Andong City – Part 1


Parents’ Day is celebrated here every year on May 8th, a few days after Children’s Day (May 5th). It is Korea’s answer to the west’s separate celebrations of Mother’s and Father’s Day. It’s not a national holiday but rather a special one. On this day, children offer carnations (as in the flower) to their parents and spend time with them.

The road to Hahoemaeul in Andong City
The road to Hahoemaeul in Andong City

We celebrated this day by going out with my parents-in-law. We went to Andong City, which is about an hour’s drive from Jecheon. Our first stop was Hahoemaeul, a unique Korean folk village. Why unique? Unlike other folk villages, real people live here. It’s a really old village with houses dating back to 500 years. England’s Queen Elizabeth II visited this place during her Korean visit.

Inside a commoner's house in Andong's Hahoemaeul
Inside a commoner’s house in Andong’s Hahoemaeul

Hahoemaeul means “a village in the bend of the river”. The Nakdong-gang (river) flows around the village in an S-shape and has a sandy bank.

The village is famous for being the hometown of Ryu Song-ryong, the prime minister during the Japanese invasion of 1592, who was also a close friend of Korea’s hero General Lee Sun Shin. It is also the home of many traditional festivals like the Andong Mask Festival.

Hahoemaeul is famous for its Korean masks
Hahoemaeul is famous for its Korean masks

Inside the village, you’ll find some souvenir shops, restaurants and “minbak” or lodging houses where you can have a sleepover. The houses here are really old but expect to see cars parked in front of some of the houses as well as small satellite receivers. Real people live in those houses.

The river at Hahoemaeul has been featured is a famous filming location
The river at Hahoemaeul has been featured is a famous filming location

We spent about two hours touring the place. We were able to talk to one of Ryu Song-ryong’s descendants, who still live in their old “mansion”. The residents were friendly and accomodating and they didn’t mind answering questions about their locale. The kids we’ve met were a bit shy though. They spoke in Kyongsangbuk-do accent, which was really cute. 🙂

The gate of a nobleman's house
The gate of a nobleman’s house

Andong’s Hahoemaeul is worth visiting especially in October when they hold the mask festival.


  1. hi, we actually live in Andong city! so do you live in seoul or in jechon?

    we haven’t gone to the folk village yet. thanks for the info though. and nice pics! 🙂

  2. Ha, some of the relative in Zambales would like to have these 500 year old houses to live in now — it would be an improvement 🙁

  3. HI,
    I’ve read your column andI’ve learn a lot rom it.

    I’ll here in Seoul, may I ask what are most jobs of the filipinos here aside from teaching english ( illegally)?

    Would you know if there’s a chance that I can work in a software or computer company here?

    I would also like to learn simple korean language, where I can learn those?

    Your help will highly appreciated.


Leave a Reply