in the center of the yard are antique household items such as cauldrons and grinding stones.

Guests have a selection of different rooms to choose from: The Anbang features a natural jade floor, the Jeongjabang has a small traditional terrace, and the larger Jjimjilbang, which can accommodate up to three adults, is heated with firewood. There is also a fireplace in the corner of the yard that can be used for cooking, though a Korean breakfast and dinner are included in your rate.
Hangnanchae also has a massage room that operates on a reservation basis. Each room has a bathroom with shower. The old Confucian scholar rooms at Rak Go Jae are especially popular with foreign tourists, and guests can take advantage of several opportunities to learn more about traditional Korean culture, ranging from eating Korean-style dinners to learning how to make kimchi and taking part in a traditional tea ceremony.


Address : 49-23 Gyedong-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Tel : 02-742-3410
Website :
Rooms : 4 rooms
Hours : Check-in: 2pm / Check-out: 12pm
Services : Complimentary : breakfast, dinner, laundry, tea ceremony; Additional charge: trying on court costumes, making kimchi, firewood sauna, pansori (narrative solo song) & gayageum (Korean 12-stringed zither) performance
On-site : Korean sauna room, numaru (traditional porch-like architecture), etc.

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Gimhae Hanok experience hall 김해한옥체험관

Also known as Gayawon, the Gimhae Hanok Experience Hall is a place where visitors can enjoy Korean traditional culture and performances. Established by the city of Gimhae and operated by the Gimhae Cultural Foundation, it offers so much more than mere accommodation.
Modeled after a traditional 99-kan (traditional unit of measurement) hanok of nobles, the splendor of an older Korean home has been melded with the convenience of a modern building.
Seven buildings include a total of 85 rooms. Each room is uniquely designed, offering guests a traditional experience in a residence from a bygone era. Although built in the traditional style, the materials and furnishings are new.
Groups of ten or more people can make reservation to take part in a variety of traditional programs such as hanji (traditional Korean paper) art, women’s crafts, percussion quartet, tea ceremony, clothing, foods and more.

Guests can also make traditional Korean fermented condiments like doenjang (soybean paste) and kimchi, an experience one is sure not to forget. Traditional etiquette classes are offered for children, and traditional weddings and parties are often staged for tourists.
In what used to be the servants’ quarters, you can enjoy a traditional Korean dinner or royal court cuisine, which includes beef dishes like bulgogi and galbi as well as other specialties such as bibimbap , samgyetang (traditional chicken soup with ginseng), and a fish soup called chueotang .
On weekends, exhibits of paintings, natural stones and photos are held, along with traditional dance shows, musical performances and other events. Anyone who stays here will come away with an infinitely greater understanding of Korea and its culture. The Gimhae Hanok Experience Hall is open to the public and guests free of charge.


Address : 40 Garakno 93-beongil, Gimhaesi, Gyeongsangnam-do Province
Tel : 055-322-4735~8
Website :
Rooms : 13 rooms
Hours : Check-in: 2pm / Check-out: 11am
Services : Complimentary breakfast
On-site : Garden, Korean restaurant, seminar room, traditional tea house, etc.

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Bukchondaek 북촌댁

Bukchondaek is located in Andong Hahoe Folk Village, which was recently designated as a UNESCO World Heritage. Once the home of a very distinguished Korean family, it has remained virtually unchanged since 1862, with vestiges of its long history still clearly visible throughout the house.
The current owner of Bukchondaek wanted to offer guests more than a simple accommodation or sightseeing opportunities. The goal was to give people a chance to experience Korean traditional culture, meet locals and see how people really live around here.
Bukchondaek is a typical Korean yangban (nobleman) home consisting of 72 rooms, including the inner quarters, master quarters and a household shrine. It also happens to be the biggest house in the village. Traditionally, hanok were divided into several different areas that dictated where the male head of household, his wife and the servants would sleep. Each part had a different function and structure according to the status and needs of the person in that room. At Bukchondaek, the traditional structure of a hanok has been strictly observed.

Due to the authentic design, guests have to go outside to use the bathroom, but the home’s traditional charm is more than enough to make up for such inconveniences. One of the real treats here is the ondol or underfloor heating system, which keeps guests warm and snug throughout the winter.
Spaces inside Bukchondaek are separated by doors, not walls. When the doors between rooms are raised, the area becomes one large space that can be used for meetings or even a small party.
Behind the sizeable master quarters is a centuries-old pine tree that is mysteriously bent in the shape of the Hahoegang River. The backyard is quiet and secluded, making it the perfect place to go for a walk or meditate. For breakfast, traditional food is served in brassware, and a video is shown every morning to help guests learn about the history and structure of Bukchondaek.


Address : 7 Bukchon-gil, Hahoe-ri, Pungcheon-myeon, Andong-si, Gyeongsangbukdo Province
Tel : 054-853-2110
Website : (Korean)
Rooms : 12 rooms
Hours : Check-in: 2pm / Check-out: 12pm
Services : Complimentary breakfast, pick-up service

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Jirye Art Village 지례예술촌

Opened in 1989, Jirye Art Village was Korea’s first art village. It makes use of a very large house that consists of 10 separate sections and 125 rooms. Originally built in 1663, the house is big enough to accommodate more than a hundred guests. Numerous writers, painters, composers and artists have lived here at one time or another while working and drawing artistic inspiration from the village and its surroundings. Long-term stays are possible, with artists receiving a special discount.
This art village is a modern sanctuary. It is located by a lake and encircled by mountains, with the closest city being Andong. The scenery here will remind many of an Oriental painting. Those who choose to stay here can escape the hustle and bustle of big city living and indulge in the beauty of the natural scenery around the village.

Or they can kick back and relax, listening to the birds sing or taking in the hills and mountains all around in perfect quietude. The unpolluted air makes it one of the few places in the country where you can actually see the glow of fireflies at night.
Jirye Art Village attracts visitors from Korea and around the world, and had been featured in the Michelin Guide. Conveniently close to Andong, the heart of Korean traditional culture, Jirye Art Village offers a wide variety of ways to explore Korean culture.
In addition, there are many things to do while here. A traditional service for ancestors is held once a month, as are artistic performances, an etiquette class, a Hahoe mask class, a calligraphy class and a class that teaches you how to make traditional teas and cakes.
Jirye Art village provides a unique opportunity for guests to meet and mingle with artists from all over the world.


Address : 427 Jiryeyesulchon-gil, Imdongmyeon, Andong-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do Province
Tel : 054-852-1913
Website :
Rooms : 17 rooms
Hours : Check-in: 3pm / Check-out: 12pm
Services : Traditional Andong cuisine (not included in rate)
On-site : Small library, A/V room (computer, big screen TV, video, etc.), hiking trail, sports field, etc.

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Anguk Guesthouse 안국 게스트하우스

Anguk Guesthouse is an affordable hanok guesthouse. Although traditional Korean in style, the atmosphere here is brighter and more uplifting than most other hanok open to the public. Two very affordable single room options are available for tourists – one of the guesthouse’s real selling points.
The rooms are available in single, double and family types. Each has its own private bathroom and is equipped with amenities such as a computer and a desk. In addition, guests can cook their own meals in the shared kitchen. The yard and main floor room are also wonderful places for people to congregate and share conversation. The small, intimate yard has a flower bed and a pond. You can also order tea and pies or enjoy Korean dishes such as tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes) and bulgogi with rice.

The Anguk Culture House, which operates in connection with Anguk Guesthouse, offers a variety of different activities for people to take part in, such as trying on a hanbok (Korean traditional costume), making traditional desserts and cooking palace and temple food. During these activities, you can also have your picture taken so you never forget this unique experience.
Located in Bukchon Hanok Village, it is no exaggeration to say that once you step outside, you walk straight into a tour of traditional Korean culture. Just going for a walk around the neighborhood is a memorable experience, with the nearby street of Bukchon-gil boasting an endless array of museums, art galleries and craft shops.
Also making Anguk Guesthouse an ideal place for foreign tourists is its location at just a 30-minute walk away from Seoul’s main tourist attractions: the shopping and business districts of Myeong-dong, Gwanghwamun and Dongdaemun as well as royal palaces like Gyeongbokgung, Unhyeongung and Changdeokgung.


Address : 30-22 Bukchonno 1-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul Tel 02-736-8304
Tel : 02-736-8304
Website :
Rooms : 4 rooms
Hours : Check-in: 2pm / Check-out: 12pm
Services : Korean traditional culture experience course (additional fee), Internet access, etc.
On-site : Gahoe Culture Experience Center, etc.

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Date 11/09/2012

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