And if you’re any sort of friend of mine, you do.

In fact, I had no idea there was a stabbing spree in Seoul today until I checked out CNN’s website a little while ago. To be fair, I wasn’t actually in Seoul at all today. Erin and I both had the day off, so we decided to go to a nearby suburb of Seoul called Suwon, which, according to Lonely Planet, has a great folk village. We went with our Canadian friends Mark and Jeanette, who have been here since July and hadn’t had the chance to make it there yet. Luckily, Suwon, despite being outside of Seoul, is accessible by subway, so the trip there was ridiculously cheap (less than $2 American each way), and there was a free shuttle to take us from the subway station to the folk village. The shuttle bus there was a regular Coach-style bus, but had the greatest decor. Check this out:

Erin enjoying the bus

Erin enjoying the bus

No joke, I sort of felt like I was in Aladdin. When we got there, I snapped out of my Disney moment and focused on the task at hand-finding some food. We ended up at a Korean restaurant inside the village that served up halfway-decent food and wasn’t pricey at all. I got bibimbap, which is a vegetable and rice dish. Bibimbap is served in a really hot bowl that doesn’t ever seem to cool down, which means that in order to keep the rice from burning, you have to constantly stir the food around. It was really good, especially with some chili sauce added in. Oh, and I tried kimchi, and–surprise surprise–totally hated it. Just don’t tell Anthony Bourdain!

My lunch, seconds before consumption

My lunch, seconds before consumption

After lunch, we walked around the folk village. I had assumed it was going to be a major tourist trap, but I was pleasantly mistaken–it was only sort of a tourist trap. The re-creations were really well-done and gave a pretty good depiction of what life was like in a Korean village centuries ago.

Display in the village

Your average centuries-old Korean kitchen

Really, really bizarre clay child.  Are his pants down?

Small clay statues of children dotted the garden

A LOT of bamboo

A LOT of bamboo

While there were some souvenir shops, a lot of the stalls were selling cool things at reasonable prices. Erin got a cute little tea set for about $15, and the girl in the shop even threw in a free clay spoon. My favorite part of the day was stopping by a stand where the guy was making “dragon’s beard,” wispy strings of honey no wider than a strand of hair, wrapped around a sweet nut mixture. I took a video of him working his magic:

The end result was delicious, although is sort of resembled a larvae

Dragon's beard deliciousness

Dragon's beard deliciousness

We walked around the folk village and checked out a bunch of recreated buildings, a few artisans and a couple of performances. My favorite was the see-saw girls, who jumped up and down on opposite ends of a see-saw, flinging the other high into the air each time.

I also liked the farmer’s dance show, though I have no idea why it’s called that. The dancers with streamers attached to their hats were fascinating. Throughout the show, they were jerking their heads from side to side, in time with the music and each other, as the ribbons danced around them.

The most impressive, though, was this guy:

Eventually we made our way back to Seoul, but not before taking advantage of the autumn leaves.

View from the bridge

View from the bridge

Fin.

Fin.

Advertisements